It was but a short period of snow in Warsaw this year, yet it was  still so very beautiful…. and most enjoyable for two Aussies so far from home.

We saw yet another face of Warsaw, a city we have come to love and feel so very much at home in. We did not have the white Christmas we had hoped for, but the snow in January was pretty good none the less.

These pictures are taken in and around Warsaw and Praga in mid to late January.  We often  visit the beautiful parks and palaces around us when walking in this lovely city that is so full of character and charm. Once again we were not disappointed, the snow showing yet another face to this special and vibrant city.

Praga sits on the opposite bank of the Vistula river to Warsaw’s Old Town and New Town.  So why the two names? Together they ARE Warsaw….. the Old Town (Stare Miasto) and New Town (Nowe Miasto)?  What IS the difference?

The Old Town is the historic centre, the oldest part of the city of Warsaw.  It was founded in the 13th century as the Prince’s castle and is surrounded by walls (the Barbican). 90% of the Old Town was flattened / destroyed during WWII, so what we see today is the amazing resurrection of Warsaw’s Old Town. It is thanks to the many generous donations and committed people who were determined to bring Warsaw back to life and it’s former glory, that this city is here for us to enjoy today. Many historical photos  and documents were used as references during the rebuild to provide accuracy. So good was the reconstruction that it achieved UNESCO listing.

It is simply amazing to look at these buildings that look to all intents and purposes to be hundreds of years old, when in fact they are well less than that, closer to 70 years.

The New Town, is just so much younger, having been founded between the end of the 14th century and on into the 18th century!  Yep, it definitely deserves the title of New Town! It was built outside the Old Town walls and functioned as a separate city with it’s own administration. Like the Old Town it was also significantly damaged in WWII, during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. It too has been so beautifully and lovingly rebuilt from photos and other documents, to resemble its former glory.

The beautiful and charismatic  Praga, was relatively untouched during WWII, yet many of the old buildings still bear the wounds of that time.  Some are being restored, yet  many are not….. and some just sit empty, waiting to be loved again.  Praga is known  as the arty district of Warsaw and the term ‘shabby chique’ seems to suit it quite well.

Hope you enjoy these pics.. there are ‘just a couple’……

And a couple of videos…