The Old Town is not only the historical part of Warsaw. It must be remembered that until the end of the 18th century, Warsaw included only the Old Town, so called Old Warsaw. The New Town, formerly known as New Warsaw, was incorporated during the reign of the last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski. Previously, these were two separate cities, each of them had its own coat of arms. Old Warsaw Mermaid, New Warsaw Lady with a Unicorn. During our trip we will see, among others, the Royal Castle, formerly the castle of Masovian dukes. From there, we will go to the Cathedral of St. John, where we will see the tombs of Masovian dukes. We will visit the Museum of Warsaw where we can admire the historic mermaid, saved from the Warsaw Uprising. We will go through the Barbican, which was the former fortification separating New and Old Warsaw. We will see the historic bell at the Kanonia square. Finally, we will see Chopin’s heart embedded in the Church of the Holly Cross.

  • 01 Kings Castle

    The castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century as the seat of the mazovian dukes. When Warsaw in the 16th century became one of the royal residences, King Zygmunt August rebuilt it. When in 1569 the capital was moved to Warsaw, Sigismund III Vasa finished the work of his predecessor, rebuilding the castle in the early baroque style, giving it its final shape. At that time, the so-called Zygmunt's clock tower is also built. It is worth remembering that the castle served not only a representative function. There was also a parliament and courts here. The castle was completely destroyed in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. It was rebuilt throughout the period of the Polish People's Republic and finally the works were completed in 1984.

  • 02 Weding Palace

    Not everyone knows that the present Wedding Palace in the past served a completely different function. In the 18th century, there was a painting school of Marcello Baciarelli, the court painter of King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Here, paintings were created at the request of the monarch himself.

  • 03 Cathedra of Saint John the Baptist

    The church was built at the very beginning of Warsaw between the 13th and 14th centuries as an ordinary parish church. It was here that the townspeople and dukes of Mazovia came to pray. In the 14th century, during the reign of prince Janusz I, it was expanded in the Gothic style and obtained the status of a cathedral. The church was expanded in the 16th century during the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty. It was then that the most beautiful sculptures, paintings and epitaphs were placed here. The church was not only a place of worship, it was also where important political events took place. The ceremonies before the start of the Seym were held. For centuries, it served not only coronation functions, but also rulers and bishops were buried here. King Stanisław August, Primate Stefan Wyszyński and Marcello Baciarelli were also buried here.

  • 04 Old Town Square

    The Old Town Square is the oldest market in Warsaw. For centuries, social, economic and political life has been focused here. In the central part of the square there was a town hall where the mayor and city councils managed. At the end of the 19th century, a mermaid sculpture by Konstanty Hegel was placed in front of the town hall. Although partially damaged in the Warsaw Uprising, the renovated one is now in the Museum of Warsaw. The market square is surrounded by colorful Renaissance-style tenement houses. Particularly noteworthy is the tenement house under negro child.. In the 17th century it belonged to one of the mayors of Old Warsaw, the polonized Italian Jakub Gianotti. It owes its name to the head of a negro child carved on the facade. This is probably due to the fact that the Gianotti family traded with African countries.

  • 05 Barbican

    When we talk about the Barbican, we often mean the entirety of the defensive walls surrounding the Old Town. In fact, the Barbican is the entrance gate connecting the royal Old Warsaw and the neighboring New Warsaw. In the 13th century, an earth rampart around Old Warsaw was built as the first fortifications. Brick fortifications were built between the 14th and 16th century. The Barbican was built as the last one, in 1548. Its author was a well-known architect in Mazovia, Jan Baptist from Venice. The name Barbican is probably derived from the Italian barba cane which means a dog's beard. If you look at the entrance gate, you can actually see an open dog's mouth inviting you from the poor suburbs straight to the royal estate. Our pooch's task was to protect the city in a special way in the event of an attack. The only way to get to the city through the Barbican was through a draw gate that was thrown over the moat. In addition, the gate was guarded by numerous archers.

  • 06 Monument of Wars and Sawa

    According to legend, a long time ago on the Vistula River lived a fisherrman Wars with his wife Sawa. One day, the ruler of the nearby estates, Prince Ziemomysł, went to the forest to hunt. At some point, unfortunately, he broke away from his entourage and got lost in a forest. Dusk was approaching and it was time for him to come back, unfortunately in the midst of the forest thicket any living soul. As he wandered in the forest, he managed to reach a fisherman's hut nearby the Vistula River. Wars and his wife hosted him with food and drink, and after the supper they gave him a free room. The next day after waking up, the prince thanked the fisherman and his wife for their hospitality. He gave them surrounding lands, and with time the name of the city was derived from their names.

