Warsaw Journals

Winter in Warsaw

Best of IgoUgo

A December 2005 trip to Warsaw by mightywease

Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Photo, Warsaw, Poland More Photos
Quote: Reconstructed after its devastation in the Second World War, Warsaw is a city brimming with history, culture, regeneration, and expectation.

Winter in Warsaw

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Plac Zamkowy Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
It was strange standing in Plac Zamkowy outside the Royal Castle and comparing the black-and-white photograph taken in 1945 with the present-day scene in front of us. The two images seemed almost incomparable. In the photograph there are few, if any, buildings, just piles of rubble, testament to the destruction wrought on the city towards the end of the Second World War. However, 60 years later, on a cold January day, a group of school children are waiting to enter the rebuilt Royal Castle, the restaurants and buildings surrounding the square still have their Christmas decorations outside, and people have stopped to chat to one another next to Zygmunt's column, each a testament to ...Read More

Pod Samsonem

Restaurant

Quote:
We went to Pod Samsonem on our first night in Warsaw. It is an attractive restaurant with a rustic feel to it - decorative lamps and glass bottles on shelves, white walls with old-fashioned sepia prints, strings of garlic in the window. The staff were friendly, the food good, it is in an ideal position on a street running between the Old Town Market Square and New Town Square and it seemed popular with both visitors and locals. We hadStarters:-Egg and Onion Salad MixHamBreadMain Courses:-Pork Loin Cheese and RiceThree Types of Fish with PotatoesSalad of cabbage, leek and onionsDrinks:_2 beers and 1 espresso...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

Pod Samsonem
Ulica Freta, 3/5
Warsaw, Poland 00-227
+48 22 831 1788

Cafe Blikle

Restaurant

Cafe Blikle Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
Café Blikle on Nowy Swiat is a wonderful, traditional cafe and provided a warm, comfortable - and comforting - respite from a freezing cold and snowy day.The interior is smart with wood panelling, green walls, a big copper coffee pot and interesting curved lights. The atmosphere is a mixture of conversation and contemplation, a good place to catch up with friends, debate and discuss but also somewhere to catch up with oneself, sit idly and read or simply watch people come and go. The fare on offer includes a selection of teas, coffees (including liqueur coffees such as Honey Coffee with Krupnik and Cream and Café Bourbon with rum and cream) and other drinks, hot meals, snacks and a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

Cafe Blikle
Nowy Swiat 35
Warsaw, Poland 00-029
+48 (22) 826 66 19

Prohibicja

Restaurant

Prohibicja Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
Prohibicja is ideally placed on Podwale not far from the Royal Castle and Old Town. In keeping with its name the restaurant has a mock up of a still above the bar downstairs and the white washed walls are pock marked with fake bullet holes! A suitably theatrical design for somewhere that is owned by four Polish actors.The menus has both Polish and American influences - including dishes such as Spare Ribs with French Fries and Pike/Perch with Mashed Potatoes, Spinach and Caper Sauce - the food is simple but well cooked and tasty, the service excellent, friendly and efficient.Although pretty quiet when we were there (it being a cold, snowy January evening) I would imagine it buzzes w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

Prohibicja
ul. Podwale 1
Warsaw, Poland
+48 (22) 6429303

Royal Castle

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Plac Zamkowy Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
A castle was originally built on the site of The Royal Castle – former home of the Polish Royal Family and seat of the Polish parliament – in the 14th Century. Over the next few centuries, and particularly after it became the residence of the king in 1596, it was remodelled and redecorated until it resembles the building we see today. Ah, but that is just one of the remarkable things about this building.What we see today is not that building but a wonderful and faithful reconstruction of the castle, it having been almost entirely destroyed by the Nazi occupying forces in 1944. What is also remarkable is that the reconstruction was funded by public donation. The latter seems to me to be a testament ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2006

Royal Castle
plac Zamkowy 4
Warsaw, Poland 00-277
+48 22 657 2170

National Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Old Town and Old Town Market Square Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
The National Museum in Warsaw is based in an imposing Modernist building and includes an impressive selection of medieval art, pre- and post-20th-century Polish arts, and works by foreign painters.We were very interested in seeing the 19th-century Polish art collection, having been ‘introduced’ to some of the painters, for instance Jozef Chelmonski and Jan Matejko, by the display at the Cloth Hall Art Gallery in Krakow. The collection includes works in various different styles, including Romantic, Impressionist and Symbolist, that became popular during the 19th century. The historical works by Jan Metejko, including the wonderful, melancholic portrait “Stanczyk” – the Jester painted in 1862,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2006

