2 Top Things to See in Warsaw, Poland
By Aurora Sánchez |
Discover the architecture of Warsaw in Poland through 2 emblematic buildings: the Royal Castle and the Palace of Culture and Science.
The central European countries offer impressive destinations full of unique architecture. That’s why we’ve taken you to discover the modern buildings of Berlin, as well as the avant-garde constructions of Zurich’s financial center. Today, Warsaw is the destination we’re heading to, in order to learn about its urban evolution from Medieval Times to Modernity.
History of Warsaw
Warsaw became a city in the 13th century, but it was until 1596 that it was declared capital of Poland. The territory belonged to different countries, including Germany and Russia. For this reason, Poland has a great cultural wealth, and its architecture is very similar to that of Russian cities.
Warsaw was ransacked and rebuilt several times. The last one took place in 1953, after the Second World War. In that time, 90% of the historic center was destroyed by the bombings of the Polish capital. The attacks damaged buildings such as the Royal Palace, the Market square, the St. John’s Cathedral and the medieval wall.
Warsaw Rebuilt After World War II
During the first reconstructive phase they used the debris from the destroyed buildings. As a guide for the new urban design, they used old paintings by Marcello Bacciarelli, over 20 landscape works by Bernardo Bellotto, as well as drawings and photographs taken before the war.
In spite of this, there were architects who preferred to follow a modern style, in keeping with the standards of the time, which reflected an American influence. Finally, it was agreed to combine the old architectural style with a modern one. For this reason, you’ll notice the historic center’s traditional architecture is surrounded by twentieth-century buildings. Thus, Warsaw, as we know it today, is a combination of past and modern urban design. The historic center was declared World Heritage in 1980 for being an example of an almost complete reconstruction of a series of historic buildings from the 13th and the 20th centuries.
The Royal Route, Warsaw
The historic center is part of the Royal Route.It’s a very long street that runs from the palaces and the parks of Wilanow to those of Lazienki, and connects the Old City and the New City.
Along the Royal Route you can find the Presidential Palace of Warsaw, built in the 18th century. Two more buildings that stand out are the church of St. Joseph of the Visitations, which also dates back to the 18th century, and the Church of St. Anne, from the 15th century. This church used to have a Gothic style, but nowadays it has a classical façade.
Other Things to See in Warsaw Old Town
In the suburb of Cracow you’ll find reproductions of the paintings by Bernardo Bellotto, which inspired the reconstruction of the city. Thanks to them you’ll be able to understand the diligent restoration works that took place in the city’s center.
Then, when you reach Zamkowy Square you’ll find the Royal Castle and the 22-meter tall Monument to King Sigismund III. Immortalize the moment by taking a picture from every corner of the square. This way you’ll capture the whole castle and the colorful houses that surround the square.
Two Places of Interest in Warsaw, Poland
DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, invites you to visit two of the most iconic buildings in Warsaw. One of them is located in the Old City and suffered the consequences of the destructions of World War II. The other one was built in the 1950s and represents the new architecture of the city.
#1 The Royal Castle of Warsaw
The construction of the Royal Castle of Warsaw began in the 14th century with the Great Tower. It became the official royal residence, seat of the Parliament, and a cultural and administrative center. Sigismund III turned it into a huge castle divided in 5 Baroque-style wings.
In 1939 it was burned in a German bombing. The few remains left were completely destroyed after the Rising of Warsaw. Its newest reconstruction dates back to the seventies, although it was opened to the public until 1984.
In the Royal Castle you’ll find impressive rooms such as the Royal Apartment, the Royal Bedroom, the Senatorial Hall, the Prince Joseph Poiniatowski Apartment, the Kubicki Arcades, the Royal Library, and the Gardens, among others. Entrance fees vary depending on the rooms you want to visit, so we recommend you ask for packages that include access to all of them for a special price.
#2 Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland
Anohter building you have to visit is the Palace of Culture and Science. It was built during the Russian occupation, between 1952 and 1955. Stalin ordered its construction as a gift “from the Russian people to the Polish nation”. It’s the tallest building in Poland! It’s 42 stories high and 230.5 meters tall.
Inside the building you’ll find offices, government institutions, the Polish Academy of Sciences, a post office, a movie theater, a swimming pool, museums, libraries, theaters and a meeting hall. Also, you’ll get the chance to visit the Kongresowa and Koncertowa halls, the two most important concert halls in Poland.
The Terrace of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw
The greatest attraction at this Palace of Culture and Science is the Trzydziestka, a terrace located on the 30th floor, at a height of 114 meters. From there you’ll have a great view of the city. You can only have access with a guided tour, so we recommend you make a reservation with a private company. Don’t forget to take a photo and share it with us using the hashtag #DINKpics.