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Warsaw tourist attractions

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Warsaw’s Old Town, almost completely razed to the ground by the Nazis, was meticulously rebuilt after the war using many of the original materials. The charming cobbled market square is the focal point for the tourist crowd and there are numerous cafes, restaurants and shops here. The whole Old Town area is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a turbulent 700 years of history.

Warsaw boasts numerous churches, cathedrals, palaces and other buildings of interest. The Royal Castle was restored to its former glory in the early 1970’s and is now used for ceremonial events and as a branch of the National Museum. Thankfully, many great works of art survived the violent events of the past and can be enjoyed by visitors to the Castle interior.

The Palace of Culture and Science is Warsaw’s tallest building and the terrace on the 30th floor is a popular tourist attraction offering panoramic views of the city. The building was constructed in the 50s as a gift to the people of Poland from the Soviet Union and was originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science. The palace is Warsaw’s most prominent landmark and is used for TV and FM broadcasts. The building also serves as an exhibition centre, congress hall and concert venue. www.pkin.pl

The Palace on the water in Lazienki park is a former residence of powerful Polish aristocrats. Poland’s last King, Stanislas August, remodelled the building in the 18th century and the sumptuous interior is a testament to his eye for the arts. The surrounding park grounds, occupying 80 hectares of the city, are ideal for a stroll and offer other smaller places of interest with temples, sculptures and most notably the little White House – former residence of the King’s lover. www.lazienki-krolewskie.com/

A few miles south of the city centre is the Palace of Wilanow – a 17th century palace dubbed ‘the Polish Versailles’ and used as a second home by the Kings of Poland. The residence is well worth a visit for the art collection housed here and the picturesque, surrounding gardens.

Warsaw has many museums and art galleries dotted all over the city. The most notable being perhaps the National Museum and the Zacheta National Gallery of Art. The former has a collection of over ¾ of a million pieces while the latter is the oldest exhibition centre in Warsaw with a tradition dating back to the mid 19th century.

The Warsaw National Museum

Zachetta National Gallery of Art

There are over 30 theatres in Warsaw and numerous music events and festivals are staged in the city. Among events worth noting are the Jazz Jamboree, the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition and the Festival of Old Music. Warsaw’s theatre culture is thriving and many directors and performers are attracted here.

 

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