Warsaw

Warsaw

Overview
Warsaw is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. It is located on the Vistula River
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

, roughly 260 kilometres (161.6 mi) from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and 300 kilometres (186.4 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most populous city proper
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. The area of the city
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 covers 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the city's agglomeration covers 6100.43 square kilometres (2,355.4 sq mi).

Warsaw is an alpha global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

, a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

.
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Timeline

1655   Warsaw falls without resistance to a small force under the command of Charles X Gustav of Sweden during The Deluge.

1861   Russian troops fire on a crowd in Warsaw protesting against Russian rule over Poland, killing five protesters.

1918   Józef Piłsudski comes to Warsaw and assumes supreme military power in Poland. Poland regains its independence, celebrated each year on this day.

1922   President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw.

1939   Warsaw surrenders to Nazi Germany during World War II.

1940   Warsaw is awarded the Virtuti Militari.

1942   World War II: the Warsaw paper ''Liberty Brigade'' publishes the first news of the concentration camps.

1942   Holocaust: In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization.

1944   Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.

1944   Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberate a German labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

 
Encyclopedia
Warsaw is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. It is located on the Vistula River
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

, roughly 260 kilometres (161.6 mi) from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and 300 kilometres (186.4 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most populous city proper
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. The area of the city
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 covers 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the city's agglomeration covers 6100.43 square kilometres (2,355.4 sq mi).

Warsaw is an alpha global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

, a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. It is also known as the "phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 city" because it has survived many wars throughout its bloody history. Most notably when the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt after the extensive damage it suffered from World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, during which 80% of its buildings were destroyed. On 9 November 1940 the city was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari
Virtuti Militari
The Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari is Poland's highest military decoration for heroism and courage in the face of the enemy at war...

, for the Siege of Warsaw (1939)
Siege of Warsaw (1939)
The 1939 Battle of Warsaw was fought between the Polish Warsaw Army garrisoned and entrenched in the capital of Poland and the German Army...

.

Warsaw has given its name to the Warsaw Confederation
Warsaw Confederation
The Warsaw Confederation , an important development in the history of Poland and Lithuania that extended religious tolerance to nobility and free persons within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. , is considered the formal beginning of religious freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and...

, the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

, the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

, the Warsaw Convention
Warsaw Convention
The Warsaw Convention is an international convention which regulates liability for international carriage of persons, luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward....

, the Treaty of Warsaw
Treaty of Warsaw (1970)
The Treaty of Warsaw was a treaty between West Germany and the People's Republic of Poland. It was signed by Chancellor Willy Brandt and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz at the Presidential Palace on 7 December 1970, and it was ratified by the German Bundestag on 17 May 1972.In the treaty, both...

, the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp....

. The Warszawianka is widely considered the unofficial anthem
Anthem
The term anthem means either a specific form of Anglican church music , or more generally, a song of celebration, usually acting as a symbol for a distinct group of people, as in the term "national anthem" or "sports anthem".-Etymology:The word is derived from the Greek via Old English , a word...

 of the city.

Etymology and names


Warsaw's name in the Polish language, Warszawa (also formerly spelled Warszewa and Warszowa), means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; see also etymology of Wrocław. Folk etymology
False etymology
Folk etymology is change in a word or phrase over time resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one. Unanalyzable borrowings from foreign languages, like asparagus, or old compounds such as samblind which have lost their iconic motivation are...

 attributes the city name to a fisherman Wars and his wife Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid
Mermaid
A mermaid is a mythological aquatic creature with a female human head, arms, and torso and the tail of a fish. A male version of a mermaid is known as a "merman" and in general both males and females are known as "merfolk"...

 living in the Vistula River who Wars fell in love with. Actually, Warsz was a 12th/13th century nobleman who owned a village located at the site of today's Mariensztat
Mariensztat
Mariensztat is a neighbourhood in Warsaw's borough of Śródmieście . It is located between the Vistula river and the Old Town.The historical neighbourhood dates from the 18th century, when local nobleman Eustachy Potocki married Maria Kątska and received the parcel of land as part of Kątska's dowry...

 neighbourhood. The official city name in full is ("The Capital City of Warsaw"). A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian.

Other names for Warsaw include (German and Dutch), (Spanish and Latin), (French), (Italian), /Varshe (Yiddish), /Varsha (Hebrew), /Varshava (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian and Serbian), (Slovak, Czech, Latvian, Slovenian, Serbian and Croatian), (Lithuanian), (Hungarian), (Huáshā, "flower sand") (Traditional Chinese) and /fersofia (Arabic).

History



Early history


The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were Bródno
Bródno
Bródno is a neighbourhood in the Warsaw's borough of Targówek, located on the eastern side of the Vistula river. It is inhabited by approximately 100 thousand people. Among the most notable landmarks are the Bródno Park and the Bródno cemetery, the largest cemetery in Warsaw and one of the largest...

 (9th/10th century) and Jazdów
Ujazdów Castle
Ujazdów Castle is a castle in the historic Ujazdów district, between Ujazdów Park and the Royal Baths Park , in Warsaw, Poland.-History:...

 (12th/13th century). After Jazdów was raided, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa. The Płock prince Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern Warsaw, about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the capital of Masovia in 1413. Fourteenth-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Polish Crown in 1526.

16th to 18th century


In 1529 Warsaw for the first time became the seat of the General Sejm, permanent from 1569. In 1573 the city gave its name to the Warsaw Confederation
Warsaw Confederation
The Warsaw Confederation , an important development in the history of Poland and Lithuania that extended religious tolerance to nobility and free persons within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. , is considered the formal beginning of religious freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and...

, formally establishing religious freedom
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

 in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Due to its central location between the Commonwealth's capitals of Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 and Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Warsaw became the capital of the Commonwealth, and of the Polish Crown, in 1596, when King Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, a monarch of the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599...

 moved the court from Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 to Warsaw.
In the following years the town expanded towards the suburbs. Several private independent districts were established, the property of aristocrats and the gentry, which were ruled by their own laws. Three times between 1655–1658 the city was under siege and three times it was taken and pillaged by the Swedish, Brandenburgian
Margraviate of Brandenburg
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806. Also known as the March of Brandenburg , it played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe....

 and Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

n forces.

In 1700, the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

 broke out. The city was besieged several times and was obliged to pay heavy contributions. Warsaw turned into an early-capitalistic
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 principal city.

Stanisław August Poniatowski, who remodelled the interior of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, also made Warsaw a centre of culture and the arts. This earned Warsaw the name of the Paris of the east.

19th and 20th centuries


Warsaw remained the capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1795, when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 to become the capital of the province of South Prussia
South Prussia
South Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1793 to 1807. It was created out of territory annexed in the Second Partition of Poland and included in 1793*the Poznań, Kalisz and Gniezno Voivodeships of Greater Poland;...

. Liberated by Napoleon
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's army in 1806, Warsaw was made the capital of the newly created Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

. Following the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 of 1815, Warsaw became the centre of the Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 under a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with Imperial Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. The Royal University of Warsaw was established in 1816.
Following the repeated violations of the Polish constitution by the Russians, the 1830 November Uprising
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

 broke out. However, the Polish-Russian war of 1831 ended in the uprising's defeat and in the curtailment of the Kingdom's autonomy. On 27 February 1861 a Warsaw crowd protesting against the Russian rule over Poland was fired upon by the Russian troops. Five people were killed. The Underground Polish National Government resided in Warsaw during January Uprising
January Uprising
The January Uprising was an uprising in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against the Russian Empire...

 in 1863–64.

Warsaw flourished in the late 19th century under Mayor Sokrates Starynkiewicz
Sokrates Starynkiewicz
Sokrates Starynkiewicz was a Russian general and the 19th President of Warsaw between 1875 and 1892. During his presidency he ordered the construction of municipal water works as well as the tramway and telephone network in Warsaw.-Biography:...

 (1875–92), a Russian-born general appointed by Tsar Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

. Under Starynkiewicz Warsaw saw its first water and sewer systems designed and built by the English engineer William Lindley
William Lindley
William Lindley , was a famous English engineer who together with his sons designed water and sewerage systems for over 30 cities across Europe.-Life:...

 and his son, William Heerlein Lindley
William Heerlein Lindley
Sir William Heerlein Lindley was a British civil engineer.One of three sons of the famous British engineer William Lindley, WH Lindley worked together with his father on a number of projects and was a respected engineer in his own right...

, as well as the expansion and modernisation of tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s, street light
Street light
A street light, lamppost, street lamp, light standard, or lamp standard is a raised source of light on the edge of a road or walkway, which is turned on or lit at a certain time every night. Modern lamps may also have light-sensitive photocells to turn them on at dusk, off at dawn, or activate...

ing and gas works
Gasworks
A gasworks or gas house is a factory for the manufacture of gas. The use of natural gas has made many redundant in the developed world, however they are often still used for storage.- Early gasworks :...

.

The Russian Empire Census
Russian Empire Census
The Russian Imperial Census of 1897 was the first and the only census carried out in the Russian Empire . It recorded demographic data as of ....

 of 1897 recorded 626,000 people living in Warsaw, making it the third-largest city of the Empire after St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Warsaw became the capital of the newly independent Poland
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 in 1918. In the course of the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920, the huge Battle of Warsaw
Battle of Warsaw (1920)
The Battle of Warsaw sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, was the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War. That war began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasted until the Treaty of Riga resulted in the end of the hostilities between Poland and Russia in 1921.The...

 was fought on the eastern outskirts of the city in which the capital was successfully defended and the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 defeated. Poland stopped by itself the full brunt of the Red Army and defeated an idea of the "export of the revolution
Export of revolution
Export of revolution is actions by a victorious revolutionary government of one country to promote similar revolutions in other countries, as a manifestation of revolutionary internationalism of certain kind, e.g., the Marxist proletarian internationalism....

".

World War II


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, central Poland, including Warsaw, came under the rule of the General Government
General Government
The General Government was an area of Second Republic of Poland under Nazi German rule during World War II; designated as a separate region of the Third Reich between 1939–1945...

, a German Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 colonial administration. All higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 institutions were immediately closed and Warsaw's entire Jewish population several hundred thousand, some 30% of the city herded into the Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 15, 1940, in the territory of General Government of the German-occupied Poland, with over 400,000 Jews from the vicinity...

. When the order came to annihilate the ghetto as part of Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's "Final Solution
Final Solution
The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...

" on 19 April 1943, Jewish fighters launched the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp....

. Despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered, the Ghetto held out for almost a month. When the fighting ended, almost all survivors were massacred, only few managed to escape or hide.


By July 1944, the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 was deep into Polish territory and pursuing the Germans toward Warsaw. Knowing that Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 was hostile to the idea of an independent Poland, the Polish government-in-exile in London gave orders to the underground Home Army (AK)
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

 to try to seize control of Warsaw from the Germans before the Red Army arrived. Thus, on 1 August 1944, as the Red Army was nearing the city, the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 began. The armed struggle, planned to last 48 hours, went on for 63 days. Stalin gave orders to his troops to wait outside of Warsaw. Eventually the Home Army fighters and civilians assisting them were forced to capitulate. They were transported to PoW
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 camps in Germany, while the entire civilian population was expelled. Polish civilian deaths are estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000.

The Germans then razed Warsaw to the ground
Planned destruction of Warsaw
The planned destruction of Warsaw refers to the largely realised plans by Nazi Germany to completely raze the city. The plan was put into full motion after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944...

. Hitler, ignoring the agreed terms of the capitulation, ordered the entire city to be razed to the ground and the library and museum collections
Collection (museum)
A museum is distinguished by a collection of often unique objects that forms the core of its activities for exhibitions, education, research, etc. This differentiates it from an archive or library, where the contents may be more paper-based, replaceable and less exhibition oriented...

 taken to Germany or burned. Monuments and government buildings were blown up by special German troops known as Verbrennungs- und Vernichtungskommando ("Burning and Destruction Detachments"). About 85% of the city had been destroyed, including the historic Old Town and the Royal Castle.

