When visiting a new town you are normally dragged along to a
number of tourist attractions, and you end up visiting the same places, bars and
restaurants as all the other tourists.
That's also quite all right, obviously you should be
interested in the things that we have decided are important to you.
Anyway, I often feel that I'm left with a feeling
of not really knowing what kind of town I've just visited, even though I have
been wandering the city centre in all directions. That's what I'll try to do
something about in this chapter.
We will simply do a tour around most of Warsaw. On
the way I shall of course point out the most interesting things, but you will
inevitably get a feeling about how the people of the town actually live -
something I personally think is important when I visit a new place.
Please click on the hyper link to get to a place
you would like to know something about, or follow the whole route and take a
break when you find something especially interesting.
Not everybody uses the
ads on the lamp standard offer quick loans and easy credit rating. Below
language courses are offered.
A secondhand shop. The
clothes you chuck into the container at home might end up in a shop in
Poland, where second hand clothes have been trendy for quite a few years.
Stefan Starzynski (1893-1943).
economist and politician. The President (Mayor) of Warsaw 1934-1939.
Warsaw progressed by leaps
and bounds during his leadership. He died in a German concentration camp.
In the picture at the right we see his
sculpture, where he is looking at his beloved town hall. The sculpture is
made by Andrzej Renes in 1993. Andrzej Renes is the creator of several
sculptures in Warsaw, among others the Student, which can be
seen in front of the old library at the University of Warsaw.
ul. Zelazna Brama. The
Lubomirski Palace from the 18th century.
Destroyed in 1944, rebuilt after the war. This
building is home to an institution of higher education and a restaurant.
In front of the Lubomirski
Palace Tadeusz Kosciuszko is ready to fight.
(1746-1817) was the leader of the rebellion or war against Russia and
Prussia in 1794,where he fought to maintain Poland's independence. He
failed, and 1798-1815 he lived in France, where he continuously strived for
an independent Poland. .
Kosciuszko started his
military career in France, afterwards he fought in the American War of
Independence, where he obtained the rank of general. He later also became a
general in the Polish army.
Street. Two identical market halls from 1901, rebuilt 1962. You can still do
your shopping in the halls, but mostly in small shops and supermarkets.
In general this is a
business street, with loads of class A offices and headquarters of several
The blessings of Western civilisation hasn't escaped Warsaw. In the
front of this picture we see a McDonalds, and at the other side of the street
KFC and Starbucks.
Right: Kino Femina -
one of Warsaw's oldest and most well-known cinemas.
Back at Plac Bankowy. Here the Muranow-Cinema with a
fountain from the 19th century, made by one of Warsaw's iconic architects and
sculptor, Leonard Marconi.
Zamenhofa-gade. One of Warsaw's most fascinating museums – the Museum of the
History of Polish Jews. The beautiful and monumental building has been
erected right in front of the monument honouring the uprising in the Warsaw
Ghetto in 1943.
Okopowa Street. We can see the walls around the Jewish
The corner of Wolska Street
with a modern apartment block next to an older concrete building.
A memorial plaque to the Poles shot during WWII. The victims were randomly
chosen, which was a systematic part of the Nazi oppression. Such stones and
plaques can be found all over the town.
An underground pedestrian subway with kiosks and small shops. Pedestrian
subways and footbridges were previously a central part of the traffic
planning, and you will find loads of them all over Poland.
On the left: Mlynarska
Street. A Protestant Cemetery from 1792.
On the right: The election place. From 1573 till 1791
the Polish kings were elected by the entire nobility. In principle any Polish
nobleman might participate, and as the nobility in Poland constituted 8-10% of
the population, elections could attract an enormous crowd. A good deal of the
elections took place at this site, where a memorial column with a crown on the
top has been raised.
Street and Tatarska Street. These are the walls surrounding the old Powazkowski
With its 43 hectares it is one
of Warsaw's biggest cemeteries. It consists of a civilian part, which has been
the place of rest for a number of the town's dignitaries since the opening in
1790. Furthermore there is a separate military part for soldiers, insurgents and
important state officials.
Tombstones and sculptures are considered an art
in Poland, and this cemetery is considered to be especially distinguished - which
means that a walk may be an open air trip dedicated to the history of art.
Street. Muslim burial place founded in 1867, mainly for Muslim soldiers from
the tsarist army. The burial place is still in use.
Powazkowska Street. The Main Entrance to the Powazkowska Cemetery is called
the Holy Honorata.
Burials are big business -
but competition is fierce. There is an abundance of undertakers, monument
masonries and flower shops.
- a shopping mecca or life style centre. These kinds of centres may be found
all over town. They all have a gigantic hypermarket, shops with branded
goods, a number of chain restaurants and cafes, bowling alleys and cinemas. Nothing
like a good shopping trip bringing the family together on a Sunday
Popieluszki Street - that's
where Zoliborz begins. Warszawa has been separated into self-governing
quarters with their own Council, and Zoliborz is the smallest of these.
