Old city in Warsaw

Old city in Warsaw – to najstarszy ośrodek miejski w Stolicy. Zabytkowa architektura pochodząca z XVII i XVIII wieku, a także XVIII – wieczny układ zabudowy, nadają miastu niepowtarzalny charakter.

Warsaw obtained municipal rights around 1300 year and was the royal city of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.

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Brief History

Old Town Warsaw was founded on a slope. Not far away stood the castle of Mazovian Dukes erected a few years earlier.

In the 13th century, the town was surrounded by an earth embankment, which at the end of the 14th century was replaced by a defensive wall. The founder of the city was the Duke of Mazovia Bolesław II.

Old Warsaw it had a favorable location on the trade route leading from the Black Sea to the Baltic. Mostly wealthy merchants settled here.

In the center of the Old Town of Warsaw there was a square where around 40 lived the richest settlers. Each of them had a plot of 9 width and 35 meters in length. The tenement houses belonging to them were narrow, one or two-storey, with steep stairs and gable roofs. Initially, the development of the Warsaw Old Town was wooden, but after several fires, it was ordered to build only brick houses.

In the Middle Ages, the Old Town of Warsaw occupied about 10 ha and had two marketplaces, 12 streets and around 170 houses, as well as a big garbage dump, The Gnojna Góra.

Niedługo po założeniu miasta wzniesiono kościół św. Jana, a Rada Miejska urzędowała w Ratuszu na Rynku. Intensywny rozwój grodu nastąpił w XV wieku, a  miasto otoczono wtedy podwójnymi murami obronnymi z basztami i fosą. Do miasta prowadziły dwie bramy i kilka furt.

After the transfer of the royal court of King Zygmunt III Waza from Krakow to Warsaw, this city became the capital of Poland and continued to develop intensively.

In the 18th century, the population from the Old Town of Warsaw began to move to new districts, and urban tenements were earmarked for rent for the poorer part of the population.

War damage

During the Warsaw Uprising, in 1944, the buildings of the Old Town of Warsaw were destroyed in around 90%. Only six buildings from the formerly existing 260 survived.

After the end of World War II, the reconstruction of the Old Town of Warsaw became a necessity.

Reconstruction

The BOS Department of Historical Architecture was responsible for the reconstruction of the Old Town of Warsaw. In 1945-1947, protective and clearing work was carried out.

The residents of Warsaw who did this job in the city had a major contribution to the cleansing of the Old Town social action.

The Old and New Town of Warsaw, intended by designers, were to become residential districts, so during the reconstruction the outbuildings of the tenements were removed. All apartments received contemporary technical facilities and central heating.

The Old Town of Warsaw is the only area in the world planned and completed reconstruction of the area of ​​the historic urban development after catastrophic damage reaching around 90%.

2 September 1980 year Old Town in Warsaw has been put on the list World Heritage Site.

On the pavement on ul. Zapiecek is placed a commemorative plaque.

It was decided to restore the magnificence of Warsaw's Old Town in the form of the eighteenth century.

The reconstruction project was prepared on the basis of preserved images of the city, including the Vedutas made by the court painter of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, Canaletto. During the reconstruction of the Old Town of Warsaw, preserved fragments of facades and elements of interior design were used, and the internal layout of the buildings was adapted to new needs.

The most important monuments of the Old Town of Warsaw

-Plac Zamkowy – Zamek Królewski

- Column of King Sigismund III

-Pale Pod Blachą

- Cathedral of Saint. John. The tombs of the last ones have been preserved in its basement Mazovian dukes, Henryk Sienkiewicz and the first president of Poland Gabriela Narutowicz. This cathedral was the place of coronation of the last Polish kings: Stanisław Leszczyński in the 1704 year and Stanisław August Poniatowski in the 1764 year.

- Jesuit church

- Jesuit collegium

- Kanonia - the alley at the back of St. John

- Post-Romanian church of Saint. Marcin and the monastery founded in 1353

- a group of city walls

-barbakan

-redient tenement houses. The oldest tenement houses of the Old Town of Warsaw came from the period from the 15th to the 19th century and after the Second World War they were reconstructed.

Old Town Warsaw today

Today, the Old Town in Warsaw attracts thousands of tourists every year, who come here from all over the world to see not only monuments and museums, but also to stroll along the streets of the city with such a rich history. Tasty food served in restaurants and charming views of historic buildings, as well as a panorama of the area with several viewpoints allows you to feel the Warsaw atmosphere.

The symbol of the Old Town of Warsaw is the Sigismund III Vasa Column at Castle Square and the Mermaid Statue on the Warsaw Market Square. 

Warsaw Old Town Map

available here

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