Old city in Warsaw

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Old city in Warsaw - it is the oldest urban center in the capital city. Historic architecture from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, as well as the XNUMXth-century building layout, give the city a unique character.

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

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Our Story

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 inhabited by about 40 of the richest settlers. Each of them had a plot 9 m wide and 35 m long. The tenement houses belonging to them were narrow, one or two-story, with steep stairs and gable roofs. Initially, the buildings in Warsaw's Old Town were wooden, but after several fires, only brick houses were ordered to be built.

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.

Shortly after the founding of the city, the Church of St. Jana, and the City Council was in the Town Hall on the Market Square. The intensive development of the hillfort took place in the XNUMXth century, and the town was then surrounded by double defensive walls with towers and a moat. Two gates and several gates led to the city.

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 XNUMXth century, the population of the Old Town of Warsaw began to move to new districts, and town houses were allocated for rent to the poorer part of the population.

War damage

During the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, approximately 90% of the buildings in the Old Town of Warsaw were destroyed. Only six buildings out of over 260 have survived.

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


The BOS Department of Historical Architecture was responsible for the reconstruction of the Old Town of Warsaw. In the years 1945–1947, security and debris removal works were carried out.

The very inhabitants of Warsaw who performed this work in social action.

The designers intended the Old and New Towns of Warsaw to become residential districts, so the outbuildings of the tenement houses were removed during the reconstruction. All flats then received modern technical amenities and central heating.

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

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

On the pavement at ul. Zapiecek there is a commemorative plaque.

It was decided to restore the splendor of the Warsaw Old Town in the form from the XNUMXth century.

The reconstruction project was prepared on the basis of the preserved images of the city, including the veduta made by the court painter of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, Canaletto. During the reconstruction of the Old Town of Warsaw, the preserved fragments of facades and interior design elements 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 - Royal Castle

- 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


- historic tenement houses. The oldest tenement houses in the Old Town of Warsaw were from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century and were reconstructed after World War II.

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 through the streets of the city with such a rich history. Tasty food served in restaurants and charming views of historic buildings, as well as the panorama of the area from several viewpoints allow you to feel the atmosphere of Warsaw.

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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