Mazovia is a historical region in mid-north-eastern Poland. It spans the North European Plain between Lodz and Bialystok, with Warsaw being the unofficial capital and largest city. Throughout the centuries, Mazovia developed a separate sub-culture featuring diverse folk songs, architecture and traditions different to those of other Poles. Historical Mazovia existed from the Middle Ages until the partitions of Poland and consisted of three voivodeships with the capitals in Warsaw, Płock and Rawa; the main city of the region was Płock, however, in the Early Modern Times it lost its importance to Warsaw, which became the capital of Poland. From 1138, Mazovia was governed by a separate branch of the Piast dynasty and when the last ruler of the independent Duchy of Mazovia died, it was incorporated to the Polish Crown in 1526. During the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth over 20% of Mazovian population was categorized as petty nobility. Between 1816 and 1844, the Mazovian Governorate was established, which encompassed the south of the region along with Łęczyca Land and south-eastern Kuyavia.
The former inhabitants of Mazovia are the Masurians, who, as Protestants, took refuge in neighboring East Prussia in the so-called region of Masuria. The borders of contemporary Mazovian Voivodeship, created in 1999, do not reflect its original size as they don't include the Mazovian cities of Łomża and Łowicz, but include the Lesser Polish Radom and Siedlce. Mazovia has a landscape without lakes, it is spread over the Mazovian Lowland, on both sides of the Vistula river and its confluence with Narew and Bug. Forests cover one-fifth of the region, with the large Kampinos Forest, Puszcza Biała and Puszcza Zielona. In the north Mazovia borders on the Masurian subregion of former Prussia, in the east on Podlachia, in the south on Lesser Poland and in the west on Greater Poland; the area of Mazovia is 33,500 km2. It has population of 5 million; when the Slavs came to this region from the surrounding area of Polesie, they mingled with the descendants of Vistula Veneti and with other people who had settled here such as the Wielbark people.
This created a Lechitic tribe: Mazovians. The historical region of Mazovia in the beginning encompassed only the territories on the right bank of Vistula near Płock and had strong connections with Greater Poland. In the period of the rule of the first monarchs of the Piast State, Płock was one of their seats, on the Cathedral Hill they raised palatium. In the period 1037 -- 1047 it was the capital of the Mazovian state of Masław. Between 1079 and 1138 this city was de facto the capital of Poland. Since 1075 it has been the seat of the diocese encompassing northern Mazovia. During the 9th century Mazovia was inhabited by the tribe of Mazovians, it was incorporated into the Polish state in the second half of 10th century under the Piast ruler Mieszko I. In 1138 the duchy of Mazovia was established, during the 12th and 13th centuries it joined temporarily various adjacent lands and endured invasions of Prussians and Ruthenians. To protect its northern section Conrad I of Mazovia called in the Teutonic Knights in 1226 and granted them the Chełmno Land.
After the reunification of the Polish state by Władysław I in the early 14th century, Mazovia became its fief in 1351. In the second half of 15th century western Mazovia and in 1526/1529 the main part was incorporated into the Polish state. In the 15th century the eastern part of the region was settled by the yeomanry. Mazovia was considered underdeveloped in comparison with Greater Poland and Lesser Poland, with the lowest urban population. In the Early Modern Times Mazovia was known for exporting grain and fur, it was distinct because there was no reformation here. Mazovia was divided into three voivodeships, each of them divided into lands, each of them divided into counties; the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Lublin established Mazovia as the central region of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with Warsaw rising to prominence as the seat of the state legislature. In 1596 King Sigismund III Vasa moved the Polish capital from Kraków to Warsaw. During the 17th and 18th centuries Swedish, Transylvanian and Russian invasions wreaked havoc on the region.
