Warsaw has experienced amazing growth in the decades since the Second World War, when eighty percent of the city’s buildings were destroyed. Now, since the fall of the Soviet Union, Poland’s capital and largest city is recognized as a flourishing cultural metropolis. Among Warsaw’s many museums and cultural offerings, there are of course also plenty of memorials to the atrocities that the city has witnessed, including the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising, the famous Umschlagplatz, the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, memorializing those who died in the Warsaw ghetto, and the Monument to the Victims of Katyn. Your tour will introduce you to the many sides of Warsaw’s fascinating history, including the medieval architecture of the Old Town, where the Royal Castle, the former seat of the Polish monarchy, is located. Whether walking along the beautiful Vistula River or through the Old Town Market Square, you’ll be impressed by Warsaw’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and the city’s identity so shaped by its past.
How to Rebuild a City
After having been destroyed during WWII, Warsaw had to be rebuilt quickly. Learn about the techniques used by 20th century architects in the reconstruction of this medieval city. This tour will lead you through the Old Town and along the Royal Route, starting near the Castle Square and ending near the Academy of Science. You will also visit Mariensztat, a picturesque neighborhood which appeared in the first color film made in Poland.
Why is the oldest skyscraper in Warsaw also known as Stalin's "wedding cake"? Why were communist-designed avenues so wide? The answers to these questions and more will be found and discussed during this tour. You will visit the former headquarters of the communist party, the government district, and a model socialist neighborhood in this exploration of a unique period in Polish history.