48 Facts About Warsaw


Warsaw is an Alpha global city, a major cultural, political and economic hub, and the country's seat of government.

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Warsaw served as the de facto capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1795, and subsequently as the seat of Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw.

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Warsaw possesses thriving arts and club scenes, gourmet restaurants and large urban green spaces, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.

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Warsaw extended the Royal Baths Park and ordered the construction or refurbishment of numerous palaces, mansions and richly-decorated tenements.

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Warsaw remained the capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1795, when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the third and final partition of Poland; it subsequently became the capital of the province of South Prussia.

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Warsaw was made the capital of a newly created French client state, known as the Duchy of Warsaw, after a portion of Poland's territory was liberated from Prussia, Russia and Austria by Napoleon in 1806.

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On 27 February 1861, a Warsaw crowd protesting against Russian control over Congress Poland was fired upon by Russian troops.

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Under Starynkiewicz Warsaw saw its first water and sewer systems designed and built by the English engineer William Lindley and his son, William Heerlein Lindley, as well as the expansion and modernisation of trams, street lighting, and gas infrastructure.

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Central Poland, including Warsaw, came under the rule of the General Government, a German Nazi colonial administration.

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In July of 1942, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto began to be deported en masse to the Aktion Reinhard extermination camps, particularly Treblinka.

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Nevertheless, Warsaw officially resumed its role as the capital of Poland and the country's centre of political and economic life.

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In 1979, less than a year after becoming pope, John Paul celebrated Mass in Victory Square in Warsaw and ended his sermon with a call to "renew the face" of Poland.

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Warsaw is located on two main geomorphologic formations: the plain moraine plateau and the Vistula Valley with its asymmetrical pattern of different terraces.

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Unlike most Polish cities, Warsaw's cityscape is mostly contemporary – modern glass buildings are towering above older historical edifices which is a common feature of North American metropolises.

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Seat of Polish monarchs since the end of the 16th century, Warsaw remained a small city with only privately owned palaces, mansions, villas and several streets of townhouses.

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Warsaw has excellent examples of architecture from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical periods, all of which are located within walking distance of the centre.

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The neoclassical architecture in Warsaw can be described by the simplicity of the geometrical forms teamed with a great inspiration from the Roman period.

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The tragic pages of Warsaw's history are commemorated in places such as the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, the Umschlagplatz, fragments of the Ghetto wall on Sienna Street and a mound in memory of the Jewish Combat Organization.

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In Warsaw there are many places connected with the life and work of Frederic Chopin who was born near the city in Zelazowa Wola.

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Demographically, Warsaw was the most diverse city in Poland, with significant numbers of foreign-born residents.

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The ethnic composition of contemporary Warsaw is incomparable to the diversity that existed for nearly 300 years.

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Much like most capital cities in Europe, Warsaw boasts a foreign-born population that is significantly larger than in other cities, although not coming close to the figures representing the likes of Madrid or Rome.

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The Lutheran Diocese of Warsaw is one of six in Poland; its main house of worship is the Holy Trinity Church from 1782, one of Warsaw's most important and historic landmarks.

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The Jewish Commune of Warsaw is one of eight in the country; Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich resides in the city.

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In 2002, the new Warsaw Act of the Polish parliament restored Warsaw as a single urban gmina with the status of a city with powiat rights, led by a unified local government.

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The first city mayor of Warsaw elected according to these rules was Lech Kaczynski, who however resigned ahead of term when he was elected President of Polish Republic in 2005.

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Warsaw has thereafter remained an urban gmina with the status of a city with powiat rights.

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Legislative power in Warsaw is vested in a unicameral Warsaw City Council, which comprises 60 members.

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Warsaw Act imposes a mandatory division into 18 auxiliary units called quarters on the city.

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Warsaw is the leading economic and financial hub of Central Europe, the Visegrad Group and the Three Seas Initiative.

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In 2020, Warsaw was classified as an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities study group from Loughborough University, placing it on a par with cities such as Sydney, Istanbul, Amsterdam or Seoul.

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Warsaw is the media centre of Poland, and the location of the main headquarters of TVP and other numerous local and national TV and radio stations, such as Polskie Radio, TVN, Polsat, TV4, TV Puls, Canal+ Poland, Cyfra+ and MTV Poland.

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Since World War II, Warsaw has been the most important centre of film production in Poland.

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Warsaw holds some of the finest institutions of higher education in Poland.

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University of Warsaw was established in 1816, when the partitions of Poland separated Warsaw from the oldest and most influential Polish academic center, in Krakow.

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Warsaw has numerous libraries, many of which contain vast collections of historic documents.

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Warsaw is a considerable transport hub linking Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

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Warsaw lacks a complete ring road system and most traffic goes directly through the city centre, leading to the eleventh highest level of congestion in Europe.

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A2 motorway opened in June 2012, stretches west from Warsaw and is a direct motorway connection with Lodz, Poznan and ultimately with Berlin.

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Warsaw is considered one of the European hubs of underground electronic music with a very attractive house and techno music scene.

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Warsaw is home to over 30 major theatres spread throughout the city, including the National Theatre and the Grand Theatre .

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Much like Paris or Vienna, Warsaw once possessed a prominent cafe culture which dated back to the early 18th century, and the city's cafeterias were a place for socializing.

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The oldest existing armed seal of Warsaw is from the year 1390, consisting of a round seal bordered with the Latin inscription Sigilium Civitatis Varsoviensis .

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Warsaw's stopped to rest on a sandy beach by the village of Warszowa, where fishermen came to admire her beauty and listen to her beautiful voice.

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One of the most famous people born in Warsaw was Maria Sklodowska-Curie, who achieved international recognition for her research on radioactivity and was the first female recipient of the Nobel Prize.

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Warsaw's was born Maria Gorska in Warsaw to wealthy parents and in 1916 married a Polish lawyer Tadeusz Lempicki.

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Nathan Alterman, the Israeli poet, was born in Warsaw, as was Moshe Vilenski, the Israeli composer, lyricist, and pianist, who studied music at the Warsaw Conservatory.

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Notable sportspeople born in Warsaw include national swimming champion and Olympian Ilja Szrajbman, footballer Robert Lewandowski and tennis player Iga Swiatek.

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