In 1793 western Mazovia, two years the rest of the region became part of Prussia. In 1807 it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815 the region was incorporated into the Congress Kingdom of Poland, dependent on Russia. In the 19th century Mazovia was the site of Polish rebellions against Russian rule. In that era pre-partition Mazovia was divided among Płock and Augustów. Since 1918 Mazovia has been a part of the resurrected Poland, being equivalent to the Warsaw Voivodeship. Under the German occupation of Warsaw during World War II, the city’s population decreased as a result of executions, the extermination of the city’s Jews, the deaths of some 200,000 inhabitants during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the deportation of the city’s left-bank population following the uprising. Shortly after
United Buddy Bears
Buddy Bears is the name given to painted, life-size fiberglass bear sculptures developed by German businesspeople Klaus and Eva Herlitz, in cooperation with sculptor Roman Strobl. The raised arms of the standing Buddy Bears are aligned on the dissemination of friendliness and optimism, thus mediate a positive mood. "The Buddy Bear has become an unofficial ambassador for Germany and is a symbol of Berlin since 2001. The story of the Buddy Bears started with an artistic event in Berlin in 2001. Inspired by the idea of bringing art in the streets of a metropolis like the cow parade in Zurich and New York." In addition to the Classic Buddy Bears presented far beyond Berlin’s city limits, the circle of United Buddy Bears came into being in 2002. The Exhibition travel around the world promoting "peace, international understanding and tolerance among the nations and religions of this world"; the first activities were presented as the Buddy Bear Berlin Show. In 2001, artists painted 350 bears to appear in the public domain, as decorative elements in the streets of Berlin.
Four different bear designs took part in this activity in the city centre of Berlin. Afterwards, many of the bears were sold at auctions in aid of child relief organisations. Nowadays, these Berlin Buddy Bears are presented on private premises, in front of hotels and embassies, as well as in the foyers of various office buildings. There have been exhibitions of the original Buddy Bears — designed by local artists — in the cities of Shanghai, Buenos Aires, St. Gallen / Switzerland. United Buddy Bears is an international art exhibition with more than 140 two metre tall fiberglass bears. Under the motto: "We have to get to know each other better, it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more, live together more peacefully", more than 140 countries acknowledged by the United Nations are represented, promoting "tolerance, international understanding and the great concept of different nations and cultures living in peace and harmony"; the bears stand "hand in hand" in a "peaceful circle".
The bears were in a circle around the Brandenburg Gate. Around 1.5 million people visited this first exhibition. On 6 November 2002, the bears were moved to new locations, including their respective countries embassies in Berlin, or back to country that they were based on; some of the bears were auctioned off to raise money for UNICEF. After the circle of "United Buddy Bears" had been such an overwhelming success in 2002, a new circle was created in 2003; the idea was to send the circle on a global tour. On their global tour, the "United Buddy Bears" promote peace, love and international understanding; the circle changes every time. This is not only due to the local conditions, but to their changing order, as the bears are always set up in alphabetic order, following the local language of the host country; this always leads to new and sometimes politically interesting proximities. Entry to the exhibitions is always free; this makes it possible for many school classes to visit the exhibitions in the morning — as part of their lessons — to explore and learn a lot about the culture, landscape and music of all five continents in a playful manner.
During past exhibitions more than 40 million visitors have admired the colorful United Buddy Bears. In every metropolis, the United Buddy Bears exhibitions are supported by the government, the foreign ministries, the mayors and the UNICEF organisations. Heads of state – for example the Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, the German Federal President, Horst Köhler and First Lady of Egypt, Suzanne Mubarak as well as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors such as Sir Peter Ustinov, Jackie Chan, Christiane Hörbiger, Mia Farrow, Iris Berben and Ken Done have opened these exhibitions all over the world. United Buddy Bears Special Ambassador is the actress Dennenesch Zoudé; the bears have been displayed at the following Stations since the beginning of the tour: 2003 Berlin: Having visited the exhibition in Berlin in 2002, Sir Peter Ustinov insisted that Iraq should be represented in the circle of United Buddy Bears in the future. In 2003, Iraq took part in the circle for the first time and Ustinov gave the opening address of the exhibition in the presence of more than 70 ambassadors.