  • 07 Kanonia

    At the beginning of Warsaw, Kanonia served as a church cemetery, and the houses around, previously wooden, were inhabited by canons serving in the church of St. John the Baptist. With time, the cemetery was liquidated and the tenement houses were taken over by the townspeople. In the central part of the square, we can admire the historic bell from the 17th century. The founder of the bell was most likely the Crown Treasurer Jan Mikołaj Daniłowicz. It was originally intended for the Jesuit church in Jarosław. As the sound of the bell did not sound very beautiful, it was decided to take it off. Since then, it has been stored in various places. Unfortunately, in 1915, still during the tsarist occupation, the bell was stolen and taken away to Russia. Fortunately, the bell was handed over immediately after Poland regained independence in 1918. For years it was stored at the National Museum in Warsaw. In 1972 it was placed in the old town of Kanonia, where it attracts crowds of tourists with its magical appearance.

  • 08 Church of St Anna

    The church was built in the 15th century at the request of Princess Anna Holszańska. The Bernardines also moved here. The figure of Władysław from Gielniów is inseparably connected with the church. This monk was known not only for his passionate sermons but also for creating beautiful religious songs. Legend tells that during one of the sermons he rose above the pulpit. He died shortly thereafter. His body is buried in the church. Not everyone knows that Władysław from Gielniów is one of the patrons of Warsaw. Currently, the Bernardines do not live here and the church is an academic church. Here, too, Pope John Paul II met with young people several times.

  • 09 Bristol Hotel

    The hotel was built right at the beginning of the 20th century for Ignacy Jan Paderewski, a pianist and politician. From the very beginning, the hotel was one of the most famous and prestigious hotels in Europe. Paderewski organized numerous meetings here with politicians in Raspberry Room , which has become a legend. The hotel survived the war almost intact. It still works and invites great guests.

  • 10 Presidential Palace

    The palace was built in the 17th century as the residence of the royal hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski. After his death, it became the property of the next aristocratic families of Radziwiłł and Lubomirski. The palace was not only the residence of successive magnate families. It was also where operas and theater performances were staged. The most eminent rulers of Europe, such as Tsar Alexander I Romanov and Napoleon Bonaparte, have stayed here. In the 19th century, it was the official seat of the Tsar's governor during the Russian occupation. In 1918, after Poland regained independence, it became the official seat of the Polish government. It is currently the residence of the President of the Republic of Poland.

  • 11 Warsaw University

    The university was established in 1816 at the request of Tsar Alexander I. One of the initiators of the establishment of the university were count Stanisław Potocki and priest Stanisław Staszic. Although at that time the Kingdom of Poland belonged to the Russian Empire, it had a certain autonomy. An example of this is not only the establishment of a university but also a widely developed cultural activity. Initially, the university had only faculties: Law and Administration, Medicine, Philosophy, Theology, Sciences and Fine Arts. The emblem that has been approved and is still in force today is the crowned eagle surrounded by five stars, symbolizing the initial five faculties. He holds a palm branch in his left claw and a laurel in his right claw. The university itself was located at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, earmarking for its activities the palaces previously owned by magnate families. The library of the newly established university was located in the 17th-century Kazimierzowski Palace. The kings of the Vasa dynasty, Władysław IV and Jan Kazimierz, previously resided here. In the 18th century, a Knight's School operated here, established for young people from aristocratic families. An interesting object is the Hospital of St. Roch, built in the late baroque style. It was created at the beginning of the 18th century for the needs of the brotherhood of St. Roch. Even in the nineteenth century, there were clinics of a medical school, and in the interwar period, a city hospital. Currently, the Institute of Polish Culture, student organizations and a medical clinic operate here.

  • 12 Church of the Holly Cross

    It is known that at the beginning of the 16th century there was a chapel here, which with time was transformed into a wooden church. In the 17th century, a brick temple in the late Baroque style was erected in its place. In 1651 missionaries brought from France by Ludwika Maria Gonzaga settled in the church. During the Russian occupation in the nineteenth century, the tsarist authorities removed the Order of Missionary Priests who returned here only after the First World War. The Order of Missionary Fathers was associated with Fr. Piotr Gabriel Baudoin, commonly known as the caretaker of sick, homeless and abandoned children. On his initiative, a home for abandoned children and a hospital were established in Warsaw. Not everyone knows that in the middle of the church, in one of the pillars, there is an urn with the heart of Fryderyk Chopin.

  • 13 Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus

    Nicolaus Copernicus is widely known as the creator of the heliocentric model of the solar system. Not everyone knows, however, that he was a priest, but also fulfil numerous public functions. He was, inter alia, the general administrator of the Warmia bishopric. The originator of the construction of the Copernicus monument was priest Stanisław Staszic. Father Staszic was one of the leading representatives of the Polish Enlightenment. He also founded the Polish Academy of Sciences, opposite which the pedestal of this outstanding Polish astronomer was soon erected. The author of the monument was the famous danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. It is one of Thorvaldsen's most famous sculptures and copies are found in Chicago and Montreal. The final unveiling of the monument was made in 1830 by the writer Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. On the pedestal there is a gilded inscription "Nicolao Copernico grata patria" and its polish translation to Nicolaus Copernicus for his compatriots.


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