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The Castle's Gardens
The gardens of the Royal Castle in Warsaw cover a total of over 2 hectares and consist of two basic elements: the Upper Garden located closer to the residence on the roof of Kubicki Arcades and the Lower Garden located below the castle slope, on the foreland of the Vistula River. Upper Gardens have been revitalized in 2015, Lower are currently under reconstruction, which the Castle plans to finish in mid-2019.
The Gardens of the Royal Castle in Warsaw are entered together with Garden Terrace and the Castle in the register of monuments. The Old Town in Warsaw, in which the Gardens are located, was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List by decision of September 1980. In the justification of the entry of the Old Town in Warsaw on the UNESCO World Heritage List, there was a reconstruction of the urban layout, the market square and tenement houses as well as the reconstruction of the Royal Castle. The reconstruction process was completed with the reconstruction of the Royal Castle. Therefore, the Royal Castle in Warsaw together with the Castle Gardens is not only an object located in the area included in the UNESCO list, but also sets a time frame for the reconstruction of the Old Town in Warsaw; is one of the most important elements of the entire reconstruction.
The Upper Garden, with an area of over 10 000 m2, is located on the roof of the Kubicki Arcades (a building that in the past combined composition of two parts of the gardens, hiding in its interior a road that was a physical division of the gardens). It is a kind of Garden on the Roof. It is located close to the residence, constituting an extension of its interior and immediate vicinity. It is located on a slope. The largest slope of garden lawns exceeds 60 degrees. It is a residential, representative garden that preserves the style of the inter-war period. The heart of the garden is the so-called The Lower Fountain located on the longitudinal axis of the Castle and the entire garden area. The fountain is made of sandstone bowl and patinated bronze chalice stylized on art deco. Its complement is a smaller fountain located in the immediate vicinity of the Castle. Granite paths are delimited diagonally and cross the slopes symmetrically on both sides of the axis. An important element are sandstone seats topped with a pair of vases in which seasonal flowers are planted. At the bottom of the escarpment, the so-called "Small Valley", in which there are quarters designated with boxwood hedges filled with seasonal flowers. Benches were also erected in that part.
Most plantings are boxwood hedges and seasonal plants. An important element of the garden is also a collection of large-flowered roses located on the same line ending the Upper Garden. On the Garden Terrace located directly next to the building, 88 flower pots are laid out. Pots are decorated with patterns taken from Canaletto's paintings. There is also so-called 'Triangular Garden' (Vasa's Garden), which is located in the southern side of the garden. It is a specific reference to the Baroque. It contains intricate patterns arranged from boxwood hedges filled with perennials. There are also roses grafted on the trunk here.
From the Upper Garden there is a beautiful view of the Lower Garden, the Vistula River and the panorama of Warsaw. From the Upper Garden by Parade Stairs, you can go to the Lower Garden.
The Lower Garden of the Royal Castle (around 19 000m2) occupies the area from the Vistula side to the east of Kubicki Arcades. It is part of the garden shaped from at least the beginning of the 19th century.
On May 11th, 2019 it had been opened for visitors after the reconstruction. The revalorisation project aimed to restore the artistic and historical values of the castle complex seen from the river. Reactivating the garden, primarily in the wake of the nineteenth and twentieth-century iconography, made it possible to supplement the panorama of Warsaw from the Vistula river with an important element that has been missing so far. The basis of the Castle view below the Kubicki Arcades is a varied, green space with various garden assumptions. On its northern side there is already existing hornbeam trimmed bosquets. On the south side of the Lower Garden, plant forms imitating the full symmetry of the garden and park setting are created.
The designed Lower Garden refers to the period when, after regaining independence, and shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the renovated castle garden received a robe full of glamor based on the design of the outstanding architect Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz. Traces of this pre-war assumption have survived in the post-war photographs of the ruins of the Royal Castle, and some planting trees from this period have survived to this day.
The most important element of the reconstructed Garden is a grass-like indenter formed in the shape of a garden amphitheater. It is planted with many species of perennial plants. The granite stairs lead the observers to the higher part of the gardens enclosed in molded beech logs. Hedges from cotoneaster also spice up planting. The oldest plant form are hornbeam bosquets with a height of over 6,5 m. They should be located on two sides of the garden axis, however, the transformation and development of the city made it impossible to recreate the southern part of the bosses. They are played only to the extent possible today.
The whole composition is complemented by 12 fountains located symmetrically on two sides of the longitudinal axis of the garden. In the Lower Garden there will also be 25 sculptures, there are 10 sandstone vases and over 100 benches. An important element is the illumination, which will highlights the beauty of the garden also at night.
The completion of works in the Lower Garden means the final stage of reconstructing the Castle gardens. Now the gardens constitute a compositional whole with historical, aesthetic and landscape values.
Photos by: M. Kmieciński, S. Leszczyński, M. Drąg, D. Piskorska