The Royal Palace managed to save some of their most impressive art, including four of the thrones used by kings of Poland. The audiotour is great: it includes headphones (no holding up a weighty device to your ear), and each room has a main number, with extra numbers reserved for specific items of interest.
The next day (before the conference), we headed out to the center of town and the Warsaw Uprising Museum. This contains artifacts from the desparate days near the end of WWII. The Red Army was
encamped outside the city, and with the hope of reclaiming the city the local resistance tried to expel the Nazi forces. But Stalin had other ideas, and his army sat while the German first retook the city block by block and building by building, and then waited further as Hitler systematically destroyed all the important buildings in retaliation. The Uprising Museum tells this story through artefacts, letters, photos, and even film taken by the Poles. An immersive, moving museum.
From there we headed westward to the National Museum. This containsone of the largest collection of medieval religious wood carvings that I have seen with intricate detail very well preserved. And the paintings by the Polish also reveals a deep artistic tradition.
On Wednesday, the conference organized an excursion: A guided tour through the Old Town followed by dinner in another gallery. The dinner was great, and was accompanied by a concert by a trio of women on piano, clarinet, and flute.
Friday was the last day of the conference, and again the afternoon became a sightseeing opportunity. The Palace of Culture and Science (Stalin's "gift" to the Polish people) looms massively in the center of town, and the terrace offers great views of the city.
One corner of the Palace houses the Museum of Technology, a history spanning from the paleolithic to modern times. Automotive, radio, electronic, and typewriter fans will find much to love in their exhibits, and the basic science experiments are quite cool.
Finally, we swung through Old Town for some picture taking. What a lovely place!