Warsaw, as befits the capital of Poland, is the largest Polish city in terms of population and area. Although it is usually said that Warsaw has been the capital of Poland since 1596, this is not entirely true. Then only the king and his court were moved to Warsaw, making it a residential city of His Majesty. Warsaw was not declared the capital of Poland until 1918, while the formal record of its capital appeared only in 1952, in the Constitution of the Polish People's Republic. The Sigismund III Vasa Column, founded in 1644, was the first secular monument in Poland, which caused considerable outrage from the clergy. So far, places on high pedestals were reserved only for saints. It's a student city. The largest academic center in Poland attracts thousands of them. As many as 66 universities have their headquarters here.
There are many festivals and music competitions in the capital. The most important are: the International Piano Competition Fryderyk Chopin, the International Festival of Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn", Jazz Jamboree, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days and the Mozart Festival. Warsaw hosts the year-on-year mass runs: the Warsaw Half Marathon (March), Warsaw Marathon (September) and Run Warsaw (October). It houses many museums and art galleries, both state and private. The largest galleries are Zachęta and the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, while the largest museums in Warsaw are the National Museum, the Royal Castle and the Palace Museum in Wilanów. Warsaw is one of the highest cities in Europe after Moscow, Paris, Frankfurt am Main and London. The highest building in Poland is of course the Palace of Culture and Science, which is located in the city center. It is the only capital in the European Union where a nature reserve is located close to the center. At a distance of only 6 km from the downtown, in Mokotów, there is the Jeziorka Czerniakowskie reserve - a refuge for many animal species, including birds, reptiles and fish.
One of the most interesting and beautiful gardens, full of beautiful flowers and decorative shrubs, where on a warm day you can relax after a long walk, sunbathe or admire the amazing view of Warsaw is located on the roof of the University of Warsaw Library. In this extraordinary garden with an area of over a hectare, we can see a variety of plant species and listen to the sound of water coming from the cascade or feed ducks that have lived in a small pond for good.
The best Polish chocolates, sweets and marshmallows come from Warsaw. E. Wedel, famous for its products not only in Poland but also in the world, was born in the capital in 1851. The first product was cream caramels, which were supposed to cure ailments associated with the common cold. The company started producing chocolate a few years later, in 1855.