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Castle Square (Warsaw, Poland)

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A popular tourist attraction located in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland.

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      23.03.2011 11:51
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      The prettiest square in Warsaw

      There's just something special about Plac Zamkowy, in Warsaw. The square must be one of the most photographed attractions in Warsaw. Why do people love to congregate here and take pictures? I can only speak for myself and what I like might be totally different to what the next person likes. I like the feeling of space as the square is very wide and pedestrianised. I also like the feeling of being elevated as it is situated on top of the bridge leading to the New Town. The square also looks over towards Praga and the River Vistula so there are some great views on a clear day.

      The column of King Sigismund III is the focal point of the square rising high in the air looking out towards the Royal Castle. On weekends this can be a spot for demonstrations and you often see activists congregating with banners, flags and signs; sometimes making a lot of rowdy noise. Police are generally nearby to make sure things don't escalate and get out of order. It's always interesting to see what is happening underneath Sigismund's column and believe me there is always something whether it be a political group letting off steam, a group of students playing guitars or just a pair of lovers kissing.

      The square was completed in 1818 and replaced both the courtyard and previous castle of the old Przedzamkowa Street. The first part of the square already existed in 1644 when King Sigismund's Column was being constructed.

      The complex of burghers town houses was restored after the Second World War. The house on the corner (No 19) was known as Pigulcynska and was owned by the musician belonging to the court who was also an architect and poet. His name was Adam Jarzebski and wrote the first guideboook of Warsaw in verse, published in 1643.

      Apart from Plac Zamkowy being a great meeting place it is also a window onto a very attractive section of Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street. The town house (No 87) is particularly pretty to look at from the exterior. This was built in the second half of the 17th century by a royal doctor named Pastorius. Now, it has a modern appearance which is a result of the re-modelling in 1754 by the Leszcynski family, who bought it for the king of Poland and queen of France. The Polish Writers' association now own the building and visitors to Warsaw's Old Town are always welcome to the ground floor where they will receive a warm greeting and a good cup of coffee in the very popular cafe, Literacka.

      We have many squares in Warsaw but this has to be one of my favourites and one I do visit a lot. At the moment we have been having very cold weather and snow so not too many people have been out and about so the square has been very quiet. This is when I like to mooch around with my camera and take shots of scenes I have photographed many times. I never tire of this spot and walking up the steep winding steps from the main road to reach it. I'm always out of breath when I reach the top but the view of the castle and the colourful town houses always makes me smile and within seconds I can breathe lightly again.

      A fine square to visit when in the Old Town.

      Plac Zamkowy can be reached by tram number 23, 13, 26 to the Stare Miasto.

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