On 17 January 1945 – after the beginning of the Vistula–Oder Offensive of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 – Soviet troops entered the ruins of Warsaw, and liberated Warsaw's suburb
Suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

s from German occupation. The city was swiftly taken by the Soviet Army, which rapidly advanced towards Łódź, as German forces regrouped at a more westward position.

Modern times


In 1945, after the bombing, the revolts, the fighting, and the demolition had ended, most of Warsaw lay in ruins.

After the war, under a Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 regime set up by the conquering Soviets, large prefabricated
Prefabrication
Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located...

 housing project
Public housing
Public housing is a form of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. Social housing is an umbrella term referring to rental housing which may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organizations, or by a combination of the...

s were erected in Warsaw to address the housing shortage, along with other typical buildings of an Eastern Bloc city, such as the Palace of Culture and Science. The city resumed its role as the capital of Poland and the country's centre of political and economic life. Many of the historic streets, buildings, and churches were restored to their original form. In 1980, Warsaw's historic Old Town was inscribed onto UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's World Heritage
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 list.

John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

's visits to his native country in 1979 and 1983 brought support to the budding solidarity movement and encouraged the growing anti-communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 fervor there. In 1979, less than a year after becoming pope, John Paul celebrated Mass in Victory Square in Warsaw and ended his sermon with a call to "renew the face" of Poland: Let Thy Spirit descend! Let Thy Spirit descend and renew the face of the land! This land! These words were very meaningful for the Polish citizens who understood them as the incentive for the democratic changes.

In 1995, the Warsaw Metro
Warsaw Metro
The Warsaw Metro is a rapid transit system serving the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It consists of a single north-south line that links central Warsaw with its densely populated northern and southern suburbs. The first section was opened in 1995, then gradually extended until it...

 opened. With the entry of Poland into the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 in 2004, Warsaw is currently experiencing the biggest economic boom
Boom and bust
A credit boom-bust cycle is an episode characterized by a sustained increase in several economics indicators followed by a sharp and rapid contraction. Commonly the boom is driven by a rapid expansion of credit to the private sector accompanied with rising prices of commodities and stock market index...

 of its history. The opening match of UEFA Euro 2012 is scheduled to take place in Warsaw.

Location and topography


Warsaw lies in east-central Poland about 300 km (186.4 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 and about 260 km (161.6 mi) from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, 523 km (325 mi) east of Berlin, Germany. The city straddles the Vistula River
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

. It is located in the heartland of the Masovian Plain
Masovian Plain
Masovian Plain is a large geographical region in central Poland, roughly covering the historical region of Masovia. It is located in the valleys of three large rivers: Vistula, Bug and Narew...

, and its average elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 is 100 metres (328.1 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. The highest point on the left side of the city lies at a height of 115.7 metres (379.6 ft) (“Redutowa” bus depot, district of Wola), on the right side – 122.1 metres (400.6 ft) (“Groszówka” estate, district of Wesoła, by the eastern border). The lowest point lies at a height 75.6 metres (248 ft) (at the right bank of the Vistula, by the eastern border of Warsaw). There are some hills (mostly artificial) located within the confines of the city – e.g. Warsaw Uprising Hill (121 metres (397 ft)), Szczęśliwice hill (138 metres (452.8 ft) – the highest point of Warsaw in general).

Warsaw is located on two main geomorphologic forms: the plain moraine plateau and the Vistula Valley with its asymmetrical pattern of different terraces. The Vistula River is the specific axis of Warsaw, which divides the city into two parts, left and right. The left one is situated both on the moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

 plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 (10 to 25 m (32.8 to 82 ) above Vistula level) and on the Vistula terraces (max. 6.5 m (21.33 ft) above Vistula level). The significant element of the relief, in this part of Warsaw, is the edge of moraine plateau called Warsaw Escarpment. It is 20 to 25 m (65.6 to 82 ) high in the Old Town and Central district and about 10 m (32.81 ft) in the north and south of Warsaw. It goes through the city and plays an important role as a landmark.

The plain moraine plateau has only a few natural and artificial pond
Pond
A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is usually smaller than a lake. A wide variety of man-made bodies of water are classified as ponds, including water gardens, water features and koi ponds; all designed for aesthetic ornamentation as landscape or architectural...

s and also groups of clay pit
Clay pit
A clay pit is a quarry or mine for the extraction of clay, which is generally used for manufacturing pottery, bricks or Portland cement.The brickyard or brickworks is often located alongside the clay pit to reduce the transport costs of the raw material. These days pottery producers are often not...

s. The pattern of the Vistula terraces is asymmetrical. The left side consist mainly of two levels: the highest one contains former flooded terraces and the lowest one the flood plain terrace. The contemporary flooded terrace still has visible valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s and ground depressions
Depression (geology)
A depression in geology is a landform sunken or depressed below the surrounding area. Depressions may be formed by various mechanisms.Structural or tectonic related:...

 with water systems coming from the Vistula old – riverbed
Stream bed
A stream bed is the channel bottom of a stream, river or creek; the physical confine of the normal water flow. The lateral confines or channel margins, during all but flood stage, are known as the stream banks or river banks. In fact, a flood occurs when a stream overflows its banks and flows onto...

. They consist of still quite natural streams and lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s as well as the pattern of drainage
Drainage
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...

 ditch
Ditch
A ditch is usually defined as a small to moderate depression created to channel water.In Anglo-Saxon, the word dïc already existed and was pronounced 'deek' in northern England and 'deetch' in the south. The origins of the word lie in digging a trench and forming the upcast soil into a bank...

es. The right side of Warsaw has a different pattern of geomorfological forms. There are several levels of the plain Vistula terraces (flooded as well as former flooded once) and only small part and not so visible moraine escarpment. Aeolian sand with a number of dune
Dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

s parted by peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

 swamps or small ponds cover the highest terrace. These are mainly forested areas (pine forest).

Climate


Warsaw's climate is humid continental
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Koppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfb) with cold winters and mild summers. The average temperature is -3.0 °C in January and 19.3 °C (66.7 °F) in July. Temperatures may often reach 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer. Yearly rainfall averages 495 millimetres (19.5 in), wettest month being July. Spring and Autumn are usually beautiful seasons, the former crisp and sunny and full of blooms and the latter alternately sunny and misty, and cool but not cold.

Districts


Until 1994, there were 7 districts in Warsaw: Śródmieście, Praga Północ, Praga Południe, Żoliborz, Wola, Ochota, Mokotów. Between 1994 and 2002, there were 11 districts: Centrum, Białołęka, Targówek, Rembertów, Wawer, Wilanów, Ursynów, Włochy, Ursus, Bemowo, Bielany. In 2002, the town Wesoła was incorporated and the territorial division of Warsaw was established as follows:
District Population Area
Mokotów
Mokotów
Mokotów is a dzielnica of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Mokotów is densely populated. It is a seat to many foreign embassies and companies...

 
225,571 35.4 km² (13.7 sq mi)
Praga Południe  182,588 22.4 km² (8.6 sq mi)
Ursynów
Ursynów
Ursynów is the southernmost district of Warsaw. With a surface area of 44.6 km², it is the third largest district in Warsaw, comprising 8.6 percent of the city. The district has a population of almost 148,000, and is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Warsaw...

 
148,876 48.6 km² (18.8 sq mi)
Wola
Wola
Wola is a district in western Warsaw, Poland, formerly the village of Wielka Wola, incorporated into Warsaw in 1916. An industrial area with traditions reaching back to the early 19th century, it is slowly changing into an office and residential district...

 
137,692 19.26 km² (7.4 sq mi)
Bielany
Bielany
Bielany is a district in Warsaw located in the north-western part of the city.Initially a part of Żoliborz, Bielany has been an independent district since 1994. Bielany borders Żoliborz to the south-east, and Bemowo to the south-west...

 
133,778 32.3 km² (12.5 sq mi)
Śródmieście  126,143 15.57 km² (6 sq mi)
Targówek
Targówek
Targówek is a district in Warsaw, Poland located in the northern part of the city.It is divided into two parts: residential and industrial. About 30% of the district's area is covered by municipal parks, such as Lasek Bródnowski, Park Bródnowski and Park Wiecha in the eastern part of the district...

 
123,214 24.37 km² (9.4 sq mi)
Bemowo
Bemowo
Bemowo is a district of Warsaw located in the western part of the city. Its territory covers the so-called western belt of the former district of Wola, which was incorporated to Warsaw in the year 1951. The name of the district derives from the surname of General Józef Bem.-External links:****...

 
113,066 24.95 km² (9.6 sq mi)
Ochota
Ochota
Ochota is a district of Warsaw, Poland, located in the central part of the Polish capital city's urban agglomeration.The biggest housing estates of Ochota are:* Kolonia Lubeckiego* Kolonia Staszica* Filtry* Rakowiec* Szosa Krakowska* Szczęśliwice...

 
89,383 9.7 km² (3.7 sq mi)
Białołęka  89,234 73.04 km² (28.2 sq mi)
Praga Północ  71,675 11.4 km² (4.4 sq mi)
Wawer
Wawer
Wawer is one of the districts of Warsaw, located in the south-eastern part of the city. The Vistula river runs along its western border. Wawer became a district of Warsaw on October 27, 2002 .Wawer borders Praga Południe and Rembertów from the north, Wesoła from the east and Wilanów with Mokotów...

 
69,898 79.71 km² (30.8 sq mi)
Ursus  50,355 9.35 km² (3.6 sq mi)
Żoliborz
Zoliborz
Żoliborz is one of the northern districts of the city of Warsaw. It is located directly to the north of the City Centre, on the left bank of the Vistula river. It has approximately 50,000 inhabitants and is one of the smallest boroughs of Warsaw....

 
48,060 8.5 km² (3.3 sq mi)
Włochy  39,690 28.63 km² (11.1 sq mi)
Rembertów
Rembertów
Rembertów is a district of the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Between 1939 and 1957 Rembertów was a separate town, after which it was incorporated as part of the borough of Praga Południe. Between 1994 and 2002 it formed a separate commune of Warszawa-Rembertów...

 
23,320 19.3 km² (7.5 sq mi)
Wesoła  22,757 22.6 km² (8.7 sq mi)
Wilanów
Wilanów
Wilanów is a district of the city of Warsaw, Poland. It is home to historic Wilanów Palace, the "Polish Versailles," and second home to various Polish kings.-History:...

 
19,146 36.73 km² (14.2 sq mi)
Total 1,714,446 521.81 km² (201.5 sq mi)


Warsaw is a powiat
Powiat
A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term powiat is most often translated into English as "county", although other terms are also sometimes used...

(county), and is further divided into 18 boroughs, each one known as a dzielnica (districts – see map), each one with its own administrative body. Each of the boroughs includes several neighbourhoods which have no legal or administrative status. Warsaw has two historic districts, called Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions....

 (Stare Miasto) and New Town
Warsaw New Town
Warsaw's New Town is a neighbourhood dating from the 15th century. It lies just north of the Old Town and is connected to it by ulica Freta , which begins at the Barbican...

 (Nowe Miasto) in the borough of Śródmieście.

Overview


Warsaw's mixture of architectural style
Architectural style
Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of the use of form, techniques, materials, time period, region and other stylistic influences. It overlaps with, and emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture...

s reflects the turbulent history of the city
History of Warsaw
The history of Warsaw is mostly synonymous with the history of Poland. First fortified settlements on area of today Warsaw were founded in the 9th century and for many centuries coincided with the development of what is today known as the Warsaw Old Town....

 and country. During WWII, Warsaw was razed to the ground by bombing raids
Bombing of Warsaw in World War II
The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers both to the Strategic bombing campaign of Warsaw by the Luftwaffe during the siege of Warsaw in the Invasion of Poland in 1939 and to the German bombing raids during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944....

 and planned destruction
Planned destruction of Warsaw
The planned destruction of Warsaw refers to the largely realised plans by Nazi Germany to completely raze the city. The plan was put into full motion after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944...

