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Warsaw fights!

Foreign partitions, wars, uprisings … Warsaw has a difficult history behind it. To this day, you will find hundreds of places and monuments commemorating the city’s struggle for freedom and independence. Visit the interactive Warsaw Rising Museum and learn about places associated with the heroes of recent centuries.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego, fot. Warszawska Organizacja Turystyczna
This innovative museum commemorates the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and is located in a former tram power plant. Listen to the stories of the heroic insurgents, look at the replica of the Liberator bomber and watch the animation ‘City of Ruins’. More…

ul. Grzybowska 79

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza, fot. Warszawska Organizacja Turystyczna
This symbolic grave-memorial honours the unnamed heroes who died in the battles for Poland’s freedom. The arcades under which the tomb is placed are a fragment of the colonnade – the only part of the Saxon Palace that survived World War II. At the grave, an eternal flame burns, and soldiers perform an honour guard.

pl. Piłsudskiego

Monuments

Pomnik Małego Powstańca, fot. Wanda Hansen
You will find many places in and around the Old Town commemorating the heroic struggle of Warsaw during World War II. On Krasiński Square, see the Warsaw Uprising Monument and the exit from the sewers where the insurgents escaped from German forces. Near the barbican, stop at the Monument of the Little Insurgent.

Polish Army Museum

Muzeum Wojska Polskiego, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski
In the museum, you can learn about the history of the Polish Army from its beginnings up to the end of World War II and see a rich collection of weapons and uniforms. Pay attention to the gothic reliquary captured at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The open-air exhibition features planes, tanks and other combat vehicles. More…

Al. Jerozolimskie 3

Mausoleum of Struggle and Martyrdom

Mauzoleum Walki i Męczeństwa, fot. Muzeum Niepodległości w Warszawie
During the Nazi occupation, this was an interrogation centre where Poles were tortured and murdered. Now, you can see cells and corridors, the walls of which are covered with thousands of initials, inscriptions, prayers and reflections on death engraved by prisoners.

al. Szucha 25

Pawiak Prison Museum

Muzeum Więzienia Pawiak, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski
Pawiak was an interrogation prison, which functioned on Pawia Street – hence its name. In the museum, you will learn about the prison and the fate of its prisoners during the tsarist period, after the World War I and during the German occupation. During World War II, about 37,000 prisoners were shot there, and about 60,000 were sent from there to concentration camps and to forced labour. More…

ul. Dzielna 24/26

Warsaw Citadel

Cytadela, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski
This impressive 19th-century fortress is one of the best-preserved fortifications in Poland. The side includes barracks and the 10th Pavilion of the Citadel, which was a central prison for political prisoners. Several hundred of them were executed, and thousands were sent to Siberia for hard labour. The citadel houses the Museum of the 10th Pavilion of the Warsaw Citadel and the Katyn Museum, commemorating the Katyn massacre of Polish officers in 1940. More…

ul. Skazańców 25

Powązki Military Cemetery

Cmentarz Wojskowy na Powązkach, fot. Piotr Wierzbowski

A place of eternal rest for soldiers who died defending Poland, as well as for well-known artists, scientists, and social activists. In addition to the symbolic graves of the veterans of the January Uprising, there are the graves of the defenders of Warsaw in 1939, the soldiers of the scout battalions of the Home Army who fought in the Warsaw Uprising, as well as the victims of the communist crimes of 1945-1956 and the government plane crash near Smoleńsk in 2010, which killed, among others, President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria.
Walking down the Avenue of the Deserving, you will come across the graves of communists Bolesław Bierut and Władysław Gomułka, and famous oppositionists General Ryszard Kukliński, Jacek Kuroń and Karol Modzelewski, as well as prominent figures from the world of Polish culture, art, science, and sport.
In the insurgent area of the cemetery is the Gloria Victis monument, in front of which official ceremonies are held every year on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Uprising.

ul. Powązkowska 43/45

Monument to the Fallen Undefeated

Pomnik Polegli Niepokonani, fot. Piotr Wierzbowski

The monument is located on a mound made of the ashes of some 50,000 Varsovians murdered during the Warsaw Uprising in August and September 1944. The semi-recumbent figure of a wounded warrior with shield in hand uses his own body to cover a breach in the torn barricade. It symbolises the self-sacrificing defensive struggle of the people of Warsaw. The cobblestones with which the mound is covered come from the streets of Wola, into which the blood of the murdered inhabitants of the capital had soaked.

ul. Józefa Sowińskiego 49

PAST Building of the Polish Joint Stock Telephone Company

Gmach PAST, fot. Tomasz Nowak

Due to its location and height (the second-highest building in pre-war Warsaw), it was of strategic importance during the Warsaw Uprising. For the first three weeks, it remained in the hands of the Germans, who could easily observe and shell the north of the city centre from it. On 20 August 1944, after fierce fighting, it was captured by the insurgents and remained in their hands until the very end of the uprising. To commemorate those events, there is a 6 metre high Fighting Poland sign on its roof.

ul. Zielna 37

Warsaw Uprising Mound

Kopiec Powstania Warszawskiego, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski

More than 30 metre high, it was made between 1946 and 1950 from the rubble of Warsaw and then covered in clay and sand. Since 1994, it has been topped by a 15 metre high Fighting Poland sign designed by one of the insurgents. Every year on the evening of 1 August, the anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising, a bonfire ceremony is held on the mound with a fire brought by the ‘relay of generations’ from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Museum of Polish Military Technology in Warsaw (Branch of the Polish Army Museum)

Muzeum Polskiej Techniki Wojskowej, fot. Ryszard Podkowa

The museum is located on the grounds of the 19th-century Fort IX Czerniaków, which is the site of the heroic defence of Polish soldiers in September 1939 and where fighting took place during the Warsaw Uprising. On the grounds of the museum, you can see real combat aircraft, helicopters, artillery guns, lots of tanks and armoured personnel carriers from World War II and after, as well as a US Army M-107 self-propelled gun used during the Vietnam War.
There are more gems inside the fort. You will see a Ford FT-B armoured car used during the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1919-1921, a Polish TK3 tankette produced in the 1930s and the world’s only replica of the famous pre-war 7TP tank.

ul. Powsińska 13

See More:
Plac Krasińskich, fot. m.st. Warszawa
Panorama, fot. Ewelina Lach
Rynek Starego Miasta, Muzeum Warszawy, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski
Muzeum Warszawskiej Pragi, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski
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