Until 1918 the area was dominated by the Citadel, which controlled the town.
Zoliborz did not begin to develop until after independence in 1918. Today it
is one of the more exclusive areas of Warsaw, with a number of villas and
modern apartment blocks.
St Stanislaw's Church. This
is where Father Popieluszki operated (that's the guy who has given the name
to the street we just left). In the 1980s he actively supported the Polish
opposition, the Solidarity Movement.
Popieluszki is known for
the fact that he was abducted by members of the Security Police in 1984.
Later his dead body was found with clear signs of torture.
The circumstances around his abduction and
death caused consternation and political manifestations in the Polish
society, and Father Popieluszki has today become the symbol of a pure and
unselfish Catholicism. The Parish Church is one of the more hardcore
supporters of the fundamentalist Catholic movement.
Plac Bankowy (Bank Square).
One of the few places in Warsaw where there are no banks. At the left in the
picture we see the old stock exchange and former National Bank (with the
dome). The palace in the middle is home to the town hall and the regional
Free hand drawing of the route
not exact, but it gives an idea about where we
are going. Click on the map to see an enlargement.
Plac Wilsona. Modernist square from
1923, including the most beautiful metro station in Warsaw, the Zeromski
Park with the Siergieja fort and several small cafes.
Click at the pictures to see
After a drive through Krasinski
Street offering low-rise residential housing on the one side and the Zeromski
Park on the other, we end up at Wislostrada - the main north-south
artery. The entire route is called Wislostrada all the way through (26 kms), but
at the stretch on the left we see Wybrzeze Gdynskie.
Right: The footpath along Wislostrada; here
towards the Citadel.
Between the footpath and Wislostrada there are
steep slopes with crosses in remembrance of the political prisoners, who died at the
Citadel during the Russian supremacy.
What's left of the original gallows. This is where
the more militant opponents of the Russian supremacy ended their days with a
view towards the river and the Praga district on the opposite side of the river.
The remainder of the gallows has been encircled by
a stone monument and is protected by glass, but when you take a close look it is
quite well preserved, considering how old it is.
The fortification was built after the November
Rising in 1831, where the insurgents for a short period succeeded in shaking the
Russian position in Poland.
(Execution Gate) is the name of one of the main entrances to the
Citadel. The name refers to the footpath from the prison to the gallows and
through the gate - the convict's last walk.
number of fortresses reinforced the Citadel. This is Fort Wladimira
from 1853, with underground tunnels to Warsaw city and surrounded by
Park Traugutta. Today it is the home of a restaurant.
Polish Security Printing Works, issuing bank notes and ID-cards.
Right: Hotel Ibis. The hotel guests can look at the voluminous
monument to Poles who died on the battlefield or were murdered in the East
from 1995, made by Maksimilian Biskupski. The monument displaces a Russian goods
wagon. The platform is packed with crosses symbolising the dead.
Left: Bonifraterska Street 1. The Chinese Embassy.
Right: Plac Krasinskich. The
Supreme Court; a new building from 1999. Roman law has been put into 76 columns,
summarizing essential legal sentences in Polish and Latin. A magnificent
building, meant to herald a new era of justice in Poland.
In front of the Supreme Court stands an enormous
monument of the Warsaw Rising in 1944. In the background they are ready for
attack. The monument was finished in 1989.
In the front we see the insurgents climbing up from a
manhole, after being evacuated from the Old Town through the sewers on September
From the end of the war, and until a milder
ideological wind blew into Eastern and Central Europe it wasn't politically
acceptable to glorify the participants in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
In the beginning of the 1980s a popular movement caused the plans for a monument
go ahead, and in the 10 years following funds were collected to implement
The Garrison Church
- or the
Field Cathedral of the armed forces of Poland
- the most sacred Virgin Maria, the Queen of Poland.
The first church was built here in
1642. During Russian supremacy it was changed into an Orthodox church. Now
it's a Cathedral of the Armed Forces.
Left: Miodowa Street. Filled with
palaces and historical buildings. Worth a walk on a nice summers day.
Right: Irish Pub
at the corner. A walk down the charming Kozia Street will take you to
On the right:
We jump to right after Rondo de Gaulle. Jerozolim Street. The National Museum in
the picture, seen from the opposite side of the road.
Left: A few hundred metres from the National Museum
lies the Polish Army Museum with a lot of interesting things for lovers of
aircrafts and tanks. Uniforms from different ages and a view into the history of
Right: Jerozolimski Street rises here before becoming a
bridge across the river. A look down the suburban railway station Warszawa Powisle shows that you can wait for the train without