Royal Way, Warsaw
Potocki Palace (Polish: Pałac Potockich), is a large baroque palace.
The new one was commissioned by Ernest Denhoff and construction started in 1693 under the architect Giovanni Pioli. From 1731 it belonged to August Aleksander Czartoryski. All complex has two gates on each side. The layout of the gates are shaped like a horseshoe. It has central part and two side wings. The building was set back from the street by a courtyard and protected by a wrought-iron fence with a gate. The fence was designed in the neorococo style by Leandro Marconi.
Pałac Potockich was torn down in 1944 by the Germans after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising. It was rebuilt after the war in 1948-1950 according to a design by Jan Zachwatowicz.
Following the steps of Chopin can discover many interesting places and buildings.
This is place where Fryderyk Chopin was held concert on February 24, 1823, and praised in local newsletter.
This concert, along with many others, was organized by the Charitable Society of Warsaw, the headquarters of which – since 1818 – have been in this building. The building’s facade is engraved with the Res Sacra Miser Society motto: 'The unfortunate is a sacred thing.'
So, let go on the Royal way and find more interesting building.
Church of Saint Joseph's Care is a beautiful sanctuary object Roman catholic church where you will find amazing sculptures, a wooden Calvary from the 18th Century and a monument to cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in front of church. This church build in Rococo style.
Walking and learning... so let starting!
The Royal Route (Polish: Trakt Krolewski), starting from Castle Square, runs along Krakowskie Przedmiescie and Nowy Swiat futher on as far as Wilanow.
The beautiful historic street Krakowskie Przedmiescie itself is big touristic (and historic) attraction. It is full of monuments, churches and palaces.
Important monuments are dedicated to: Adam Mickiewicz (poet), Prince Jozef Poniatowski Monument (Napoleons general) and Nicholas Copernicus (astronom).
Important religious object are: St. Anna's Church and St. Joseph the Guardian's Church.
Today famous palaces is incorporated in modern time. That why Potocki Palace is part of Ministry of Arts and Culture, Namiestnikowski Palace are famous official residence of the President of the Republic of Poland, Czapski Palace part of Fine Arts Academy, the Uruski and the Tyszkiewicz Palaces both part of Warsaw University.
The actual Way runs from the Castle of the ancient city, which was the habitual residence of the Kings, to the palace of Wilamow that was his summer residence, pasing before by the Lazienki Park that was their hunting lodge
It runs more than 10kms, so we focused our visit starting in the castle and you may see while you walk impressive buildings , palaces of the magnates, many of whom now play public roles and historical churches as Santa Ana, the Church of the Carmelites, the Palace Potoki, University of Warsaw, the Palace Stazzi (Academy Polish Science).
You can walk through these streets, buildings lean out, see their statues or if you have any particular interest you can visit inside the churches, museums ...
La vía real va desde el Castillo de la ciudad antigua , que era la Residencia habitual de los Reyes, hasta el palacio de Wilamow que era su residencia de verano , pasando por su palacio de caza y por el parque Lazienki
Son casi 10kms , así que nos centraremos en la parte que sale del Castillo y en la que se van viendo edificios ,palacios de los magnates, muchos de los cuales desempeñan actualmente funciones públicas e iglesias espectaculares como Santa Ana , la Iglesia de los Carmelitas , el Palacio Potoki , la Universidad de Varsovia , el palacio Stazzi ( Academia Polaca de Ciencias ).
Puedes pasear por estas calles , asomarte a los edificios , ver sus estatuas o si tienes algun interés en concreto puedes puedes visitar las iglesias por dentro , los museos...
Built in the 1970s, this hotel was for two decades the most luxurious hotel in Poland. It was also portrayed as a symbol of such in Polish media, for example in films. Like any other luxury hotel of an Eastern European capital, the Victoria Hotel was a focus point for spy activity during the cold war. The most famous was the attempted assassination of a Palestinian terrorist in 1981.
Today the Victoria is one of the upmarket hotels in Warsaw, managed by Sofitel. However, it has lost its top position to international chains such as Sheraton or the resurrected Bristol. The building is a good example for representative communist architecture. Its block-shape, which is found in appartment and office blocks of this time as well, is often called Gierek-style after the First Secretary of the Polish communist party in the 1970s, Edward Gierek.
Pilsudki Square has been a representative since the 18th century, was it was a typical large Baroque Square. For most of the time, it had the name “Saxon Square” after the Saxon Palace which was located at the square. Later names include Victory Square and Adolf-Hitler-Platz (during the German occupation). In 1918, it was renamed after the father of the Polish Republic It is not surprising to hear that many events took place at this square, including state acts, military parades and a mass of Pope John Paul II.
