The Eastern European city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is not a city renowned for tourism. For the most part it’s a vast, drab place with long streets full of uninspiring communist-era grey & boxy concrete (blame the Soviets). But it does have one gem up its sleeve, that being its (very new) Old Town, the UNESCO World Heritage listed heart of the city.

The varying colours of an outdoor art market in Old Town Square, Old Town, Warsaw, Poland. March 5th 2006.

The varying colours of an outdoor art market in Old Town Square, Old Town, Warsaw (map-pointer-icon), Poland. March 5th 2006 || From a March 2006 visit to Warsaw, Poland

An outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century.

– UNESCO commenting on Warsaw’s Old Town

During the August 1944 Warsaw Uprising of World War II, more than 85% of Warsaw’s historic centre was destroyed by Nazi troops. After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted a meticulous restoration of the the city’s Old Town – all of the original Old Town’s 17th and 18th century buildings were completely rebuilt from their foundations, a job that, in 1980, earned the reconstructed Old Town a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list of protected sights.

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