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There is only one castle in Warsaw, but not far from the centre are two palaces. The closest is in Lazienski Park and the other is in Wilanow about half an hour by bus.
The Royal Castle is close to the old town and like many places in Poland was almost totally destroyed during the 2nd world war. And like many buildings (including the old town square) has been rebuilt to its former glory. The castle is 17th century and the rebuild was completed in 1974. It now contains a museum. Tapestries and paintings are the main items but one room contains a history of the building and like many of the other places in Warsaw, there is great emphasis on the destruction by the occupying forces and the rebuilding after the war.
Wilanow, which is called the Polish Versailles, also suffered at the hand of the Nazis. It was purchased by King Sobieski in 1677 when it was a manor house and he spent the next twenty years turning it into a palace. The Palace now belongs to the state and is mainly a museum tracing the history of Polands royal families.
Our original plan had been to move on to Torun, the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and one of the best preserved Hanseatic trading centres, which boasts some of the most impressive ruins of a Teutonic castle. Unfortunately, our plans had to be changes and after three days in Warsaw we headed directly north to the place that was the main reason for our holiday, Malbork castle.