. After liberation, rebuilding began as in other cities of the communist-ruled PRL
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

. Most of the historical buildings were thoroughly reconstructed. However, some of the buildings from the 19th century that had been preserved in reasonably reconstructible form were nonetheless eradicated in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. Leopold Kronenberg
Leopold Kronenberg
Baron Leopold Julian Kronenberg was a Polish banker.-Life:Kronenberg was born the son of banker and railroad tycoon Leopold Kronenberg and his wife Rozalia Leo. Both parents came from Jewish families which had converted to Protestantism—the Kronenbergs, to Calvinism...

 Palace). Mass residential blocks were erected, with basic design typical of Eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 countries.

Public space
Public space
A public space is a social space such as a town square that is open and accessible to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry, nor are the entrants...

s attract heavy investment, so that the city has gained entirely new squares, parks and monuments. Warsaw's current urban landscape is one of modern and contemporary architecture.

Architecture


Warsaw's palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

s, churches and mansions display a richness of color and architectural details. Buildings are representatives of nearly every European architectural style and historical period. The city has wonderful examples of architecture from the gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

, renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 periods, all of which are located within easy walking distance of the town centre.
Gothic architecture is represented in the majestic churches but also at the burgher
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 houses and fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

s. The most significant buildings are St. John's Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral, Warsaw
St. John's Archcathedral in Warsaw is a Catholic church in Warsaw's Old Town, is the only one archcathedral in Warszawa, the other 3 are cathedrals in the Polish capital. St. John's stands immediately adjacent to Warsaw's Jesuit church, and is one of the oldest churches in the city and the main...

 (14th century), the temple is a typical example of the so-called Masovian gothic style, St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church, Warsaw
The Church of the Visitation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary , otherwise known as St. Mary's Church is a church in Warsaw, Poland. It is one of oldest buildings and one of the few surviving examples of Gothic architecture in the city. It is located at ulica Przyrynek 2.-History:St. Mary's Church...

 (1411), a town house
Townhouse
A townhouse is the term historically used in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in many other countries to describe a residence of a peer or member of the aristocracy in the capital or major city. Most such figures owned one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year...

 of Burbach family (14th century), Gunpowder Tower (after 1379) and the Royal Castle
Royal Castle, Warsaw
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency and was the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from...

 Curia Maior (1407–1410). The most notable examples of Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 in the city are the house of Baryczko merchant family (1562), building called "The Negro" (early 17th century) and Salwator tenement (1632). The most interesting examples of mannerist
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 architecture are the Royal Castle
Royal Castle, Warsaw
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency and was the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from...

 (1596–1619) and the Jesuit Church
Jesuit Church, Warsaw
Jesuit Church , otherwise the Church of the Gracious Mother of God is an ornate church in Warsaw, Poland. Immediately adjacent to St. John's Cathedral, it is one of the most notable mannerist churches in Poland's capital...

 (1609–1626) at Old Town. Among the first structures of the early baroque the most important are St. Hyacinth's Church
St. Hyacinth's Church, Warsaw
-History:St. Hyacinth's Church was founded by the Dominican Order and adjoins Warsaw's largest monastery. The church is a mixture of Renaissance and early-Baroque styles. Its construction began in 1603 and was completed in 1639....

 (1603–1639) and Zygmunt's Column
Zygmunt's Column
Sigismund's Column , erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland. It is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe...

 (1644).
Building activity occurred in numerous noble palaces and churches during the later decades of the 17th century. One of the best examples of this architecture are Krasiński Palace (1677–1683), Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture.The palace and park in Wilanów...

 (1677–1696) and St. Kazimierz Church (1688–1692). The most impressive examples of rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 architecture are Czapski Palace
Czapski Palace
The Czapski Palace is a substantial palace in the center of Warsaw, at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście. It is considered one of the most distinguished examples of rococo architecture in Poland's capital....

 (1712–1721), Palace of the Four Winds (1730s) and Visitationist Church
Visitationist Church
Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists commonly known as the Visitationist Church is a Roman Catholic church in Warsaw, Poland, situated at Krakowskie Przedmieście 34...

 (façade 1728–1761). The neoclassical architecture in Warsaw can be described by the simplicity of the geometrical forms teamed with a great inspiration from the Roman period. Some of the best examples of the neoclassical style are the Palace on the Water (rebuilt 1775–1795), Królikarnia
Królikarnia
Królikarnia is a historical palace in Warsaw, Poland in classic style, as well as a neighborhood in Mokotów district of Warsaw. A museum of Polish sculptor and artist Xawery Dunikowski is located in the palace since 1965.-History:...

 (1782–1786), Carmelite Church
Carmelite Church, Warsaw
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph commonly known as the Carmelite Church is a Roman Catholic church at Krakowskie Przedmieście 52/54 in Warsaw, Poland....

 (façade 1761–1783) and Evangelical Holy Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Church, Warsaw
The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession , also known as Zug's Protestant Church is a Lutheran church in Warsaw, Poland. This is one of two Augsburg Evangelical churches in Warsaw...

 (1777–1782). The economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 during the first years of Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 caused a rapid rise architecture. The Neoclassical revival affected all aspects of architecture, the most notable are the Great Theater (1825–1833) and buildings located at Bank Square (1825–1828).
Exceptional examples of the bourgeois
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 architecture of the later periods were not restored by the communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 authorities after the war (like mentioned Kronenberg Palace and Insurance Company
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 Rosja building) or they were rebuilt in socialist realism style (like Warsaw Philharmony
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
The Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra , one of Poland's premier musical institutions, was established in 1901 on the initiative of an assembly of Polish aristocrats and financiers, as well as musicians...

 edifice originally inspired by Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier
The Palais Garnier, , is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier...

 in Paris). Despite that the Warsaw University of Technology
Warsaw University of Technology
The Warsaw University of Technology is one of the leading institutes of technology in Poland, and one of the largest in Central Europe. It employs 2,453 teaching faculty, with 357 professors . The student body numbers 36,156 , mostly full-time. There are 17 faculties covering almost all fields of...

 building (1899–1902) is the most interesting of the late 19th century architecture. Lot of the 19th century buildings is restored in Praga (Vistula’s right bank), though they are in a pretty bad condition. Warsaw’s municipal government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 authorities have decided to rebuild the Saxon Palace and the Brühl Palace
Brühl Palace, Warsaw
The Brühl Palace , otherwise known as Sandomierski Palace standing at Piłsudski Square. It was a large palace and one of the most beautiful rococo buildings in pre-World War II Warsaw.-History:...

, the most distinctive buildings in prewar Warsaw.

Notable examples of contemporary architecture include the Palace of Culture and Science (1952–1955), a Soc-realist
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

 skyscraper located in the city centre, and the Constitution Square with its monumental Socialist realism
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

 architecture (MDM estate). The central part of the right-bank (east) Praga
Praga
Praga is a historical borough of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It is located on the east bank of the river Vistula. First mentioned in 1432, until 1791 it formed a separate town with its own city charter.- History :...

 borough it is a place where very run-down houses stand right next to modern apartment building
Apartment
An apartment or flat is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building...

s and shopping malls.

Modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 in Warsaw is represented by the Metropolitan Office Building
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

 at Pilsudski Square by Lord Foster, Warsaw University Library (BUW) by Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski, featuring a garden on its roof and view of the Vistula River
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

, Rondo 1 office building by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP is an American architectural and engineering firm that was formed in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings; in 1939 they were joined by John O. Merrill. They opened their first branch in New York City, New York in 1937. SOM is one of the largest...

 and Golden Terraces, consisting of seven overlapping domes retail and business centre.

It has been said that Warsaw, together with Frankfurt, London, Paris, Moscow, Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 and Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 is one of the tallest cities in Europe. Of the 21 tallest skyscrapers in Poland, 18 are situated in Warsaw (the first of the list which is not in Warsaw, is the 9th – the Sea Tower in Gdynia
Gdynia
Gdynia is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important seaport of Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea.Located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together...

).

Flora and Fauna


Greenspace covers 40% of the surface area of Warsaw, including a broad range of greenstructures, from small neighborhood parks, green spaces along streets and in courtyards, trees and avenues to large historic parks, nature conservation areas and the urban forests at the fringe of the city.
There are as many as 82 parks in the city which cover 8 % of its area. The oldest ones, once parts of representative palaces, are Saxon Garden
Saxon Garden
The Saxon Garden is a 15.5–hectare public garden in downtown Warsaw, Poland, facing Piłsudski Square. It is the oldest public park in the city...

, the Krasiński Palace Garden, the Royal Baths Park, the Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture.The palace and park in Wilanów...

 Park and the Królikarnia
Królikarnia
Królikarnia is a historical palace in Warsaw, Poland in classic style, as well as a neighborhood in Mokotów district of Warsaw. A museum of Polish sculptor and artist Xawery Dunikowski is located in the palace since 1965.-History:...

 Palace Park (See also: Greenery in the city).

The Saxon Garden, covering the area of 15.5 ha, was formally a royal garden. There are over 100 different species of trees and the avenues are a place to sit and relax. At the east end of the park, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument in Warsaw, Poland, dedicated to the unknown soldiers who have given their lives for Poland. It is one of many such national tombs of unknowns that were erected after World War I.-History:...

 is situated. In the 19th century the Krasiński Palace Garden was remodelled by Franciszek Szanior. Within the central area of the park one can still find old trees dating from that period: maidenhair tree, black walnut, Turkish hazel and Caucasian wingnut trees. With its benches, flower carpets, a pond with ducks on and a playground for kids, the Krasiński Palace Garden is a popular strolling destination for the Varsovians. The Monument of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp....

 is also situated here. The Royal Baths Park covers the area of 76 ha. The unique character and history of the park is reflected in its landscape architecture
Landscape architecture
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions...

 (pavilion
Pavilion (structure)
In architecture a pavilion has two main meanings.-Free-standing structure:Pavilion may refer to a free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. Large or small, there is usually a connection with relaxation and pleasure in...

s, sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

s, cascades
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

, pond
Pond
A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is usually smaller than a lake. A wide variety of man-made bodies of water are classified as ponds, including water gardens, water features and koi ponds; all designed for aesthetic ornamentation as landscape or architectural...

s) and vegetation (domestic and foreign species of trees and bushes). What makes this park different from other green spaces in Warsaw is the presence of peacocks
Peafowl
Peafowl are two Asiatic species of flying birds in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male's extravagant eye-spotted tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The adult female...

 and pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

s, which can be seen here walking around freely, and royal carp
Carp
Carp are various species of oily freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. The cypriniformes are traditionally grouped with the Characiformes, Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes to create the superorder Ostariophysi, since these groups have certain...

s in the pond. The Wilanów Palace Park, dates back to the second half of the 17th century. It covers the area of 43 ha. Its central French-styled area
Garden à la française
The French formal garden, also called jardin à la française, is a style of garden based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order over nature. It reached its apogee in the 17th century with the creation of the Gardens of Versailles, designed for Louis XIV by the landscape architect André Le...

 corresponds to the ancient, baroque forms of the palace. The eastern section of the park, closest to the Palace, is the two-level garden with a terrace facing the pond. The park around the Królikarnia Palace is situated on the old escarpment
Escarpment
An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations.-Description and variants:...

 of the Vistula. The park has lanes running on a few levels deep into the ravines on both sides of the palace.
Other green spaces in the city include the Botanic Garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 and the University Library garden. They have extensive botanical collection of rare domestic and foreign plants, while a palm house
Palm House
A palm house is a greenhouse that is specialised for the growing of palms and other tropical and subtropical plants. Palm houses require constant heat and were built as status symbols in Victorian Britain...

 in the New Orangery displays plants of subtropics from all over the world. Besides, within the city borders, there are also: Pole Mokotowskie (a big park in the northern Mokotów, where was the first horse racetrack and then the airport), Park Ujazdowski (close to the Sejm and John Lennon street), Park of Culture and Rest in Powsin, by the southern city border, Park Skaryszewski by the right Vistula bank, in Praga. The oldest park in Praga, the Praga Park, was established in 1865–1871 and designed by Jan Dobrowolski. In 1927 a zoological garden (Ogród Zoologiczny) was established on the park grounds, and in 1952 a bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

 run, still open today.