2004 Hong Kong: Jackie Chan saw the exhibition in Berlin in 2003. On his initiative, the international bears travelled to Hong Kong one year later. Chan became the patron for this event. More than 3,000 VIPs from the world of politics and culture took part in the opening ceremony. 2005 Seoul: In the run-up to the exhibition in South Korea, two artists got the permission to travel from North Korea to Germany via Beijing in order to design a United Buddy Bear in Berlin on behalf of their country. Hence it was possible that both North- and South Korea stood together hand in hand for the first time during an art exhibition. 2007 Jerusalem: All countries of the Arab World were represented in the circle of 132 nations, with a Palestinian bear on an equal footing with all the other bears for the first time in Jerusalem. 2008 Pyongyang: It was the first exhibition in North Korea, accessible for everyone and open to everybody. According to official information, around 100,000 visitors were counted every week in Pyongyang.
2012 Paris: United Buddy Bears are on show near the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the twinning of Paris and Berlin and the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty which marked the official reconciliation between France and Germany after world
Military history of the Russian Empire
The military history of the Russian Empire encompasses the history of armed conflict in which the Russian Empire participated. This history stretches from its creation in 1721 by Peter the Great, until the Russian Revolution, which led to the establishment of the Soviet Union. Much of the related events involve the Imperial Russian Army, Imperial Russian Navy, from the early twentieth century, the Imperial Russian Air Service. Historians have long marked the importance of Peter the Great's reign in Russian history. Peter came of age in a vast but technologically and backward country. Upon taking control of Russia in 1682, the tsar energetically redressed every aspect of Russian government and military to more match its western neighbors, he fought expansive wars against his neighbors, squeezing every resource at his disposal to power his war machine, send large numbers of young men west, to learn the trades and skills that Russia would need in the future. Peter founded a new Russia by shattering the old, by his death in 1725 Russia had taken Sweden's place as Europe's dominant eastern power.
The epoch of Russian history that Peter created has been variously known as the Imperial Age, because of the new connection between the ruler and land. The period from the time of his rule to the October Revolution in 1917 is sometimes called the Petrine era, in tribute to his importance. However, the Russian Empire proper was not founded until Peter took the title of imperator, at the end of the Great Northern War. Peter the Great was born on June 1672, to Tsar Alexis I and his second wife Natalia Naryshkina; the tsar had more than 14 children between the two marriages, but only three of the males and Ivan by his first marriage and Peter by his second, survived into adulthood. Peter was more healthy his half-brothers, both of which had serious physical disabilities. Peter's father died in 1676, Feodor, the late ruler's oldest son, was proclaimed tsar; when Feodor, in turn, died in 1682, he left no heir to the throne. With no clear path for succession, the two most prominent boyar families, the Naryshkins and the Miloslavsky, backed different heirs in a competition for the throne.
The Naryshkins, backing Peter, won an early victory, Peter was proclaimed tsar in April 1682, with his mother as the acting regent. However, in May, Peter's able-bodied half-sister Sophia, leading a Miloslavsky-backed rebellion by the streltsy, overtook the throne and killed many of the leading members of the Naryshkin family, the murders of whom Peter witnessed. In the aftermath, Ivan was proclaimed the senior tsar, Peter the junior tsar, Sophia the regent. In reality, Sophia took absolute power as an autocrat; as a child, though intelligent, was neither an intellectual nor refined. Physically able and possessing manic levels of energy, he turned his attention towards working with his hands. In particular, Peter found interest in military manners, he formed mock troops with his friends, the sons of nobles and servitors, staged mock battles. As he grew older, these battles became more and more elaborate, including organized units and live ammunition. Once they became adults, the boys with whom Peter staged the fights would become his commanders and closest military advisers forming the core of Russia's first two elite guard units, the Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky regiments.
