The Royal Baths (called Łazienki in Polish), despite its curious-sounding name, is one of the most elegant and visited parks in Warsaw. Its broad area is covered in decades-old trees, beautiful small gardens, and scattered historical pavilions. Located close to the city center, it is a great place for a Sunday walk. Enjoy a short trip through Warsaw's most popular park - the Royal Baths.
The origins of the park date back to the 17th century, when Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, a Polish nobleman, built a bathing pavilion. It was later transformed into the Palace on the Isle by the last Polish king - Stanisław II Augustus. The monarch, wanting to create his summer residence, started expanding the area and setting up neoclassical infrastructure. Taking an example from typical English gardens, vastly popular in 18th-century Europe, the king commissioned multiple neoclassical buildings. The architectural masterpieces were designed by the noblest architects of that time and were to serve various functions. Among them was the Orangerie, a place for royal theatre and galleries as well as a winter glasshouse for the orange trees. There was an open-air amphitheater, overlooking a pond, based on the forms of classical Herculaneum and so-called "White House", that served as Stanisław Augustus' summer villa.
While wandering through the alleys of the Royal Baths, you can also see multiple other impressive pavilions that are marked on the maps at the entrances and are accompanied by caption boards, explaining their history. The king also created small gardens of different characters, that we can still visit today. Throughout the years, the Royal Baths hosted the famous Thursday lunches - salons that gathered prominent intellectuals, politicians, and artists. The complex remained in the Polish royal hands until 1817, when it became a property of the Romanovs for the next hundred years.
It is already a tradition that each summer the Royal Baths host concerts of classical music. Gathering the audience in the part of the modernist garden, around the most famous statue of Frederic Chopin, the concerts have been organized since 1959. Every Sunday from May to the end of September, you can enjoy performances of musicians from around the world, playing Chopin's compositions. The concerts take place at midday and 4 PM and are an excellent option for a sophisticated end of a week.
Another interesting activity to do while visiting the Royal Baths is taking a boat ride around the pond. Even though it's going to be a short trip, it gives a chance to admire the architecture from another perspective and relax a bit. The gondolas are available every day from 10 AM to 6 PM and cost less than 3 euros (10 zł).
While wandering through the park, you will probably notice its extraordinary inhabitants. Łazienki is home to various species of animals, some of which can be easily spotted. On your way, you will surely meet (and hear) peacocks, ducks, and squirrels, but with a little bit of luck, you will also spot a fox or a deer!
These are only a few of the leisure activities one can do while visiting Warsaw's most famous park. The Royal Baths also host a fantastic art collection, and each of the pavilions serves as a separate museum. If you feel like taking a coffee break, you can also visit a café or the Michelin-recommended restaurant located in the park.
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