It is a city with the tallest four-faced clock tower in the world. Its faces are 6 m in diameter, making it the largest clock of its kindin Europe. The tower sits on one of the youngest, yet one of the most prominent, symbols of socialist architecture — the Palace of Culture and Science built in 1956. Paradoxically, Warsaw’s Old Town is only 50 years old. After World War II it was proudly and laboriously reconstructed to its present form. In 1980 it was placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Monumental and lapidary socialist realism sits alongside the subtle and ethereal Art Nouveau architecture, and modern-glass skyscrapers tower over apartment buildings. Every day Varsovians walk by the multitude of commemorative sites, and after work they relax in numerous parks and gardens. The modern office building designed by a famous architects Foster and Partners beautifully blends in with the neighboring Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was part of the arcade of the Saxon Palace before WWII.
The historic Praga district, which for decades was in the shadows of cultural life, is going through are revitalization process and is becoming the ‘promised land’ for artists and an oasis for creative endeavours. An actual rooftop garden has been cultivated atop one of the largest university libraries in the capital. While within the historic walls of Łazienki Palace on the Lake, you can listen to hip-hop and the ever-present Fryderyk Chopin, where the famous composer himself used to play. Now that is an interesting contrast.
Warsaw is a city full of astonishing contrasts and it never ceases to amaze with its magnitude of dimensions and themes, which are there to be discovered, absorbed and understood by the inquisitive. Popularly known as tourist attractions, Warsaw’s aforementioned gems can be discovered in several different ways. On foot, by bicycle, on a tour of historic sites or going on the Chopin trail, as well as attending concerts and festivals, listening to contemporary music, club-hopping or pursuing other ambitious artistic events.
Warsaw is among the greenest metropolises on the continent, with Europe’s wildest river flowing through the center of the city. Everyone will find fun, exciting and entertaining ways to spend time in Warsaw. And wondering around the city will also help to understand the multitude of contrasts and variety that define this spectacular city.