The city of Krakow was the capital until 1596, when Warsaw was established as capital. The Polish capital, Warsaw is also its largest city with about two million inhabitants. Situated on the banks of the Vistula River, about 260 kilometers (162 miles) from the Baltic Sea and 300 km (186 miles) from the Carpathian Mountains. Warsaw is the capital of the resurrected Polish state in 1919.
Warsaw is the ninth largest city in the European Union by population. Before the Second World War the city was an important center of Jewish life and culture in Poland. Warsaw’s Jewish population before the war, more than 350,000 constituted about 30 percent of the total population of the city. Warsaw Jewish community was the largest in Poland and Europe, and was the second largest in the world, second only to New York.
“Warszawianka” is widely regarded as the unofficial anthem of Warsaw. Warsaw is also known as as it recovered from damage during the Second World War (during which 80% of its buildings were destroyed), is reconstructed through the efforts of Polish citizens.
Warsaw has seen the worst of the world wars and was occupied by different periods of time by German troops. The city has seen a lot of destruction in those years and most of the architecture of a visitor that we see today is mostly built after the war.
For a city that was almost totally destroyed, Warsaw, today is the commercial and urban center of the country, emerging from the ashes of the devastation of decades ago. And, Warsaw is notable among the capitals of Europe for its size, age or beauty but for its indestructibility.
Warsaw has always been an exciting and busy city, vibrant with life now. Despite the many historical ups and downs, never ceased to be a dynamic metropolis, western style, with many features characteristic of all European capitals. Its extraordinary character is best expressed by his youthful spirit eternal, though, its atmosphere and appearance, is a mixture of old and new: it respects tradition, but quickly and resolutely move forward into the future.
Annihilated during World War II, Warsaw was rebuilt through the efforts of the entire nation. The Old Town – the historic center and heart of the capital – was restored to its former glory with such care that is now included in the World Heritage List.
Warsaw is not only home to the country’s administration, but also the center of most scientific, cultural and art.