Historic Centre of Warsaw
The historic centre of Warsaw is an exception on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List. It is the only urban complex almost entirely rebuilt after its destruction during World War II. The meticulous reconstruction that was carried out was done so well that it gained worldwide appreciation as a masterpiece in its own right. Henceforward, the historic city centre of Warsaw, better know as the Old Town (Stare Miasto), was included on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
Warsaw's Old Market Square, which was entirely destroyed, was rebuilt according to the original plans so that the Old Town could retain its original character. Today, crowds of visitors flock to its cafes, restaurants and museums. Warsaw is not only the political, administrative, scientific and cultural centre of the country but it has also become the business centre for commerce and trade between western and eastern of Europe. In 1996, Warsaw celebrated its 400th anniversary as the capital of Poland.
What to see?
In central Warsaw, visiting the historic Old Town is a must. Visitors will be impressed by its beautiful Gothic churches, defensive walls, fabulous Renaissance and Baroque facades and the traditional centre piece of Warsaw, the Market Square.
Today, between the old houses and buildings and narrow streets, artists and craftsmen proudly exhibit their works. Among the multitude of restaurants and cafes in the Old Town, "Kamienne Schodki", "Krokodyl" and the old "Fukier" wine cellar are among the most popular. Here you will also find the house in which Maria Sklodowska-Curie was born at 16 Freta Street. It is no wonder that the Old City of Warsaw figures in the UNESCO Natural and Cultural World Heritage listing.
A walk along the Royal Route from the Old Town towards Wilanow, the former residence of King Jan III Sobieski, is another highlight of every visit to Warsaw. Starting at the Royal Castle, which was also totally reconstructed in the 1970s, the route runs past a row of old aristocratic residences, along Nowy Swiat Street with is top fashion boutiques, past the beautiful English-style Lazienki park with its miniature lakes and the Palace on the Water. Outdoor concerts of Chopin's music are organised here in fair weather. Visitors mat also take gondola rides on the lake in the centre of the park. The route continues towards the impressive Wilanow Palace on the southern outskirts of Warsaw.