What to See in Warsaw (Poland)

By | July 27, 2022

According to Zipcodesexplorer.com, Warsaw is located on two banks of the Vistula River. This is the largest city in Poland, the Sejm and the Senate, the President and the Government work here, it is an important economic, scientific and cultural center, the largest railway junction of international importance and an important tourist center.

The first settlements from which modern Warsaw was subsequently formed, appeared in its place in the X-XI centuries. By the end of the XIII century. a fortress was built here, around which a city called Varshova was soon erected. In the 30s of the XV century. the city was already fortified, and a century later it becomes the capital of the Mazovia region. After the beginning of the XVI century. the dynasty of the princes of Mazowiecki died out, the territory of the region was annexed to the royal lands. Throughout the 16th century the political importance of Warsaw was growing due to its location in the center of the country. After 1569, Warsaw became the seat of meetings of the General Sejm of the Commonwealth, and since 1573, the elections of kings have been held here. In 1596, King Sigismund III Vasa decided to transfer the royal residence and the main state institutions from Krakow to Warsaw, making it the capital of all Poland. The process of the city’s transition to the position of the capital contributed to its significant expansion and development. The suburbs are growing, where the construction of beautiful and rich palaces, estates and churches begins. Under the rule of the Vazov dynasty, Warsaw became not only the political and administrative capital of the country, but also the main center of science, art and culture.

Wars with Sweden in the middle of the 17th century. led to a crisis in the development of the city, however, after the liberation, Warsaw was restored fairly quickly. One of those who took part in the restoration was the outstanding architect Tilman van Gameren. The most significant works of the architect are the palaces of the Krasiński and Gniński families and the shopping center. During the reign of Stanisław II August Poniatowski, Warsaw became the center of the Polish Enlightenment. At the initiative of the king, a palace complex was built, a park was planned in Lazienki, and the interiors of the royal castle were changed.

During the Second World War and the German occupation, the city suffered significant losses, in 1944 it was turned into a heap of ruins. Recovery began immediately after liberation. All historical complexes and buildings have been carefully restored, with great attention paid to restoring their original forms and appearance.

The original core of modern Warsaw is Stare Miasto (Old Town). It was founded at the turn of the XIII – XIV centuries. and is one of the most beautiful districts of the capital. Almost all monuments of history and architecture are concentrated here. After the Second World War, the complex was almost completely destroyed, but then it was carefully restored. The market is the center of the Old City. On the square, artists offer their paintings, the famous Warsaw droshky stops waiting for riders. Tourists come here to admire the beauty of Gothic churches, fortress walls, facades of old houses. Once upon a time, wealthy Warsaw philistines lived here, who spared no expense to decorate their houses with decorative sculptures and paintings. The Historical Museum is located in the northern part of the square. Warsaw, and in the houses on the east side – the Museum of Literature named after Mickiewicz.

Another square in the Old Town is Palace Square. In the center of the square rises the column of Sigismund III – the second most popular monument in Warsaw. It was installed in 1634-1644 on the initiative of King Vladislav VI, son of Sigismund III, and is one of the oldest monuments in the city. The entire eastern part of the square is occupied by the Royal Castle. In the 13th century, a wooden fortress stood here, then a palace was built, around which the Old Town grew over time. After the transfer of the capital from Krakow to Warsaw in 1596 the castle became the official royal residence. A commemorative constitution of 1791 was adopted here. Priceless works of art and preserved cultural objects of the past are collected in the Palace.

Within the boundaries of the Old City, there are several temples and monastic complexes built from the 14th to the 18th centuries, in the interior of which outstanding works of art and monuments of national culture have been preserved. Near the Market is one of the most famous temples of the city – the Cathedral of St. John. Until the end of the XVIII century. it was a small parish church, and only in 1798 did it become a cathedral. The cathedral was not only a witness to the most significant events in Polish history, but many of them took place directly within its walls. For example, in 1764 the last king of Poland was crowned here.

The narrow streets of the medieval city are surrounded by fragments of the fortress walls with a moat and a watchtower that have survived to this day, called the Barbican. In the XIV – XVIII centuries. the historical center of the city was protected by a double ring of the fortress wall with several towers. The barbican was built in 1598 by the Italian architect Giovanni Battista.

Lazienki – one of the most beautiful Warsaw parks, a favorite place for recreation for city residents and tourists. In the summer, in the morning hours, on Saturdays and Sundays, near the Chopin monument, there are concerts of famous pianists performing the music of the brilliant composer. The architectural monuments located in the park also attract attention – the “Palace on the Island”, the summer amphitheater or the Myslivsky Palace, the hunting museum, the theater “On the Island”, the greenhouse. In the park, you can ride a gondola on the pond.

Those who wish to see the panorama of the city can go up to the thirtieth floor of the Palace of Culture and Science, located in the very center of Warsaw.

There are 43 museums in Warsaw, the largest of which is the National Museum, where monuments of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman culture are kept, a huge collection of Polish and European paintings.

Guests of Warsaw can choose from a wide range of restaurants and other places where you can eat delicious food. The variety of international cuisines will surprise even the most sophisticated gourmet: you will be offered French dishes, exotic Lebanese dishes, Japanese delicacies, and, of course, traditional Polish dishes.

Warsaw (Poland)