Castle Square in Warsaw

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Royal Castle

Top choice in Warsaw

This remarkable copy of the original castle blown up by the Germans in WWII is filled with authentic period furniture and original works of art. Highlights are the Great Apartments (rooms 1 to 9) including the magnificent Great Assembly Hall and the lavishly decorated Throne Room; King’s Apartments (rooms 11 to 20) including the Canaletto Room, hung with 22 paintings by Bernardo Bellotto (1721–80), known in Poland as Canaletto; and the Lanckoroński Collection with two portraits by Rembrandt.

The mammoth red-brick castle began life as a wooden stronghold of the dukes of Mazovia in the 14th century. Its heyday came in the mid-17th century, when it became one of Europe’s most splendid royal palaces. In 1918, after Poland regained independence, it became the residence of the president. Its reconstruction didn't get going until 1971 and took 13 years to complete.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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