Warsaw Prominent Sightseeing Tour (Self Guided), Warsaw

Warsaw is a city with a long history, a large number of monuments, and various landmarks. Walk through Warsaw’s historic streets and you will find a range of exceptional memorials, monuments, statues, and sculptures. Take the following walking tour to see the most prominent monuments of this most historic city!
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Warsaw Prominent Sightseeing Tour Map

Guide Name: Warsaw Prominent Sightseeing Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: leticia
1
Monte Cassino Monument

1) Monte Cassino Monument

On your visit to Warsaw, take a guided tour to the must-visit Monte Cassino Monument. Dedicated to the Monte Cassino battle of 1944, this monument is located at the edge of the Karasinskis’ Park. This intense battle was fought by five Polish Units. The monument is designed by a Polish sculptor Gustaw zemla. Symbolizing the Polish Hussars and Nike, the sculpture features a pair of wings.

When allies landed successfully on September 1943 in Italy, there was an effort to map out a route to Rome from North of Naples. Liri Valley was the only possible route which was however blocked by hills around Cassino town occupied by the Germans.

Fierce battles raged between the Germans and Polish, Ghurkha, New Zealand, North African, French, US and British troops. The troops gradually gained ground and advanced towards a monastery located on top of the hill overlooking the city. Capturing the monastery would provide the necessary route to reach Rome for the Allied forces.

Heavy bombing resulted in the death of more than 25,000 lives that included Italian civilians. They were refugees living at that time in the monastery. The Polish Regiment then arrived at the completely destroyed monastery. 55 years after this event on May 18th 1999, the Monte Cassino Monument was unveiled.
2
Krasiński Palace

2) Krasiński Palace

Krasinski Palace is one of the most wonderful Baroque Palaces in Warsaw. This is also the biggest palace and is popularly known as the Palace of the Republic. The palace was erected between 1677 and 1683 and features Tylman Vom Gameren’s designs.

The palace was exclusively designed for the voivode of Plock and recorder of the Crown Jan Dobrogost Krasinski. Many noted artists of that time such as Carlo Maderni, Jakub Solari and Giuseppe Belotti worked together with Tylman Von Gameren to construct this elegant palace.

In 1766, the palace was bought by the State Treasury and ever since it belongs to the Republic of Poland. No trip to Warsaw is complete without a visit to this beautiful palace. This palace has housed the treasury and other administrative authorities through ages. Parts of the palace were damaged and burnt during World War II. After the war, it was reconstructed and today houses the National Library Special Collection that includes antique books and manuscripts.

Krasinski Palace is a two storey building with a risalit in the middle and two corner annexes. Open arcaded galleries connect the middle risalit to the annexes. As you enter the palace, you will be impressed with the exquisite collection of paintings by eminent painters such as Rembrandt, Coregia, D’Azrer and Rubens. Do not miss out the two iron wells that are Empire cast. These wells were designed in 1824 by Chrystian Piotr Aigner.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Monument to the Warsaw Uprising Fighters

3) Monument to the Warsaw Uprising Fighters (must see)

Historically, the Warsaw Uprising was one of the most courageous attempts to defeat the Germans. This battle was fought between August and September 1944, when Germans were expelled by the combined effort of civilians and soldiers who fought for 63 days. They regained control over their city but could enjoy their victory only for a short while before reinforcements were sent by Hitler.

Many civilians were executed as a punishment by the Germans and the Old Town was completely destroyed. At least 90% of the city was damaged. Poland had paid a huge price in terms of dead and wounded. The battle scar remains to this day even as Poles are proud of their courageous uprising and resistance. Ironically, this monument commemorating the revolt heroes was only revealed to the world in 1989.

Located on the southern side of Warsaw's Krasiński Square, the monument is very dramatic and there is a lot of detail, so take time not just for a photo opportunity but to look carefully and to really understand how horrific this period of time was for ordinary people.

