Perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in Europe - is Warsaw. Attractions Old Town, lovingly restored by the Poles after the war, under the protection of UNESCO.
Not everyone knows that the current "old" Warsaw, only a few decades - during World War II the historic city center was almost completely destroyed.
However, the Poles are very careful about their history. Almost all attractions in Warsaw and its medieval buildings have been restored according to old drawings with amazing accuracy. So, oddly enough, the current appearance of the city even more in line with planned by the architect of the XVII century than it was before the war. The old town can not help feeling that its homes and streets for several hundred years.
About the appearance of a legend walking in Warsaw. The young prince Kazimierz went hunting and, fascinated by the pursuit of the beast lost. He wandered for a long time, until finally he came to the tiny fishing hut on the bank of the Vistula. Going into the house, he saw the poor and falls in love, I have recently given birth to twins. The boy's name was Warsch and girl - Sava. In gratitude for your hospitality, Prince awarded the family of the fisherman and became godfather to his children.
On money received from Prince fisherman built a new big house. Then he began to settle near other fishermen. There was a village, got its name in honor of the children of the fisherman. Over time, it became a city.
The first mention of the city are found in the annals of the end of IV century.
Sightseeing Warsaw's Castle Square to recommend the old town. There is always noisy and crowded. Visiting the area is included in all excursions. There are often concerts, festivals and other interesting events.
The square is one of the oldest monuments of Warsaw - Sigismund III Vasa column. Marble columns installed in 1644 on the orders of King Władysław IV in honor of his father. Bronze statue of Sigismund III looks at the Castle Square from a height of 30 meters. In the hands of the monarch - the sword and the cross. Legend has it that if the old King will drop his sword out of his hands, the city waiting for the misery and destruction.
In 1944, during the uprising, the monument was destroyed. After the war the statue of Sigismund was restored and installed a new, granite column.
One of the main attractions of the Castle Square Varshavy- Royal Palace. Construction of the castle began in the IV century with the construction of a large tower. Later, around it was built a wooden fortress.
In the XVI century King Sigismund III decided to move the capital from Krakow to Warsaw. He settled in the fortress and made it the official royal residence. Over time, the site of the old wooden buildings rose stone palace unusual pentagonal shape.
It is believed that any "self-respecting" the old castle must have at least one ghost. No exception and the Warsaw Royal Castle. In XVII century, the palace chambers, Zygmunt August saw the ghost of his deceased wife, Barbara.
He met twice with the "white lady" and King Stanislaw Poniatowski. According to legend, their first "date" was held v1772 year. Then the specter predicted first partition of Poland. The second meeting occurred in 1794. At that time the armies of Alexander Suvorov stormed the outskirts of Warsaw. White appeared in the shadow of one of the palace windows and foretold the collapse of Poland and the impending death of the monarch.
Not paid attention to the Royal Castle and alchemists. During the reign of Augustus II of Saxony famous alchemist Jan Böttger he had tried unsuccessfully to make gold in the laboratories of the palace.
During the Second World War, the castle, as well as other attractions of Warsaw, it was blown up by German soldiers. We started to restore it only in 1970. The newly rebuilt wall carefully and lovingly fragments miraculously survived have built wooden carving, masonry, plaster and wall paintings.
Cathedral of St. John
Walking along the street Sventoyanskugo deep into the Old City do not forget to look around. And miss a lot of interesting.
On the right side is the oldest church in Warsaw - Cathedral of St. John. This is where the king pleaded with the Crusaders. There crowned Stanislova Leszczynski and Stanislova August Poniatowski. The church prayed and preached Tadeusz Kosciuszko Peter Skarga.
It contains a huge wooden crucifix - a wonderful monument of Gothic. His, in the XVI century, when Germany overwhelmed the Reformation, brought from one of Nuremberg Warsaw merchant. Otherwise, it would be destroyed along with other wooden sculptures.
Before this crucifix, which became a national shrine, knelt Polish kings walking in a decisive battle.
The crypt of the cathedral is the most honorable burial place of Warsaw. Here, the remains of several generations of the princes of Mazovia. There lie the first Polish president Gabriel Narutowicz famous writer Henryk Sienkiewicz.
