A few months ago I promised my friend Stan that I would visit him in Warsaw where he’s studying to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. After talking about it I decided to book the weekend getaway to Warsaw for the first weekend in March. Unlike my other weekend getaways, this one I was more interested in actually seeing my friend and catching up than exploring the city as a tourist. But Stan still managed to show me around and it was magnificent.
Arriving in Warsaw my flight was surprising early, my private airport transfer came about 5 minutes after I arrived which was fine since I was early. During the drive to my hotel he gave me a history lesson on Poland and the Polish uprising. During this journey I learnt the Polish uprising evoke Hitler’s rage and he literally wipe Warsaw off the face of the map, he made sure everything of cultural importance was destroyed and set on fire so much that everything in Warsaw was flattened to rubble and had to be rebuilt. It was an interesting and emotional history lesson, it was an eye opener because I knew nothing about Poland apart from my ex is Polish. Though I did not go to Warsaw for sight-seeing I was able to check out the following locations.
The Old Town
The Old Town faced the Nazi malice more than any other part of the town, nowadays the Old Town Square is popular with tourists than any other part of the town. At the edge of the old town is the Royal Castle which was reconstructed from rubble, near the centre you will find St John’s Cathedral. There is so much to see in the old town but one museum that is not to be missed is the Warsaw Uprising Museum, this museum commands respect and it is a must see for museum lovers.
Holy Cross Church
Throughout Warsaw’s history, the church has played its role in both calamities and glories of the town. It was first built-in the 15th but was destroyed during the Swedish deluge of 1650 and it was later rebuilt in 1682. The Church then suffered a devastating during the Warsaw uprising where it was destroyed and had to be rebuilt after the war.
Nicolaus Copernicus Monument
Founder of modern astronomy, back in the day he postulated ideas which nowadays seem obvious but that resulted in many astronomers being burnt at the stake and the Catholic church put he’s book De Revolutionibus on banned books.
Palace of Culture and Science
Stalin commissioned this building to be built though he never got the chance to see it finished before he died. He had sent architects to America to copy the empire state building and it had to wait to be built as the WWII broke out. In 1952 the work to build this gigantic building started, from the little that I learned from the Polish people this building is most hated because it reminds the people of the soviet rule upon Poland where young men were taken from different states of the soviet union and kept for over 3 years to build the building.
Since 1994 the palace has been used as the official home of the Polish President and is guarded by armed guards.
It was fun seeing my friend and also seeing some amazing parts of Warsaw, I can not wait to go back and explore some more. Poland is much more than I though and I am glad I had this weekend getaway to Warsaw to give me the push that I needed.
Have you ever been to Warsaw or any part of Poland?