Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The five day trip to Warsaw (Day 1 afternoon cont.) - on the way to the Old Town - The 24th of June 2015


As I continued walking along ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie I came across the 1643 Presidential Palace guarded by stone lions and fierce looking soldiers. It is said to have passed into the hands of various aristocratic families and  become known for its extravagant banquets, of which the one held to commemorate the coronation of Stanislav II August Poniatowski in 1789 seems to be the most eccentric one. A statue of Poniatowski's brother was later added in 1965.
When Poland regained its independence in 1918 it was commandeered  to serve as a home for the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers, despite the fact that the actual President has chosen to reside at the Belvedere Palace instead.


The statue depicting Adam Mickiewicz erected in 1898 is according to written information was intended to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Poland's best-loved bard.

The Baroque Wessel Palace seen on the opposite side despite standing among various other buildings lining up the Krakowskie Przedmiescie street did stand out ...


... and a little farther on, the quite sober neo-classical looking façade of St. Anne's Church, one of the oldest churches in Warsaw and one I would thoroughly visit two days later and fall in love with.

Upon reaching the Zamkowy Pl. one couldn't help but looking at the imposing 1644 column depicting King Sigismund, holding a sword in his right hand symbolising bravery and a cross in the left showing readiness to fight evil.  

On one side of the Square the 15th century Royal Castle caught my attention. It is said to have served as residence of the Mazovian Princes and hold a priceless collection of paintings, not to mention the richness of the numerous rooms and chambers I would have the privilege of visiting the following Sunday.

I did go across and walked into the Piwna street out of curiosity after having sighted  what looked like the bellfry of a yellow church I soon found out to be the Church of St. Martin said to have been founded in 1356 by the Duke of Mazovia Ziemowit and his wife Euphemia and repeatedly reconstructed in Barroque style. I didn't manage to visit it that particular day nor any other day as everytime I went by it was closed.

(To be continued)


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