The charm of the Old Town in Warsaw Posted by Kasia on Jan 28, 2022 in History, Places to visit, Travel & Geography
With a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, picturesque plazas with plenty of old world charm and ornate tenement facades, it is easy to understand why the Old Town in Warsaw is such a popular tourist area.
But did you know that The Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) had been reduced to a pile of rubble by the German Luftwaffe? First, during the invasion of 1939 and then, after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Entirely rebuilt after the Warsaw Uprising, the Old Town is also symbolic of Warsaw’s rise from the ruins of WWII and of Varsovians’ pride in their city.
The Square was reconstructed mainly in the 1950’s from old photographs and 700-year-old drawings. Some of the narrow multi-storied buildings lean into the Square as they did centuries of ago. There is this great book I got few years ago with pictures of Warsaw destroyed and rebuilt…it gives you more details on the devastation of the city and how it was rebuilt.
Part of the charm of the Rynek Starego Miasta is sitting on one of the many benches and watching what goes on. People watching…listening to the music…. Mimes, violinists and accordionists are almost constantly performing. Artists are painting and kids are running around and playing. You can also see people dancing!
The outdoor cafes are for food, drinks and people watching! Heat lamps are turned on on cold days/nights, along with the blankets for guests. When you look around, you can see windows of the above apartments open, sometimes people sitting on them and reading or listening to the music.
This has been a dream of my husband…to own a place in one of those apartments one day…but I’m pretty sure that these places are just passed on from generation to generation, just like lake homes here in USA.
In the winter time it is magical as well, with so many beautiful lights and skating ring right in the middle of the square…
What are your favorite things about Old Town in Warsaw?
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