By the way, do not forget to go to the famous "magic" bell - it is also one of the attractions in Warsaw. It is set near the cathedral. It is said that if you put a hand on him, make a wish, and then get around three times around - clockwise! - The desire to be fulfilled without fail.
Near the cathedral is the church of St. John the Jesuit Fathers, built in the Renaissance style. However, I find it quite simple - the tip is visible right from the Castle Square. The temple was built in the XVII century, Sigismund III, dedicating it to the patroness of the city - Holy Immaculate Virgin Mary.
Not far from the castle, surrounded by houses with narrow facades, is the Market Square. Once upon a time there lived prosperous citizens. The building looks very fancy - every owner trying to make your home different from neighboring ones. Therefore, their facades painted in different colors, and many are decorated with bas-reliefs, paintings and sculpture.
Before invented the numbering of houses, Poles gave them names. As a rule, the name just reflects features
house - "House underneath a lion", "House under the ship", "House under the Pelican," etc.
Market Square in Warsaw - one of the main attractions and the most favorite tourist destination. Even the people are very fond of walking here. Street artists and musicians, cozy cafes, small shops, cabs, lying in wait for riders - all of this as if taken from the Middle Ages. Walk on Market Square lets you briefly stop and take a breather, at least temporarily, to escape from the hustle and bustle of other modern Warsaw.
Once the marketplace, you need to "get acquainted" with the ancient patron of the city - the sirens. They say that once upon a time, curiosity led a young mermaid in the water of the Vistula. Fishermen were fascinated by her, and she fell in love with these simple and good people, and they gladly sang their beautiful songs.
One day, a merchant learned of the existence of mermaids and decided to capitalize on her magical voice. He caught the siren, put her in a cage and forced to sing, collecting money for the view. But the fishermen came to help the mermaid and freed her. In gratitude, the Siren has promised to protect Warsaw from all troubles.
Now the militant mermaid with sword and shield is a symbol and one of the main attractions of Warsaw. Her figure is depicted on the emblem, and the monument is installed at the Market Square.
Historical Museum of Warsaw
Historical Museum is also located in the Market Square. If you have some spare time - definitely check it out! You will be shown a documentary about the striking of the devastation that has been in Warsaw after the war and the slow, painstaking restoration of the city. Out on the street, you will see the old town with different eyes.
According to the Danube narrow street you can reach the basement. Nearby is the old house of the executioner. Once upon a time, the sights of the area in Warsaw were brothels. "Headed" of the city "torturers". He willingly "give work" for young women, getting a good extra income.
Now the house is a restaurant "Maharayya."
Little Insurgent Monument
Near the house is a monument to the executioner Little rebels. The monument was unveiled in 1983. He devoted all young heroes of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Looks very moving sculpture - on the pedestal is small, fragile figure of a child of four or five years old. In the hands holding the baby machine, and on his head - too big to move out on his forehead helmet.
It is believed that the monument was a real prototype. The child - the son of a doctor who helped the Resistance fighters. Like many children, he was liaison between units. The soldiers gave him the nickname "Curly".
Like most of the rebels, the kid died.
The streets of Old City
The streets of old Warsaw resemble their nearest neighbors - the streets of Tallinn, Vilnius and Riga. The narrow and winding, they are ideal for a leisurely stroll.
The smallest street in Warsaw called "Stone steps." It leads to the Vistula. Himself stairs for more than 200 years.
At the entrance to Market Square Street Sventoyanskugo buries in a small street Zapechek. Once on it traded birds. Now Zapechek interesting because its bricked pavement slab, it was reported that the Old Town is a World Heritage Site.
Next Zapechek flows into the baker's. It leads to the fortress wall. There used to place penalty.
Outdoor Whole is the highest place of the old town. Here is an unusual observation deck. It is called quite romantic - Contaminated Mountain. The name is no accident - in the Middle Ages, this place was the usual city dump. It was taken to the garbage of the old city.
However, it was a long time ago. A view of the Vistula offers amazingly beautiful!
On this site you can finish a walk through the Old City. Tired? Well, after examining all the sights, you can with a clear conscience wrapped in some nice cafes - so many of them on the streets of the old Warsaw. Kitchen in Poland - just fantastic.
However, this is a topic for another discussion.