A time travel to the past in Warsaw
Warsaw is known as the Phoenix city. The Polish capital has indeed been rebuilt several times. It was invaded by force. During the World War II, a large part of it got damaged by German bombs. Yet, they managed to restore the Old Town, one of its the main attractions.
Discover the oldest part of Old Town
Old Town, Stare Miasto in Polish, is the historical centre of Warsaw. Its name comes from the fact that it’s the oldest part of the city, being there since the 13th century. Cobblestones narrow streets, colourful tenement houses, churches, palaces and picturesque plaza awaits its visitors and them into a leap back in time. Old Town used to be the heart of Warsaw. The Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) used to be the stage of political speeches and public executions. That was before the houses surrounding the 90 x 73-meter place were still wooden. Later on, in the 15th century, it has they have become the homes of famous people. For instance, the mayor Zarkzewksi, the solicitor Barss, the priest Kollataj and the poet Mickiewicz. Some of the houses are even named after them nowadays and some have become museums.
Visit the museums by the Old Town Market Square
The Old Town Market Square was reduced to a rubble after the World War II. However, no one would notice that without the pictures in the streets showing the ruins. Thanks to Bellotto’s paintings, the Old Town could have been restored as how it was in the 18th century. The facades are all the same and the Warsaw Mermaid is at the same place – in the middle of the square. The good work on the reconstruction made Old Market enter the lists of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The insides of the houses have however been transformed into museums. For instance, the Mickiewicz Literature Museum in house number 20 and the Historical Museum in house number 20. Some other houses have also become restaurants or cafés. The former mainly serve Polish cuisine so if you want to taste local food, it is the best location.
Enter the Old Town from the Barbican
Old Town is separated from the New Town by a wall that surrounds it. There is however a gate that merges the two of them – the Barbican. Integrated into the City Wall, the tower gate was built in 1548. It was not affected by the World War II bombing, nor has been the wall. As you walk further into Old Town, you will reach the Castle Square. It is often the starting point of a walk in the historic centre for a landmark stands high in the middle of it – the 22-meter Zygmunt Statue. On the square also is the Royal Castle. It housed Polish rulers since the 14th century and was where the first European constitution was drafted. Today, the Royal Castle has become a museum and is sometimes the host of state meetings. From the Castle Square, walk the one long-mile Krakowskie Przedmiescie to reach the Old Town Market Square.