Old Town

The Old Town is the oldest part of Warsaw — the King's Castle and its surrounding walls were built in the 13th century. Most of the area was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II but was meticulously rebuilt — a project that was finally completed in the 1980s and earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today it is a lively place full of galleries, cafés and restaurants.

King's Castle (Zamek Królewski)
Built in the 15th century, it initially served as a residence for Masovian princes. However, when the capital of Poland was moved from Krakow to Warsaw, the castle became the seat of the king and the government. The building was completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt between 1971 and 1988. Today it houses a museum with multiple works of art.
The Vistula Bank, next to the Old Town, features the recently renovated Kubicki Arcades.
King Zygmunt III Waza Column (Kolumna króla Zygmunta III Wazy)
The column was raised in honour of King Zygmunt III Waza, who moved the capital from Krakow to Warsaw. The sword held in his right hand symbolises bravery, while the cross in his left hand shows his readiness to fight evil. A legend says that disaster is imminent if the King's sword falls.

Church of St. Martin (Kościół św. Marcina)
This 14th century, partially Baroque church is located on Piwna St. (the longest street in the Old Town). This is where opponents of the Communist regime gathered in the 1970s and 80s.
Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (Bazylika Archikatedralna pw. Męczeństwa św. Jana Chrzciciela)
Built as a parish church in the 14th century, royal weddings, coronations and funerals have been held here. The crypts house the tombs of numerous notable figures: the dukes of Masovia, the archbishops of Warsaw, Primate S. Wyszyński, the last Polish king, S. A. Poniatowski, President of Poland G. Narutowicz and Nobel-Prize-winning-writer H. Sienkiewicz.
Shrine of Our Lady of Grace the Patron of Warsaw (Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Łaskawej Patronki Warszawy)
The early-Baroque altar built in the 17th century features a miraculous portrait of Our Lady of Grace, the Patroness of Warsaw.
There is a romantic legend connected with the stone in front of the church: a shy prince waits on this rock for the one woman whose love can restore him to life.

Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)
This is one of the most beautiful places in the city. Founded in the late 13th century, it used to be Warsaw's main square: celebrations and markets were held here.
All of the Square's buildings were reconstructed following complete destruction in World War II. Their current state is a perfect match for the Square's original form in the 17th and 18th centuries.
There is a legend about a basilisk that is said to have lived somewhere in the area's cellars, where it guarded hidden treasures. The gaze of the basilisk, which turned men to stone, killed everyone who attempted to reach the treasure. The basilisk was finally defeated when a wandering tailor showed it a mirror. There is a picture of the basilisk on the sign of a restaurant named after the monster.
Monument of the Warsaw Mermaid (Pomnik Warszawskiej Syrenki)
According to legend, a mermaid was resting on the riverbank near the Old Town when local fishermen heard her song and fell in love with the fabulous creature. When a rich merchant trapped and imprisoned the mermaid a young fisherman heard her cries for help and released her. By way of thanks, she promised to provide all fishermen with help if needed. Since then, the mermaid, armed with a sword and a shield, has been ready to protect the city and its residents.
Historical Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum Historyczne m. st. Warszawy)
The Museum is housed in a dozen buildings reconstructed after World War II. Its exposition presents the story of the capital since the dawn of its history to modern times. From Tuesday to Saturday at noon the Museum cinema screens a documentary about Warsaw between 1939 and 1945.
Stone Stairs (Kamienne Schodki)
This picturesque staircase has been here since the 15th century, leading out from the defensive walls. Initially they were made of wood, but were later were carved in stone, giving the street its current name.
Barbican and defensive walls (Barbakan i mury obronne)
The remains of Warsaw's defensive walls, built in 1548. Inside there is an exhibition presenting the history of the fortifications (with models) and explaining why Warsaw's Old Town is a UNESCO-recognised cultural heritage site.
Little Insurgent Monument (Pomnik Małego Powstańca)
A famous sculpture of a boy wearing a soldier's helmet much too large for his head. It is here to commemorate the brave children who fought against the Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising.

Royal Łazienki Park

One of the most beautiful palace and garden complexes in Europe. It includes numerous historical monuments and a park in a formerly wild forest.
Łazienki is a museum, a place for cultural, scientific and entertainment events and a great place for a walk. For 50 years, free piano concerts have been held here on summer weekends next to the famous monument of F. Chopin. Crowds of tourists and local classical music lovers gather here.

Wilanów Palace

Wilanów Palace, built for King Jan III Sobieski, is one of Poland's greatest Baroque monuments. Many different stylistic eras are represented in the Palace's many parts.
The two-level, mixed-style garden is the frame for Wilanów Palace. It is full of sculptures and fountains. Cascades of water, situated on the southern end of the park, fall into a lake that surrounds the eastern part of the grounds.

Royal Route

The former Royal Route stretches from Zamkowy Square to Trzech Krzyży Square. Must-see sights on the Route include: St. Anne's Church (and the view from the church tower), the Polonia House (once the Museum of Industry and Trade, where Maria Skłodowska-Curie worked), the Radziwiłł Palace (the current residence of the President of Poland), the Warsaw University campus with Kazimierzowski Palace, Czapski Palace (Academy of Fine Arts) and elegant stores and restaurants on Nowy Świat Street — an extension of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.

Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace was built between 1952 and 1955 as a "gift from the Soviet people to the nation of Poland." At 230.5 m (42 floors), it is the tallest building in the country. Its key attraction is a large observation deck on the 30th floor, which provides great views of Warsaw.
Its 3,000 rooms include business offices, the headquarters of various institutions and the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Palace also has a post office, a cinema, a swimming pool, museums, libraries, theatres, a café and two clubs.

Warsaw Uprising Museum

This is one of the most visited places in Warsaw. It was opened on the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. A multimedia exhibition, packed with images and sounds, presents the everyday struggles of Warsaw's citizens before and during the Uprising, the horror of occupation and the post-war Communist terror.

One of the museum's main attractions is a replica of a B-24J Liberator bomber.

The museum cinema plays a 3D movie entitled "The City of Ruins" — a simulation of a Liberator flying over the ruins of Warsaw in 1945.
Near the museum is the Freedom Park and its Memorial Wall, which features the names of more than 10,000 insurgents who lost their lives in the battle.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

This symbolic tomb commemorates the millions of soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting for Poland's freedom. Buried here are the ashes of a defender of Lvov and an urn with soil from the battlefields of World War I. Today, the tomb contains urns from every battlefield where Polish troops fell in the last century. An eternal flame is maintained next to the tomb. It is watched over by a military honour guard, which changes daily at noon.

Warsaw Uprising Monument

The spot where Polish partisans and citizens entered the sewer system to escape from German troops surrounding the Old Town during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising - one of the most important chapters in Warsaw's history.
The monument is dedicated to the thousands of heroes who gave their lives for their homeland during the Uprising.

Copernicus Science Centre

The Centre was opened in November 2010 and is one of the most modern attractions of its kind in Europe. It aims to arouse curiosity, assist in independent cognition of the world and inspire dialogue on scientific issues.
Visitors are enchanted by hundreds of attractions, which include an earthquake simulator and a magic carpet.
A garden on the Centre's roof provides observation decks with beautiful panoramas. Next to the Centre there is also an art gallery, a climbing wall and a park with art exhibits.

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