Royal Castle Warsaw
Castle Square from today.

The Royal Castle in Warsaw – The Emblem of Varsovians’ Tenaciousness

The royal Castle in Warsaw

Royal Castle Warsaw
Castle Square from today.

First built in the 14th century, the castle went through some dreadful times. As you may already know, the Royal Castle – and the entire old town in Warsaw – was completely destroyed by Nazi Germany during WWII and rebuilt later on.

To be honest, I was a bit put off by the fact that the Royal Castle is a reproduction of the original.

But I couldn’t be more wrong.

The rebuilt Royal Castle symbolizes Warsaw’s tenaciousness and its will to exist. Warsaw is today nicknamed “Phoenix” because it “was burned to the ground only to rise again from the ashes”. The Royal Castle is THE emblem of Warsaw, and you would be mistaken if you considered it unauthentic.

The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction.

Royal Castle Warsaw
Completing the Royal Castle clock tower in 1974

I suggest you to is start from the exposition “The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction”. In this exposition, you will understand how the Varsovians fought for their right to rebuild their beloved iconic building.

This is a really moving exhibition and I enjoyed it way more than I expected.

The exhibition walks you through three rooms, each one dedicated to one of the three major stages of the life of the Royal castle.  Every room has multiple screens and excellent sound system. The narrator is Polish but there are also English subtitles.

In the first part, you’ll see a light-hearted exposition of the golden times of the castle, with its thriving culture and beautiful settings. You will fall in love with the Royal Castle.

Then, in the second section, you’ll see the nazi bombing it down. You learn about great people dying to rescue art. And it will break your heart.

Finally, you’ll see how the Varsovians got together to fight the Communist regime, which had no interest in rebuilding the Castle or restoring a strong Polish identity. You will see how they rebuilt the castle together, against all odds. What an overwhelming burst of positive emotions! 🙂

I was happy to be alone and free to let the emotions flow. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster!

It’s so great to see how people come together in difficult times and how the love for art and freedom, can prevail against the fear of death and destruction.

This exhibition is free! All year around. There is really no reason to miss it!

The Royal “Castle Route”

After the exposition, you should continue your visit with the “Castle Route”. It is better to visit the Castle Route after the “The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction” because thanks to the background given by the previous exposition, you will be able to truly enjoy the Castle Route.

In the Castle Route, you actually get to see the castle. You will walk through 32 exquisitely restored rooms, each of them packed with nice European artworks and furniture. You will also see the room in which the Poles drafted the first modern Constitution in Europe, just a couple of years after the American one.

The Lanckoroński Collection

Royal castle Warsaw
Girl in the Picture Frame (Rembrandt), part of the The Lanckoroński Collection in the Royal Castle

Finally, finish your visit with a bang. In the “Lanckoroński Collection”, you will have the pleasure to admire, among other great paintings, the “Girl in the Picture Frame” and “A Scholar at his Writing Table”, two remarkable Rembrandt paintings.

Once again, I was so lucky to be alone in the room with these two masterpieces. If you want to be alone too, I would suggest you go in the morning of weekdays, when it’s much less crowded.

Practical info about the Royal Castle

The royal castle is a highlight in Warsaw, and I really think you shouldn’t miss it.

The entrance is 30PLN (about 6-7 EUR), FREE on Sundays and FREE the whole month of November.

The Royal Castle is open all year around with a few exceptions.

Find out more on the official website.

How was your experience at the Royal Caste? What was your favorite thing?

Let me know in the comments!

 

  1. Hi Federico, nice article, but but to make things straight about “Communist regime, which had no interest in rebuilding the Castle or restoring a strong Polish identity.” Actually, It was still communist government which decided about reconstruction of the castle in ’70. We had communism in Poland till 1989:)

    1. Hi Karol! Thanks for your comment:) I’m aware that communism lasted until 1989. With that sentence, I wanted to stress out the fact that it was an initiative driven by the people and not by the government.

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