POINTS OF INTEREST
Warsaw's Royal Castle stands on the east side of Castle Square. The princes of Mazovia first built a residence on this spot overlooking the Vistula in the 14th century. Its present Renaissance form dates from the reign of King Zygmunt III Waza, who needed a magnificent palace for his new capital. Reconstructed in the 1970s, it now gleams as it did in its earliest years, with gilt, marble, and wall paintings. It also houses impressive collections of art—including the famous views of Warsaw that were painted by Canaletto's nephew Bernardo Bellotto (also known as Canaletto), which were used to rebuild the city after the war. Tours in English are available.