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What to See Walking along Royal Route

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The Royal Route (Trakt Krolewski), starting from Castle Square, runs along Krakowskie Przedmiescie and Nowy Swiat futher on as far as Wilanow. Its major part includes Krakowskie Przedmiescie and Nowy Swiat – the thoroughfares situated close to the banks of the Vistula River - which used to attract well-off citizens who established their summer residences here. The area was also popular with religious orders which built their monasteries in this part of Warsaw. Thus, nowadays Krakowskie Przedmiescie abounds in imposing palaces and impressive churches with tree-lined squares and courtyards, making this area a perfect strolling destination. It is also regarded as one of the most beautiful of historic streets of Warsaw.


Krakowskie Przedmiescie – Street of Churches


Of all the churches located in this part of the city, two are worth seeing taking into account their artistic merits. The first one is St. Anna's Church, originally Gothic, with its Baroque murals. St. Anna\'s Church is also famous for its splendid rococo altars and frescoes. In one of its chapels one can see the relics of St. Ladyslaw of Gielniow, the patron saint of Warsaw. Since 1864 St. Anna's church has been the University Church. It is particularly popular with student couples who choose to have their wedding celebration held here. It is due to a common belief that all the marriages celebrated at St. Anna\'s will be the happy ones.

The other church is St. Joseph the Guardian\'s Church, with its 18th-century interior, one of the few of Warsaw\'s churches which was intact during World War II. The church features outstanding works of art like: a boat-shaped rococo pulpit, the ebony tabernacle, "The Visitation" painting by Tadeusz Kuntze-Konicz.

Moreover, in Krakowskie Przedmiescie there is Holy Cross Church widely known as a venue for crucial religious and patriotic events. The funerals of eminent Polish composers, painters and statesmen took place here. Another reason for seeing Holy Cross Church is that Chopin's and Reymont\'s hearts are in the side pillar of the nave. Every Sunday morning a Holy Mass is broadcast from this Church on the Polish Radio.


Krakowskie Przedmiescie – Street of Palaces


Krakowskie Przedmiescie can also be called the Street of Palaces. There are a lot of imposing buildings which once belonged to notable Polish families. Nowadays, most of them house government, artistic or educational institutions, e.g. the late Baroque Potocki Palace is part of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, whereas the Neo-Classical Namiestnikowski Palace serves as the official residence of the President of the Republic of Poland. Other residencies worth seeing while in Krakowskie Przedmiescie are as follows: the 18th-century Czapski Palace, nowadays part of the Fine Arts Academy, the Uruski and the Tyszkiewicz Palaces, part of Warsaw University. 


Krakowskie Przedmiescie – Street of Monuments


While walking along the Royal Route, one can see four monuments, three of which pay tribute to famous Poles. The first one, situated at 5 Krakowskie Przedmiescie, is dedicated to Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest Romantic poet. A few meters further, in front of the President's Palace, there is Prince Jozef Poniatowski Monument. Poniatowski, one of Napoleon Bonaparte\'s generals, who died at the Battle of Leipzig is commonly considered to be one of major national heroes. Thus, dressed in a Classical robe, he is portrayed as a Classical hero.

In Krakowskie Przedmiescie there is one more statue dedicated to a famous Pole. That is Nicholas Copernicus Monument, honouring the most prominent Polish astronomer, which was unveiled in 1830. The statue, created by Bertel Thorwaldsen - Danish sculptor – was subject to World War II damage. However, it has been restored since then.

This part of Warsaw is also famous for Warsaw's Mermaid, one of the two monuments devoted to this half-woman, half-fish creature.

Continuing on from Krakowskie Przedmiescie, one gets into the next stage of the Royal Route, i.e. Nowy Swiat. This medieval street, lined with Neo-Classical town houses and palaces, is famous for its stylish boutiques, cafes, shops, restaurants, hotels and summer theatres. The Blikle patisserie and cafe, run by the Blikle family since 1869, is renowned for their tasty doughnuts. Thus, it is popular both with locals and tourists.

Thus, having toured Krakowskie Przedmiescie, it is a good idea to relax in one of the cafes of Nowy Swiat and contemplate the magnificent sights seen on the way.
 

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