Tip:
It is helpful if you visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum prior to visiting the monument.
You could also join the Free Walking Tours of Warsaw – the one that deals with the Warsaw Uprising.
4
Little Insurgent Monument

4) Little Insurgent Monument

In Poland, there were constant efforts to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising. These efforts were continually being thwarted by the communist authorities. One of the most poignant monuments was unveiled on 1st October 1983 by the Barbakan walls. This was the Little Insurgent Monument, funded by scout collections and designed by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz.

Visitors from all over the world flock to this monument that depicts a boy soldier, weighed down by a huge adult helmet and holding a Sten gun. The statue is in memory of the 13 year old corporal Antek. He was killed in action on 8th August 1944 close to the scene. His statue is in memory of all those children who served as frontline troops and messengers.

The Little Insurgent Monument takes you right back to the Warsaw Uprising where many young children played a heroic role. Professor Jerzy Swiderski, the Boy Scout, unveiled this statue in 1983. He was a cardiologist and was a part of the Home Army’s “Gustaw” regiment. During the uprising, he acted as a message runner under the codename of “Lubicz”.

When you visit the Little Insurgent Monument, do not miss out the engraved song from that period on the wall behind the statue.
5
Jan Kiliński Monument

5) Jan Kiliński Monument

Jan Kilinski is another monument dedicated to a 1794 Warsaw Uprising hero. This monument commemorates a humble shoemaker who fought bravely during the Uprising. As he fought hard to defend his beloved city, he was wounded twice. For several years afterwards, the shoemaker was imprisoned in St. Petersburg.

Col. Tadeusz Kociuszko nominated him for the honor of being commemorated through a monument. Stanislaw Jackowski erected the Jan Kilinski Monument in honor of this hero in the year 1936. The statue was removed from Krasinski Square by the Germans during World War II and taken to the National Gallery. Germans were retaliating for the removal of a German plaque from Copernicus’ statue.

Grey Squad resistance fighters discovered the statue following which the walls of the museum screamed with inscriptions that said People of Warsaw! I am here, Kilinski. It was in 1959, after the end of the war that the monument was finally moved to Podwale Street, its original place.

Jan Kilinski monument is certainly a must visit on your trip to Warsaw. Tourists come here to pay respects to this most unlikely hero of the Warsaw Uprising. There are many monuments in Warsaw and this one is definitely the most popular among them.
6
King Sigismund's Column (Zygmunt's Column)

6) King Sigismund's Column (Zygmunt's Column)

If you have been to Warsaw ever, you would certainly have visited the famous landmark King Sigismund’s Column. This is an ancient secular monument, the oldest in Northern Europe.

King Sigismund’s Column is located in Warsaw’s Castle Square. Built in the year 1644, this statue and column commemorates King Sigismund III Vasa. He was the King who moved Poland’s capital to Warsaw from Krakow in 1596.

You can find a sculpture of this king on the Corinthian column. This sculpture is 2.75 meters high and stands on the 8.5meter column adorned by four eagles. The king dressed in armor wields a sword and carries a cross in his hand.

This column was designed by Constantino Tencalla, the eminent Italian born architect, Clemente Molli the sculptor and was cast by Daniel Tym. A wooden fence was put in place in the year 1681 surrounding the monument. A permanent iron fence replaced the wooden fence later. Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the column being renovated several times. A fountain was added on that features marble tritons designed by August Kiss, the German sculptor.

The bronze statue was demolished during the Warsaw Uprising by the Germans and was reconstructed. It was in 1949 that a new column made of granite was set up just a few meters from the original site.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Nike (Pomnik Bohaterów Warszawy)

7) Nike (Pomnik Bohaterów Warszawy)

The Monument to the Heroes of Warsaw, also known as the Warsaw Nike was built to commemorate those who fought bravely during World War II to obtain freedom for the city.

Many of the heroes who fought during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising are specially remembered here. This uprising saw many minor victories for the city. People fought hard and liberated parts of Warsaw from the Nazis.

Though the uprising was defeated due to the lack of any help from outside, it is remembered for its many heroes. At this monument you can find Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory. She wields a sword and stands all of five meters tall. The statue is made of iron and stands on a sandstone pedestal. The statue looks huge and majestic and dominates the entire area.

