FREE TIME IN WARSAW
Warsaw is the capital and the largest city of Poland, its economic, political and cultural centre. It stands on the Vistula River in the Masovia region, with population estimated at 1.750 million residents. The symbol of the city is the Mermaid.
Warsaw is a dynamic, fast growing city, especially after Poland has joined the EU in 2004. It is a place of intense economic development, cultural and scientific life as well as important events (for ex., the 2010 celebrations of Fryderyk Chopin’s 200th birthday anniversary or the 2012 European Football Championship). The Warsaw Stock Exchange is one of the largest in Central-Eastern Europe, and the city hosts the headquarters of Frontex, the EU agency for external borders security. This bustling metropolis provides examples of nearly every European architectural style, from the gothic to modern periods, it is also renowned for its parks and gardens that constitute a fourth of its area.
The city is marked by history. It was destroyed during the Second World War in 85% and reconstructed with great care – the entirely rebuilt historic centre of Warsaw, the Old Town, is now on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The most notable features of the Old Town are: Royal Castle, Zygmunt’s Column, St. John’s Cathedral and Market Square.
Tourist attractions in Warsaw include, among others:
- Royal Łazienki Museum, a Palace-Garden complex, pearl of Polish neoclassical architecture created under the reign of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last king of Poland,
- Wilanów Palace, example of original Baroque architecture, residence of king Jan III Sobieski, one of the few historic buildings in Warsaw that was undamaged during Second World War,
- Palace of Culture and Science – the highest building in Poland, an example of socialist realist architecture, with a large observation deck on the 30th floor,
- Copernicus Science Centre – one of the largest science centres in Europe.
For more details see Warsaw Tourist Information website, with access to easy-printable brochures in English, and in some other languages.
Free admission to four museums
Organizers of the Conference provide each participant and accompanying person with free admission to four Warsaw museums (see below). The free ticket is available in the ticket office of each museum after presenting ID IFLAPARL.
The National Museum in Warsaw, founded in 1862, is one of the oldest art museums in the country. It is located in the Modernist building erected in 1927–1938. The National Museum gathers around 830,000 works of art from Poland and abroad, from ancient times to the present, including paintings, sculpture and handcraft (furniture, glass, silver, textiles). Among the most interesting collections are, inter alia, the richest collection of medieval art in Poland and the Faras Gallery featuring Medieval Nubian wall paintings, coming from the cathedral of Faras (the Nile River Valley). In galleries of 19th, 20th and 21st centuries the Polish, European and worldwide heritage is presented, with an emphasis on the ties between Polish and European art.
In August the Museum will present temporary exhibition of Dutch and Flemish drawings from the Museum’s collection, including those of Peter Paul Rubens.
The history of the Royal Castle goes back to the 14th century when the Great Tower was erected by the Vistula River. In 16th century, it became one of the royal residences, served as the administrative and cultural centre and place of sittings of the Sejm (parliament). The Castle, devastated during the time of partitions of Poland (19th century) and completely destroyed during the Second World War, was finally rebuilt in 1971-1988 with funds collected as donations of Polish society. It was renovated as a museum, with main interiors, like Great Apartment, King’s Apartment, Knights Hall or Throne Room, reconstructed according to the 18th century design. Museum collection includes also the Lanckoroński Collection with Rembrandt paintings, the collection of oriental carpets or the numismatic cabinet. Today, the Royal Castle is a place of the cultural events, temporary exhibitions and official ceremonies.
The Warsaw Rising Museum is a tribute to those who fought and died in the Warsaw Rising – a resistance operation during the Second World War organized by the Polish Home Army to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. During two-month fight (1 August – 2 October 1944) around 16,000 Polish Home Army soldiers and 150,000 Warsaw citizens were killed. As a result of the fight as well as intentional demolition of the city by German forces, most buildings of leftbank Warsaw were turned into ruins, including historical buildings, churches, libraries, universities and historical monuments.
The Museum collection includes exhibition items, photographs, films and sound recordings depicting fight and everyday life during the Warsaw Rising and guiding visitors through the subsequent stages of the Rising. Additionally the story of Allied airdrops was presented, including replica of a Liberator bomber, as well as stories of eye witnesses of the 1944 events and films about the Rising.
The Polish Jews History Museum was opened in April 2013 with the aim of presenting the centuries of common Polish and Jewish history, which dates back to 10th century when the first Jews arrived in the territory of Poland. In the 16th century Poland, perceived as an oasis of tolerance in Europe, was home to approximately 80% of the world Jewish population.
The Museum, featuring a symbolic architecture, is located in the centre of the former Jewish district. During the Second World War it was turned by German Nazis into the Warsaw Ghetto and became the place of the most intense battles of the Ghetto uprising in April 1943. The core exhibition is divided into eight galleries, each presenting a different chapter of the story of Polish Jews, through images, artifacts, first-person accounts and interactive multimedia. The Museum currently functions as a cultural and educational centre where temporary exhibitions, films, debates, workshops, performances, concerts and lectures are organized.
Last update: 14 February 2017