These two regiments contained the core of the Russian nobility, became training grounds for young nobles, who served as rank-and-file soldiers to learn military life before becoming officers elsewhere. As Peter grew older, Sophia realized the insecurity of her throne in the face of a fledging male heir. In 1689, she incited her supporters in the streltsy to rebel again and put her in power again. Frightened by rumors of a plot, Peter fled Moscow. In the critical days that followed, the patriarch and many of the boyars and gentry rallied behind him. Most of the streltsy wavered and took no action, Sophia was forced, off the throne. Thus, in August 1689, he was acknowledged as the effective ruler of Russia. However, at the age of 17, he still had little interest in military manners, passed on his rule to his mother, Natalya Naryshkina, it was not until her death in 1694 that Peter assumed control of the state. Peter studied soldiers and sailors from the bottom up, serving in the rank and file before promoting himself into the officer corps.
Thus, Peter did not become a full general until after his victory at Poltava in 1709, did not become full admiral until the conclusion of the Great Northern War more than a decade later. As early as 1694, he built an entire ship by himself. Russia suffered from an acute lack of expertise, a problem Peter mitigated by going to the foreign quarters in Moscow. Peter wanted to be everywhere at once, see everything for himself. Not taking his role as tsar seriously, he and his noble friends staged elaborate drinking rituals and other forms of horseplay, displays of personal excess that helped unite his circle of friends through talk and drink. However, at the same time, he could be cruel, not flinching from the application of force to put down rebellions and sometimes b
William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, again from 1983 to 1992, the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat, many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College and Yale Law School, he met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979; as Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992. At age 46, he became the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.
He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term, he passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice following allegations that he committed perjury and obstructed justice to conceal an affair that he had with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House Intern. Clinton was completed his term in office, he is only the second U. S. president—following Andrew Johnson 131 years earlier—to be impeached. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969.
In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U. S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, assisted the Northern Ireland peace process. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U. S. president since World War II, has continually scored high in the historical rankings of U. S. presidents placing in the top third. Since leaving office, he has been involved in humanitarian work, he created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming, he has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including the presidential campaigns of his wife and Barack Obama. In 2004, Clinton published My Life. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
In addition, he secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned by North Korea, visiting the capital Pyongyang and negotiating their release with Kim Jong-il. Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas, he is the son of William Jefferson Blythe Jr. a traveling salesman who had died in an automobile accident three months before his birth, Virginia Dell Cassidy. His parents had married on September 4, 1943, but this union proved to be bigamous, as Blythe was still married to his third wife. Virginia traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after Bill was born, leaving him in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store. At a time when the southern United States was racially segregated, Clinton's grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races. In 1950, Bill's mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr. who co-owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his brother and Earl T. Ricks.
The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950. Although he assumed use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Clinton turned 15 that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton said that he remembered his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who abused his mother and half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr. to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence to protect them. In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, Hot Springs High School, where he was an active student leader, avid reader, musician. Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band's saxophone section, he considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography My Life: Clinton began an interest in law at Hot Springs High, when he took up the challenge to argue the defense of the ancient Roman Senator Catiline in a mock trial in his Latin class.
After a vigorous defense that made use of his "budding rhetorical and political skills", he told the Latin teacher Elizabeth Buck that it "made him realize that someday he would study law". Clinton has identified two influential moments in his life, both occurring in 1963, that contributed to his decision to become a public figure. One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th
Royal Castle, Warsaw
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency that served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town; the personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the sixteenth century until the Partitions of Poland. The complex served as the residence of the Dukes of Masovia, since the sixteenth century, the seat of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: the King and Parliament. In its long history the Royal Castle was plundered and devastated by the invading Swedish, Brandenburgian and Tsarist armies; the Constitution of 3 May 1791, the first of its type in Europe and the world's second-oldest codified national constitution after the 1789 U. S. Constitution, was drafted here by the Four-Year Sejm. In the 19th century, after the collapse of the November Uprising, it was used as an administrative centre by the Tsar and was re-designed for the needs of the Imperial Russian administration.
