Royal Castle of Warsaw

Royal Castle, Warsaw
When arriving in Old Town Warsaw, the most striking building you will see is the Royal Castle. This was the ancient residence of the Mazovian and Polish Kings, and the seat of the Sejm during the Commonwealth.

The Royal Castle was blown up by the Nazis in 1944.

According to the castle’s website, "the plan to rebuild the Castle failed to win approval from the Communist authorities for many years.The decision to reconstruct it finally was made in 1971, rewarding the attempts of the nation’s intellectual elite to recreate this symbol of Polish statehood."

The reconstruction of the Castle was funded privately, not by the government. The interior being furnished with original works of art that had been rescued before the Castle’s destruction.

They also go on to say that "the Castle is a prime monument of national history and culture. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors enrich their knowledge of history and deepen their aesthetic appreciation within its walls. It provides the setting for cultural events and official state ceremonies, as well as visits by figures from international political life."

Visiting here will give you a glimpse of the royal splendor that existed in the past, in Poland.

Continue reading

The National Museum in Warsaw

Begun in 1916, the National Museum in Warsaw was completely rebuilt and reorganized in 1995. The traditional prewar names of museum units were reintroduced and the Sculpture Collection was renewed. There is a new Collection of East Christian and Byzantine art.

The opening of new permanent galleries, the Gallery of Italian Painting and a reorganized Gallery of Ancient Art, occured in the year 2000. Continue reading

Historical Museum of Warsaw

Located in the Old Town Square in a row of completely resorted old houses, you should visit the Historical Museum in Warsaw. Visiting here is key to understanding why there are so many ghosts wandering around this city.

According to the museum’s website, the traditions of the Historical Museum of Warsaw go back to the period between War World I and War World II. The Old Warsaw Museum came to existence in 1936 and was situated in the Old Town Market Square in the tenement – houses once belonging to the Barycz-ka and Szlichting families. During the World War II the Museum shared the fate of its city and was completely destroyed during insurrection fighting in Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

After Poland’s liberation the Museum of Warsaw was created and estabilished in eleven tenement – houses in the Old Town Market Square and Nowomiejska Street reconstructed according to old plans and drawings. It has preserved the beauty of the Renaissance facades, vaults, staircases and interiors.

In 1946 the Museum didn’t have any collections yet. Because most of “varsavianas” (the items and exhibits concerning Warsaw’s history) have been destroyed during the war – efforts were made to gather and collect any relics which have been saved and could be found in Poland. Furtheremore items were acquired as deposits from other museums, especially from the National Museum in Warsaw, also many donations were made by private persons.

Continue reading

Center for Contemporary Art

The Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, “is a place for the creation and documentation of art in all its forms.” This is according to the museum’s own literature. They also say that the Centre for Contemporary Art achieves its goals through exhibitions, performances, presentations of visual theatre, concerts of contemporary music, showings of experimental films, video art, shows and creative workshops, as well as various interdisciplinary events. The Centre has been in existence for 12 years.
Galleries are open daily except Mondays
from 11 am – 5 pm and Friday from 11 am – 9 pm
Tickets: full-fare 10 zl and concessions: 5 zl
(Last visitors admitted half an hour before closing time of galleries)
Kino.Lab Cinema – tickets: 12-16 zl;
three-month pass: 100 zl; one-year pass: 300 zl
Continue reading

Golf in Poland

Golfing in Poland has really taken off, since the Communists have left and all their fancy private clubs have been opened up to public use. Add to this the growing number of new courses designed recently by Westerners and you have the perfect place for a golfing holiday. Especially when you compare the low cost of playing here to perhaps, Hawaii; and the proximity to the cultural heritage nearby in Krakow and Warsaw.

So without further ado, here is a short list of course and how to contact them:

Amber Baltic Golf Club, on the island of Wolin, in Wolinski National Park. Telephone them at +48 (0)91 3265110 to make a reservation.