The flora of the city may be considered very rich in species. The species richness
Species richness
Species richness is the number of different species in a given area. It is represented in equation form as S.Species richness is the fundamental unit in which to assess the homogeneity of an environment. Typically, species richness is used in conservation studies to determine the sensitivity of...

 is mainly due to the location of Warsaw within the border region of several big floral regions comprising substantial proportions of close-to-wilderness areas (natural forests, wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s along the Vistula) as well as arable land
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

, meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

s and forests. Bielany Forest, located within the borders of Warsaw, is the remaining part of the Masovian Primeval Forest. Bielany Forest nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

 is connected with Kampinos Forest
Kampinos Forest
Kampinos Forest is a large forest complex located to the west of Warsaw in Poland. It covers a large part of the ancient valley of Vistula, between Vistula and Bzura rivers. Once a gigantic forest covering 670 km² of central Poland, it currently covers roughly 240 km².Most of the...

. It is home to rich fauna and flora. Within the forest there are three cycling and walking trails. Other big forest area is Kabaty Forest by the southern city border. Warsaw has also two botanic gardens: by the Łazienki park (a didactic-research unit of the University of Warsaw) as well as by the Park of Culture and Rest in Powsin (a unit of the Polish Academy of Science).

There is 13 nature reserves in Warsaw – among others, Bielany Forest, Kabaty Woods, Czerniaków Lake. About 15 km from Warsaw, the Vistula river
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

's environment changes strikingly and features a perfectly preserved ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

, with a habitat of animals that includes the otter
Otter
The Otters are twelve species of semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals....

, beaver
Beaver
The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver and Eurasian Beaver . Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges . They are the second-largest rodent in the world...

 and hundreds of bird species. There is also several lakes in Warsaw – mainly the oxbow lake
Oxbow lake
An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake. This landform is called an oxbow lake for the distinctive curved shape, named after part of a yoke for oxen. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong, derived...

s, like Czerniaków Lake, the lakes in the Łazienki or Wilanów Parks, Kamionek Lake. There are lot of small lakes in the parks, but only part of them is permanent – the most of them is being emptied before winter to clean them of plants and sediments.

The Warsaw Zoo
Warsaw Zoo
The Warsaw Zoological Garden, known simply as the Warsaw Zoo is a scientific zoo on Ratuszowa Street in Warsaw, Poland. The zoo covers about in downtown Warsaw, and sees 600,000 visitors annually...

 covers an area of 40 hectares (100 acres). There are about 5,000 animals representing nearly 500 species. Although officially created in 1928, it traces back its roots to 17th century private menagerie
Menagerie
A menagerie is/was a form of keeping common and exotic animals in captivity that preceded the modern zoological garden. The term was first used in seventeenth century France in reference to the management of household or domestic stock. Later, it came to be used primarily in reference to...

s, often open to the public.

Demographics


Historically, Warsaw has been a destination for internal and foreign immigration, especially from Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. For nearly 300 years it was known as the "Old Paris" or "Second Paris". It was always a centre of European culture
Culture of Europe
The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of North as opposed to South; West as opposed to East; Orthodoxism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism as opposed to Secularism; many have claimed to identify cultural...

, existed as a major European city, and was a destination for many Europeans. Demographic
Demographics
Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology , public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location...

ally it was the most diverse city in Poland, with a significant numbers of foreign-born inhabitants. In addition to the Polish majority
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, there was a significant Jewish minority in Warsaw. According to Russian census of 1897
Russian Empire Census
The Russian Imperial Census of 1897 was the first and the only census carried out in the Russian Empire . It recorded demographic data as of ....

, out of the total population of 638,000, Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 constituted 219,000 (around 34% percent). Warsaw's prewar Jewish population
Jewish population
Jewish population refers to the number of Jews in the world. Precise figures are difficult to calculate because the definition of "Who is a Jew" is a source of controversy.-Total population:...

 of more than 350,000 constituted about 30 percent of the city's total population. In 1933 out of 1,178,914 inhabitants 833,500 were of Polish mother tongue. World War II changed all of this, and to this day there is much less ethnic diversity than in the previous 300 years of the city's history. Most of the modern day population growth is based on internal migration and urbanisation.
In 1939, ca. 1,300,000 people lived in Warsaw, but in 1945 – only 420,000. During the first years after the war, the population growth was ca. 6%, so shortly the city started to suffer from the lack of flats and of areas for new houses. The first remedial measure was the Warsaw area enlargement (1951) – but the city authorities were still forced to introduce registration limitations: only the spouses and children of permanent residents as well as some exceptional persons (like good and famous specialists) were allowed to get registration. These limitations caused that the population growth decreased ca. twofold, but aroused among other Poles some kind of belief that the Varsovians feel themselves as somebody better than others only because they live in the capital. This belief unfortunately still lives in Poland (in much lower intensity) – even though there are not registration limitations anymore (since 1990).

Municipal government



The municipal government existed in Warsaw until World War II and was restored in 1990 (during the communist times, the National City Council – Miejska Rada Narodowa – governed in Warsaw). Since 1990, the system of city administration has been changed several times – also as the result of the reform which restored powiat
Powiat
A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term powiat is most often translated into English as "county", although other terms are also sometimes used...

s, cancelled in 1975. Finally, according the Warsaw Act, the city is divided into 18 districts and forms one city powiat
Powiat
A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term powiat is most often translated into English as "county", although other terms are also sometimes used...

with a unified municipal government.
The basic unit of territorial division in Poland is a commune (gmina). A city is also a commune – but with the city charter. Both cities and communes are being governed by a mayor – but in the communes the mayor is vogt
Vogt
A Vogt ; plural Vögte; Dutch voogd; Danish foged; ; ultimately from Latin [ad]vocatus) in the Holy Roman Empire was the German title of a reeve or advocate, an overlord exerting guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice...

 (wójt in Polish), however in the cities – burmistrz. Some bigger cities obtain the entitlements, i.e. tasks and privileges, which are possessed by the units of the second level of the territorial division – counties or powiats. An example of such entitlement is a car registration: a gmina cannot register cars, this is a powiat's task (i.e. a registration number depends on what powiat a car had been registered, not gmina). In this case we say about city county or powiat grodzki. Such cities are for example Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, Gdańsk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

, Poznań
Poznan
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

. In Warsaw, its districts additionally have some of powiat's entitlements – like already mentioned car registration. For example, the district Wola has its own evidence and the district Ursynów – its own (and the cars from Wola have another type of registration number than these from Ursynów). But for instance the districts in Kraków do not have entitlements of powiat, so the registration numbers in Kraków are of the same type for all districts.

Legislative power
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 in Warsaw is vested in a unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 Warsaw City Council
Warsaw City Council
Warsaw City Council is a unicameral governing body of the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland.The council was first created following the location of Warsaw under the terms of the Magdeburg Law in the Middle Ages. The modern council is regulated by the Warsaw Act of 2002. It consists of 60...

 (Rada Miasta), which comprises 60 members. Council members are elected directly every four years. Like most legislative bodies, the City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 divides itself into committees which have the oversight of various functions of the city government. Bills passed by a simple majority are sent to the mayor (the President of Warsaw), who may sign them into law. If the mayor vetoes a bill, the Council has 30 days to override the veto by a two-thirds majority
Supermajority
A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority . In some jurisdictions, for example, parliamentary procedure requires that any action that may alter the rights of the minority has a supermajority...

 vote.

Each of the 18 separate city districts has its own council (Rada dzielnicy). Their duties are focused on aiding the President and the City Council, as well as supervising various municipal companies, city-owned property and schools. The head of each of the District Councils is named the Mayor (Burmistrz) and is elected by the local council from the candidates proposed by the President of Warsaw.
The mayor of Warsaw is called President. Generally, in Poland, the mayors of bigger cities are called presidents – i.e. such cities, which have over 100,000 people or these, where already was president before 1990. The first Warsaw President was Jan Andrzej Menich (1695–1696). Between 1975 and 1990 the Warsaw Presidents was simultaneously the Warsaw Voivode
Warsaw Voivodeship
Warszawa Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in years 1975–1998, superseded by Masovian Voivodeship.Capital city: WarsawMajor cities and towns: :* Warsaw ;...

. Since 1990 the President of Warsaw had been elected by the City council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

. In the years of 1994–1999 the mayor of the district Centrum automatically was designed as the President of Warsaw: the mayor of Centrum was elected by the district council of Centrum and the council was elected only by the Centrum residents. Since 2002 the President of Warsaw is elected by all of the citizens of Warsaw.

The current President of Warsaw is Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Hanna Beata Gronkiewicz-Waltz is a Polish liberal-conservative politician who has been the Mayor of Warsaw since 2 December 2006. She is the first woman to ever hold this position....

 (since 2006-12-02) – the former president of the National Bank of Poland. The first president elected according these rules was Lech Kaczyński. When he was elected on the President of Polish Republic (December 2005), there was not an additional election in Warsaw, hence formally he was simultaneously the President of Poland and the President of Warsaw.

Politics


As the capital of Poland, Warsaw is the political centre of the country. All state agencies are located there, including the Polish Parliament, the Presidential Office and the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

. In the Polish parliament the city and the area are represented by 31 MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

s (out of 460). Additionally, Warsaw elects two MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s.

The Sejm is the lower house of the Polish parliament. The Sejm is made up of 460 deputies, or Poseł in Polish (literally 'Envoy'). It is elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the Marshal of the Sejm (Marszałek Sejmu).

Transportation


Warsaw has seen major infrastructural changes over the past few years amidst increased foreign investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 and economic growth. The city has a much improved infrastructure with new road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

s, flyovers
Overpass
An overpass is a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway...

, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

s, etc.

Warsaw lacks a good circular road system and most traffic goes directly through the city centre. Warsaw ring road has been planned consisting of three express roads: S2
Expressway S2 (Poland)
Expressway S2 is planned interior bypass expressway in Warsaw and an extension of motorway A2.The road has been planned since the 1970s, initially as part of motorway A2...

, S8
Expressway S8 (Poland)
Expressway S8 or express road S8 is major road in Poland which, when completed, will run along the route Wrocław – Łódź – Warsaw – Białystok. The whole road is planned to be about long...

 and S17
Expressway S17 (Poland)
Expressway S17 or Express Road S17 is an important road in Poland which, when completed, will run from Warsaw, through Lublin, to the border crossing with Ukraine at Hrebenne/Rava-Ruska. As of May 2009, out of planned have been completed. These are three separate sections forming the bypasses...

. Currently parts of S2 and S8 are under construction and to be completed up to 2012. The city has one international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

, Warsaw Frédéric Chopin Airport
Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport
Warsaw Chopin Airport is an international airport located in the Włochy district of Warsaw, Poland. Poland's busiest airport, Warsaw Chopin handles just under 50% of the country's air passenger traffic....

, located just 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city centre. With around 100 international and domestic flights a day and with over 9,268,551 passengers served in 2007, it is by far the biggest airport in Poland.

Public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 in Warsaw includes bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

es, tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s (streetcars
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

), Metro
Warsaw Metro
The Warsaw Metro is a rapid transit system serving the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It consists of a single north-south line that links central Warsaw with its densely populated northern and southern suburbs. The first section was opened in 1995, then gradually extended until it...

, light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa
Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa
Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa is a suburban light rail line in Poland's capital city of Warsaw. The line, together with its two branches, links Warsaw with the municipalities of Michałowice, Pruszków, Brwinów, Podkowa Leśna, Milanówek and Grodzisk Mazowiecki to the south-west of Warsaw.-History:The...

 line, urban railway Szybka Kolej Miejska
Szybka Kolej Miejska (Warsaw)
Szybka Kolej Miejska is a rail operator providing services in the Warsaw metropolitan area using the national rail network while constituting a part of the cities integrated public transport system organized by the Warsaw Transport Authority.- History :...

 and regional rail
Regional rail
Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15km and commuter towns or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters—people who travel on a daily basis...

