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USD 3,0952 –1.08
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Today is 18 November
we celebrate name day of

Aniela, Klaudyna, Roman

Sunrise: 6:58
Sunset: 15:43

This site was visited 34526872 times.

Walking route of The Visitor free city guide - SQUARES AND PALACES OF WARSAW

Meeting place, the National Museum, where we finished Tour number 2. The National Museum is on tram lines No: 7, 8, 9, 12, 22, 24. Tram stop: NATIONAL MUSEUM 05 or by buses: 111, 117, 158, 303, 517, 521. Bus stop: NATIONAL MUSEUM 01.

1. The Financial Centre
The museum itself was described during our previous tour, No. 2. However, it is worth remembering that the building is in the pre-war, monumental architectural style (It is rather heavy!). To the left of the Museum is the Poniatowski’s Bridge with its Neo-Renaissance towers, and to the right is the Financial Centre designed in the 60’s. (It used to be the headquarter of the Polish United Workers’ Party). Here proud, high ranking officials of the Polish Communist Party looked down onto the 1st May processions. To this day there is a hidden entrance/exit from the speaker’s tribune to the street below and underground corridors run in the direction of The Palace of Culture and Science part of a mysterious, subterraneous labyrinth!

2. St. Alexander’s Church

But we will stay above ground and go along to the Charles de Gaulle roundabout then left onto Nowy Świat to the Square of Three Crosses. In the centre of this trapezium-shaped square is the 19th century St. Alexander’s Church. It resembles another rather more well known building. The church was designed by Peter Aigner and is in fact modeled on the Pantheon in Rome as evidenced by the leveled dome and the vestibule columns. If you stand in the middle of the square (watch out for the cars!) you will see the stuccoed interior with the figures of St. Peter and St. Paul and the Crucifixion scene on the High altar. (Of course you could always go inside). Near the church stands the figure of St. Jan Nepomucen and the three columns with their three gold crosses. The name of the square derives from this statue. The square was totally destroyed during the war and was restored to its pre-war layout when it was reconstructed. It is one of the few squares in Warsaw where the Streets radiate from the centre.

We continue our route in the direction of Wiejska Street which branches away from the Sheraton Hotel. On the right we pass the statue of Wincenty Witos a man who throughout his life had been actively engaged with the people in rural political parties.

3. The Seym
We are now walking down Wiejska Street. On our left a guarded entry and a few meters along, the Seym and Senate with its characteristic cone-shaped roof above the Assembly. This building was erected between 1927-28. To our right is the recent, slender construction of the monument to the Home Army.
Leaving the Seym we go along Piękna Street in the direction of Ujazdowskie Av. We soon realize that we are in the most elegant district of the city. This is the diplomatic quarter of Warsaw with its many Embassies and Consulates. They are surrounded by the greens of the Ujazdowskie and Łazienkowski parks, which are regarded as two of the most beautiful urban parks in Europe. We have now reached Ujazdowskie Av. On the right hand side of the crossroads we can see the American Embassy.

4. The Ujazdowski Park
Down the left side of Al. Ujazdowskie we have the Ujazdowski Park, a marvelous place for walks and repose. Two of the attractions in the park are the Hess Balance (1912) and the Ignacy Paderewski’s monument. Here we can find John Lennon Street and Fryderyk Chopin Street. On our right, at the edges of the park, stand former Palaces now grand Embassies. Walking through the park we come across whispering fountains, strange sphinxes, amphorae and other „exotic” creations. We leave the park and go in the direction of the busy square at the cross-roads where the city green belt was brutally pierced by the Łazienkowska Route in the 80s. Standing on the viaduct over the road we can see the Łazienkowski Bridge and the tower of the Ujazdowski Palace - the next place of interest we are going to visit.
We cross the street and turn left and go into the park. Two hundred meters later we arrive at our destination.

5. The Ujazdowski Castle

The Ujazdowski Castle was built by Polish Kings Zygmunt III Waza, August Mocny and Stanisław Poniatowski. This was the site the Mazovian Princes chose long before the Royal Castle was built. The Palace is now the Centre for Modern Art. Tel. 022 628 12 71. Open: TUE-THU, SUN 12.00-19.00. FRI 12.00-21.00. Monday closed. Admission 12 zł, reduced 6 zł. Thursday admission is free. About 1 hour will get you round the Palace. It’s a quiet, out of the way spot.

