What to see in Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw is the capital city of Poland. It is full of interesting attractions and monuments that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Some of the most interesting an significant attractions can be found in its Old Town. The history of the Old Town of Warsaw dates all the way back to the 13th century. At that time, this area was surrounded by an earth rampart, which was replaced with a defensive wall in the late 14th century. Today, the Old Town of Warsaw is eagerly visited not only by local people, but also tourists from all around the country. This article will give you information about the most important attractions in the Old Town of Warsaw.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw is a monument dedicated to unknown soldiers fallen in the battle for the independence of Poland.
In June of 1921, the Committe of the Commemoration of the Fallen was created. The activity of this committee resulted in making a decision to create a memorial chapel inside st. John’s cathedra; based on the design of Stefan Szyller. On national holidays, such as May 3rd, August 15th and Novmeber 11th, the ceremonial change of the guard takes place with the participance of all kinds of troops.
The Presidential Palace
The Presidential Palace in Warsaw is located in the Centre of Warsaw at 46/48 Krakowskie Przedmiescie street. It was originally a baroque palace stylized after Genoese residences with the first Italian Garden in the history of Warsaw. Durig the defense of Warsaw in September of 1939 the building wasn’t severely damaged.
In 1990, the palace was thoroughly renovated. After it was finished in 1994, the palace became the official headquarters of the president of Poland. It becam home to Lech Walesa, who moved here from his previous headquarters in Belweder.
Chopin’s bench by the Wessel Palace
Warsaw is a city strictly associated with Fryderyk Chopin – a famous Polish composer. In this city you can find plenty of monuments dedicated to Chopin, including several multimedia benches. While walking through Warsaw you can sit on one of the benches, each of which has a story explaining its connection to the composer. You can also press a button and listen to one of musical pieces created by Chopin. The Chopin bench by the Wessel Palace commemorates the date of November 2nd 1830. On this day, Chopin began his stagecoach journey from this exact place to Vienna, and later to Paris.
The Castle Square
The Castle Square is a plaza in the centre of Warsaw, located between the outlets of Krakowskiego Przedmiescia, Senatorska and Swietojanska streets. The Castle Square was created between 1818 and 1821 based on the design of Jakub Kubicki. It is situated in the place of the area located by the Krakow Gate.
The south-east frontage of the future palace was occupied by st. Klara’s church and the Bernardine monastery, which was constructed in the late 16th and early 17th century. Some of the most important objects in the Castle Square include the Column of Zygmunt III Waza, the defensive walls and the Royal Castle.
The Royal Castle
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a baroque and classicist castle located at 4 Zamkowy square in Warsaw. It fulfills an exhibitional and representative function. The construction of the wooden-earth castle at the mouth of the Kamionka river was associated with the establishment of the city of Warsaw.
In the first half of the 14th century, the original castle was trasnsformed into the headquarters of the princes of Mazowsze. Since the beginning of the reign of king Zygmunt III Waza, the Royal Castle in Warsaw was the place of long stays of the royal court.
The Archcathedral Basilic of st. John the Baptist
The Archcathedral of st. John the Baptist is located in the Old Town of Warsaw, at. 8 Swietojanska street. The first temple in the place of the current presbytery was a wooden castle chapel, which was constructed in the late 13th and early 14th century. Shortly after being constructed, it became the parish church of the city. Around the year 1650, a high belfry was constructed at the right side of the facade.
The temple was severely damaged by Germans in 1944, but it was reconstructed between 1948 and 1956 based on the plans of the original 14th-century church.
The Old Town Market Square
The Old Town Market Square was created in the late 13th and early 14th century, during the establishment of the city. It was a place of important historical events, political appearances and public executions. During the great fire of the city in 1607, 22 tenement houses at the market square were burned.
During the Warsaw Uprising, most of the tenement houses by the market square were destroyed. Between 1949 and 1953 the tenement houses were carefully reconstructed with the use of the surviving elements. The Market Square was put to use on July 22nd 1953.
The Warsaw Barbican
The Warsaw Barbican was constructed around the year 1548 as an element of the city’s defensive walls. The purpose of constructing this barbican was to increase the safety of the entrance to Old Warsaw through the New City Gate.
In the 18th century, the Barbican was partially demolished, and in the 19th century, its remainings were included in the area of new tenement houses. During the siege of Warsaw in 1939 and the Warsaw Uprising, the building was devastated. The Warsaw Barbican was reconstructed between 1952 and 1954 based on the 17th-century figures.
The Little Insurgent Monument
The Little Insurgent Monument is located at Podwale street, by the outside defensive wall of the Old Town of Warsaw. It commemorates the youngest participants of the Warsaw Uprising. The monument was designed by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz in 1946. For many years, „The Little Insurgent was mostly known from the numerous miniature copies, which reminded many families of the days of the insurgent fights.
The monument was unveiled on October 1st 1983 by a scout and Warsaw insurgent named Jerzy Swiderski in the presence of hundreds of scouts from all around Poland.
The Warsaw Uprising Monument
The Warsaw Uprising Monument was created in memory of the heroes. It is located at the eastern side of the Krasinski Square in Warsaw.
The erection act of the monument was embedded on July 31st 1984, one day before the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. Before the construction of the monument, the government gathered money and necessary materials. The Warsaw Uprising Monument was unveiled on August 1st 1989 by president Wojciech Jaruzelski and consecrated by primate Jozef Glemp.