The historic centre of Warsaw was mostly destroyed during the Second World War but has been completely rebuilt to match the original city of Warsaw before the war.
The Polish people determinedly rebuilt this historic centre to preserve their ancient history. Many areas were reconstructed, including the Royal Castle, many religious buildings, the Old Town Market, ancient townhouses, and the city walls.
Most people today are unable to tell what is actually historical and what has just been rebuilt to appear historical, a testament to the great craftsmanship that went into the reconstruction and making sure that all of the details were accurate.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is at the very center of the Old Town that is partially walled. It’s a magnificent square surrounded by historic buildings with a variety of architecture, from Renaissance and Baroque to Gothic and neoclassical. Almost all of these buildings in the square were reconstructed after the war.
The reconstructed Royal Castle started out as a wooden castle for dukes of the 14th century. In the 1600’s, the Royal Castle became one of the most magnificent residents in Europe for royals. For a period, this building was used by Russian tsars until Poland took back control from Russia, at which time Poland’s president resided here.
Now, it is a museum with well-preserved furniture and amazing artwork. Visitors can explore rooms throughout, including the Throne Room, the National Hall, the Great Apartment, and the Great Magnificent Hall.
There are many interesting historical museums throughout the historic center, including the Block 10 Museum. This museum is inside of the Citadel and used to be a political prison.
Visitors can see labeled cells where famous prisoners were kept, along with some great paintings. The Warsaw Rising Museum is another great place to visit, which focuses on Warsaw’s fight against Germans during World War II.