The Old and New Town
Start: Thursday, May 10th, 3:00-5:00 PM
Walking down the streets of the Old and New Towns allows you to rest from the bustle of central city life. Atmospheric alleys, squares, and cosy cafés create a unique sense of history, and in the summer, the Old and New Town Squares become stages for musical and theatrical performances and open-air galleries.
The Royal Castle
The Royal Castle was built in the 15th century. It served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved from Krakow to Warsaw, the castle served as seat of the king and the Parliament. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town.
Mermaid was adopted as a Warsaw’s coat of arms in Middle Ages. According to legend, a mermaid swimming in from the sea stopped on the riverbank near the Old Town to rest. She found the place so admirable that she decided to stay. Local fishermen living nearby noticed that something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. Although their original intention was to trap the offender, they fell in love with the mermaid upon hearing her sing. Later, a rich merchant trapped the siren and imprisoned her in a wooden hut. A young fisherman heard the mermaid’s cry and with the help of his mates, released her, whereupon she declared her readiness to offer fishermen her help whenever it would be needed. Ever since, the mermaid, armed with sword and shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents. Sometimes this legend is expanded to say that the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen is the Warsaw mermaid’s sister and they went their separate ways from the Baltic Sea.
The Mermaid Statue stands in the very centre of Old Town Square, surrounded by a fountain. This is not the only mermaid in Warsaw. Another is located on the bank of the Vistula River near Świętokrzyski Bridge and another on Karowa Street.
Barbican and the city walls
The Barbican was built around 1548 by architect Giovanni Battista Venetian. Together with the Gate Tower and ‘Gunpowder Gate’, it formed the so-called Zakroczymska Gate. In its history, the Barbican only once took part in the defense of Warsaw, on June 30, 1656, when the Swedes invaded the city and the Polish troops repelled the effort. In the 18th century, the Barbican was partially demolished, and in the 19th century houses were built on its ruins. During World War II, nearly the entire Barbican was completely destroyed, and after the war it was decided to rebuild the walls surrounding the former Old Town, together with the Barbican. The reconstruction was carried out on the basis of 17th-century engravings.
Warsaw Uprising monument
The Warsaw Uprising is an exceptional chapter in the city’s history – one that is both heroic and tragic. The monument commemorates the thousands of heroes of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising who gave their lives for their homeland, having fought against the occupiers for 63 days under woefully uneven odds. It is a two-part monument. The first part presents the fighters as they crawl out from under a bridge support, while the second part shows them entering the canal system. An entryway into the canal system used to escape from the Germans was located on Plac Krasińskich.
Also known as the Palace of the Republic (Pałac Rzeczypospolitej), it is a typical Baroque residence, built in 1677-1695 for the Płock voivod Jan D. Krasiński, and designed by Tylman of Gameren. Purchased by the Treasury Commission in 1765, it was named Palace of the Republic and became the treasury headquarters. After a fire in 1782, it was rebuilt according to the design of Dominik Merlini, and then from 1827-1828, court hearings took place at the palace. During the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 the building was burned, and carefully rebuilt after the war. Currently, it houses the special collections of the National Library.
The Vistula boulevard
Start: Thursday, May 10th, 3:00-5:00 PM
Warsaw seen from an unusual perspective of the only wild river flowing through the centre of a European capital. It provides the best views of the Old Town, the National Stadium, Warsaw bridges and the Copernicus Science Centre. All of them are beautifully illuminated at evening. Recently opened (after renovation) boulevards are a perfect place for a pleasant stroll during which the tour guide tells the story of the beginning of the Vistula river boulevards idea which has its origin in the 30’s, XX century.
Royal Łazienki Park
Start: Saturday, May 12th, 5:00-7:00 PM
Royal Łazienki Museum is a Palace-Garden complex which includes a park (76 hectares of nature, right in the city center) and numerous historical objects. The park was created using the formerly wildly growing forest, allowing the animals to be ‘detained’ under natural conditions. In the 18th century it became the most beautiful planned area in Warsaw and one of the most beautiful in Europe, equally stunning in terms of its greenery and architecture.
Łazienki performs a variety of functions: it is a museum, a place of cultural, scientific and entertainment events, and a favourite place for walks. It is also an important place for music lovers. For 50 years, at the foot of the world’s most famous monument of Fryderyk Chopin, on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, free piano concerts have been held, gathering crowds of tourists and music lovers.
The Royal Warsaw
Start: Saturday, May 12th, 5:00-7:00 PM
The Royal Route is one of the most representative arteries of the city, as it combines a series of old royal residences. It starts at Zamkowy Square, goes through Łazienki Królewskie, and then on to Wilanów. It evolved over centuries, and it charms with its scattered churches, parks and residences.