There are two well-known monuments on the Square, one dedicated to Jozef Pilsudski and the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” in an arcade which was once part of the Saxon Palace. There are plans to rebuild the Saxon Palace, but not for the other large building which was once on the square: The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Another pre-WWII building was the Angielski Hotel which was pulled down in 1939. Norman Foster’s “Metropolitan” skyscraper stands on its place. For details about the monuments, please refer to the respective tips.
The Royal Route (or Royal Traject, Trakt Królewski) is the designation for the streets between the two most important Royal Palaces, the Royal Castle in the centre and Wilanów Palace to the south of the city. The route has a length of 10 kilometres, although the designation “Royal Traject” has been used earlier for shorter segments. Nevertheless, this makes it one of the largest representative streets in the world. You will find a vast number of sights along the route, mainly representative buildings such as palaces and churches.
You will not find “Trakt Królewski” as a street name – the Royal Route consists of a line of several streets, of which the Northernmost - Nowy Swiat – is the most famous. It goes along the so-called Kraków Suburb which is the old designation for the area south of the old town. Nowy Swiat means “New World” and the street is full of older and newer Polish history. It ranges from the Royal Castle to the 5 star hotel “Victoria” from the communist era. This stands in contrast to the southern streets where older palaces and churches are indeed dominating. Notable sights located at or adjacent to Nowy Swiat include the Presidential Palace, the Church of the Holy Cross, Warsaw University, Pilsudski Square, Hotel Bristol, Café Blikle and many more. Probably a walk from Charles de Gaulle Roundabout (the one with the palm tree) to the old town along Nowy Swiat is the best way to gain first impressions of Warsaw. For the sights, please refer to the respective tips.
At the Charles de Gaulle Roundabout (Rondo Charles'a de Gaulle'a), you will be surprised to see a 15 metre high palm tree. Don't worry, it's an artificial one, placed there by artist Joanna Rajkowska. When the artists presented the idea of the artificial palm tree, few people were interested in it and it was hard to find a place for it. First, it was met with rejection but later, it became popular with the citizens of Warsaw. The installation is called “Greetings from Jerusalem”. Note that one of the streets going from the roundabout is Aleje Jerozolimskie (Jerusalem Avenue), which points to a better location for a palm tree. Needless to say, that the palm tree makes a more impressive sight in a snowy Warsaw winter.
It was the most representative street of Central Europe and proud of Poland (and Russia till 1915) in the 19th century untill WWII but I can't call it representative now (2006). However, there are tenths tourist attractions along and close the Royal Way. Let me list top 5 things to do on the way, mostly discribed in details in seperate tips:
1. Walk from the Castle Square southwards Krakowskie Przedniescie St. and look at or visit St. Ann's Academic Church (climb its Bell Tower to see amazing view over the Old Town), Saint Joseph's Church, Presidential Palace, Bristol Hotel, the House with No Corners, Church of Saint Joseph's Care, Warsaw University, Church of the Holy Cross (Chopin's heart there), and Palace of Staszic.
2. Earlier turn right to Krolewska Street to reach Pilsudski Square. See Pilsudski Monument and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Visit Zacheta Gallery (outstanding exhibitions there!) and the Holy Trinity church - both south of Krolewska street.
3. Continue southwards Nowy Swiat street and turn left to Ordynacka St. to visit Frederic Chopin Museum in Ostrogski Palace.
4. Back on Nowy Swiat street stop at # 33/35 in Blikle Patisserie and Cafe to try (or buy) delicious traditional Polish paczki (doughnuts).
5. Continue south, turn left to dead-end Foksal street. See residencies and palaces (Zamoyski Palace at the end). Go back to the Nowy Swiat and southwards till you see... the palm tree in the middle of busy roundabout.
Well, there is one more centrally located area to visit located east of the northern part of the Royal Way on the way to the downtown/centre (Srodmiescie) that is around Teatralny Square and Bankowy Square. This area is full of palaces and churches to see and visit.
There is longitudinal square at southern end of the Nowy Swiat St. Futher south Ujazdowskie Ave. full of palaces, residencies and parks goes. What's at the square?
1. St. Alexander's church in the middle northerm part (described in a seperate tip)
2. green space south of the church with two Baroque columns each topped with a gold holy cross - they were put in 1731 as the beginning of so-cald Calvary Way. Calvary (Golgotha) is the English-language name given to the hill outside Jerusalem, Israel, on which Jesus was crucified. The Calvary Way consists of sculptures or pictures representing the scene of the crucifixion of Jesus. Catholics used to follow them and pray in front of each, one by one. In Poland there are sets of larger chapels and churches usually put on the hills which form together Kalwaria. The most famous and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List is Kalwaria Zebrzydowska close to Krakow with 41 chapels and churches.
