Colourful and lively. Today also freezing, as we have winter in Poland, but brave tourists do not get discouraged. In fact, one forgets about the cold as soon as they enter the Royal Castle square and look around. Plenty of people, Christmas markets and huge glittering Christmas tree on the background of the classicist architecture. It is sunny afternoon, soon all the decorations will lit and bring out the details of the old tenements dated back to the XIVth century.

But, is the Warsaw’s Old Town really that old as it seems? It is hard to believe that what we see today is a work of hands of our parents, who among other proud of their history Poles, contributed to the reconstruction of Warsaw. Tourist wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets which resemble the classicist or sometimes older architecture, which in fact returned to the capital only in 1970s. Few original parts of the Old Town still remember the times when Warsaw used to be called the Paris of East. Indeed, in the era of the last king Stanisław August Poniatowski, the city managed to seduce famous for his love of beautiful architecture Venetian painter, Bernardo Bellotto. Although Warsaw’s Old Town was almost completely destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, thanks to Bellotto’s pictures, archives, as well as, original architectural elements and pieces of arts rescued by the society, the Old Town was fully reconstructed and now allows itself to be admired by the growing number of tourists each year.

Bar Warszawa

Bar Warszawa

Gate

Gate

Christmas Market

Christmas Market

Let’s find some differences between the old and the new.

Name

It is quite obvious that in the past nobody called it the Old Town, nevertheless, it is worth emphasis that nowadays The Old Town is an official World Heritage Site added to the list in 1980 according to the criteria II and VI. The latter one is especially significant, since the site is quite young and, as you already know, only pretends to be old. Warsaw’s Old Town cannot be admired without the reference to its history. Therefore, it directly linked to events and ideals that shaped and still influence our nation. Visiting Warsaw is a fantastic practical lesson of the European history.

Outdoor activities

Okay, it is not that cold. In fact, throughout the year, Warsaw can be quite hot. Each season has its entertainments. There are especially two novelties which put Warsaw among other, famous for their lively street life, European capitals. Today, in December, the Old Town hosts Christmas Markets. Beautifully decorated and lit with thousands of lights, they spread the smell of mulled wine, poppy-seed cake and welcome the visitors with the sound of traditional Polish Christmas carols. Their little wooden cottages perfectly fit the environment as they are smartly situated between the last original parts of the pre-war fence, co called “Barbakan”.

My personally favourite season starts around April and lasts until October. This is the time when hot days and warm nights allow the local café owners to open their gardens. The effect is always more than enchanting. Visitors can taste excellent tea or coffee, beer or even vodka which is always accompanied by some traditional snack. Our bars eagerly come back to original tastes and encourage foreign tourists with dishes like bigos, pierogi, herrings and amazing apple pie for a dessert.

Sounds

The city is not loud but lively. Except for usual sounds of the big metropolis, one cannot avoid noticing the always present melody of the Old Town. Sometimes, hidden across the city, between regular benches, you can notice a special one which commemorates our Romantic composer, Fryderyk Chopin. Get closer, push the button and immerse yourself in one of his sentimental piano etudes.

Two columns

Finally, the column. Probably the most popular meeting point for all the visitors. Difficult to overlook, is a really tall prop for the monument of the king Zygmunt the III. This outstanding king proudly looks at the crowds of tourists and his developing city, but the column which serves as his support is not original. Indeed, he parts of the original one lay just few meters away as a monument itself. Nowadays, Warsaw has two columns. One recalls the past and the second looks boldly towards the future.

Two columns

Two columns

wie kolumny

Dwie kolumny

The column

The column

Historic Centre of Warsaw – Poland

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Colourful and lively. Today also freezing, as we have winter in Poland, but brave tourists do not get discouraged. In fact, one forgets about the cold as soon as they enter the Royal Castle square and look around. Plenty of people, Christmas markets and huge glittering Christmas tree on...