 Koleje Mazowieckie
Koleje Mazowieckie
Koleje Mazowieckie is a regional rail operator in the Masovian Voivodeship of Poland.- History :The company was founded in 2004 as a joint venture of the Masovian Voivodeship, with 51% shares, and the, then government-owned, PKP Przewozy Regionalne, with 49% shares, to handle local passenger...

 (Mazovian Railroads). The buses, trams, urban railway and Metro are managed by Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego
Zarzad Transportu Miejskiego
Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego is the local authority controlled body managing all means of public transport in Warsaw...

 (ZTM, the Warsaw Transport Authority).
The regional rail and light rail is operated by Polish State Railways
Polish State Railways
is the dominant railway operator in Poland.The company was founded when the former state-owned operator was divided into several units based on the requirements laid down by the European Union...

 (PKP). There are also some suburban bus lines run by private operators. Bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service covers the entire city, with approximately 170 routes totalling about 2603 kilometres (1,617.4 mi) long, and with some 1,600 vehicles.

Currently, the Tramwaje Warszawskie (Warsaw Trams) company runs 863 cars on over 240 kilometres (149.1 mi) of tracks. Twenty-odd lines run across the city with additional lines opened on special occasions (such as All Saints' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

).

The first section of the Warsaw Metro
Warsaw Metro
The Warsaw Metro is a rapid transit system serving the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It consists of a single north-south line that links central Warsaw with its densely populated northern and southern suburbs. The first section was opened in 1995, then gradually extended until it...

 was opened in 1995 initially with a total of 11 stations. It now has 21 stations running a distance of approximately 23 kilometres. Initially, all of the trains were Russian built. In 1998, 108 new carriages were ordered from Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

. The second line running east-west will be about 31 kilometres. The central section is now in the bidding stage and will be 6 km. long with seven stations. The main railway station is Warszawa Centralna serving both domestic traffic to almost every major city in Poland, and international connections. There are also five other major railway stations
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

 and a number of smaller suburban stations.

Infrastructure


Like many cities in Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, infrastructure in Warsaw suffered considerably during communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. However, over the past decade it has seen many improvements due to solid economic growth, an increase in foreign investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 as well as funding from the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. In particular, the city's underground transit system, roads, sidewalks, health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 facilities and sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

 facilities have improved markedly.

Today, Warsaw has some of the best medical facilities in Poland and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. The city is home to the Children's Memorial Health Institute (CMHI), the highest-reference hospital in all of Poland, as well as an active research and education center. While the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology
Curie Institute (Warsaw)
The Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology in Warsaw was founded in 1932 as the Radium Institute by Maria Skłodowska-Curie in collaboration with the Polish Government, especially President Ignacy Mościcki....

 it is one of the largest and most modern oncological institutions in Europe. The clinical section is located in a 10-floor building with 700 beds, 10 operating theatres, an intensive care unit, several diagnostic departments as well as an outpatient clinic
Clinic
A clinic is a health care facility that is primarily devoted to the care of outpatients...

.

Religion



Throughout its existence, Warsaw has been a multi-cultural city. According to a census of 1901, out of 711,988 inhabitants there were 56,2% Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, 35,7% Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, 5% Greek orthodox Christians
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

 and 2,8% Protestants. Eight years later, in 1909, there were 281,754 Jews (36,9%), 18,189 Protestants (2,4%) and 2,818 Mariavites
Mariavite Church
The Mariavite Church is an independent Christian church that emerged from the Catholic Church of Poland at the turn of the 20th century. Initially, it was an internal movement leading to a reform of the Polish clergy. After a conflict with Polish bishops, it became a separate and independent...

 (0,4%). This led to construction of hundreds of places of religious worship in all parts of the town. Most of them were destroyed in the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 of 1944. After the war the new communist authorities of Poland discouraged church construction and only a small part of them were rebuilt.

Events



Several commemorative events take place every year. Gatherings of thousands of people on the banks of the Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 on Midsummer’s Night for a festival called Wianki
Wianki
Wianki is a cyclical cultural event, taking place annually in Kraków at the bend of Wisła river, near the Wawel hill.-History:...

 (Polish for Wreaths) have become a tradition and a yearly event in the programme of cultural events in Warsaw. The festival traces its roots to a peaceful pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 ritual where maidens would float their wreath
Wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

s of herbs on the water to predict when they would be married, and to whom. By the 19th century this tradition had become a festive event, and it continues today. The city council organize concerts and other events. Each Midsummer’s Eve, apart from the official floating of wreaths, jumping over fires, looking for the fern flower
Fern flower
The fern flower Chervona Ruta is a magic flower in Slavic mythology and in Baltic mythology .-Slavic tradition :According to the myth, this flower blooms for a very short time on the eve of the Summer solstice The flower brings fortune to the person who finds it...

, there are musical performances, dignitaries' speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank.

The Warsaw Film Festival
Film festival
A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

, an annual festival that takes place every October. Films are usually screened in their original language with Polish subtitles and participating cinemas include Kinoteka (Palace of Science and Culture), Multikino
Multikino
Owned by , Multikino is the second largest multiplex chain in Poland, and has the distinction of opening the nation's first multiplex, which was located in Poznań. Cinema City is Multikino's primary competitor....

 at Golden Terraces and Kultura. Over 100 films are shown throughout the festival, and awards are given to the best and most popular films.

Sports



On 9 April 2008 the President of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Hanna Beata Gronkiewicz-Waltz is a Polish liberal-conservative politician who has been the Mayor of Warsaw since 2 December 2006. She is the first woman to ever hold this position....

, obtained from the mayor of Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 Wolfgang Schuster
Wolfgang Schuster
Wolfgang Schuster has been the Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, Germany, since January 1997. He is the successor to Manfred Rommel and a member of the CDU.-Studies and early positions:...

 a challenge award – a commemorative plaque
Commemorative plaque
A commemorative plaque, or simply plaque, is a plate of metal, ceramic, stone, wood, or other material, typically attached to a wall, stone, or other vertical surface, and bearing text in memory of an important figure or event...

 awarded to Warsaw as the European capital of Sport in 2008.

The National Stadium
National Stadium (Warsaw)
The National Stadium football stadium under construction in Warsaw, Poland, on the site of the former stadium Stadion Dziesięciolecia.The new stadium will have a seating capacity of 58,145. Its construction started in 2008 and is to finish in November 2011...

, a planned 56,000 seat football (soccer) stadium
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

, is currently under construction on the site of Warsaw's recently demolished 10th-Anniversary Stadium. The national stadium is due to host the opening match (a group match), remaining 2 group matches, a quarterfinal, and a semifinal of the UEFA Euro 2012 hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

.
There are many sports centres in the city as well. Most of these facilities are swimming pool
Swimming pool
A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or simply a pool, is a container filled with water intended for swimming or water-based recreation. There are many standard sizes; the largest is the Olympic-size swimming pool...

s and sports halls, many of them built by the municipality in the past several years. The main indoor venue is Hala Torwar
Torwar Hall
Torwar Hall is an indoor arena in Warsaw, Poland. It opened in 1953, was modernized in 1999, and holds 4,838 people.It is located adjacent to Legia Stadium and is primarily used for popular music concerts, ice hockey and other indoor sports, and it is the home of the hockey team UHKS...

, used for all kinds of indoor sports (mainly, indoor skating rink). There is also open-air skating rink (Stegny) and the horse racetrack (Służewiec).

The best of the city's swimming centres is at Wodny Park Warszawianka, 4 km south of the centre at Merliniego Street, where there's an Olympic-sized pool as well as water slides and children's areas.

From the Warsovian football teams, the most famous is Legia Warszawa
Legia Warszawa
Legia Warszawa is a professional football club based in Warsaw, Poland. It was founded in March 1916 in the area of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the football club of the Polish Legions...

 – the army club with a nationwide following play at Polish Army Stadium
Polish Army Stadium
Marshal Józef Piłsudski Polish Army Stadium is an all-seater football-specific stadium in Warsaw, Poland. It is the home of Legia Warsaw football club, which has been playing there since August 9, 1930. With space for 31,000 spectators it is the 5th biggest football stadium in Ekstraklasa...

, just southeast of the centre at Łazienkowska Street. Established in 1916, they have won the country’s championship 8 times (most recently in 2006) and won the Polish Cup 14 times. They have never been relegated divisions. In the Champions League season 1995/96 they reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to Panathinaikos Athens.

Their local rivals, Polonia Warsaw, have significantly fewer supporters, yet they managed to win Ekstraklasa Championship in 2000. They also won the country’s championship in 1946, and won the cup twice as well. Polonia's home venue is located at Konwiktorska Street, a ten-minute walk north from the Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions....

.
Club Sport Founded League Venue Head Coach
Legia Warszawa
Legia Warszawa
Legia Warszawa is a professional football club based in Warsaw, Poland. It was founded in March 1916 in the area of Maniewicze in Volhynia as the football club of the Polish Legions...

Football 1916 Ekstraklasa Polish Army Stadium
Polish Army Stadium
Marshal Józef Piłsudski Polish Army Stadium is an all-seater football-specific stadium in Warsaw, Poland. It is the home of Legia Warsaw football club, which has been playing there since August 9, 1930. With space for 31,000 spectators it is the 5th biggest football stadium in Ekstraklasa...

Maciej Skorża
Maciej Skorza
Maciej Skorża is a Polish football manager and the current manager of club Legia Warszawa.-Career:During his short playing career, he was as a defender for Radomiak Radom and AZS-AWF Warszawa.-Manager career:...

Polonia Warszawa
Polonia Warszawa
Polonia Warsaw is a Polish sports club with football and basketball teams, founded in 1911, and is the oldest such club in Warsaw, where it is based.- History :...

Football 1911 Ekstraklasa Stadion Polonii Jacek Zieliński
Legia Warszawa Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

1947 Second League OSiR Bemowo Wojciech Kiełbasiewicz
Polonia Gaz Ziemny Warszawa
Polonia Warbud Warszawa
SPEC Polonia Warszawa is a Polish basketball team, based in Warsaw, playing in Dominet Bank Ekstraliga.-Seasons:* 2007/2008** 10th place in Dominet Bank Ekstraliga* 2006/2007** 12th place in Dominet Bank Ekstraliga* 2005/2006...

Basketball 1911 Polska Liga Koszykówki Hala Sportowa "Koło" Wojciech Kamiński
AZS Politechnika Warszawa
AZS Politechnika Warszawa
AZS Politechnika Warszawska is a Polish volleyball team, based in Warsaw, playing in Polish Volleyball League .-See also:* Volleyball in Poland* Sports in Poland...

Volleyball 1918 Polska Liga Siatkówki
Polish Volleyball League
The Polish Volleyball League , is the highest level of men's volleyball in Poland, a professional league competition for volleyball clubs located in this country. It is overseen by Profesjonalna Liga Piłki Siatkowej S.A. . It is currently a 10 team league that plays a 18 game schedule from...

Hala UCSiR Radosław Panas
Cumann Warszawa
Warsaw GAA
Cumann Warszawa GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association club in Warsaw, Poland. The club has joint hurling and football sessions once a week on Thursdays at Pole Mokotowskie at 7 pm and during the winter training takes place indoors at the nearby at 18:15....

 (Warsaw GAA
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

)
Gaelic Football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

 and Hurling
Hurling
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national game of Ireland. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and...

2009 European Gaelic Football Championship
European Gaelic Football Championship 2010
The European Gaelic Football Championship 2010 is the 2010 season of the tournament, which includes European teams other than those from Ireland and Britain. The Championship follows two phases. During the first part of the year teams compete within their own regions in a series of four to five...

Stadion Skra
Rugby Ekstraliga
Rugby Ekstraliga is the premier league for rugby union in Poland.The competition was founded in 1957 and currently it is divided into two divisions – first and second. First Division consists of eight teams, second – of six. For victory, a team gets four points, two points for a tie and zero for a...

, Pole Mokotowskie
Eoin Sheedy

European Capital of Culture 2016 Candidate


Warsaw is a shortlisted candidate for the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 2016 title. With the title of European Capital of Culture 2016, Warsaw has the chance to become a city known for how it managed the transition from improvisation, chaos and unpredictable processes into a truly contemporary metropolis
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

, which found innovative solutions to its problems.

