Photographer's Note

Castle Square (Polish: Plac Zamkowy) is a historic square in front of the Royal Castle – the former official residence of Polish monarchs – located in Warsaw, Poland. The Square, of somewhat triangular shape, features the landmark Sigismund's Column to the south-west, and is surrounded by historic townhouses. It marks the beginning of the bustling Royal Route extending to the south.

The column commemorating king Sigismund III of Poland (a work by Clemente Molli, erected in 1644) is the oldest and one of the symbolic landmarks of the city and the first secular monument in the form of a column in modern history. On the east side of the square stands the Royal Castle reconstructed after the devastation of World War II. It was formerly the residence of the dukes of Mazovia, and then of the Polish kings and grand dukes of Lithuania from the 16th to 18th centuries. The Germans bombed and blew it up in the beginning of World War II (September 1939), and then completely destroyed in 1944–1945.

This square has witnessed many dramatic scenes in Polish history. Patriotic demonstrations took place there during the period before the outbreak of the January uprising of 1863. On 27 February 1861, Russian bullets killed five people. On 8 April 1861 five rota of infantry and two troops of Russian cavalry (about 1,300 people) led by General Stepan Aleksandrovich Khrulyov  carried out a bloody massacre of civilians, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people. During martial law the square became the scene of the particularly brutal riot, with ZOMO (Motorized Refugees of the Citizens' Militia) police rushing through demonstrations on 3 May 1982.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 700 W: 10 N: 2146] (8899)
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