Wawel Wawel, the symbol of Polish national identity, served as a royal residence and the site where the countrys rulers governed Poland for five centuries from 1038 until 1596. It is an architectural complex located on the left bank of the Vistula river in Krakow. As it was built over several centuries there can be found elements of the following styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism. Today the castle houses a number of permanent exhibitions, e.g. State Rooms, Royal Private Apartments, Crown Treasury and Armoury.
Royal Castle in WarsawThe Royal Castle in Warsaw, builtin the 16th century in the earlyBaroque style, was the officialresidence of the Polish monarchs.Deliberately destroyed by theGermans in 1944, the Castle waspractically built anew and now itserves as a museum and thevenue for official visits and statemeetings. In 1980 together withthe Old Town, the Castle wasinscribed on the UNESCO WorldHeritage List. Over 500,000people visit the Royal Castle everyyear.
Lazienki Palace The Lazienki Palace, also called the Palace on the Water, is situated in the largest park in Warsaw. Started in the 17th century, later rebuilt several times, is now a mixture of architectural styles. The palace is located on an artificial island in Lazienki Lake, and is connected to the rest of the park by two arcaded bridges. The palaces furniture and paintings belong to the Classicist style. This stunning palace is an absolute must for every tourist visiting Warsaw.
Wilanow PalaceThe Wilanow Palace is a typicalBaroque building in Poland. Itsbeautiful, landscaped gardens andthe complex of buildings locatedin the park as well as the works ofart, all constitute records ofhistory. The palace was theofficial residence of Jan III, awarrior-king and a lover of booksand patron of arts. At present thepalace functions as an institutionof culture and a location readilyvisited by tourists.
Manor Houses The architectural form of the manor house evolved around the late Renaissance and continued until the World War II. Manor houses were built in the countryside by Polish nobility. The vast majority of them were built of wood, were based on a rectangular design, with corner chambers and covered with the Polish variant of the hip roof. Common furniture included wooden benches, cupboards, tables, beds and small chairs.
TenementsThis type of building is mostprevalent in city centres, especially inhistorical rebuilding of previouslydestroyed parts of old towns. Thesebrightly coloured, richly ornamentedresidential buildings of wealthymerchants, were made of brick orstone, with at least two floors. Theground floor was often taken up byshops and businesses, while residentialflats occupied the higher floors. Theland in the town centre was relativelyexpensive and thus the facade of atypical tenement was narrow, whereasthe rest of the building wasconsiderably extended.
Sieve-Maker’s House This wooden house dates back to the 19th century and is a typical example of the buildings constructed at that time in our hometown of Bilgoraj, for rich sieve-makers. These expensively furnished log houses consisted of both residential rooms and sieve- makers’ workshops. A typical feature of such buildings was big windows - indispensable for weaving sieves.
Zakopane Style ArchitectureThis unique style was startedby Stanislaw Witkiewicz, acritic, architect, painter,novelist and journalist , whocombined the elements ofPolish highlanders’ culturewith Art Nouveau style. Thecharacteristic features of thehouses were: stonefoundations, walls made oftimber, ornamentedchimneys, carved porchesand steep shingled roofs.
Typical Family House A typical Polish family house is a one- or two-storey building, most commonly constructed on about ten acres of land. Made of bricks or wood, it usually consists of six to eight rooms with specialized functions such as: cooking, eating and living areas, a sleeping area, and washing and lavatory areas. Outside, the small but beautifully landscaped garden definitely adds to its appeal.
Inside a typical Polishhouse… The interior is full of light, thanks to the installed big windows, brighty-coloured walls and its lighting system. The wooden floors, thick carpets, comfortable upholstered furniture, the fireplaces giving a cosy glow and the latest audiovisual equipment, all make it a perfect place for relaxation, family celebrations and entertaining friends.
1970s’ Concrete BuildingsBuilt in the 1970s’ hugeimpersonal blocks constructedof pre-fabricated concrete, weresupposed to satisfy the growingdemand for flats, but they neverdid. Criticized for low designquality, mind-numbingappearance, second-rateconstruction materials,unfortunately they still prevail inall Polish city centres as a highlyvisible reminder of theCommunist era
The Latest Apartment Buildings All the newly erected apartment buildings differ considerably from those Communist ones. Conveniently located, built of bricks, well insulated and properly constructed, with underground parking facilities, these modern blocks of flats are immensely popular, especially with young, busy city dwellers.