During our travels around Poland, one of the most important cities we visited was Warsaw, the capital. Home to a turbulent and important history, much of which is focused around WWII and the post-war communist era, we wanted to discover a little of what was left of pre-war Warsaw.
One of the few surviving examples of this time is King Jan III's opulent yellow palace, just south of the city. To visit this palace is to understand what a rich culture there was before WWII and the Warsaw Uprisings, in which 85% of Warsaw was destroyed.
Once the centre of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the largest territory in 16th century Europe), this beautiful palace was first built in 1676 by King Jan III Sobieski as a country retreat outside of the city of Warsaw. It was expanded at various points throughout history by its different owners including many notable Polish families.
The best part of the visit is wandering the gardens and lakes and admiring the ornate architecture of the exterior that managed to survive the war and Warsaw Uprisings intact, although the collections were sadly mostly looted. The Palace became a museum in 1962 under the post-war Communist government and has been restored internally and externally to the grandiose style of King Jan III. We did not visit the inside, but very much enjoyed our early evening exploring the grounds.
TIP: entrance to the museum and gardens is free on Thursdays! For other days, check ticket prices here.