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Warsaw Poland City of Warsaw, Poland

 

Warsaw is the capital and the major economical and cultural centre of Poland. It is situated in the Mazowieckie province, in east-central Poland, spanning the Wisla (Vistula River). The main tourist attractions are situated on the left bank, while the right one contains fashionable Praga district. The Royal Route is the city's tourist epicentre, running from Old and New Towns to the Lazienski Park and Wilanow Palace.

The city's origins can be traced back to the settlements of Brodno & Jazdow in the 9th and 12th centuries. When the latter was destroyed in a battle, the new settlement called Warszowa was founded on that site. The city grew quickly and in 1413 became the capital of Masovia. In 1526 it was annexed to the Polish Crown, and after the union with Lithuania became capital of Poland. In 1795 it was annexed to Prussia and liberated by Napoleon's army in 1807, subsequently becoming the capital of Poland.

 In 1281 after the latter was destroyed in a battle a new settlement was established nearby in a fishing area called Warszowa. In 1413 it became the capital of Masovia and part of the Polish Crown in 1526. In 1596 after the unification of Poland and Lithuania it became Polands capital. In 1795 it was annexed to Prussia before being captured by Napoleon in 1807.

By the end of World War II 85% of the city lay in ruins, and its population was decimated by war. The post-war period was marked by extensive reconstruction work, aimed to recreate the historical complex of Old Town. After the completion some critics dismissed it as a pretence to antiquity, but in fact the restored buildings are closer to original, because there are no alterations of intervening centuries. Many old European towns have undergone similar reconstructions, and this particularly successful project was finally granted the place in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980.  

The city also has many parks and gardens, boat stations providing river cruises. Open-air classical concerts are held there during summer. The nightlife scene is increasingly lively, plenty of clubs springs up, making the city one of the biggest eastern European entertainment centres.

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