Presidential Palace, Warsaw, Poland
Presidential Palace (Pałac Prezydencki) in Warsaw is one of the most notable buildings on a historical street - Krakowskie Przedmieście. This building is unique not only thanks to its classical beauty, but also - history. Here eight-years-old Chopin gave his first public concert and here in 1997 was signed the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.
The palace, built in the 17th century and later was rebuilt and renovated for several times. During its history, the palace was the seat of the Polish Minister for the crown and the viceroy, was used as a theater building, and during the Second World War served as a hotel and casino for the Nazi elite. After the war, the building housed the Chamber of Ministers, and after the collapse of the USSR it was redesigned to become a presidential residence. It was then that the palace was renamed the Presidential Palace, and before that it was called the Pałac Koniecpolskich, Radziwiłłów, Pałac Namiestnikowski and so on. Today it is the biggest palace in Warsaw. Since 1993, presidents of Poland were residing here, but after the tragic death of President Lech Kaczynski in 2010, the palace has been used exclusively for official functions.
Originally the building was a two-story building with towers on both sides and a large garden, which went down to the river Vistula. As a result of the many changes and renovations palace today does not resemble the original one. Architect of the initial building, built in 1643-1646, was Constantino Tencalla, but its contemporary form the building received in 1818-1819, in accordance with the design of Chrystian Piotr Aigner. According to this plan, the side wings of the building have been lengthened, and columns and sculptures were added to the facade of the building.
Today - it is a three-story neoclassical palace with spacious and richly decorated halls for official receptions, ballroom, chapel, green-house and apartments of the president. Rococo Hall is particularly impressive. Here the first ladies are having tea while their husbands are at official meetings.
The presence of a several guards in front of the building and the location of the palace on one of the most crowded and famous streets, creates an atmosphere of intimacy between the Government and the people of Poland.
By Anna Pambukhchyan, www.building.am