Old Town, Warsaw
As soon as we found ourselves in the Old Town Square we noticed a group of children gathered around a man looking like a picture perfect magician with his white clipped beard and moustache and wearing an elegant long black cloak, a scarf and a hat. Curious, I drew nearer and saw what the gathering was all about. In front of him was a traditional barrel organ, painted in beautiful bright colours and with a life-size parrot in a cage. When not playing the barrel organ, the man was selling small toys, souvenirs and, above all, cards telling you your fortune and horoscopes. I was a little disappointed to see that the parrot was just a toy but must find out if perhaps in the summer he might bring a real live parrot who will pick the card with your fortune for you, just as I remember it from a popular song of my childhood.
You are welcome to take a picture of the man and his barrel organ. Just drop him a 2 zl coin or more for the privilege.
Update: I have just read that the man, who is one of the great attractions of the Old Town, has been seriously ill and needs help. I do hope he gets better so that we can enjoy his presence there again.
Walking along the streets of the Old Town, you will see another kind of ornament - beautiful decorative shop signs above the doors of the elegant shops or restaurants. Their intricate designs, often made in wrought iron or copper and very imaginative, delight the eye. Don't miss them - they are real works of art!
BTW, the bookshop in Piwna Street that you can see in the picture specializes in books and other publications on Warsaw. You might like to have a look inside.
Wandering around the Old Town and looking into every nook and cranny, you can come across charming details, like the statue of the woman with a jug in the yard of the house at 5/9 Brzozowa St. Before you enter the arched doorway, examine the house itself as it must be one of those buildings that were not completely destroyed during WWII. The original part has been left unplastered to show its structure.
Note also the beautifully decorated portals, the frescoes, friezes and other ornaments.
Fondest memory: There are many churches in the Old Town. Their towers topped with crosses punctuate the skyline and can serve as signposts once you know which is which. Walking along the town walls in Podwale St, we found it really fascinating watching the changing panorama of the towers as they emerged, disappeared hidden by others and re-emerged again. We simply loved their colours and diverse shapes. We tried to count them but the number kept changing all the time as we walked on, a game that your children might like. The photographs present the changing panorama, starting with a picture closest to Castle Square and progressing along Podwale St. The triangular church top is St John's Cathedral's in Swietojanska St. Not all the Old Town churches are visible from this point though and you must magnify the pictures to see all that are there. In the foreground you can see the reconstructed town fortifications with people walking on them.
Look up whenever you stroll down the streets of Warsaw Old and New Town. Tenement houses, carefully re-stored from World War II ruins, have beautiful red-tiled sloping, pitched or gabled roofs often enriched with pretty sculptures, attics, dormer windows etc. Warning: you are more exposed to neck than back pain while in Warsaw :-).
Fondest memory: On my pictures:
1. Dormer window (or dormer) on a roof of the house in Krakowskie Przedmiescie (Royal Way), on the left walking northwards, close to the Sigismund's Column at the Castle Square.
2 - 4. Roof sculptures on the second last house (walking northwards to the Castle Square) on the left in Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street (the Royal Way).
Favorite thing: Even if you're aware of the rebuilding that went on here after the devastation of WWII, you might not be prepared to see it for yourself. Considering that 85% of the city was levelled, it is truly remarkable to see the spirit of the Poles to rebuild their city. The Old Town in particular is amazing. It's hard to believe that the buildings you are looking at are not at least 2-300 years old, but in reality, most were built in the '40s and '50s.
Favorite thing: The Old Town abounds in attractions. Apart from its numerous, as elegant as expensive, shops and restaurants, you can encounter buskers, artists and art students selling their paintings or self-made jewelry, a girl selling bunches of violets for gentlemen to present to their lady-friends and even ....Death himself. Or was that young man (he revealed his face for a moment) impersonating a monk? All of them, though not the beggars whom you can also meet there, add to the charm of this delightful place.
Favorite thing: .....seriously! There is always something there that will surprise or astonish you, plus make you laugh...Like this old Polish cowboy who travels all around the country and even his lack of teeth doesn`t keep him away from singing and make you enjoy your time even more!
check out Stare Miasto (Old Town) obviously! My favourite part is the city walls and the intricate little details they hide. Warsaw was completely destroyed by bombs during WWII, and so it all had to be rebuilt, including this entire area.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of warsaw was these two sunny days during which it was warm and sunny. The remaining 3 months of my trip was spent in south western poland (Slask) where it rained non-stop, everyday, until our departure.
...chopped off !!!!...
.....then, they asked for money ( I was not dead of course..).
They said the value of my life (...my head..) worth the amount of the money that I gave them....
....I didn't give them much unfortunately....
Sightseeing Warsaw's Old Town is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. Cobblestone streets, cafes and restaurants and one of the most beautiful city squares in Europe make it an unmissable attraction.
Fondest memory: The Old Town of today was in fact painstakingly rebuilt -literally brick by brick after the Second World War. So in fact, it's not that old at all - but it's heart is as historic as Warsaw itself.
Visit Old Town Warsaw. It's a remarkable achievement by remarkable people. Everytime I look at this place, I am in awe of the spirit and determination it took to rebuild it after WWII.
Here we see the ever present horseman and his carriage carrying tourists around Old Town. Seems as if he's everywhere I turned.
ONE OF MY PRIZE PHOTOS...TRY ENLARGING THIS ONE :-)
Favorite thing: From the area of the fountain you can observe all the great buildings which have been rebuilt since the war. (can't imagine how they accomplished that) We ate in a couple of the restaurants outside on the square. Don't think we had a bad meal anywhere.
Favorite thing: In the summer the Square is crowded with beautiful cafes where you can sit under the parasols. Painter's ateliers and spendid tenements in which you can find exclusive restaurants, clubs and some galleries or museums surround the Square. At this place you can hire a horse drawn carriage and have a short trip around the Old Town.
Everywhere in Warsaw, you have the world war in mind. Everything is remembering it: these 'old' buildings in the 'old' town, were actually completely destroyed and re-builted after the war!
PORTUGUÊS - Em todo o lado em Varsóvia temos a Grande Guerra presente. Tudo a lembra: estes 'velhos' edifícios da cidade 'velha', foram na realidade completamente arrasados e reconstruídos depois da guerra. FRANÇAIS - Partout à Varsovie nous avons la guerre présente. Tout nous y fait penser: ces 'vieux' immeubles de la 'vieille' ville, ont en réalité été complètement détruits et reconstruits après la guerre.