First erected in the year 1964, the Warsaw Nike Monument became very popular in due course of time. People gather here in large numbers to pay homage to the courageous heroes. This monument is located at Theatre Square or Plac Teatralny and was renovated on a large scale in 1999.

Do not miss a visit to this unique and interesting monument located close to some of the major tourist attractions in Warsaw like the Presidential Palace, the Royal Castle and the Old Town Square.
8
Grand Theatre & Polish National Opera

8) Grand Theatre & Polish National Opera (must see)

The Grand Theatre in Warsaw is a theatre complex, opera company, and home of the Polish National Ballet, located on historic Theatre Square in Warsaw, Poland. The Warsaw Grand Theatre is one of the largest theatres in Europe and in the world, with a seating capacity of over 2000.

The Theatre was inaugurated on 24 February 1833 with a production of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". Having been closed for over twenty years after the building's bombing and near-complete destruction in World War II, it was rebuilt and reopened on 19 November 1965.

The National Opera currently features two auditoriums and a museum:
The Stanisław Moniuszko Auditorium, which seats 1,841, is the primary venue for opera, ballet and theatre performances, which run annually from September through June/July. The Emil Młynarski Auditorium seats 248. The Theatre Museum, accommodated in former main-floor ballrooms, is the country’s sole theatre museum.

Tip:
If you have the chance, make sure to see a production here. The theatre is splendid on the outside but even more amazing inside, with plenty of decoration and prettiness. The seats are quite comfortable and the view is great even from the second balcony.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Saxon Garden

9) Saxon Garden

Saxon Garden was frequented by Fryderyk Chopin who spent the initial seven years of his life at the Saxon Palace. It is a fascinating experience to walk through the park that would certainly have been witness to many a visit from Mrs. Justyna Chopin with little Frycek and Ludwika.

We know that Fryderyk was very passionate about walking around the city. He would also have paid a visit to this park time and again, maybe with his friends, to relive his childhood.

Saxon Axis is a complex that has many royal residences along with a garden. This complex was created between 1713 and 1733 and belonged to Augustus II the Strong. To create the complex and the garden, the king commissioned Mateusz Daniel Poppelmann and Jan Krzysztof. The garden was opened to the public in 1727. During Chopin’s lifetime, it was redesigned to resemble a landscaped English garden.

Today the Saxon Garden stands adjoining the Plac Pilsudskiego where you will find an 1855 designed fountain. This chalice shaped, magnificent fountain was designed by Henryk Marconi, designer of the famous classicist water tower or the ‘reservoir’.

Two monuments were added to the park in the second half of the twentieth century. One of them was to Maria Konopnicka and the other to Stefan Starzynski. Tourists to Warsaw do not leave without enjoying a visit to this beautiful garden.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church

10) The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church

In Warsaw there are only two Augsburg Evangelical churches and the Holy Trinity Evangelical Church is one of them. This church was constructed by Szymon Bogumil Zug who was also the designer. The church is very popular for its design and for being the largest in the city.

Construction of the church was initiated by Piotr Tepper who convinced King Stanislaw August Poniatowski in 1777 and completed in 1789. As you enter the church you will be impressed with its Roman Pantheon rotunda. In the 18th century, this church held the distinction of being the tallest and biggest in Warsaw.

The classical rotunda dome is 58 meters high and 33.4 meters long. Even today you will find the dome dominating the nearby buildings upholding pure classicism spirit. The height of the dome made it convenient for the Polish Army to use it as a viewing point during the Kosciuszko Uprising.

Musical performances were held in this church in the beginning of nineteenth century. Frederic Chopin was one of the popular musicians who gave concerts here. He played here on the choralion in the presence of Tsar Alexander I of Russia in 1825.

On 16th September 1939, the Holy Trinity Church was victim to German bombing and was burnt down. It was rebuilt after the war ended. Enter the church and you will be impressed with the double gallery. This gallery encircles the interior and acoustically complements the amazing organ.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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