Palace of Culture and Science in the capital of Poland | Warsaw

Discover all the Capitals of Poland

Since Poland became a country, in the year 966, many cities served as capitals before the latest which is Warsaw until today. Not only this but there are now many other capitals of Poland at the same time as Warsaw. Let's meet them...


Let's Discover the Capitals of Poland

We are going to see not only the cities which actually served as capitals of Poland but also the cities which are considered to be capitals of a season or something else in our days.


Cities served as Capitals of Poland

Gniezno (966 - 1039) is accepted to be the first capital of Poland, as it was one of the primary places of residence in Poland. Then we have Krakow (1039 - 1079), but this is not the only time Krakow served as the capital of Poland.

Just after Krakow's first service as the capital of Poland, we have the city of Płock (1079 - 1138) serving as capital and then again Krakow service started in 1138, but there was a short interim in 1290 when Poznan was serving as the capital until 1296 and then again the capital returned back to Krakow.

Kid standing on a bridge in Warsaw Poland - background Green and the centerWarsaw - Bridge connecting the 2 parts of Pole Mokotowskie Park

When Warsaw became the Capital of Poland?

Many people, even guides say that the capital of Poland was moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1596 by Zygmunt III Waza which was elected king of Poland by the nobility in 1587. But this is not the whole truth. What actually happened in 1596?

Zygmunt's residence at Krakow's Wawel Castle was badly damaged by a fire which was caused by a mistaken alchemy experiment, as it is known that the king was involved in alchemy.

Damages in the Wawe's Castle forced the king to start his relocation to Warsaw in 1596, and in 1611, he made Warsaw's Royal Castle his main residency. The main reason for choosing Warsaw to be the next capital of Poland was the central location of the city.

Since Zygmunt III Waza moved to Warsaw, the city served unofficially as the capital of Poland with one exception. However, officially and by the law, Warsaw was declared the capital of Poland in the 1952's Constitution of the Polish People's Republic.

warsaw visla river cityCapital City of Warsaw behind the Wisła river

Before 1952, during the 1st World War in 1916, when Warsaw was changing hands from the Russians to the Germans, the German declared Warsaw as the capital of Poland, but since this is was not a formal Polish source, it does not count.

Warsaw was re-declared the capital of Poland in the 1997 Constitution of Poland. But when Warsaw stopped being the capital of Poland? In 1795, Poland was erased from the political map of Europe (third partition) and deprived of its independence for 123 years.

During that time, Poland formally did not exist and therefore had no capital. Later in 1918, Poland regained its independence, and the government was created in Lublin, so some people claim Lublin as capital from the 6th until the 12th of November of 1918.

On the 12th of November, the government passed over its power to Józef Pisłudski and Warsaw became the capital of Poland again.

Finally, during the 2nd World War, some people also claim Lublin to be the capital of Poland, but the communist regime headquarters imposed by the Soviet Union are not accepted as a Polish government.

krakow main squareKrakow - The Former Capital

Last but not least, some people even claim that Wroclaw and Sandomierz served as capitals of Poland during the 11th and 12th centuries together with Krakow.

Read more detailed information in the article: Not Only Warsaw


Xy Things to Do in Krakow

Co-Capitals of Poland

We know so far that Krakow was the former capital of Poland together with some other cities which served as capitals during different periods of time and even for a very short time. I am also sure that you all know that Warsaw is the capital of Poland.

What other capitals Poland has?

Zakopane

Is considered to be the winter capital of Poland. The graphical small city is located in the Tatra mountains and it is one of the best winter resorts in Poland, both for the Polish people, but also for the tourists.

jumping contest poland

The city is best to be visited from Krakow and definitely is a very unique place in Poland with very unique people and traditions.

Uszka

A very unique city of Poland on the Baltic sea which is considered by many as the Summer capital of Poland.

Czestochowa

Czestochowa is definitely the spiritual capital of Poland and the house of the famous and miraculous Black Madonna painting which is located at the Jasna Góra monastery.

Swidnica

One of the oldest and very unique cities of Poland, which is said to be the Polish capital of box by the local people, as it the place where famous Polish boxers are training.

Swidnica - Paint on the wall shows that Swidnica is the Polish capital of boxSwidnica - box training arena

Swidnica is also famous for the Church of Peace, a wooden church inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


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Last modification: Tue 4 May 2021