Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.78 mio residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 mio residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once described as the "Paris of the North", Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins.
The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw University of Technology, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art.
The picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces, churches and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail.
Warsaw is currently defined as having a humid continental climate with long cold winters and short warm summers, though the urban heat island effect does make Warsaw's winters slightly less severe than in the surrounding rural areas.
Daily mean °C (°F): 8.5 °C (47.3 °F)
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