Wawel Castle The Gothic Wawel Castle in Cracow in Poland was built at the behest of Casimir III the Great and consists of a number of structures situated around the central courtyard. In the 14th century it was rebuilt by Jogaila and Jadwiga of Poland. Their reign saw the addition of the tower called the Hen's Foot and the Danish Tower. The Jadwiga and Jogaila Chamber, in which the sword Szczerbiec, was used in coronation ceremonies, is exhibited today and is another remnant of this period. Other structures were developed on the hill during that time as well, in order to serve as quarters for the numerous clergy, royal clerks and craftsmen. Defensive walls and towers such as Jordanka, Lubranka, Sandomierska, Tęczyńska, Szlachecka, Złodziejska and Panieńska were erected in the same period.
St. Mary’s Basilica St. Mary's Basilica, is a Brick Gothic church re-built in the 14th century (originally built in the early 13th century), adjacent to the Main Market Square in Krakow, Poland. Standing 80 m (262 ft) tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Wit Stwosz. On every hour, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnał Mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid- stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station.
Lublin Royal Castle The Lublin Castle is a medieval castle situated in Lublin, Poland, adjacent to the Old Town district and close to the city center. It is one of the oldest preseved Royal residencies in Poland, established by king Casimir II the Just. The hill on which it is located was first fortified with a wood-reinforced earthen wall in the 12th century. In the first half of the 13th century the stone keep was built which survives to this day and is the tallest building of the castle, as well as the oldest standing building in the whole city. In the 14th century, during the reign of Casimir the Great, the castle was rebuilt with stone walls. Probably at the same time the castle's Holy Trinity church was built to serve as a royal chapel. In the first decades of the 15th century king Władysław II commissioned a set of wall paintings for the chapel, which were completed in 1418 and are preserved to this day. The author was a Ruthenian Master Andrej, who signed his work on one of the walls. Due to their unique style, mixing Western and Eastern Orthodox influences, they are acclaimed internationally as an important historical monument.
Sigismund’s Column Sigismund's Column, erected in 1644, is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw. Władysław IV Vasa. It was designed by the Italian-born architect Constantino Tencalla and the sculptor Clemente Molli, and cast by Daniel Tym. On 1 September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, the monument was demolished by the Germans, and its bronze statue was badly damaged. After the war the statue was repaired, and in 1949 it was set up on a new column, made of granite from the Strzegom mine, a couple of meters from the original site. The original broken pieces of the column can still be seen lying next to the Royal Castle.
Malbork Castle The Castle in Malbork was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Order, a German Roman Catholic religious order, as an fortified castle of their. The Order named it Marienburg (Mary's Castle). The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg. Since 1945, when it became part of the nation of Poland after World War II, it has been called Malbork. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and on its completion in 1406 was the world’s largest brick Gothic castle. UNESCO designated the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and its museum as World Heritage Sites in December 1997. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region with origins in the Teutonic Order.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency and was the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the 16th century until the Partitions of Poland. In its long history the Royal Castle was repeatedly devastated and plundered by Swedish, Brandenburgian, German, and Russian armies. The Constitution of 3 May 1791, Europe's first modern codified national constitution, as well as the second-oldest national constitution in the world, was drafted here by the Four-Year Sejm. In the 19th century, after the collapse of the November Uprising, it was used as an administrative center by the Tsar. Between 1926 and World War II the palace was the seat of the Polish president, Ignacy Mościcki. After the devastation done by Nazis, during Warsaw Uprising, Castle was rebuilt and reconstructed. In 1980, Royal Castle, together with the Old Town was registry in UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is a historical and national monument, and is listed as a national museum.
Majdanek Concentration Camp Majdanek was a German Nazi concentration camp on the outskirts of Lublin, Poland, established during German Nazi occupation of Poland. The camp operated from October 1, 1941 until July 22, 1944, when it was captured nearly intact by the advancing Soviet Red Army. Although conceived as a forced labor camp and not as an extermination camp, over 79,000 people died there (59,000 of them Polish Jews) during the 34 months of its operation. The name 'Majdanek‘ derives from the nearby Majdan Tatarski district of Lublin, and was given to the camp in 1941 by the locals, who were aware of its existence. In Nazi documents, and for reasons related to its funding, Majdanek was initially "Prisoner of War Camp of the Waffen-SS in Lublin". It was renamed "Konzentrationslager Lublin" (Concentration Camp Lublin) in February 1943. Among German Nazi concentration camps, Majdanek was unusual in that it was located near a major city, not hidden away at a remote rural location. It is also notable as the best-preserved concentration camp of the Holocaust - as it was close to the former Soviet border, there was too little time for the Nazis to destroy the evidence before the Red Army arrived.