During the course of World War I it was the residence of the German Governor-General. In 1920-1922 the Royal Castle was the seat of the Polish Head of State and between 1926 and World War II the building was the residence of the Polish president, Ignacy Mościcki. Burned and looted by the Nazi Germans following the Invasion of Poland in 1939 and completely destroyed in 1944 after the failed Warsaw Uprising, the Castle was rebuilt and reconstructed. Reconstruction of the castle carried out in 1971-1984 was led by the Civic Committee, responsible for the reconstruction of Warsaw, it was afforded by US donations. In 1980, the Royal Castle, together with the Old Town was registered as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is a historical and national monument, is listed as a national museum visited by over 500,000 people every year; the Royal Castle in Warsaw, due to its iconic appearance and its long history, is one of Warsaw's most recognizable landmarks. In the 1339 the Papal Legate in Warsaw heard a case brought by the King of Poland, Casimir III the Great, against the German Teutonic Order.
He claimed that they had illegally seized a slice of Polish territory — Pomerania and the Kujawy region. The documents in this case are the earliest written testimony to the existence of Warsaw. At that time a fortified town surrounded by earthen and wooden ramparts, situated where the Royal Castle now stands, it was the seat of Trojden, Duke of Masovia. At the end of the 13th century, during the Duke's Conrad II of Mazovia reign, the wooden-earthen gord called Smaller Manor was built; the next duke, Casimir I, decided to build the first brick building here at the burg-city's area the Great Tower. In the middle of the 14th century the Castle Tower, whose structure up to the first storey has survived to this day, was built, while during the reign over Masovia by Duke Janusz I the Elder, the Curia Maior was erected between 1407 and 1410, its facade, still standing in 1944, was knocked down by the Germans, but has been rebuilt since then. The character of the new residence and its size decided the change of the buildings status, from 1414 it functioned as a Prince Manor.
When the Masovia region was incorporated in the Kingdom of Poland in 1526, the edifice, which until had been the Castle of the Dukes of Masovia, became one of the royal residences. From 1548 onwards Queen Bona Sforza resided in it with her daughters Izabela, who became Queen of Hungary, Catherine to become Queen of Sweden, Anna Jagiellon Queen of Poland. In 1556–1557 and in 1564 the King of Poland, Sigismund II Augustus, convened royal parliaments in Warsaw, they met in the Castle. Following the Lublin Union, by which the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - were united as a single country, Warsaw Castle was the place where the parliament of the Two-Nations State met. In 1569–1572 King Sigismund II Augustus started alterations in the Castle, the architects being Giovanni Battista di Quadro and Giacopo Pario; the Curia Maior was altered so as provide a meeting place for the Parliament, with premises for the Chamber of Deputies on the ground floor, the Senate Chamber on the first floor.
This was one of the first attempts in Europe to create a building that would be used for parliamentary purposes. The parliamentary character of the Curia Maior is stressed by the paintings of the facade — the coats-of-arms of Poland, of Lithuania, of the various regions from which the delegates were elected. A new Renaissance—style building, known as the "Royal House", was erected next to the Curia Maior; the king resided there. The next alterations to the Castle were made in the reign of Sigismund III, who transferred the royal residence from Cracow to Warsaw. In 1598–1619 the Castle was enlarged. Giovanni Trevano was in charge of the reconstruction, his plans were amended by the Venetian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. Between 1601–1603 Giacomo Rodondo finished the new northern wing. From 1602 Paolo del Corte was doing stonework. After 1614, when Matteo Castelli took the lead, the western wing was built as chancelleries and a marshals office; the southern wing was built at the end. In that way five-wings in a mannerist-early baroque s
Tourist attractions in Warsaw
The city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, offers a variety of tourist attractions, including historical sights, museums and places connected with Marie Curie, with Frédéric Chopin and his music. Since 1980, the old town, one of the main attractions, has been a UNESCO World heritage site; the oldest part of Warsaw, founded at the turn of the 13th century, is the Old Town. Its streets form a regular chessboard pattern typical for medieval towns. Among the most notable landmarks of the Old Town are the Royal Castle, King Sigismund's Column, Market Square, the Barbican. Another important historic district is the New Town, it was formed at the turn of the 14th century as an independent city and after 1791, due to the tenets of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was incorporated into Warsaw. Although today's Warsaw is a young city, it has many tourist attractions. Apart from the Warsaw Old Town quarter reconstructed after World War II, each borough has something to offer. Among the most notable landmarks of the Old Town are the Royal Castle, King Zygmunt's Column, Market Square, the Barbican.
