In 1596, Warsaw became the capital of Poland. It is now its economic and political centre. Warsaw is a busy metropolis with an unforgettable history. It was attacked heavily during the second world war. Resistance grew and eventually, on the 1st August 1944, the Warsaw Uprising began. The uprising lasted 63 days. It involved all kinds of civilians including women and children.
After it was brutally suppressed, many residents of Warsaw were exported to death camps and the Germans began a systematic destruction of the entire city. The cultural losses of this time are impossible to calculate. The uprising killed nearly 200,000 people in Warsaw and 84% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. The Nazis deliberately burned almost everything and cultural buildings, such as the Royal Palace, were simply blown up. As a result, the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt. Most of the historical buildings were thoroughly reconstructed. Mass residential blocks were erected.
Warsaw has become an interesting mix of architectural styles. These styles reflect its turbulent history. Warsaw is a great place for tourists. Parks make up one quarter of the city. Warsaw caters for all tastes and budgets. Both the Old Town and the New Town have atmospheric alleys, squares and cosy cafés. In the summer, the Old and New Town Squares become live stages for musical and theatrical performances etc. Łazienki park and palace are one of the most beautiful of their kind in Europe. They were established in the 17th century. The landscape gardens feature many interesting architectural monuments, including the Palace on an Island built for King Stanislaw August Poniatowski (Poland’s last monarch). Wilanow Park and Palace was the summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski, Augustus II and a few aristocratic families. It is an excellent example of European Baroque. The palace is surrounded by a Baroque Italian garden and a romantic English park. Wilanów is now a venue for many important cultural events and concerts. The Palace of Culture and Science was completed in 1955 as a ‘gift from the Soviet people’. It is the tallest building in Poland and offers an excellent panoramic view of the city.
The Warsaw Uprising Museum was opened in 2004. It pays tribute to all those who fought and died for Poland’s independence. The National Museum contains a rich collection of exhibits from antiquity to modern times. The Copernicus Science Centre lets people delve into nature’s mysteries, conduct experiments and have fun! The National Stadium in Warsaw was built for the European Football Championship UEFA EURO in 2012. It is an impressive building in a good location. Multimedia Fountain park is located between the Old Town and the Vistula River. In the summer, people go there to see the vivid performances with colour, music and shapes etc.
Fryderyk Chopin spent the first 20 years of his life in Warsaw. Here he studied music, learned the manners of society and performed his first concerts. Warsaw thus boasts the world’s largest Chopin memorabilia collection. The Fryderyk Chopin Museum located in Żelazowa Wola on the outskirts of Warsaw. Some experts say that you must first understand Chopin to understand Poland. Chopin was born in 1810 to a French father and Polish mother. At the time, Poland suffered under partition and was divided among occupying Russians, Prussians and Austrians. No other composer before or since has contributed as many significant works to the piano’s repertoire. He is widely considered one of the great masters of romantic music.