Must See

Although the capital city of Poland has many nice examples of architecture from the gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical periods, all of which are located within easy walking distance of the town center, baroque is certainly best represented. Warsaw baroque reflects the period of prosperity of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which was at a time the largest European country (1 mln km2). Warsaw became the state capital when the king Sigismund III Vasa moved his court from Cracow to Warsaw in 1596. The nation's golden era was preceded by subjugation of Prussia (1525) as well as extending protection of Polish kings towards Livonia (1561). Due to the strategic placement of Hanseatic Gdansk (since 1466 in Polish Crown) the Commonwealth could benefit from the unrestricted trade via the Baltic see. Poland’s marked economic and political influence in this period is signified by successful occupation of Moscow by Polish troops and placement of the own candidate on the Russian throne.

Aside from the must see attractions there is a number of local specialties for art and music aficionados. The Faras Gallery at the National Museum in Warsaw, presents unique Nubian early Christian art, and it originates from excavations carried out by an archeological mission led by Prof. K. Michałowski. The International Chopin Piano Competition is one of the few competitions devoted entirely to the works of a single composer. The festival is organized every five years by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute of Warsaw and the XVIIIth edition will be held in 2020. The first contest played on instruments from the epoch has been organized in 2018. The heart of the composer is sealed inside Warsaw's Holy Cross Church in fulfilment of his last wish.