National Museum
al. Jerozolimskie 3
Warsaw, Poland 00-495
+48 22 629 3093

Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and Path of Remembra"

Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
The district of Nalewki was home to Warsaw's large Jewish community before World War II.In 1940 the Nazi occupying forces turned this district into the Jewish Ghetto. The inhabitants - hundreds and thousands of Jews from Warsaw and surrounding areas - were forced to live in appalling, over-crowded conditions. Over 100,000 died from starvation and disease and a further 300,000 were deported to extermination camps. In early 1943 members of the Jewish Fighters Organisation and the ghetto rose up against the Nazi occupiers, planned less as a bid for physical freedom than to show that acts of independence, defiance and will are a freedom in themselves. The Ghetto Uprising was violently ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2006

Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto
Ulica Zamenhofa/ Plac Bohaterów
Warsaw, Poland 00-153

Saxon Garden-Ogrod Saski

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Saxon Gardens"

Saxon Garden-Ogrod Saski Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
Unfortunately, visiting Warsaw in January meant that the weather was not always conducive to wandering round the lovely parks that form part of the city. It wasn’t so much the snow – parks can look lovely with a covering of white – rather the cold and ice, which meant negotiating pathways became more ice-skating than walking.However one park, close to our hotel, that we did make a number of visits to was the Saxon Gardens. The gardens were designed and laid out in the early 18th century and were, originally, the private gardens for the royal residence of Morsztyn Palace. In 1727, they became a public park and in the middle of the 19th Century they were re-designed. At the eastern e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2006

Saxon Garden-Ogrod Saski
Downtown facing Piłsudski Square
Warsaw, Poland 00-061

The Little Insurgent

Attraction | "A Boy Insurgent"

The Little Insurgent Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
This very effecting statue of a small boy in a too-large helmet holding a rifle commemorates those children who lost their lives in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

For 63 days, Polish resistance forces fought to regain control of the city from Nazi occupiers. They were not successful, but the desire for freedom and the spirit they demonstrated is something that seems to remain close to the hearts of the Polish people.

The statue was designed by Polish sculpture Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz and erected in 1983. It can be found by the city walls on ul Podwale, a short walk from the Royal Castle or the Old Market Square.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2006

The Little Insurgent
ul. Podwale
Warsaw, Poland 00-252

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
The Tomb of the Unknown Solider stands in Pilsudaki Square under arches that are all that is left of the Saxon Palace colonnade, the rest of which was destroyed during World War II.

Thankfully the tomb escaped this destruction and it still stands as a monument to Polish soldiers who fought for their country. The tomb and eternal flame is guarded 24 hours a day by two soldiers.

Like similar monuments in other countries the tomb is a good place to think, reflect, give thanks and perhaps contemplate our own responsibilities to the world we live in and to the people, community, of that world.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Plac Pilsudskiego
Warsaw, Poland 00-078

Old Town and Old Town Market Square

Attraction | "Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)"

Old Town and Old Town Market Square Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
The Old Town Market Square was, for many years, a centre of public life in Warsaw, the setting for fairs, festivities meetings and even some executions. Many of the houses were built or re-styled by wealthy merchants in the 17th century.Like much of the Old Town the Market Square was almost destroyed during the Second World War, however, now re-built the colourful and ornate facades of its buildings can’t fail to charm visitors.The square contains a number of restaurants and bars, visit in the day and – time of year and weather permitting – you’ll be able to browse craft stalls, listen to buskers or take a horse drawn carriage ride. Visit at night and the lights from the houses pla...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

Old Town and Old Town Market Square
Plac Zamkowy
Warsaw, Poland 00-267

St. John's Cathedral and Crypts

Attraction | "St. John's Cathedral"

St. John's Cathedral Photo, Warsaw, Poland
Quote:
St. John’s Cathedral was originally built in the 14th Century and is Warsaw's oldest church. The last King of Poland, Stanislaw August Poniatowski was both crowned and buried here and the crypt is also the resting place for a number of political and public figures.The cathedral, like much of Warsaw's Old Town, was destroyed during the latter stages of the 2nd World War. It was rebuilt with a gothic facade and the interior contains some beautiful side chapels, memorials and intricately carved choir stalls, copies of the ones commissioned by Jan III Sobieski in the 17th century. On an outer wall is a track from the radio-controlled tank that took part in the destruction of the cathedral during...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

St. John's Cathedral and Crypts
Ulica Swietojanska, 8 (Old Town)
Warsaw, Poland 00-288