Further south is the so-called Royal Route, with many classicist palaces, the Presidential Palace and the Warsaw University campus. The popular Nowy Świat Street, one of the principal business streets, is worth mentioning. Wilanów Palace, the former royal residence of King John III Sobieski, is notable for its baroque architecture and beautiful parks. Warsaw's oldest public park, the Saxon Garden, is located within 10 minutes' walk from the old town. Warsaw's biggest public said to be the most beautiful is the Royal Baths Park, it is very old – established in the 17th century and given its current classical shape in late 18th century – is located further south, on the Royal Route, about 3 km from the Warsaw Old Town. The Powązki Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe, full of sculptures, some of them by the most renowned Polish artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Since it serves the religious communities of Warsaw, be it Catholics, Muslims or Protestants, it is called a necropolis.
Nearby is the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. In many parts of the city, the Jewish culture and history are evident. Among them the most notable are the Jewish theater, the Nożyk Synagogue, Janusz Korczak's Orphanage and the picturesque Próżna Street. Tragic events from Warsaw’s past are commemorated in places such as the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, the Umschlagplatz, fragments of the Ghetto wall on Sienna Street and a mound in memory of the Jewish Combat Organization. There are many places commemorating the heroic history of Warsaw. Pawiak, an infamous German Gestapo prison now occupied by a Mausoleum of Memory of Martyrdom and the museum, is only the beginning of a walk in the traces of Heroic City; the Warsaw Citadel, an impressive 19th-century fortification built after the defeat of the November Uprising, was a place of martyr for the Poles. Another important monument, the statue of Little Insurgent located at the ramparts of the Old Town, commemorates the children who served as messengers and frontline troops in the Warsaw Uprising, while the impressive Warsaw Uprising Monument by Wincenty Kućma was erected in memory of the largest insurrection of World War II.
After the expansion of the city area in 1916, the opportunity came up to build new estates. In 20's and 30's, new workers' and villas' estates were constructed; as a result, the villas' estate was built in Saska Kępa. Most prewar buildings at this district were not destroyed during World War II. Nowadays many examples of houses from the interwar period still exist, designed by notable architects such as Bohdan Pniewski, Bohdan Lachert, Józef Szanajca, Lucjan Korngold or Szymon and Helena Syrkus. In Warsaw, there are many places connected with the work of Fryderyk Chopin; the heart of the Polish-born composer is sealed inside Warsaw's Holy Cross Church. During summer, pianists give concerts at the Chopin Monument in the Royal Baths Park. Many references to Marie Curie, her work and her family can be found in Warsaw: Marie's birthplace at the Warsaw New Town, the working places where she did her first scientific works and the Radium Institute at Wawelska Street for the research and the treatment of cancer which she founded in 1925.
The area around Warsaw offers many tourist attractions - medieval castles, mansions of the Polish nobles and historic places. Around the city county many medieval monuments can be found including Romanesque church and monastery in Czerwińsk 52 km west of Warsaw, Czersk castle a legendary ruined castle sitting atop an escarpment about 33 km from Warsaw. 16th-century parish church in Brochów at the Bzura River, 52 km west of Warsaw, where Chopin's parents were married and Fryderyk was baptised is another interesting monument. The church was constructed as a fortified Gothic shrine. Bieliński Palace in Otwock Wielki, 25 km from Warsaw city center, houses the Museum of Interiors while palace in Jabłonna, 18 km north of Warsaw, is a part of an 18th-century elegant palace-and-park complex. Żelazowa Wola about 60 km west of Warsaw is the birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin. The annex of the former 19th-century mansion of the Chopin family was turned into a museum devoted to the composer. A 19th-century health spa in Konstancin-Jeziorna is located about 20 km south of Warsaw.
A narrow-gauge train museum in Sochaczew, about 50 km from Warsaw, has the largest collection of narrow-gauge trains in Europe. Places of worship in Warsaw Architecture of Warsaw