3. Sheraton Hotel (hotel tip).
4. St. Nepomucen's statue.
5. A bust to Flakowski and building of the Institute of the Deaf.
6. Monument to Witos.
The last three are a bit hidden and described in seperate off the beaten parh tips.
In real there are 4 instead of 3 crosses on the Three Crosses Square: one on the top of the church, two on the tops of Baroque columns and one in hands of St, Nepomucen.
Aleje Ujazdowskie is a part of the Royal Route linking Nowy Swiat and Plac Trzech Krzyzy (the Three Crosses Square) with the Lazienki Park and Belveder. Tourists often whizz through it on a bus or in a taxi heading for such places as Lazienki or Wilanow. Yet, this beautiful tree-lined street with old ornate houses and parks is worthy of a walk in itself. Some of the houses are former palaces, often occupied by embassies, the British Embassy being one of them. Unfortunately, one of the lovely palaces was pulled down some time ago to make room for the American Embassy, which does not match the other houses with its modern look. I still remember the palace that used to be in its place as my mother worked there when I was a little girl. On your left as you walk from Plac Trzech Krzyzy are parks: Ujazdowski, the Botanic Garden with the observatory and Lazienki. The buildings opposite the Lazienki Park house ministries so the street sometimes becomes the venue of strikes.
As we are not allowed to take pictures of embassies (and you'd better not do this either) we have taken some pictures of the decorative tenement houses along the avenue.
The "Royal Route" is the name for a link of streets that connect Plac Zamkowy in the north to the Wilanow Palace in the southwest - roughly Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street - Nowy Swiat -Aleje Ujazdowski - Belvederska - etc. The name is very fitting as along this route you will encounter many of the best sights in Warsaw: Wilanow Palace, Lazienki Park, the exclusive Nowy Swiat Street, the Church of the Holy Cross, Stasczik Palace and the Kopernikus statue, the Bristol Hotel, the University, the President`s Palace, St. Anne`s Church. The bus line 180 connects most parts of the route. It is easily possible to walk from Nowy Swiat to Plac Zamkowy in 15 minutes, but I´d rather would take the bus to Lazienki Park and Wilanow.
The 4km route from the Royal Castle to Lazienski Palace is referred to as The Royal Way. It can be done on foot but allow plenty of time. Start your walk at Castle Square where you'll see ST ANNE'S CHURCH (Kosciol Sw Anny).Erected in 1454, burnt down by the Swedes and rebuilt in the 1660's. This church managed to escape major damage in the war. Apparently from the (freestanding) belfry there are good views over the square to gain.
Continue south and you'll see the MONUMENT TO ADAM MICKIEWICZ (renowned Polish poet) and then the CARMELITE CHURCH (Kosciol Karmelitow) - another church that escaped the war.
Next up is POTOCKI PALACE (Palac Potockich), now the gallery of modern art. The next building is RADZIWILL PALACE (Palac Radziwillow) guarded by 4 lions and reinforced by the STATUE OF PRINCE JOZEF PONIATOWSKI (nephew of the last Polish king). This palace is the Polish equivalent of the White House.
Pass the Euopejski Hotel and you'll get to the CHURCH OF THE NUNS OF THE VISITATION (Kosciol Wizytek) with the MONUMENT TO CARINAL STEFAN WYSZYNSKI in front of it.
Continue along and you'll pass WARSAW UNIVERSITY (Uniwersytet Warzawski), KAZIMIERZ PALACE (Palac Kazimierzowski), HOLY CROSS CHURCH (Kosciol Sw Krzyza), STASZIC PALACE (Palac Stazica), MONUMENT TO NICOLAUS COPERNICUS (Pomnik Mikolaja Kopernika), NATIONAL MUSEUM (Muzeum Narodowe), THE POLISH ARMY MUSEUM (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego), ST ALEXANDER'S CHURCH (Kosciol Sw Aleksandra), down to UJAZDOW CASTLE (Zamec Ujazdowski) and finally to LAZIENKI.
It's one of the busiest commercial streets of the city, with countless shops, galleries, bookshops and cafes. While Krakowskie Przedmiescie is lined with the 18th century huge aristocratic residences, this street is dominated by the 19th century neo-classical houses and palaces.
The southern part of the Royal Way, behind Aleje Jerozolimskie, dates back to the 20th century. A little further east towards the Vistula you will see the imposing building of the National Museum; the highlight of its collection are the impressive frescoes from an early Christian cathedral in Pharos, Sudan, discovered by a Polish archaeological team. Next door in the same building is the Polish Army Museum.