Warsaw's Old Town is definitely a pleasant experience. Yes, he's pretty «simple», so to speak, but all the attributes are present: cobbled streets, a square, old buildings. We will not go into details now that all this was rebuilt practically from scratch, more on that below..
We lived in Poland for 2 months and during this time we managed to visit the old town several times, both in the afternoon and in the evening, and during Christmas. Repeatedly we caught ourselves thinking that we like to walk here, given that it took us only 15-20 minutes to get there by direct bus. Still, we are dearer than a smaller city, because in Moscow, with its huge area, it is not easy to live on the outskirts - you can't get anywhere quickly..
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Warsaw Old Town Photos
We walked both in the Old Town and in the New Town, and from there we walked almost to the Lazienki Park. Therefore, the photos will be in disagreement and from different walks. The most beautiful of all, of course, was during the Christmas period, when the whole center was buried in lights and garlands, there were luminous installations of various objects everywhere (a locomotive, a large chair, all sorts of animals, balls, etc.). Well, this is in addition to the Christmas tree in the central square. And we also really liked the palace with the drawing projected onto it, it looks very beautiful and original. I also posted separately your impressions and photos of ordinary Warsaw.
The Old Center (Stare Miasto) is a symbolic place for Poles and an interesting place for tourists. Warsaw began with him in the 13th century. Like any fortress city, it was first surrounded by an earthen rampart, then by a blank brick wall. What this wall looked like in the 16th century, a tourist can understand by visiting the Barbican - a semicircular fortified outpost on the border of the old and new cities. This Gothic structure with a Renaissance roof dates back to 1548. True, now it is more of a historical decoration than a rarity. The Barbican, like the Royal Palace, like more than 60% of other objects of old Warsaw, was reconstructed in the 20th century.
Any of the capitals of Eastern Europe suffered in varying degrees from the Second World War - it was partially destroyed and later restored. But only Warsaw was practically wiped out. Part of the antiquity suffered in 1939 under a hail of air strikes by the advancing German troops. Every fourth house was destroyed in the fall of 1944, when the Poles dared to revolt against the occupiers and lost. The surviving buildings were purposefully razed by the barbarians, block by block. When our troops occupied Warsaw, they found there «only ash and ruins covered with snow».
The Poles did not throw historical stones like the Thais - Ancient Ayutthaya (if the comparison is appropriate). The capital was not moved to Krakow, which miraculously survived and which served as the center of Poland for nearly five centuries. They rebuilt Warsaw from the paintings of the Italian master Bellotto and pre-war drawings.
The visiting card of the old city is Palace Square (Zamkovy platz); a spacious, pleasant place to walk. In the center of it, a monument of the 17th century - Sigismund's Column - has been recreated. This is a 30-meter column with a bronze figure of the glorious king of Poland. On Christmas Day, the monument and the city tree compete to see which one is higher..
The eastern part of the square is occupied by the Royal Palace (the castle of the princes of Mazovia). The city was formed around it in the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, there was a royal residence here, and since 1918 it has been a presidential one. The castle, according to the chroniclers, was swarming with ghosts. All the crowned heads were sure to have ghosts to say something nasty. Oddly enough, bad news came true ... In 1944, the invaders burned the palace, having previously ransacked it. Some of the stolen paintings and sculptures returned to it after restoration in the 70s.
Deep in the old town - the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the main Catholic church in Warsaw and the national Pantheon. Once it was the oldest Warsaw church (XIII-XIV centuries), in which the tough historical issues of Poland were solved. It was made in the brick Gothic style; the altar was decorated with a painting by a famous Italian Renaissance master. The fire did not devour only what was safely hidden under the ground - the graves of princes and noble townspeople. In our time, the Nobel laureate writer Sienkiewicz and the first president of independent Poland Narutowicz are buried here..
Behind the cathedral is the cozy Kanonia Square (named after the canon priests who lived here in the 17th century). It rests on bones: before the canons, there was a parish cemetery here..
The Market Square (Stare Mesto Market) is a glorious place surrounded by beautiful decorative buildings. The area is lined with good restaurants and shops; street musicians and pro beggars.
In 1980, the historic center of Warsaw was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as «an exceptional example of almost complete restoration of the historical period between the XIII-XX centuries».
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Old Town, Palace Square (Zamkovy Platz)
Old Town, Palace Square (Zamkovy Platz)
Old city. The center and heart of Warsaw is akin to Red Square in Moscow or Maidan in Kiev. The 17th century Royal Palace is also located here. An art museum is open to the public in the palace. In the center of the square is the column of Sigismund III. Near St. John's Cathedral.
Old city. The center and heart of Warsaw is akin to Red Square in Moscow or Maidan in Kiev. The 17th century Royal Palace is also located here. An art museum is open to the public in the palace. In the center of the square is the column of Sigismund III. Nearby is St. John's Cathedral.