Wilanów Palace Wilanów Palace is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture. The palace and park in Wilanów is not only a priceless testimony to the splendour of Poland in the past, but also a place for cultural events and concerts, including Summer Royal Concerts in the Rose Garden and the International Summer Old Music Academy. Since 2006, the palace is a member of the international association of European Royal Residences.
Łazienki Palace The building began as a bathhouse for Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski. The marble building was constructed before 1683 according to design by Tylman Gamerski. Finished in 1689, it was intended to serve as a bathhouse, habitable pavilion and a garden grotto. Interiors of the newly built structure were embellished with profuse stucco decorations, also designed by Gamerski. Among the decorations were water deities surrounding the main decorational feature of the pavilion - the fountain. Other chambers had richly decorated plafonds and supraportes, while the walls were covered with Delft tiles. The façades and interiors were decorated with sculptures, reliefs and Latin inscriptions. The palace is built on an artificial island that divides the lake into two parts, a smaller northern lake and a larger southern one. The palace is connected to the surrounding park by two Ionic colonnaded bridges. The façades are unified by an entablature carried by giant Corinthian pilasters that link its two floors and are crowned by a balustrade that bears statues of mythologic figures. The north façade is relieved by a central pedimented portico. On the south front, a deep central recess lies behind a screen of Corinthian columns.
Krakow Gate Within the walls of the city of Lublin were, in addition to the towers and ports, only two gates. One of them is the Cracow Gate, undoubtedly a symbol of the historic Lublin. Arose about the middle of the fourteenth century, together with the surrounding walls of Lublin after the terrible invasion of the Tatars in Lublin in 1341. Gates: Krakow and Grodzka were on the old trade route from Cracow to Lithuania and Russia. In the old city's books is called The Cracow Gate Gate Higher always, unlike Grodzka Gate located in the lower part of the city. Originally formed part of the lower gate, and was completed with pointed crenelage high roof. To the city ran a drawbridge over a deep moat (filled up in the seventeenth century) and Harrow - or iron grating in the gate. In the fifteenth century, the first time took place the first changes in her appearance. The fires of 1515 and 1575 years have necessitated the rebuilding of the Gate. Probably arrived in the sixteenth century octagonal upper part and Gateway for strengthening the defense of the gate. It is known that in the sixteenth century gate had porches for trumpeters and musicians who "for the pleasure of residents have won a beautiful song on their instruments ", and the city clock. Children's Gate became the main commercial center of the city. In the seventeenth century Cracow Gate began to lose its validity - and the whole complex of its city walls, poor state of repair meant that in 1656, Lublin even defended itself against the Cossacks. In later years, was rather used for residential purposes - for trumpet, director of portal and for the city clock.
Crown Tribunal Crown Tribunal was the highest appeal court in the Crown of the Polish Kingdom for most cases, exceptions being the cases were a noble landowner was threatened with loss of life and/or property - then he could appeal to the Sejm court (parliament court). In 1578 king Stefan Batory created the Crown Tribunal in order to reduce the enormous pressure on the Royal Court. This placed much of the monarchs juridical power in the hands of the elected szlachta deputies, further strengthening the nobility class. In 1581 the Crown Tribunal was joined by a counterpart in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Tribunal.
Palace of Culture The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw is the tallest building in Poland, the eighth tallest building in the European Union. From 1955 to 1957 it was the tallest building in Europe. It is now the 187th tallest building in the world. Construction started in 1952 and lasted until 1955. A gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland, the tower was constructed, using Soviet plans, almost entirely by 3500 workers from the Soviet Union, of whom 16 died in accidents during the construction. The Soviets were housed at a new suburban complex at Poland's expense, complete with its own cinema, food court, community centre and the swimming pool. The architecture of the building is closely related to several similar skyscrapers built in the Soviet Union of the same era, most notably the Moscow State University. However, the main architect Lev Rudnev incorporated some Polish architectural details into the project by traveling around Poland and seeing the architecture. The monumental walls are headed with pieces of masonry copied from renaissance houses and palaces of Kraków and Zamość.