02 January 2015

Weekend in Warsaw: The Royal Castle

If one visits the Old Town in Warsaw, one will definitely not miss the pink orange building that is standing by the cliff side: this is none other than the Royal Castle in Warsaw (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie). This building happens to be the official residence of the Polish monarchs, back when they existed. The current building is a reconstruction, as the Nazis destroyed the original one during World War II during the Warsaw Uprising. Currently, it functions as a museum and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This castle is huge. It's not as huge as other ones I have seen before (like Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace for example), but there still are plenty of rooms to see. There are multiple things one can see in the castle (there are different tickets for it), but we only opted to take the Castle Route, which goes through the most rooms inside, but skips at other things, like the treasury, and so forth. After all, I wanted to see the opulent interior.

The self-guided tour begins in the hall seen above. Beware: there are armies of old women here insisting that you follow the numbered path. This is a little confusing since the first room you will actually see is the last room, and they insist that you don't loiter there and instead go to the next room, which is the first room according to the numbering system. Sometimes, people just cannot think outside the box.

There are several thrones in the castle, but this red one decorated with golden eagles is the most luxurious. Most of these are reconstructed, and you can see where the original is by comparing the shades of color at the ceiling and the walls. The brighter ones tend to be the new part of the building.

Believe it or not, but the green piece of furniture you see in the pictures above is a bed. Somehow, they designed the bedrooms to be very big, yet the beds to be rather small. It is also of a weird shape, but then again this reminds me of ancient beds, where people apparently didn't sleep horizontal, but slightly vertical, due to some weird superstition. So maybe this was due to that. In any case, I am more than happy to stay in my current bed, which definitely looks more comfortable than this one.

The pictures above show other throne rooms, and other rooms with opulent furniture. I also was amused at their clocks: it seems that all the clocks they had were not hanging on the walls, but these elaborate ornaments sitting on tables and somehow had a circular rotating body. Can you find some of them in my pictures?

Overall, this was a cool palace. I suggest visiting it if you have the chance. They are free on Sundays, but the route is also shortened, so if you want to see the whole thing, then I suggest not visiting on a Sunday. And beware of the army of old women who cannot think outside the box!

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