Basilica of the Holy Cross
Built at the end of the 17th century, the baroque church is one of the most important monuments in Warsaw. It was designed by outstanding architects: the designer was royal court architect Józef Bellotti, and the front and towers are the work of Jakub Fontana. It was here that in 1683, King Jan III Sobieski announced his trust in God, himself and the motherland before the Turkish siege on Vienna. In the pillars of the temple, there are urns containing the hearts of composer Fryderyk Chopin and Nobel prize-winning writer Władysław Reymont. In the church the epitaphs of outstanding Poles are located, including Bolesław Prus, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Juliusz Słowacki and Władysław Sikorski. Before the façade on the front of the stairs, the figure of Christ holding the cross stands with “Sursum Corda” (“Hearts Up”) written on the plinth – this statue is one of the most characteristic elements of Krakowskie Przedmieście. Every Sunday, the Holy mass which takes place here is broadcast over the radio.
The most magnificent building on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street gained its modern appearance in the 19th century, during a major renovation. Originally the palace was designed in the Baroque style in 1643 at the initiative of the Crown Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, who used it as his Warsaw residence. Later the Palace was owned by the Radziwiłł family, when it became the place of frequent public meetings, balls and feasts. In 1818 the palace was the seat of the Government of the Polish Kingdom, and was redesigned in a classicist fashion, designed by Chrystian Piotr Aigner. In 1821, stone lions by Camillo Laudini were set in front of the palace, and they stand there to this day. In 1918, the building was taken over by the Polish authorities and used as the seat of the Prime Minister and his government. During World War II, the interior of the palace was completely reconstructed as a luxury hotel with a Deutsches Haus casino. After the war, the palace was once again renovated and rebuilt, when it became the office of the Council of Ministers, before being used for various formal meetings. In 1955, the Warsaw Treaty was signed at the palace, and the Round Table meetings gathered there in 1989. The monument to Prince Józef Poniatowski (designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen) was erected in 1965. Since July of 1994, the palace has been the official seat of the President of the Republic of Poland.
The original Grand Theatre was built in 1825-1833, and designed by Italian architect Antonio Corazzi. The opening was inaugurated by Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’ on February 24, 1833. During the siege of Warsaw in 1939, the Grand Theatre was bombed and then almost completely burned down, with only the classical façade surviving. In the course of its reconstruction between 1945-1965, the building was expanded considerably according to a design by Bohdan Pniewski. He put large and elegant dressing rooms on the ground floor and a spacious foyer on the first floor; the audience now sits where the stage originally stood. The modern stage – one with great facilities and the world’s largest – was built on the square, which is adjacent to the theatre. The opening of the rebuilt Grand Theatre took place on November 19, 1965. Commissioned for this inaugauration was ‘The Haunted Manor’ by Stanisław Moniuszko.
The lateral wing of the building occupies the National Theatre, which has had a checkered history. It first burned down in 1919, then again during the war, and a third fire broke out in 1985. The rebuilding process took eleven years, and the stage has four super modern sides and fully computerized machinery.
In front of the reconstructed front are memorials showing the founder of Polish national opera, Stanisław Moniuszko, and the father of Polish theatre, Wojciech Bogusławski.
King Zygmunt III Waza Column
The oldest and tallest secular monument in Warsaw was raised in 1644 by King Władysław IV, in honour of his father Zygmunt III Waza, who in 1596 moved the capital from Krakow to Warsaw. The monument stands 22 metres high with the actual figure of the King measuring 275 cm. The sword he holds in his right hand symbolises bravery, while the cross he holds in his left hand symbolises his readiness to fight evil. According to legend, should the King’s sword fall downward, disaster is sure to follow. The statue fell during World War II and its destroyed column placed inside the Royal Castle, where it can still be seen today.
Built in the 15th century, this castle served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Krakow, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original Rembrandt paintings as well as works by Bernard Bellotto, aka Canaletto, court painter to Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Canaletto’s paintings were vital during Warsaw’s post-war reconstruction.
(prior registration required)
Start: Friday, May 11th, 7:30 PM
Where: Central Agricultural Library, Krakowskie Przedmieście 66, Warsaw
Dress code: Black tie optional
The gala dinner is a time to party together in the Central Agricultural Library in the very heart of Warsaw. A party with delicious meals and music from all over the world played by a famous DJ is a great opportunity to meet other young scientists, get to know their countries and culture and find long-lasting friendships. Gala Dinner has become a vital element of the Warsaw International Medical Congress, which you cannot miss.
Party at ‘Capitol’ Club
(free tickets in the Congress bags)
Start: Saturday, May 12th, 10:00 PM
Where: Capitol Club, Marszałkowska 115, Warsaw
Ask at the INFO point for the directions
After hours of dwelling on research we would like to invite you to ‘Capitol’ Club, one of the best clubs in Warsaw. Please, do not hesitate and join us! We all know that a little party never killed nobody.
(registration not required)
Start: Sunday, May 13th, 3.15 PM
Where: the Didactics Centre of the Medical University of Warsaw
Closing Ceremony gives us the opportunity to meet for the last time and sum up the Warsaw International Medical Conference.