Known as the ‘phoenix city’ for its ability to rise from the ashes after being devastated by numerous wars, Poland’s capital Warsaw is steeped in history and heritage. Today, Warsaw is an impressive global city and economic hub that plays host to millions of tourists each year. The city’s numerous districts each offer a different atmosphere and insight into Warsaw’s turbulent past in the form of monuments, architecture and museums. Navigating the city could not be easier for visitors courtesy of the efficient public transport system made up of the metro, buses and trams.
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Warsaw has some excellent remaining examples of gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture, although 85% of the city’s buildings were destroyed during WWII meaning that a lot of Warsaw’s architecture today has had to be painstakingly rebuilt. However, the architecture in the Old Town district is mostly preserved allowing visitors to wander its quaint cobbled alleyways and public squares at leisure to truly experience the city’s heritage. The summer residence of Augustus II at the Wilanów Park-Palace Complex is a striking illustration of the baroque style and also features ornate gardens and grounds. Another example of a majestic Polish royal residence is the 17th century Łazienki Królewskie Park-Palace Complex with its park, public baths, amphitheatre and museum.
Architectural legacy from Poland’s Soviet era can be experienced with a visit to the Palace of Culture and Science which also offers the highest viewing platform in Warsaw on the 30th floor. The landmark also acts as a cultural centre with a theatre, museum, cinema and concert hall all onsite. The Multimedia Fountain Park is also a newer addition to the city, providing visitors with a refreshing spot in which to meet and relax during the warmer summer months.
Polish composer and pianist Chopin is arguably Warsaw’s most famous resident and there are many residences related to his life and career dotted around the city. To this day, amateur pianists are encouraged to take to the stage in the amphitheatre at the Royal Baths in order to honour his musical legacy and play to the public.
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