About Warsaw

Are you interested in architecture or history? Maybe you are curious about Warsaw? Welcome to our Tourist Guide where you can find out more about some of the city's most famous and interesting buildings! And remember to join our Virtual City Walks to learn more about some of the Warsaw's neighbourhoods!

Smyk department Store is a building in central Warsaw famous for its socialist realist design and function. Opened to the public in 1952, Smyk distinguished itself with its late modernist aesthetics. It used to serve
as a multi-story department store, best known for its section with children toys. In 2014, the building was bought by a private investor and reconstructed to be a modern office block with clear references to its original version.

The Main gate of the University of Warsaw was designed at the turn of the 20th century in neo-baroque style by Stefan Szyller. Heavily damaged during the Nazi occupation, it was disassembled and renovated right after the war. You see Greek goddesses standing on pedestals: on the left stands Urania who symbolizes power, and, on the right, Athena who symbolizes peace.

The Mermaid of Warsaw is the symbol of Warsaw, represented on the city's coat of arms. Statues of the mermaid can be found 
in many places across Warsaw. The two most famous ones stand at the Old Town Market Place and in the district of Powiśle near the Vistula river. Some people say that the Warsaw Mermaid is a sister of Copenhagen's Little Mermaid who went separate ways while crossing the Baltic Sea.

If you know where to look, you will find other, un-official symbols throughout the city. Join our Virtual City Walk in Warsaw. Part 2(3): The Alternative Archives of Warsaw on July 7 at 4:30 pm to learn more about the Women's Protests, LGBTQ community, and the far-right movement in the capital. 

Do you want to learn more about socialist architecture in Warsaw? Join our Virtual City Walk in Warsaw. Part 1(3): Socialist Architecture (Constitution Square) and Muranów District on July 6 at 5 pm!

Warsaw Old Town the oldest part of Warsaw that dates back to the 13th century. In 1939 most of the district was damaged 
by the German Luftwaffe. As a consequence of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, the Old Town was almost razed to the ground. The reconstruction began right after the end of World War Two. The Old Town was placed on the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites for being "an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century."

The Royal Castle was the official residence of Polish monarchs throughout the centuries. The back of the castle faces the Vistula River and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. After a decades-long post-war reconstruction that required huge investments, they are now open to the public and attract more than half a million visitors every year. PASTa is the acronym standing for Polska Akcyjna Spółka Telefoniczna (Polish Telephone Joint-stock Company). When erected between 1904 and 1909, the PASTa building was the first skyscraper in the Russian Empire. It served as the headquarters of a Polish telephone operator in the interwar period. During the Warsaw Uprising, it was a site of struggle between the Polish underground resistance and the German troops. The act of retaking of the PASTa building is considered one of the most significant achievements of the insurgents.

Prudential is a distinctive Art Deco skyscraper built in the interwar period as the headquarters for the Prudential Insurance Company. In 1936, the first television broadcast in Europe took place from this building. During the Warsaw Uprising, it was hit by more than 1000 artillery shells which destroyed everything apart from the steel framework; the bombing was captured in the iconic photograph taken by Sylwester Braun. The famous Hotel Warszawa was opened in the Prudential building in 1954 where, until today, visitors can book a stay.

Interested in Warsaw in the 19th century or its traumatic history during World War Two ? Join  our  Virtual  Walk  in  Warsaw.  Part  3(3):  The  Wola  District:  Working  Class, War, and Gentrification on July 9 at 12:00 pm!

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