Going back towards Al. Ujazdowskie you will notice, on the left side, the steep, picturesque, 19th century Agrykola Street. The gas lamps on this street are still lit by hand at dusk. Going down the street we find ourselves on the bridge over the canal that crosses the Royal Łazienki - Łazienki Królewskie.

6. The Royal Łazienki Park
To the right there is a good view of the Palace on the Water, and on the left, the sculpture of King Jan III Sobieski (who commanded the Polish forces at the relief of Vienna in 1683). Behind the bridge, on the right is the north - east gate that leads to the Royal Łazienki park. This 76 hectare park is regarded as one of the most impressive garden complexes in Europe. It is 18th century in style and was further transformed by King Stanisław August Poniatowski who had the baths rebuilt in a more classic form and from which the park took its name. Here, far from the hubbub of the city, you can have a rest, drink coffee, eat ice cream and listen to the bird song. Give yourself a few minutes (or more) then go through the gate at the end of the path towards the baroque Myślewicki Palace (designed by Dominick Merlini). On your right is the Military College where the 1830 November Uprising broke out. It is now the Museum of Polish Emigration.
The next building you will see in the park is the picturesque On Water Palace. Open TUE-SUN 09.00-16.00. Admission 11 zł, reduced 8 zł. Some time should be spent in the Palace viewing the interiors. You will discover the history of this remarkable edifice either by listening to a guide or from the information notices in each of the rooms.
From the Palace island there is asplendid view over the artificial lake to the amphitheatre. This open air theatre was designed by Dominick Merlini in 1786 and the sculptures of celebrated poets and philosophers are by A. Le Brun.
Special attention should be paid to the New Orangerie in which there is an excellent restaurant and the Belweder - the former Presidential residence. To reach the Belweder go up the stairway next to Diana’s Temple or along the main avenue to the front of the Residence. President Lech Walesa, moved the Presidential residence to Krakowskie Przedmieście and The Belweder now functions as a place where heads of state and guests of the President can find some privacy during official visits. The Józef Piłsudski Museum (open occasionally), the Marshal lived here, is also housed in the Belweder. There is a statue to the Marshall next to the entry to the Belweder.

Leaving the Belweder return in the direction of the park along Al. Ujazdowskie.

7. The Cabinet
On the left side are the buildings which house the offices of Poland’s Prime Minister. On the front of the building is the inscription: 'Honour and Fatherland' The complete motto, 'God, Honour and Fatherland', was the motto of Polish and European knights. Today the shortened form has lost its original significance.

8. The monument to Frederic Chopin
We continue in the direction of the square at the crossroads. To our right in the park is one of Poland’s most famous monuments dedicated to Frederic Chopin. It was designed by Wacław Szymanowski. Concerts, performed by famous pianists, playing the music of Chopin, are given here at noon, Sunday only, during the summer months. Admission is free. (Visitors to the park are asked to respect the character of the occasion).
Once again we enter the Łazienki Palace grounds through the gate opposite the Chopin monument. We continue our route along the path. We don’t go as far as the north-west gate and observatory but turn right after about 100 m.

9. The Old Orangerie

On your left now is the Old Orangerie designed by Merlini, 1786-1788. The garden contains many busts of Roman Emperors. Inside the building is the Gallery of Polish Sculpture and the Stanisławowski Theatre which for Polish people is as important as „The Globe” is for the English. A half an hour visits should be adequate here. Let’s continue our trip in the direction of the former rotunda water reservoir. Here we go right, in the direction of the 19th century astronomical observatory.

Leaving the park we turn right towards the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.

10. The Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens were designed and laid out in the 18th century and covers an area of over 4 hectares. If you are still with us and have followed all our tours - CONGRATULATIONS! We hope you remember some of what you saw and read about. You are now a well informed guest in our city, possibly more acquainted with the city than some of its citizens! It has been a pleasure showing you around. Enjoy your stay and see you again. A Parting Tip - relax a while in the Botanical Gardens then go up to the square at the cross-roads where you will find public transport that will take you either to the Old Town Market Square or the Palace in Wilanów.