Warsaws green part
Warsaw is a green city. A quarter of its area is comprised of parks, green squares and gardens, making Warsaw a European metropolis that truly offers its visitors a breath of fresh air.
Some of the city's parks are historical, and many house former royal residences and saxonic gardens. Additionally, the city boasts two botanical gardens, which are perfect sanctuaries. Warsaw is also one of those rare cities that can proudly say that its green, wooded boundaries are actually growing outwards! The massive Kampinoski National Park is recognized to be and protected as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reservation.
This is the biggest and most beautiful park in Warsaw, and one of the loveliest palace/ park locations in all of Europe. Lazienki Park, the favoured residence of Polish royalty, was constructed between 1774-1784, at the command of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. It stands over 76 hectares, and combines elements of a traditional French garden within the landscape of a classically English park. This is the centre of numerous natural, cultural and scientific events and sources of entertainment, and is a much-loved place for residents and tourists alike to stroll.
Major highlights during the summer months include sailing around the Palace pond in a gondola, feeding the lazily swimming carp, and watching the park's peacocks freely wander about the grounds. Definitely make time to see the amphitheater (situated at the southern pond, not too far from the Palace itself), modeled on an antique theater, which retains the original feature of separating the Palace observers from the audience, who watched the action on the stage from the other side of the water. One of the most popular places in the park is the Fryderyk Chopin Monument. Between May and September, at the foot of Chopin's statue, free concerts are given at the weekends, which showcase the works of the world's greatest composers.
Srodmiescie, ulica Agrykoli
Park in Wilanow
One of the finest examples of antique Baroque in Europe. The park emerged in the second half of the 17th century as an important aspect of Wilanow Palace, and was completely reconstructed in the 1950's, designed by Gerard Ciolek. It encompasses two sweeping gardens (occupying a total land surface of 45 hectares), and is scattered with ancient brick walls, and on a main part of the Palace, a set of stairs opens up to the main hall. The garden itself embraces numerous different styles in design: a stylish Baroque garden with traditional roses, an English-inspired landscape and some Chinese influences. There is also a lake, offering an unparallelled view of the buildings and the grounds. The park is much-loved by Warsaw residents and is a favourite place to stroll; it is also visited by tourists, looking for a place to relax. Every summer, in July and August, intimate and exquisite concerts are held on the rose garden terrace.
Wilanow, ulica Stanislawa Kostki
Saski Garden (Ogrod Saski)
This is one of the oldest public parks in Poland: it was built between 1713-1745, for King August II, on the base of a pre-existing palace. One of the former palace's surviving columns is now the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which eternally burns, under the careful and constant guard of Representatives of the Polish Army Batallion. Sculptures of mythical figures are a highlight of Saxon Garden, and the choices include gods and goddesses of the seasons, sciences, arts and abstract concepts such as justice. The fountain was created in 1852; today, a new illumination system draws the attention of evening passers-by to the calming water. Take note of the garden sun-dial, which dates from 1863.
Srodmiescie, ul. Marszalkowska
This massive park was originally established between 1906-1922, on 58 hectares of land, on the old Kamionek area of Saska KÄ™pa; it was designed by Franciszek Szanior. He created it as an urban park centre for recreation and refreshment. Hills, artificial waterfall and sparkling lakes – along with the rich and colourful horticultural surroundings - make this one of the most unusual places in Warsaw. It boasts several interesting sculptures from the 20th century, such as a bust of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. It also has a number of relaxing and fun summer activities, such as canoeing and sailing on Kamionkowskie Lake (Jeziorko Kamionkowskie), or roller-blading and cycling along its wide boulevards. On the ulica MiÄ™dzynarodowa side of the park is a stable, perfect for children, which offers riding lessons for kids and youths, as well as a rehabilitation and treatment centre for horses. On summer evenings, concerts and film festivals are organized and in February, on the StanisĹ‚aw August Boulevard side of the park, there is a re-enactment of the 1831 war, staged by a group of Poles and Europeans, which attracts a huge audience. For the weary requiring refreshment the 'Pub Under the Trout' (Pub 'Pod PstrÄ…giem') and the Misianka Cafe await. Skaryszewski Park is the 2009 winner of the 4th Poland's Best Park competition.