The Core Themes of Warsaw's application include: The Vistula: River of Possibilities, City of Talents and Warsaw under Construction.

Theatre in the past


From 1833 to the outbreak of World War II, Plac Teatralny (Theatre Square
Theatre Square (Warsaw)
Theatre Square is a major square in the Śródmieście district of Warsaw, Poland. It spans from the Great Theatre building to the Senatorska Street....

)
was the country's cultural hub and home to the various theatres.

The main building housed the Great Theatre from 1833 to 1834, the Rozmaitości Theatre from 1836 to 1924 and then the National Theatre, the Reduta Theatre from 1919 to 1924, and from 1928 to 1939 the Nowy Theatre, which staged productions of contemporary poetical drama, including those directed by Leon Schiller
Leon Schiller
Leon Schiller de Schildenfeld was a Polish theater and film director, critic and theoretician. He was also a composer and wrote theater and radio screenplays....

.

Nearby, in Ogród Saski (the Saxon Garden
Saxon Garden
The Saxon Garden is a 15.5–hectare public garden in downtown Warsaw, Poland, facing Piłsudski Square. It is the oldest public park in the city...

), the Summer Theatre was in operation from 1870 to 1939, and in the inter-war period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, the theatre complex also included Momus, Warsaw's first literary cabaret, and Leon Schiller
Leon Schiller
Leon Schiller de Schildenfeld was a Polish theater and film director, critic and theoretician. He was also a composer and wrote theater and radio screenplays....

's musical theatre
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 Melodram. The Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre (1922–26), was the best example of "Polish monumental theatre". From the mid-1930s, the Great Theatre building housed the Upati Institute of Dramatic Arts the first state-run academy of dramatic art, with an acting department and a stage directing department.

Plac Teatralny and its environs was the venue for numerous parades, celebrations of state holidays, carnival balls and concerts.

Theatre


Warsaw is home to over 30 major theatres spread throughout the city, including the National Theatre (founded in 1765) and the Grand Theatre (established 1778).

Warsaw also attracts many young and off-stream directors and performers
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

 who add to the city's theatrical culture. Their productions may be viewed mostly in smaller theatres and Houses of Culture (Domy Kultury), mostly outside Śródmieście (Central Warsaw). Warsaw hosts the International Theatrical Meetings.

Music


Thanks to numerous musical venues, including the Teatr Wielki, the Polish National Opera, the Chamber Opera
Chamber opera
Chamber opera is a designation for operas written to be performed with a chamber ensemble rather than a full orchestra.The term and form were invented by Benjamin Britten in the 1940s, when the English Opera Group needed works that could easily be taken on tour and performed in a variety of small...

, the National Philharmonic Hall
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
The Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra , one of Poland's premier musical institutions, was established in 1901 on the initiative of an assembly of Polish aristocrats and financiers, as well as musicians...

 and the National Theatre, as well as the Roma and Buffo music theatres and the Congress Hall in the Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw hosts many events and festivals. Among the events worth particular attention are: the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition, the International Contemporary Music Festival Warsaw Autumn
Warsaw Autumn
Warsaw Autumn is the largest international Polish festival of contemporary music. Indeed, for many years, it was the only festival of its type in Central and Eastern Europe. It was founded in 1956 by two composers, Tadeusz Baird and Kazimierz Serocki, and officially established by the Head Board...

, the Jazz Jamboree, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, the International Stanisław Moniuszko
Stanisław Moniuszko
Stanisław Moniuszko was a Polish composer, conductor and teacher. His output includes many songs and operas, and his musical style is filled with patriotic folk themes of the peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

 Vocal Competition, the Mozart Festival, and the Festival of Old Music.

Museums and art galleries



The levelling of Warsaw during the war has left gaping holes in the city's historic collections.
And although a considerable amount of treasures were spirited away to safety as the storm clouds gathered in 1939, it is also true that a great number of collections from palaces and museums in the countryside were brought to Warsaw at that time as the capital was considered a safer place than some remote castle in the borderlands. Thus losses were heavy.
Yet in spite of this, Warsaw still boasts some wonderful museums. As interesting examples of expositions the most notable are: the world’s first Museum of Posters boasting one of the largest collections of art poster
Poster
A poster is any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface. Typically posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be...

s in the world, Museum of Hunting and Riding and the Railway Museum. From among Warsaw’s 60 museums, the most prestigious ones are National Museum with a wide collection of works whose origin ranges in time from antiquity till the present epoch as well as one of the best collections of paintings in the country and Museum of the Polish Army
Polish Army Museum
-Newest Exhibition:The Polish Army Museum was not too long ago given the equipment of the lost soldiers from the Presidential Smolensk aircraft crash. The equipment includes the ID Passes, Portable radios, torches, holsters and much more and all in their original state.Museum of the Polish Army is...

 whose set portrays the history of arms.

The collections of Łazienki and Wilanów
Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture.The palace and park in Wilanów...

 palaces (both buildings came through the war in good shape) are a delight, as are those of the Royal Castle. The Palace in Natolin
Natolin
Natolin is a historic park and nature reserve on the southern edge of Warsaw, Poland. "Natolin" is also the name of a neighborhood located to the west of the park — a part of Warsaw's southernmost Ursynów district....

 – a former rural residence of Duke Czartoryski. Its interiors and park are accessible to tourists.

Holding Poland's largest private collection of art, the Carroll Porczyński Collection Museum displays works from such varied artists as Rubens, Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

, Constable
John Constable
John Constable was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home—now known as "Constable Country"—which he invested with an intensity of affection...

, Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

 and Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, and countless others.

A fine tribute to the fall of Warsaw and history of Poland
History of Poland
The History of Poland is rooted in the arrival of the Slavs, who gave rise to permanent settlement and historic development on Polish lands. During the Piast dynasty Christianity was adopted in 966 and medieval monarchy established...

 can be found in the Warsaw Uprising Museum and in the Katyń
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

 Museum which preserves the memory of the crime. Museum of Independence host of sentimental and patriotic paraphernalia connected with these fateful epochs, as well as some invaluable art collections. Dating back to 1936 Warsaw Historical Museum contains 60 rooms which host a permanent exhibition of the history of Warsaw from its origins until today.
The 17th century Royal Ujazdów Castle
Ujazdów Castle
Ujazdów Castle is a castle in the historic Ujazdów district, between Ujazdów Park and the Royal Baths Park , in Warsaw, Poland.-History:...

 currently houses Centre for Contemporary Art, with some permanent and temporary exhibitions, concerts, shows and creative workshops. The centre also develops unique art programs that correlated with the reconstruction and organization of the Ujazdów Castle architectural spaces. The Centre of Contemporary Art currently realizes about 500 projects a year.

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
Zacheta
The Zachęta National Gallery of Art, short Zachęta, , is one of Poland's most notable institutions for contemporary art. Situated in the centre of Warsaw, the main aim of the gallery is to present and support primarily Polish contemporary art and artists...

 is the oldest exhibition site in Warsaw, with a tradition stretching back to the mid 19th century. The gallery organises exhibitions of modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 by Polish and international artists
International Artists
International Artists was an independent record label based in Houston, Texas that originally existed from 1965 to 1970.During its existence IA released 12 albums and 39 singles and was owned by a group of businessmen in Houston. Among its staff were producer Lelan Rogers, brother of country...

 and promotes art in many other ways.

The city also possesses some marvellous oddities such as the Museum of Caricature (the only one of its kind in the world) and a magnificent Motorisation Museum, which has everything from 1930s classics to cars that were owned by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 and Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

.

The newly established in 2011 Erotic Museum in Warsaw is the only such museum in Poland and one of the few of a kind in Europe. Over 2,000 exhibits collected by the Erotic Museum, reveals the erotic fascinations of artists from all continents. Museum collections include the 14th century German chastity belt
Chastity belt
A chastity belt is a locking item of clothing designed to prevent sexual intercourse. They may be used to protect the wearer from rape or temptation. Some devices have been designed with additional features to prevent masturbation...

s, erotic Peruvian pottery
Moche
'The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD, during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state...

, Persian miniature
Persian miniature
A Persian miniature is a small painting on paper, whether a book illustration or a separate work of art intended to be kept in an album of such works called a muraqqa. The techniques are broadly comparable to the Western and Byzantine traditions of miniatures in illuminated manuscripts...

s, Tibetan votive paintings, Indian carvings, Chinese porcelain, African folk art, Japanese Shunga
Shunga
' is a Japanese term for erotic art. Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e, usually executed in woodblock print format. While rare, there are extant erotic painted handscrolls which predate the Ukiyo-e movement...

 paintings, Thai votive penises and many other exhibits.

Media and film



Warsaw is the media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 centre of Poland, and the location of the main headquarters of TVP
Telewizja Polska
Telewizja Polska Spółka Akcyjna is Poland's public broadcasting corporation...

 and other numerous local and national TV and radio stations, such as TVN
TVN (Poland)
TVN is a major Polish commercial television network. The broadcaster was co-founded by Polish businessmen Mariusz Walter and Jan Wejchert. The network launched on October 3, 1997. TVN belongs to the TVN S.A...

, Polsat
Polsat
Polsat is Poland's second biggest television channel, founded on December 5, 1992 and owned by Zygmunt Solorz-Żak.Polsat belongs to the Polsat Group , which also owns other channels:*Polsat HD*Polsat 2 International*Polsat News*TV Biznes...

, TV4
TV4 (Poland)
TV 4 is a private Polish TV station.TV 4 was created through the amalgamation of the stations Nasza TV and Polsat 2 and started broadcasting on 1 April 2000. The station belongs to the Polskie Media. Polskie Media in approximately 90% owned by Polsat and approximately 9% of TVN...

, TV Puls
TV Puls
TV Puls is a Polish commercial television channel, which was based on Telewizja Niepokalanów with the support of companies such as PKN Orlen, KGHM Polska Miedź, PZU Życie, Prokom and which started broadcasting in March 2001. Due to financial problems, ended broadcasting on April 1, 2003...

, Canal+ Poland
Canal+ Poland
Canal+ Poland is Poland's variation of the French television network Canal+. It is similar in many ways, including continuity and presentation. It also shows similar programs to Canal+ France like the tv-series The Simpsons....

, Cyfra+
Cyfra+
Cyfra+ is a Polish digital satellite platform, owned and operated by French media company Canal+ . It offers 95 channels. By 2010, Cyfra+ had 1,6 million subscribers.-Setbacks:...

 and MTV Poland
MTV Poland
MTV Polska is the Polish version of the international music channel MTV. It was launched on July 7, 2000 and replaced the music channel Atomic TV after it was purchased by MTV Networks Europe. It is currently operated by Warsaw-based MTV Networks Polska and is available on cable and digital...

.

Since May 1661 the first Polish newspaper, Polish Ordinary Mercury
Merkuriusz Polski Ordynaryjny
Merkuriusz Polski Ordynaryjny was the first Polish newspaper, published in 1661, first in Kraków, then in Warsaw.Though short-lived, it gave name to several later...

, was printed in Warsaw. The city is also the printing capital of Poland with a wide variety of domestic and foreign periodicals expressing diverse views, and domestic newspapers are extremely competitive. Rzeczpospolita
Rzeczpospolita (newspaper)
Rzeczpospolita is a Polish national daily newspaper, with a circulation around of 160,000. Issued every day except Sunday. Rzeczpospolita was printed in broadsheet format, then switched to compact at October 16, 2007...

, Gazeta Wyborcza
Gazeta Wyborcza
Gazeta Wyborcza is a leading Polish newspaper. It covers the gamut of political, international and general news. Like all the Polish newspapers, it is printed on compact-sized paper, and is published by the multimedia corporation Agora SA...

, Dziennik Polska-Europa-Świat
Dziennik Polska-Europa-Swiat
Dziennik Polska-Europa-Świat was a Polish nationwide daily newspaper published by Axel Springer Polska, a division of Germany's Axel Springer Verlag publishing company. It was modelled on Springer's Welt Kompakt, the Berliner-style edition of the Hamburg-published broadsheet Die Welt...

