Click here to see maps of Warsaw
Here we can see the Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) in full-view. In the foreground is the so-called Zygmunt's Column. Erected here in 1644, it serves to commemorate King Zygmunt who moved the capital from Cracow (Krakow) to Warsaw in 1596.
In the background you can see the famous Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski). The castle was originally a gothic structure built by the Mazovian princes in the 13th century. Later the castle was rebuilt (1569-1572) in the renaissance style by King Zygmunt August. After the capital was moved from Cracow (Krakow) to Warsaw in 1596, the castle became the kings' residence, as well as the place of meeting for the parliament (Sejm). It was again rebuilt in 1599-1619 and in 1740-1747. In between the World Wars the castle served as the residence of the Polish presidents. During the war on Poland in 1939 the castle was bombed. As a result the building was set on fire and severely damaged. The final destruction of the castle came after the Warsaw uprising in 1944. At Hitler's order German soldiers blew up the entire structure. The castle was painstakingly rebuilt after the war with the work being finished in 1974. Today it serves as a national museum and is considered by many Poles to a national symbol.
Onto the next landmark