The Historic Center of Warsaw

The Old Town in Warsaw

The Old Town in Warsaw ©epicxero/Flick

The main tourist attraction and the heart of Warsaw is the oldest historic district of the city, which is a fortified town of modest size. Known simply as the Old City, it was born in the late twelfth century, established by the Polish dukes of the Mazovia region.

Initially the town was surrounded by a wall of earth, so that later, in 1339, to be fortified with brick walls, and developed around the castle of the dukes of Mazovia. In 1569 the Royal Castle and one of the most important buildings of the area. Most of the Historic Center of Warsaw was destroyed with the rest of Warsaw in the Second World War.

It was carefully reconstructed later, so it’s hard to recognize which of the buildings have survived and which have been restored.

The Old Market

The soul of the Old Town is the Old Market that dates back to the thirteenth century and has a rectangle shape with a length of 90 m and a width of 73 m. Here was once the City Hall, where the representatives of the guilds and merchants used to meet. It was destroyed in 1817, but some fairs were occasionally organized and sometimes took place a public execution. In 1855, on the former place of the City Hall, was erected a bronze statue, the Warsaw Mermaid, which is the symbol of the city. The buildings were built in Gothic style, until the outbreak of the great fire in 1607, when they were renovated in late Renaissance style.

The Old Town in Warsaw

The Old Town in Warsaw ©epicxero/Flick

The Castle Square

In the Historic Center of Warsaw, situated right in front of the Royal Castle, the Castle Square is the place where most of the visitors begin their walk through the old town, where the Column of Sigismund dominates the surrounding houses with its height of 22 meters. Built in 1644, the bronze statue depicts King Sigismund III, who was responsible for moving the Polish capital to Warsaw.

The Castle Square in Warsaw

The Castle Square in Warsaw ©IPlayHockey/Flick

The Canon Square

Another market that impresses is the triangular shape square behind the Cathedral of St. John, also known as the Canon Square, where there lies the smallest building of Warsaw.

Churches of the Historic Center

Among the most popular worship places of the Historic Center of Warsaw we mention the St. John’s Cathedral, built in the fifteenth century and completely rebuilt after 1944, the Jesuit Church, located next to the cathedral, dating from 1609 and rebuilt in 1957, the Church of St. Martin, which combines the Baroque and the Gothic style, during the ‘70-‘80 serving as a meeting place of the Polish opposition.

The St John Cathedral in Warsaw

The St John Cathedral in Warsaw ©y entonces/Flick

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