Warsaw is much more than the capital of Poland. Colourful buildings, a varied cultural offer and medieval vestiges attract thousands of visitors every year. Their story has many episodes and, as could not be otherwise, a happy ending. For a reason they call it the city Phoenix!
It was reduced to ashes during the Second World War and the Warsaw people lived for decades without freedom. Today, Warsaw has left its past behind and presents itself to the world as one of the largest capitals of the European Union. Did you know that it is a World Heritage Site?
A bit of history
Once upon a time there was Bródno, a small village with great commercial skills. In the 13th century its inhabitants decided to move to the neighbouring town of Warsaw and build such important buildings as the Royal Castle. Centuries later would come fires, epidemics and invasions. As a result, the city was annexed to Prussia.
Warsaw received another hard blow in World War II, when German troops invaded the city and created the ghetto. Did you know that they crammed some 445,000 Jews into about 10 square kilometers? On August 1, 1944 the people said enough and rose up against Nazism.
Communism reigned in Poland for four decades. The Warsaw people lived without freedom until 1989, but during that time they saw the city being reborn stronger than ever. And colorful colorín, to Warsaw we go!
What to see in Warsaw?
Its colorful buildings and the sculpture of the warrior mermaid have made the Market Square one of the most popular places in Warsaw. Locals and tourists mingle in its atmospheric bars and shops. There you will also find the Warsaw Museum. A must see!
The Royal Castle was built in the 14th century, destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt with its own rubble. Its majestic baroque façade will impress you as much as its interior, where you will find the luxurious rooms of the monarchs and works of Canaletto and Rembrandt.
You will feel in the Middle Ages as you cross the Warsaw Barbican, the gate that links the Old City with the new part of the capital. It formed part of the city walls and, after World War II, was rebuilt using its original bricks. It was only used as a defensive element on one occasion. You want to know when?
Warsaw Raising Museum
In the rooms of the Warsaw Raising Museum you will return to August 1, 1944. You will relive the 63 days of insurrection and meet the Warsavians who faced Nazi terror. Through 800 objects and more than 1,000 photographs you will witness one of the most important events in the history of the city.
Cathedral of San Juan
It is one of the most beloved churches by the Warsavians and its reddish structure has been declared a World Heritage Site. The interior of St. John’s Cathedral has for centuries hosted the coronation ceremonies of the Polish monarchs and among its altars are the remains of the last king: Stanislaus II.
To get to know Warsaw from all its perspectives, you will have to do more than just relive its past and get to know its present. Between chapters in history, the most typical dishes await you. You can’t leave without tasting the pierogi, the most popular pasties in Poland; the tartar and pyzi, small potato balls stuffed with meat. And, for dessert, a slice of apple pie and a vodka!
Warsaw at a glance
Population: 1.765 million.
Size: 517.2 square kilometers.
Currency: Polish zloty.