Past is present in dynamic Warsaw
Updated: 2015-04-11 08:18
By Liu Lu(China Daily)
Warsaw Old Town Square.[Photo by Liu Lu/China Daily]
Poland's capital-rich in history and charm-offers a portal into the rest of the country.
With many countries in Europe suffering from recession while the yuan continues to strengthen, traveling to the famously pricey continent has become much cheaper for many Chinese. If you are interested in getting a taste of Europe, now is the time to go.
For first-time travelers, Poland is a very appealing destination. It is regarded as one of the most livable countries in central and Eastern Europe. It is a vibrant place with its own deeply ingrained character and a 2,000-year-old cultural heritage that bridges the gap between East and West.
Visitors can experience the unique Polish culture and natural delights, from the seaside and lakes to forest and mountains, as well as engaging in a variety of different activities. Visitors will be happy to discover that they are able to experience all these without straining their budget because Poland is one of the cheapest European countries to travel in.
The best time to visit Poland is from June to September, when summer events, open-air festivals, and other warm-weather activities attract visitors.
The capital Warsaw, which is Poland's largest city and an economic, political, and cultural center, is a place worth exploring and normally the first stop when people visit the country.
Warsaw became the capital of Poland in 1596 and initially flourished as one of Europe's most prosperous cities. The Russians conquered the city in 1895, despite a series of rebellions. It was not until the outbreak of World War I that this control collapsed.
Warsaw again became the capital of an independent Poland in 1918, but the German invasion of 1939 meant this was to be short-lived. The Polish capital was flattened in WWII, leaving 85percent of Warsaw in ruins. But war and destruction had not extinguished Polish people's love for life, and the city has been racing to replace what was lost.
The destruction of the city was so extensive that in order to rebuild, a detailed 18th century landscape of the city painted by Italian artists Marcello Bacciarelli and Bernardo Bellotto had to be used as a model to recreate most of the buildings.
The rebuilding of Warsaw took place between the 1950s and 1970s without any help from outside the country. Some of the landmarks were only finished being reconstructed in the 1980s. Many of the historic streets, buildings, and churches were restored to their prewar appearance.