The Old Town (Starówka)
Even if Warsaw's Old Town Market Square and its surroundings, the Old Town (Stare Miasto
, also called Starowka
), is a reconstruction, it deserves to be often called for the best tourist attraction of Warsaw, for its charming beauty and its unforgettable atmosphere. This is also a quite popular dating spot, and a place that families choose for a Sunday walk. The variety of unique restaurants and coffee shops, craftwork shops, the art galleries and of course street artists - all that will certainly make a stroll among the old buildings there one of the most enjoyable parts of the visit.
The Old Town was established in the 13th century and soon surrounded by city walls of brick. The nearby New Town was outlined not so much later, and got its own town status.
In the beginning of the 18th century Tylman van Gameren, a Dutch architect that worked for the royal court, redesigned the Old Town Square and had The Town Hall, that dominated the surroundings, demolished.
The whole area has been completely destroyed during the World War II, but all those narrow gothic streets, monasteries, renaissance churches and merchants' houses had been carefully reconstructed, and now the whole area is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The New Town
Leaving The Old Town through the Barbican gate and heading north, you will notice that the streets are wider, but the atmosphere is still the same. Among several monasteries and churches of New Town, there is baroque St. Casimir Church. During the 1944 uprising it served as Polish field hospital and was hit by the German bomb that killed over thousand people - civilians and soldiers.