The Bytkowo Golf Course, located in Poznań county, is an 18 hole course. Bytkowo Golf Course is open to the public. A PGA trainee is available on site for both individual and group lessons. Club fitting and repair services are also available. Telephone +48 (0)61 6637400

First Warsaw Golf & Country Club is in Rajszew, near Jablonna, 25 km from the centre of Warsaw. This golf course has an area of 63 hectares, and is in the Wisla river valley, filled with lakes and old trees. Each of the 18 holes has it’s individual character and different difficulty that enables players to have an exciting round of golf. Telephone +48 (0)12 282 94 67

The Krakow Valley Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole Championship Course, designed by the world-class architect, California-based Ronald Fream, who belongs to the legendary team of Robert Trent Jones. The total length including the professional tee is 6518m. Krakow Valley Golf & Country Club hosts international and national golf championships. Telephone +48 (0)12 282 94 67

The courses listed above are just the most famous, and oft-used for tournaments, but are indeed beautiful. Golfing in Poland is going to be big news in the future, as there are many tournaments planned.

Holidays in Poland for 2005-2006

Holidays in Poland 2005:
January-1 New Year’s Day
March-8 International Women’s Day
March-27 Easter
March-28 Easter Monday
May-1 Labor Day of May Day
May-2 Our Lady of Czestochowa
May-3 Constitution Day
May-3 National Day
May-26 Corpus Christi
August-15 Assumption Day
November-1 All Saint’s Day
November-11 Independence Day
December-25 Christmas Day
December-26 2nd day of Christmas

January 1 New Year’s Day
March 8 International Women’s Day
April 1 April Fool’s Day
May 1 Labor Day of May Day
May 2 Our Lady of Czestochowa
May 3 Constitution Day
May 3 National Day
August 15 Assumption Day
November 1 All Saint’s Day
November 11 Independence Day
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 2nd day of Christmas

Shopping in Poland

Poland offers some interesting shopping for the traveler. From glittery hi-tech malls in Warsaw, to the ancient markets in Krakow, you will find many interesting trinkets and bargains to take along with you as you journey.

However, if you need any specialty items as birth control products, newer types of medication, or cosmetics, you should bring it along with you, and enough to spare. Especially in the instance of birth control, Poland is a strict Catholic country (where is the Pope from???) and some things are simply unobtainable.


Also in Warsaw, which is now incredibly ‘westernized,’ one can find anything from Ikea, to Marks & Spencer, in the various malls and shopping areas of the city.

Local products to be found are antiques, hand-embroidered linens, glass or crystalware, leather goods, and of course the outstanding amber jewelry and objects made from this resiney substance. In the city of Warsaw visit the Nowy Swiat and Old town for antiques, and souvenirs.

In Warsaw the Blue City is making waves, because of the diversity of offerings under their blue domed roofs. Here you can shop for a car, entertain the kids in a theme park, eat, drink, and be merry. You can find the Blue City on Al. Jerozolimskie not far from Rondo Zesłańców Syberyjskich (near the Zachodni railway station). There is a tunnel giving access to the mall for people coming along Al. Jerozolimskie both from the city center, and from the Pruszków direction. There is parking available for 3000 cars.

In fact this is just one of literally dozens of malls that are springing up around Warsaw. Here you can go bowling, eat in a nice restaurant, shop, drop off the kids for playtime, and just relax. All in one environments designed to cost you money every step of the way like a good consumer.

List of Warsaw Malls:
Klif, Okapowa St.
Galeria Centrum, Marszafkowska St.
Galeria Mokotow, Woloska St.
Panorama, Witosa St.
Promenada, Ostobramska St., Grochow
Reduta, Jerozolimskie Av.
Reform Plaza, Jerozolimskie Av.
Sadyba Best Mall, Powsinska St., Sadyba

Krakow is far more interesting for the tourists to shop. In the authentic old town square is the amazing Cloth Hall, which we discuss in another article on architecture.

Here in Krakow looks for beautiful displays of amber jewelry, chess boards, pyramids and more. There are many different vendor stalls to explore in the Cloth Hall and adjacent alleyways. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to a souk in Northern Europe. Beautiful hand-made dolls, amazing lace tableclothes and pieces of lace for God-knows-what purposes and delightful wooden toys for the kids are displayed here.

In the buildings aroind Krakow’s old town square are designer shops, and antique stores galore. Here you can find everyone from Gucci to Versace and lots more…