One of the new office buildings sprouting all over Warsaw.
The last day in Warsaw
saw me wander a Russian Orthodox Cemetery south of Warsaw, touring the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Lazienkowski Park with the surrounding around. The Russian Orthodox Cemetery was a sobering place to wander about. I was very much surprised to see the cemetery was not destroyed during the war. There are wonderful bits of architecture and numerous headstones and crypts from all time periods. Next was the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which I highly recommend (it is also free on Sundays). It tells the story of how the citizens of the city fought the Germans during the war for their beloved city. It chronicles the beginning of the war in Poland to the brutal end of the uprising.
One of the apartment buildings.
After the museum was a nice walk in Lazienkowski Park. The park is a beautiful example of an 18th century complex of architecture and greenery. One of the entrances to the park is the view of the Monument to Frederyk Chopin. This monument is a widely recognized symbol of Warsaw and designed by Waclaw Szymanowski in the Secession Style (Art Nouveau Movement) during the early 20th century and placed in the park in 1926. During World War II, it was completely destroyed but reconstructed based on surviving photographs and models. Next was Sybilla's Temple (Swiatynia Sybilli) built of timber in a classical style during 1820, housing an amber shop and exhibitions on the second floor. Then it was a short wander over to the Old Orangery (Stara Pomaranczarnia) to see the Gallery of Polish Sculpture, which unfortunately I could only see through the window as it was closed on Sunday.
A church along the way.
The next stop was the Palace on the Water (Palac na Wodzie). The area in medieval times was covered with forest and belonged to the Dukes of Mazovia who used it as hunting grounds. In 1674, it was taken over by Marshal Lubomirski who hired Tylman van Gameren, a Dutch architect, to design the hermitage with the bathroom (lazienka) which gave the park its name. The bathroom was remodeled as a summer residence for the kings and this way the palace on the Water was created. Since 1960, the palace has been a branch of the National Museum. Finally, it was the Theater on the Island (Teatr na Wyspie). It is actually an amphitheater and modeled on the ruins of Jupiter in Baalbeck in Syria. The stage and auditorium are separated by water, allowing boats to be moored for performances. The end of the day was dinner at a Czech restaurant. Strange, but true, I was eating Czech food in Warsaw! Interesting to say the least.