#1: POLIN Museum
The POLIN Museum is a narrative museum showcasing the 1000 year history of Jews in Poland. It is one of the most moving museums I have ever been to. If you only do one thing in Warsaw it has to be the POLIN Museum.
#2: Eat at Oberza Pod Czerwonym
I was SO excited to eat here I could hardly stand it, and the excitement was for good reason, as it would end up being our favorite meal in Warsaw. We ate at Oberza Pod Czerwonym. The Soviet-era themed restaurant offers Eastern European fare paired with cozy, rustic and retro décor. The food was outstanding! We started with a prawn appetizer served in a hot skillet with white wine, garlic and spicy Hungarian peppers. Amazing. Four our entrée we split the “Prince of Carpathian Limosine Beef Tenderloin”, which was a juicy beef tenderloin with cognac pepper sauce. Divine. For dessert we had Kremówka z truskawkami, which is Pop John Paul II’s favorite dessert. And I must say PJP has great taste in dessert.
Umschlagplatz was the term used during the Holocaust referring to the holding areas adjacent to railway stations in occupied Poland where Jews from ghettos were assembled for deportation to Nazi death camps. Five to seven thousand Jews a day were passed through the Warsaw Umschlagplatz on their way to the Treblinka extermination camp, the most deadly camp of all the Nazi death camps.
#4: The Royal Castle
The Royal Castle, located in Castle Square, the Royal Castle has served the Polish monarchs throughout the centuries as the official residence. In the 19th century it was used as an administrative centre by the Tsar and was re-designed for the needs of the Imperial Russian administration. During World War I it was the residence of the German Governor-General. In early 1920s the Royal Castle was the seat of the Polish Head of State and between 1926 and World War II the building was the residence of the Polish president, Ignacy Moscicki. Burned and looted by the Nazis following the invasion of Poland in 1939, the Castle was completely rebuilt and reconstructed in 1965. The Royal Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is absolutely beautiful as are the many treasures inside such as paintings and jewels. Inside the castle we also visited The Lanckoronski Collection, which showcases some of Rembrandt’s Paintings. As an artist myself this was thrilling to me! Eek!
5: Stay at H15 Boutique Hotel
The beautiful H15 was built in 1892 and is packed with fascinating history. Before World War I the patriotic youth organized secret meetings here with goals of leading Poland to regain its independence. In 1924 the building was bought by The Soviet Union for use as the Soviet Union Embassy. At this time, some of the original Art Nouveau decorations were replaced by Soviet symbols such as the red star and the hammer and sickle. Also at this time, the Soviets carved reliefs of peasants and workers at the tops of columns on the front of the building. Above the first floor balcony the Soviet Union Globe was added as well. In 1941 the building was taken over by the Third Reich. The Germans did not get rid of Soviet symbols, treating them like trophies. After The Second Word War, the People’s Republic took over the property and later it belonged to the largest shipping company in Poland. Despite the massive renovations done in 2007 by the hotel, the majority of the original decorations from the Soviet Union Embassy are still present today. The architecture, design and décor of H15 are absolutely stunning! From the exterior, to the lobby to our suite, everything was gorgeous! We checked into our massive 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath suite complete with a bar and kitchenette, a living room and dinning room! It was the biggest and most beautiful room I have ever stayed in while traveling in Europe. It was decorated with bright colors and pops or leopard and gold. It was flawless!
Stay tuned for more posts from our fun European adventure!
Kisses and Polish wishes,