Warsaw is the proud capital of Poland and is, with 1.7 million inhabitants, the largest city of the country. The Second World War has been disastrous for Warsaw. The city was in ruins and the Jewish ghetto was destroyed. But then reconstruction began. The old city centre was restored and new modern buildings were constructed. The Old Town is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘Miracle of Warsaw’ is complete.
The Royal Castle is a logical starting point for a city tour. After it was blown up in 1944, it was rebuilt as a paragon of baroque architecture. The old Saint John’s Cathedral was heavily damaged and restored as well. As for the palaces, only one had a lucky escape from the war: the Wilanów Palace. In this royal residence you can admire 60 rooms in their original state.
At the Great Market, stately mansions display their full glory. The Historical Museum of Warsaw is also located here. At the centre of the Market Square you will find the Mermaid Statue (Syrena Staromiejska), protectress of the city.
Via the Royal Way you can walk from the Old to the New Town. This street is four kilometres long and en route you continuously pass sights. In the New Town you will find, among others, the Memorial of the Warsaw Uprising. The Krasiński Palace is located a bit further. It is marvellously executed in baroque style and is flanked by a beautiful palace garden.
Most shops are located in the Old Town. The most important shopping streets are Nowy Świat and Chmielna. There are also large department stores and shopping centres. Bargain-hunters can visit the Sunday antique market at Kolo. Who knows what kind of wonderful items are still hidden there...
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