Poland's large nationwide daily newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s have their headquarters in Warsaw.

Warsaw also has a sizable movie and television industry. The city houses several movie companies and studios
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

. Among the movie campanies are TOR, Czołówka, Zebra and Kadr who is behind several international movie productions.

Over the next few years the new Film City in Nowe Miasto
Nowe Miasto nad Pilica
Nowe Miasto nad Pilicą is a town in Grójec County, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland, with 3,885 inhabitants ....

, located a mere 80 km from Warsaw, will become the centre of Polish film
Cinema of Poland
The history of cinema in Poland is almost as long as history of cinematography, and it has universal achievements, even though Polish movies tend to be less commercially available than movies from several other European nations....

 production and international co-production. It is to be the largest high-tech film studio in Europe. The first projects filmed in the new Film City will be two films about the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

. Two backlot
Backlot
A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions, or space for temporary set construction....

s will be constructed for these projects – a lot of pre-WWII Warsaw and city ruins.

Since World War II, Warsaw has been the most important centre of film production
Filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

 in Poland. It has also been featured in numerous movies, both Polish and foreign, for example: Kanał and Korczak by Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda is a Polish film director. Recipient of an honorary Oscar, he is possibly the most prominent member of the unofficial "Polish Film School"...

, The Decalogue
The Decalogue
The Decalogue is a 1989 Polish television drama series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and co-written by Kieślowski with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner...

by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieślowski was an Academy Award nominated influential Polish film director and screenwriter, known internationally for The Double Life of Veronique and his film cycles The Decalogue and Three Colors.-Early life:...

, also including Oscar winner The Pianist
The Pianist (2002 film)
The Pianist is a 2002 biographical war film directed by Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody. It is an adaptation of the autobiography of the same name by Jewish-Polish musician Władysław Szpilman...

 by Roman Polański
Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers."...

.

Education





Warsaw holds some of the finest institutions of higher education in Poland. It is home to four major universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 and over 62 smaller schools of higher education. The overall number of students of all grades of education in Warsaw is almost 500,000 (29.2% of the city population; 2002). The number of university students is over 280,000. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities
Private university
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

.

The University of Warsaw was established in 1816, when the partitions of Poland separated Warsaw from the oldest and most influential Polish academic center, in Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

. Warsaw University of Technology
Warsaw University of Technology
The Warsaw University of Technology is one of the leading institutes of technology in Poland, and one of the largest in Central Europe. It employs 2,453 teaching faculty, with 357 professors . The student body numbers 36,156 , mostly full-time. There are 17 faculties covering almost all fields of...

 is the second academic school of technology in the country, and one of the largest in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, employing 2,000 professors. Other institutions for higher education include the Medical University of Warsaw
Medical University of Warsaw
The Medical University of Warsaw was founded in January 1950, building on the University of Warsaw's former Faculty of Medicine, which had been established in the early nineteenth century...

, the largest medical school
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

 in Poland and one of the most prestigious, the National Defence
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

 University, highest military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 academic institution
Academic institution
Academic institution is an educational institution dedicated to education and research, which grants academic degrees. See also academy and university.- Types of academic institutions include :...

 in Poland, the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy
Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy
The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw is located at ulica Okólnik 2 in central Warsaw, Poland...

 the oldest and largest music school in Poland, and one of the largest in Europe, the Warsaw School of Economics
Warsaw School of Economics
Warsaw School of Economics is the oldest economic university in Poland.The Warsaw School of Economics was founded in 1906 as a private school under the name August Zieliński Private Trade Courses for Men. On 30 July 1919 it became a separate legal entity and was granted the status of an...

, the oldest and most renowned economic
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in the country, and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences the largest agricultural university founded in 1818.

Warsaw has numerous libraries, many of which contain vast collections of historic documents. The most important library in terms of historic document collections include the National Library of Poland
National Library of Poland
The National Library of Poland is the central Polish library, subject directly to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland....

. Library holds 8.2 million volumes in its collection. Formed in 1928 sees itself as a successor to the Załuski Library, the biggest in Poland and one of the first and biggest libraries in the world.

Another important library – the University Library, founded in 1816, is home to over two million items. The building was designed by architects Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski and opened on the 15 December 1999. It is surrounded by green. The University Library garden, designed by Irena Bajerska, was opened on 12 June 2002. It is one of the largest and most beautiful roof gardens in Europe with an area of more than 10000 m² (11,959.9 sq yd), and plants covering 5111 m² (6,112.71 sq yd). As the university garden it is open to the public every day.

Economy


In 2008, Warsaw was ranked the world's 35th most expensive city to live in. It was classified as an Alpha-
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

 world city (also known as a "major world city") by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group and Network from Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

, placing it on a par with cities such as Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 or Rome. The city also ranked 8th out of 65 cities on Mastercard
MasterCard
Mastercard Incorporated or MasterCard Worldwide is an American multinational financial services corporation with its headquarters in the MasterCard International Global Headquarters, Purchase, Harrison, New York, United States...

's Emerging Markets Index (2008).

Business and commerce


Warsaw, especially its city centre (Śródmieście), is home not only to many national institutions and government agencies, but also to many domestic and international companies. In 2006, 304,016 companies were registered in the city. Warsaw's ever-growing business community has been noticed globally, regionally, and nationally. Mastercard Emerging Market Index has noted Warsaw's economic strength and commercial center. Moreover, Warsaw was ranked as the 7th greatest emerging market. Foreign investors' financial participation in the city's development was estimated in 2002 at over 650 million euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

. Warsaw produces 12% of Poland's national income, which in 2008 was 305.1% of the Polish average, per capita (or 160% of the European Union average). The GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 per capita in Warsaw amounted to PLN 94 000 in 2008 (ca. EUR 23 800, USD 33 000). Warsaw leads the region of Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 in foreign investment and in 2006, GDP growth met expectations with a level of 6.1%. It also has one of the fastest growing economies, with GDP growth at 6.5 percent in 2007 and 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2008.
At the same time the unemployment rate
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 is one of the lowest in Poland, not exceeding 3%, according to the official figures. The city itself collects around 8,740,882,000 złotys in taxes and direct government grants.

Warsaw Stock Exchange


Warsaw's first stock exchange
Stock exchange
A stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and...

 was established in 1817 and continued trading until World War II. It was re-established in April 1991, following the end of the post-war communist control of the country and the reintroduction of a free-market economy
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

. Today, the Warsaw Stock Exchange
Warsaw Stock Exchange
The Warsaw Stock Exchange , , is a stock exchange located in Warsaw, Poland. It has a capitalization of € 220 bln .The WSE is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges.-History:...

 (WSE) is, according to many indicators, the largest market in the region, with 374 companies listed and total capitalization of 162 584 mln EUR as of 31 August 2009. From 1991 until 2000, the stock exchange was, ironically, located in the building previously used as the headquarters of the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR
Polish United Workers' Party
The Polish United Workers' Party was the Communist party which governed the People's Republic of Poland from 1948 to 1989. Ideologically it was based on the theories of Marxism-Leninism.- The Party's Program and Goals :...

). The city is considered to be one of the most attractive business locations in Europe.

Industry


During Warsaw's reconstruction after World War II, the communist authorities decided that the city would become a major industrial centre. As a result, numerous large factories were built in and around the city. The largest were the Huta Warszawa Steel Works, the car factory FSO and the tractor factory “Ursus”.

As the communist economy deteriorated, these factories lost significance and most went bankrupt after 1989. Today, the Arcelor Warszawa Steel Mill
Steel mill
A steel mill or steelworks is an industrial plant for the manufacture of steel.Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. It is produced in a two-stage process. First, iron ore is reduced or smelted with coke and limestone in a blast furnace, producing molten iron which is either cast into pig iron or...

 (formerly Huta Warszawa) is the only major factory remaining.

The FSO Car Factory was established in 1951. A number of vehicles have been assembled there over the decades, including the Warszawa, Syrena, Fiat 125p (under license from Fiat, later renamed FSO 125p when the license expired) and the Polonez. The last two models listed were also sent abroad and assembled in a number of other countries, including Egypt and Columbia. In 1995 the factory was purchased by the South Korean car manufacturer Daewoo
Daewoo
Daewoo or the Daewoo Group was a major South Korean chaebol . It was founded on 22 March 1967 as Daewoo Industrial and was dismantled by the Korean government in 1999...

, which assembled the Tico, Espero, Nubia, Tacuma, Leganza, Lanos and Matiz there for the European market. In 2005 the factory was sold to AvtoZAZ, a Ukrainian car manufacturer which assembled there the Chevrolet Aveo. The license for the production of the Aveo expired in February 2011 and has since not been renewed.

The “Ursus” factory opened in 1893 and is still in operation today. Throughout its history various machinery was assembled there, including motorcycles, military vehicles, trucks and buses. However, since World War II only tractors are still being assembled there.

The number of state-owned enterprises
Government-owned corporation
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

 continues to decrease while the number of companies operating with foreign capital is on the rise, reflecting the continued shift towards a modern market-based economy. The largest foreign investors
Investment
Investment has different meanings in finance and economics. Finance investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, that upon thorough analysis, has a high degree of security for the principal amount, as well as security of return, within an expected period of time...

 are Daewoo
Daewoo
Daewoo or the Daewoo Group was a major South Korean chaebol . It was founded on 22 March 1967 as Daewoo Industrial and was dismantled by the Korean government in 1999...

, Coca-Cola Amatil
Coca-Cola Amatil
Coca-Cola Amatil is an Australian company that bottles and distributes The Coca-Cola Company soft drinks and other beverages in several countries...

 and Metro AG
Metro AG
Metro AG is a diversified retail and wholesale/cash and carry group based in Düsseldorf, Germany. It has the largest market share in its home market, and is one of the most globalised retail and wholesale corporations. It is the fourth-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues . In English...

. Warsaw has the biggest concentration of electronics and high-tech industry in Poland, while the growing consumer market perfectly fosters the development of the food-processing industry.

Sights





Although today's Warsaw is a fairly young city, it has many tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s. Apart from the Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions....

 quarter, reconstructed after World War II, each borough has something to offer. Among the most notable landmarks of the Old Town are the Royal Castle
Royal Castle, Warsaw
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency and was the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from...

, King Zygmunt's Column
Zygmunt's Column
Sigismund's Column , erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland. It is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe...

, Market Square
Old Town Market Place, Warsaw
Warsaw's Old Town Market Place is the center and oldest part of the Old Town of Warsaw, capital of Poland. Immediately after the Warsaw Uprising, it was systematically blown up by the German Army...

, and the Barbican
Warsaw Barbican
The Warsaw barbican is a barbican in Warsaw, Poland, and one of few remaining relics of the complex network of historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw. Located between the Old and New Towns, it is a major tourist attraction.-History:The barbican was erected in 1540 in place of an older...

.

Further south is the so-called Royal Route
Royal Route, Warsaw
The Royal Route in Warsaw, Poland, is a former communication route that led southward from the city's Old Town. It now comprises a series of connecting Warsaw streets that feature a number of historic landmarks....

, with many classicist
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 palaces, the Presidential Palace
Presidential Palace, Warsaw
The Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, is the elegant classicist latest version of a building that has stood on the Krakowskie Przedmieście site since 1643. Over the years, it has been rebuilt and remodeled many times...

 and the University of Warsaw
University of Warsaw
The University of Warsaw is the largest university in Poland and one of the most prestigious, ranked as best Polish university in 2010 and 2011...

 campus. Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace
Wilanów Palace is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture.The palace and park in Wilanów...

, the former royal residence of King John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, from 1674 until his death King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Sobieski's 22-year-reign was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and...

, is notable for its baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 architecture and parks.

Warsaw's oldest public park, the Saxon Garden
Saxon Garden
The Saxon Garden is a 15.5–hectare public garden in downtown Warsaw, Poland, facing Piłsudski Square. It is the oldest public park in the city...

