Monday, 6 July 2015

The five day trip to Warsaw (Day 2 and Day 3 evenings cont.) - Strolling around Warsaw Old town district - The 25th and 26th of June 2015


After having finished attending the conferences on both days of the Forum I tried to still visit some of the interesting things to see around the Old town area, despite having decided to stay over the weekend.
On the 25th I managed to find the Holy Cross Church open and have a quick look inside before having headed onto the old town square. On its way I came across a few Chopin benches I hadn't seen the first day, but which allowed those who sat on them to either get acquainted with the Chopin circuit but also listen to some of his compositions.

The 17th century Holy Cross church is said to have been given to the Order of Missionary friars of St. Vincent Paul in 1653, having been pillaged and destroyed beyond repair three years later when the city was captured by the Swedish Armies.
The main building was therefore reconstructed  between 1679- 1696 with its interiror refurbished in 1882 though it continued to be destroyed and subsequently repaired in teh following years.
Because of the imminent mass I wasn't able to photograph but the interior around the main entrance door having missed the immured pillar where Chopin's heart  is said to have been placed, as well as the urns of several renowned Polish artists.

As I reached the Castle there was a military brass band playing which I briefly listened to before moving on in a desperate attempt to get to the Cathedral, whilst it was still open, which I did.

Having been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance the Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the city and the mother church of the archdiocese of Warsaw having been built in the 14th century in Masovian Gothic style.
The fact that there were always people kneeling and praying made it difficult for me to photograph churches' interiors as if I felt I's disrupt worhippers in their moments of silence and reflexion. I strolled around in silence though and did take some photographs, particularly to the ceiling and two side chapels.

Next door stood the Jesuit church considered one of the most notable mannerist churches in Poland. Said to have been founded by King Sigismund II Vasa in 1609 for the Jesuits it was later rebuilt after having been destroyed during World War II.

Among the interesting decorations were the rather exquisite door by Igor Mitoraj and Jan Tarlo's cenotaph by Jan Jerzy Plersch and  a stone bear lying at the entrance of the church. According to a romantic legend, this stone bear is in fact an enchanted and shy Prince awaiting for the one lady, whose unconditional love will bring him back to manhood.

As I walked out before turning into the old market square I came across a newly wed walking by still wearing her wedding dress. Nobody seemed to pay too much attention apart from a few foreigners so I believe it must be a common sight.

Despite the fact that I didn't manage to see much in the evening it was still interesting to be able to walk out of the forum venue and stroll around the city without any specific direction and purpose.


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