Saxon Gardens

sights / Parks & gardens

Saxon Gardens information

Location
Warsaw , Poland
Opening hours
24hr
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Stretching out a couple of blocks west of Krakowskie Przedmieście, these magnificent gardens date from the early 18th century and were the city’s first public park. Modelled on the French gardens at Versailles, the gardens are filled with chestnut trees and Baroque statues (allegories of the Virtues, the Sciences and the Elements), and there’s an ornamental lake overlooked by a 19th-century water tower in the form of a circular Greek temple.

If it looks to you as though the gardens are missing a palace, you’d be right. The 18th-century Saxon Palace (Pałac Saski), which once occupied Plac Piłsudskiego (Piłsudski Sq), was, like so many other buildings, destroyed during WWII. All that survived were three arches of a colonnade, which have sheltered the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza) since 1925. The guard is changed every hour, and groups of soldiers marching back and forth between the tomb and the Radziwiłł Palace are a regular sight, though the big event is the ceremonial changing of the guard that takes place every Sunday at noon.