, is located within 10 minutes' walk from the old town. Warsaw's biggest public park is the Royal Baths Park, established in the 17th century and given its current classical shape in late 18th century. It is located further south, on the Royal Route
Royal Route, Warsaw
The Royal Route in Warsaw, Poland, is a former communication route that led southward from the city's Old Town. It now comprises a series of connecting Warsaw streets that feature a number of historic landmarks....

, about 3 km (1.9 mi) from the Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw's Old Town is the oldest historic district of the city. It is bounded by Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along the bank of the Vistula, and by Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions....

.

The Powązki Cemetery
Powazki Cemetery
Powązki Cemetery , also known as the Stare Powązki is a historic cemetery located in the Wola district, western part of Warsaw, Poland. It is the most famous cemetery in the city, and one of the oldest...

 is one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe, full of sculptures, some of them by the most renowned Polish artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Since it serves the religious communities
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 of Warsaw, be it Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Muslims or Protestants, it is often called a necropolis. Nearby is the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery
Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery
The Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. Located on Warsaw's Okopowa street and abutting the Powązki Cemetery at , the Jewish Cemetery was established in 1806 and occupies 33 hectares of land. The cemetery contains over 200,000 marked graves, as well...

, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe.

In many places in the city the Jewish culture
Secular Jewish culture
Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the international culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews...

 and history
History of the Jews in Poland
The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was the centre of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the...

 resonates down through time. Among them the most notable are the Jewish theater, the Nożyk Synagogue
Nozyk Synagogue
The Nożyk Synagogue is the only surviving prewar Jewish house of prayer in Warsaw, Poland. It was erected prior to 1902 and was restored after World War II...

, Janusz Korczak
Janusz Korczak
Janusz Korczak, the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit was a Polish-Jewish children's author, and pediatrician known as Pan Doktor or Stary Doktor...

's Orphanage and the picturesque Próżna Street. The tragic pages of Warsaw’s history are commemorated in places such as the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, the Umschlagplatz, fragments of the Ghetto wall on Sienna Street and a mound in memory of the Jewish Combat Organization.

There are also many places commemorating the heroic history of Warsaw. Pawiak
Pawiak
Pawiak was a prison built in 1835 in Warsaw, Poland.During the January 1863 Uprising, it served as a transfer camp for Poles sentenced by Imperial Russia to deportation to Siberia....

, an infamous German Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 prison now occupied by a Mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 of Memory of Martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

dom and the museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

, is only the beginning of a walk in the traces of Heroic City. The Warsaw Citadel
Warsaw Citadel
Cytadela is a 19th-century fortress in Warsaw, Poland. It was built by order of Tsar Nicholas I after the suppression of the 1830 November Uprising in order to bolster imperial Russian control of the city. It served as a prison into the late 1930s.- History :The Citadel was built by personal...

, an impressive 19th century fortification built after the defeat of the November Uprising
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

, was a place of martyr for the Poles. Another important monument, the statue of Little Insurgent located at the ramparts of the Old Town, commemorates the children who served as messengers and frontline troops in the Warsaw Uprising, while the impressive Warsaw Uprising Monument by Wincenty Kućma was erected in memory of the largest insurrection of World War II.

In Warsaw there are many places connected with the life and work of Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music and has been called "the poet of the piano"....

. The heart of Polish-born composer is sealed inside Warsaw's Holy Cross Church
Holy Cross Church, Warsaw
The Church of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic house of worship in downtown Warsaw, Poland. Located on Krakowskie Przedmieście opposite the main Warsaw University campus, it is one of the most notable Baroque churches in Poland's capital....

. During the summer time the Chopin Statue
Chopin Statue, Warsaw
The Chopin Statue is a large bronze statue of Frédéric Chopin that now stands in the upper part of Warsaw's Royal Baths Park aka Łazienki Park, adjacent to Aleje Ujazdowskie ....

 in the Royal Baths Park is a place where pianists give concerts to the park audience.

Also many references to Marie Curie
Marie Curie
Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes—in physics and chemistry...

, her work and her family can be found in Warsaw: Marie's birthplace at the Warsaw New Town
Warsaw New Town
Warsaw's New Town is a neighbourhood dating from the 15th century. It lies just north of the Old Town and is connected to it by ulica Freta , which begins at the Barbican...

, the working places where she did her first scientific works and the Radium Institute
Curie Institute (Warsaw)
The Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology in Warsaw was founded in 1932 as the Radium Institute by Maria Skłodowska-Curie in collaboration with the Polish Government, especially President Ignacy Mościcki....

 at Wawelska Street for the research and the treatment of cancer which she founded in 1925.

Warsaw Mermaid



The mermaid (syrenka) is Warsaw's symbol and can be found on statues throughout the city and on the city's coat of arms
Coat of arms of Warsaw
The Coat of Arms of Warsaw consists of a syrenka in a red field. Polish syrenka is cognate with siren, but she is more properly a fresh-water mermaid called “Melusina.” This imagery has been in use since at least the mid-14th century...

. This imagery has been in use since at least the mid-14th century. The oldest existing armed seal of Warsaw is from the year 1390, consisting of a round seal bordered with the Latin inscription Sigilium Civitatis Varsoviensis (Seal of the city of Warsaw). City records as far back as 1609 document the use of a crude form of a sea monster
Sea monster
Sea monsters are sea-dwelling mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size.Marine monsters can take many forms, including sea dragons, sea serpents, or multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water...

 with a female upper body and holding a sword in its claws. In 1653 the poet Zygmunt Laukowski asks the question:
The origin of the legendary figure is not fully known. The best-known legend, by Artur Oppman, is that long ago two of Triton
Triton (mythology)
Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the big sea. He is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and Amphitrite, goddess of the sea, whose herald he is...

's daughters set out on a journey through the depths of the oceans and seas. One of them decided to stay on the coast of Denmark and can be seen sitting at the entrance to the port of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. The second mermaid reached the mouth of the Vistula River
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 and plunged into its waters. She stopped to rest on a sandy beach by the village of Warszowa, where fishermen came to admire her beauty and listen to her beautiful voice. A greedy merchant also heard her songs; he followed the fishermen and captured the mermaid.

Another legend says that a mermaid once swam to Warsaw from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 for the love of the Griffin, the ancient defender of the city, who was killed in a struggle against the Swedish invasions of the 17th century. The mermaid, wishing to avenge his death, took the position of defender of Warsaw, becoming the symbol of the city.

Every member of the Queen's Royal Hussars of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 light cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 wears the Maid of Warsaw, the crest of the City of Warsaw, on the left sleeve of his No. 2 (Service) Dress. Members of 651 Squadron Army Air Corps
No. 651 Squadron RAF
No. 651 Squadron RAF was a unit of the Royal Air Force in Italy and North Africa during the Second World War and afterwards in Egypt. Numbers 651 to 663 Squadrons of the RAF were Air Observation Post units working closely with Army units in artillery spotting and liaison. A further three of these...

 of the United Kingdom also wear the Maid of Warsaw on the left sleeve of their No. 2 (Service) Dress.

Famous people



One of the most famous people
Celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

 born in Warsaw was Maria Skłodowska-Curie
Marie Curie
Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes—in physics and chemistry...

, who achieved international recognition for her scientific discovery of radiation. Famous musicians include Władysław Szpilman and Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music and has been called "the poet of the piano"....

. Chopin was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola
Zelazowa Wola
Żelazowa Wola is a village in Gmina Sochaczew, Sochaczew County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland. It lies on the Utrata River, some northeast of Sochaczew and west of Warsaw. Żelazowa Wola has a population of 65....

, about 60 kilometers from Warsaw, but moved to the city with his family when he was seven months old. Kazimierz Pułaski, a hero of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, was born here in 1745.

Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka , born Maria Górska in Moscow, in the Russian Empire, was a Polish Art Deco painter and "the first woman artist to be a glamour star."- Early life :...

 was a famous artist born in Warsaw. She was born Maria Górska in Warsaw to wealthy parents and in 1916 married a Polish lawyer Tadeusz Łempicki. Better than anyone else she represents the Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 style in painting.
Nathan Alterman
Nathan Alterman
Nathan Alterman was an Israeli poet, playwright, journalist, and translator who – though never holding any elected office – was highly influential in Socialist Zionist politics, both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel.-Biography:...

, the Israeli poet, was born in Warsaw, as was Moshe Vilenski
Moshe Vilenski
Moshe Vilenski was an Israeli composer, lyricist, and pianist. He is considered a "pioneer of Israeli song", and one of Israel's leading composers, and was a winner of the Israel Prize, the state's highest honor.-Early life:...

, the Israeli composer, lyricist, and pianist, who studied music at the Warsaw Conservatory. Warsaw was the beloved city of Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer – July 24, 1991) was a Polish Jewish American author noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978...

, which he described in many of his novels: Warsaw has just now been destroyed. No one will ever see the Warsaw I knew. Let me just write about it. Let this Warsaw not not disappear forever, he commented.

Rankings

  • Largest cities of
    Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
    This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

     the European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    : ranked 9th.
  • Most expensive cities: ranked 113th of 144.
  • Best cities in terms of quality of living: ranked 87th of 100.

Twin towns – Sister cities


Warsaw is twinned with:
Astana
Astana
Astana , formerly known as Akmola , Tselinograd and Akmolinsk , is the capital and second largest city of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010...

 in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 (since 2002) Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

 in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 (since 2010) Berlin in Germany (since 1991) Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 in Hungary (since 2005) Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (since 1992) Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

 in England (since 1957) Chicago in United States (since 1960) Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 in Germany (since 1989) Grozny
Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

 in Russia (since 1997) The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 in Netherlands (since 1991) Hamamatsu in Japan (since 1990)
Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 (since 2000) Harbin
Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

 in China (since 1993) Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 in France (since 1990) Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (since 1991) Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (since 1994) Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 in Spain (since 1981) Moscow in Russia (since 1993) Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 in Norway (since 2005) Paris in France (since 1999) Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (since 1997)
Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

 in Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 (since 2002) Saint-Étienne
Saint-Étienne
Saint-Étienne is a city in eastern central France. It is located in the Massif Central, southwest of Lyon in the Rhône-Alpes region, along the trunk road that connects Toulouse with Lyon...

 in France (since 1995) St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in Russia (since 1997) San Diego in United States (since 1960) Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

 in South Korea (since 1996) Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

 in Taiwan
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (since 1995) Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 (since 1992) Toronto in Canada (since 1990) Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in Austria (since 2001) Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 (since 1998)


References – city's official site

See also

  • Tourism in Poland
    Tourism in Poland
    Poland is a part of the global tourism market with constantly increasing number of visitors, particularly after joining the European Union. Tourism in Poland contributes to the country's overall economy. The most popular cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń and the...

  • Battle of Warsaw
    Battle of Warsaw
    Battle of Warsaw can refer to:* Siege of Warsaw , Warsaw retaken by Poles from Swedes on June 30, 1656, during The Deluge* Battle of Warsaw , battle outside the city on July 18-July 20, 1656, during The Deluge, following which Warsaw is captured by Swedes for the second time* Battle of Warsaw ,...

  • Street names of Warsaw
    Street names of Warsaw
    Warsaw is the capital of the European country of Poland. This page gives an overview of street names in the city that refer to famous persons, cities or historic events....

  • Warsaw dialect
    Warsaw dialect
    The Warsaw dialect is a regional dialect of the Polish language spoken in Warsaw. The dialect evolved as late as 18th century, mainly from the Masovian dialect of the Polish language, under notable influence of several languages spoken in the city of Warsaw...

  • Warsaw Fire Guard
    Warsaw Fire Guard
    Warsaw Fire Guard was a fire fighting unit in the city of Warsaw. Formed as Warsaw's first permanent fire service in 1834, it remained an independent and city-owned venture until its nationalization by the Nazi German authorities during the occupation of Poland following the Polish Defensive War...

  • Warsaw concentration camp
    Warsaw concentration camp
    The Warsaw concentration camp was an associated group of the German Nazi concentration camps, possibly including an extermination camp, located in German-occupied Warsaw, capital city of Poland...


External links