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.
– 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.