The right bank of the Vistula River houses the increasingly fashionable Praga district whilst Warsaw′s main ′must-sees′ are all located in close proximity on the left bank, making seeing them on foot all the easier! Most are located between the Stare Miasto (Old Town) and the Lazienki Park.
The Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) is a beautiful and vibrant center of cafes, street artists and flowers and continues to provide a lively atmosphere at night. Located close by is the St John Cathedral which provides the religious center for the strongly catholic inhabitants, and the Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski) dating back to the fourteenth century but still being repaired after the damage caused in world war 2.
The Jewish population of Warsaw suffered terribly during the war. Four hundred thousand Jews were rounded up and forced to stay in the Jewish ghetto surrounded by a three meter high wall stretching from the Palace of Culture and Science to the Umschlagplatz monument. Memorials and museums dedicated to this period of history are prevalent including the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto and Jewish Historical Institute. The Nozyk Synagogue (Synagoga Nozykow) dating back to nineteen hundred and Prozna Street (Ulica Pozna) a thoroughfare providing evidence of former Jewish Warsaw, offer additional insights.
The Lazienki Park contains the Chopin Monument (where the annual Chopin Festival is held each summer) and the Palace on the Water (Palac Lazienkowski). Originally built in the mid-seventeenth century, Ujazdowski Castle now houses the Center of Contemporary Art and a variety of Polish, European and North American artists′ exhibitions.