Praga, aleja Zieleniecka
Created at the end of the 19th century based on a project by Franciszek Szanior, the park's landscape was extremely fashionable and stylish for its time. The characteristic features of the design include a fluidity of line which links the park with its water elements: its pond is the most interesting of all of these, as it consists of a fountain cascading over rocks, and a stunning viewing area. There is also a lovely stone bridge over the channel, an innovative item that was designed by William Lindley. Another unusual attraction is the antique scale from 1912, which attracts numerous visitors, and monuments include an 1892 sculpture of Gladiator Pius Welonski, and a memorial to Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
Srodmiescie, Aleje Ujazdowskie
Morskie Oko Park
This park is located in old Mokotow, and is situated both under and over a buttress. The grounds were originally a romantic garden/palace complex, designed in the 18th century for Izabela Czartoryska Lubomirska. In the 19th century, it was bought by Franciszek Szuster (hence the name of the palace on the grounds - Szustra Palace/Palac Szustra). The only buildings to have survived World War II were the MauretaĹ„ski House and the Gothic House (also called Golebniki House), both of which may be found at the very edge of Pulawska Street. Every day at 5 pm, the Mokotowska March is played from the Gothic House, in memory of the Warsaw Uprising; on the building itself is an information board explaining the history of the song. Since both the park and its palace were completely destroyed during World War II, the entire area had to be rebuilt during the 1960's. The Szustra Palace is now the headquarters of the Warsaw Musical Society named for StanisĹ‚aw Moniuszko (Warszawskie Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. StanisĹ‚awa Moniuszki), which is where they often play small concerts and solo recitals.
Mokotow, ulica Pulawska
Edward Rydz-Smigly Park
Warsaw's youngest park was established between 1953-1964; it consists of several large gardens in Warsaw's PowiĹ›le area, totalling about 90 hectares. At the top of the garden area is Frascati Park: this very foreign-sounding name was inspired by a very green and earthy Italian village from 1779. In the 1950's, Frascati Park was named a Park of Culture, and for its role in attracting people to the Vistula River. Because it is so modern, the park has a distinctive geometric character in terms of its layout and composition. At the most eastern part of the park is a 1975 monument called the 'Glory Sapper' (Chwala Saperom); there is also a very original fountain (thanks to the reflecting lights installed in it, the water changes colours constantly, and sparkles in all colours of the rainbow). The park is a very attractive place for Warsaw inhabitants, even in winter time, when the Jutrzenka Skate Park is converted into an ice skating rink. In the summer months, open-air concerts and film festivals take place regularly.
Powisle, ulica Rozbrat
Kepa Potocka Park
The park was built in the 1960's, on an island separated from the Lacha Potocka area via a canal. The planners and creators of this unique park were Karol Kozlowski and Elzbieta Jankowska. The central elements of the park - the canal, specially-built promenades and bicycle paths, as well as a children's playground - all attract numerous visitors over the summer months, including cyclists, joggers and families with small children. Lots of open-air picnics, concerts and galas are organized in the park.
Zoliborz, ulica Gwiazdzista
This park emerged at the turning point of the 1960's and 70's. It stands on 37 hectares, and was formerly a waste dump; today, it is home to a large field which is maintained by students of a local school, as well as local inhabitants and the staff of a nearby plant. There are two ponds, and the water levels are carefully regulated using a water pump. The park is popular walking place for locals, and cyclists are attracted to the bicycle paths. But it is in the winter that the park - most specifically, its hill - truly comes to life, as it is besieged by winter sports enthusiasts looking to slide and ski. Within the grounds there is the Olimpia Sports Club, and the Moczydlo recreation centre is at the other side of ulica Gorczewska. In the summer, it's possible to enjoy one of three swimming pools in the sports complex, as well as volleyball courts, and in the winter, there is a skating rink.
Wola, ulica Gorczewska
Gen. Jozef Sowinski Park
Built in the 1930's, as requested by the President of Warsaw, Stefan Starzynski, to support the Friends of Wola initiative. This was the first park in the Wola district, which was a working-class district. Set on the grounds of the Sowinski Fort, the park occupies an area of about 8 hectares and has a monument dedicated to General Jozef Sowinski, who strenuously defended Wola in 1831. With an amphitheater, the park also offers numerous cultural performances including summer concerts, family picnics and evening open-air cinemas.
Wola, ulica Elekcyjna
More from Warsaw (Warszawa)