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Art and Culture in Warsaw

Countries:

Poland
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Warsaw Royal Castle
Former residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Krakow, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. Completely destroyed during World War II. Built in the 15th century, this castle served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Krakow, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original Rembrandt paintings as well as works by Bernard Bellotto, aka Canaletto, court painter to Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Canaletto's paintings were vital during Warsaw's post-war reconstruction.
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Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanow
Wilanów Palace is a true pearl of Baroque architecture in Warsaw. Learn about King Jan III Sobieski, who successfully fended off the Turks in the battle of Vienna and who lived in Wilanów with his beloved Marysieńka. Take a walk in the park and tour the palace interiors; see the portrait gallery and listen to stories of great romances. The building and the park have both kept their original form, despite the partition, war, and occupation. See the home of King Jan III Sobieski, the vanquisher of the Turks at Vienna, who in 1683 stopped their march through Europe. The ruler, who gained the nickname of the fearless Lion of Lechistan, lived in the palace with his beloved wife, Maria. In the palace, you will see the king’s apartments and the suites of Queen Maria Kazimiera, which include the Chinese, Dutch and Antiquities rooms and the Potocki Museum. Stop for a moment in the White Room to see images of other palace owners and people associated with it. Wilanów Palace is a must-see when visiting Warsaw. In the wintertime, the venue, illuminated with thousands of lamps, transforms into the Royal Garden of Lights.
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Royal Lazienki Museum
This vast park is a favourite place for Varsovians where they go for long walks amid beautiful nature and architecture to rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. At the heart of the park is the summer residence of the last king of Poland – Stanisław August Poniatowski. The name of the complex comes from the seventeenth-century bathhouse of a Polish nobleman, rebuilt in the 18th century into a palace. Here, in the Palace on the Island, King Stanisław August Poniatowski hosted his famous Thursday dinners, to which he invited scholars and poets to discuss the issues of the day. Today it is a museum where you can admire paintings from the royal collections. In the grounds of Łazienki you will also see an orangery, an amphitheatre, an eighteenth-century court theatre, the Museum of Hunting and Horse-riding, the Myślewicki Palace and numerous free-standing sculptures.
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Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Fryderyk Chopin is one of the most famous Varsovians and a trip to his museum is a must on any visit to Warsaw. It is located in the historic Ostrogski Palace and is one of the most modern biographical museums in Europe. The exhibits and multimedia displays tell the story of the life and the work of the composer. You will learn everything about his childhood and youth spent in Warsaw and his life after he emigrated. You will see letters written to him and by him, drawings and dedications. You will see portraits made during the composer’s lifetime, his hand casting, his death mask and priceless memorabilia: a gold watch given to the 10-year-old artist in recognition of his talent, a candy box, a keyring with his initials, a cufflink, and a priceless Pleyel piano on which the composer played for the last two years of his life.
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Warsaw's Old Town
Warsaw’s Old Town (Stare Miasto) is the historical center of Warsaw and the oldest part of town dating back to the 13th century. Situated in the middle of the Old Town is the beautiful market square with its good variety of restaurants. The largest part of the Old Town was destroyed during the Second World War and was later reconstructed. The reconstruction was so precise that one can hardly tell if the the building survived the war or if it was rebuilt. This was honored by the UNESCO who in 1980 added the Warsaw Old Town to its list of World Heritage Sites. The Old Town is also a great place for purchasing souvenirs of Warsaw, as several souvenir stores are located here. The Old Town is located close to most city hotels, you can find it in southern direction from the New Town and north of Krakowskie Przedmiescie (which begins at the Castle Square).
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Warsaw National Museum
The museum houses a magnificent collection of over 830,000 exhibits from all periods, from antiquity to the present. Masterpieces of Polish and world art are presented in themed galleries. In the Faras Gallery you can see the largest collection of Nubian artefacts in Europe from the eighth to the fourteenth centuries, including a unique collection of wall paintings. They come from the flooded Christian cathedral at Faras in Sudan and depict divinities, dignitaries and saints. Authentic 15th-century altars from various regions of Poland, Gothic sculptures and paintings for private prayer houses can be seen in the Gallery of Medieval Art. If you want to understand the role of art in the past, this is the place for you. In the Gallery of Old Art, you will be transported to an era when painting and sculpture functioned on a par with crafts. Next to paintings and sculptures, you will see beautifully decorated furniture, fabrics and dishes, and even the coat and coronation insignia of the King Augustus III. Don’t forget to check out the schedule of temporary exhibitions.