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The Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) is as good a place as anywhere to start off on a tour of the delights of historic Warsaw.

The castle doesn't really look that much like a castle at all, or at least how we expect castles to look like in England. In fact it'd be more accurate to describe it as a palace.

The building itself is an attractive Gothic pile, painted a vivid pink, with a graceful clock tower and smaller turrets at each corner.

Inside there are over 300 rooms, many with authentic period furniture and decoration (some of the contents of the original castle were evacuated to Canada before the Nazi invasion in 1939, museums donated other bits and pieces, as did the Governments of then fellow communist states).

Also in the Castle Square the Zygmunt's Column (Kolumna Zygmunta), a memorial to King Sigismund III Vasa.

The 20 metre high column was erected in 1644 but was unsurprisingly knocked down during the war.

It was rebuilt afterwards, but the statue of the King on top of it is the 17th century original that came through the war unscathed.To sum up, not as tall as Nelson's Column, but quite a bit older.Running initially northwest from the Castle Square is a long section of the Old Town's defensive walls; they're a modern reconstruction but they look pretty impressive; the brick walls are thick and studded with defensive towers, and there's a path running along the top of it so you can take a stroll along them.The moat has also been rebuilt, but has been left as a dry ditch rather than been flooded, and you can walk around that as well (which might have been difficult if they had filled it with water...) From the Castle Square Warsaw's Old Town extends for roughly 250 metres to the northwest.By 1945 there was barely anything left standing here, the whole Old Town was basically nothing more than a field of rubble (the Nazis didn't only want to get at the resistance fighters who were hiding out in the Old Town, they wanted to annihilate anything in Warsaw that had any sort of historical significance).Seeing photos of how this area looked at the end of the war puts the job done by the restorers into perspective.