Warsaw - Warsaw guide, attractions and pictures

Warsaw (Warszawa in Polish) is a city of exuberant energy, progress, dynamism, and elegance. The city enthralls with its rich historic heritage, multiple theatre performances, operas, and movie premiers. Some of the museums remind of the Second World War’s devastation and horrors. Other museum exhibitions offer intriguing glimpse into the nature and humankind. The bar and music scene of Warsaw will satisfy the energetic night crowds. Shoppers will enjoy a diverse array of goods and handmade products while the connoisseurs will appreciate the delicious Polish cuisine.

The first settlement originated in the 14th century when the Dukes of Mazovia erected a stronghold in the area. Warsaw remained a seat of the dukes until 1526, when the region was incorporated into the royal territory of Krakow. The unification of Poland and Lithuania resulted in the transfer of the Sejim`s official seat to Warsaw. In 1596, King Zygmunt III Waza moved the capital of Poland from Krakow to Warsaw. The city experienced a rapid growth during the 18th century: numerous palaces and churches were erected while the artistic life flourished. After the First World War, Warsaw became the capitol of the independent state of Poland.

The capital city features a staggering number of cultural, historic, and architectural landmarks. The Old Town is one of the loveliest parts of Warsaw. The buildings offer a refine combination of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural styles. The central position of the Old Town’s square is accorded to the symbol of the city: the Mermaid. The Historic Museum of Warsaw is located at the northern part of the square. The museum features documents, photographs, and movies which offer a glimpse to the city’s history. The Literature Museum, situated nearby, displays an exhibition dedicated to the famous Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. The defensive tower Barbican is another landmark of the city. The semicircular tower is one of the few remaining fortifications that surrounded Medieval Warsaw. The marvelous Saxon Gardens were designed during the 18th century as the first public park of the capitol. The park was modeled after the Versailles gardens and features Baroque-style statues, an ornamental lake, a Greek temple water tower, and chestnut trees. The Saxon Palace was completely destroyed during the Second World War. Since 1926, three remaining arches of a colonnade safeguard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Finally, the Zacheta Gallery of Modern Art is situated to the south of the Saxon Gardens. The lovely Neo-Classical building features exhibitions of contemporary art.

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