Sródmiescie - the quarters around the university

Sródmiescie is the name of the inner city/downtown area. In contrast to the quarters around "The Palace" , the beautiful east part of Sródmiescie, the quarters around the university, is filled with historical pedestrian streets and much smaller and older buildings. Both time we visited these quarters, it was dark.

Along Krakowskie Przedmiescie that is part of the so called "Royal Route" that leads to the Royal Castle:

Church of St Joseph, or Carmelite Church, was the first building that recalled my attention along Krakowskie Przedmiescie. It was built in the 17th century and almost remained intact after the WW II bombings.

Church of St Joseph has a beautiful classicist facade.

Pałac Koniecpolskich, the Presidential Palace. The statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski was ereceted before the palace.
The famous Warsaw pact was signed here.

Hotel Bristol, perhaps Warsaw's finest 5 star hotel, is now owned by the French chain Le Meridien. The Art Noveaux facade is stunning!

Warsaw University.

To the right is the historically important Holy Cross Church from 1757 were an urn with the heart of Frederic Chopin was placed, together with urns of famous Polish painters. It was pillaged by the Swedes during the Deluge in 1656. A false warning of fire, killing 29 people, was the start of the pogrom of 1881, since it was blamed on the Jews. In the background is the Staszic Palace.

Krakowskie Przedmiescie is one of the most historical, beautiful and important streets of Warsaw.

Staszic Palace from 1820, that hosts the Polish Academy of Sciences. 1892-1924 it was in a totally different Russo-Byzantine style, but was later restored to its original neo-Classical style.

Nowsy Swiat, also part of the "Royal Route" is an extention of Krakowskie Przedmiescie. The art noveaux buildings of the street were entirely destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Later the street was restored to its original 19th century neo-classical style.

Rondo Charles de Gaulle is situated in the end of Nowy Swiat. More modern buildings start to appear there.There is a statue of the legandary French president at the roundabout, trafficated by red and yellow buses and trams.

The palm at Rondo Charles de Gaulle with Marriott and Novotel in the background. It was really hot when I took the picture.



In the northwest part of downtown, just a few blocks from the skyscrapers, beautiful large classicist palaces can be found. At first, I thought it was part of the Old Town.

Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera at Teatralny Square. It was destroyed during the bombings of World War 2, but has been rebuilt. It was completed in 1833 from a design in Polish Classicist style from designs by Antonnio Corazzi of Livorno.


A Japanese restaurant.

Muranowska, just north of the border to the old town and downtown. The tall building behind the Ibis Hotel is the 39-storey Intraco Tower, that is very similar in design to John Hancock Tower in Boston, but is "only" 107m to the roof.

Pilsudskiego Square is situated just next to Saxon Garden, on the east side of downtown, bordering Old Town. It has also been called the Saxon Square after the Saxon Palace that was destroyed during the bombings of WW II. It was also called Adolf Hitler Platz during the German occupation. The tomb of the unknown soldier is situated in the remainings of Saxon Palace. Many military parades have been held there in the 19th century. A large Russian Orthodox Cathedral was located there until it was thorn down in 1920 becuase of the patroitism and negative feelings towards the Russians. The white classicist building is Zacheta, a modern art gallery that we hadn't time to visit, and the one to the right in the background is the famous Palace of Culture and Science. In the background is roof of the important Virgin Mary Church.

Metropolitan Building by Norman Foster and Partners at Pilsudskiego Square. It is comrised of 3 separate linked buildings and was completed in 2003, even though it has a bit 1960s modernism feeling. Even though the architecture has won prestigous prices, it has also been hated by Varsovians because of its historically sensitive location.

Sofitel Victoria, a 5 star hotel at Pilsudskiego Square built under the Soviet times.