You can visit only part of the Citadel in that the Polish Military continues to use most of it. But that which you can visit is perhaps some of the most attention gathering part.

warsaw citadel execution gate
Citadel Execution Gate

It was built so that Russia could control Warsaw. Construction was done by and paid for by the Polish people as punishment for their uprising against Russia.

A large installation, it occupies 76 hectares just north of Warsaw’s New Town and borders, as well as controls traffic, on the Wisla.

A major highway now runs just below the walls along the Wisla. Even so, many people do not see the imposing walls hidden by the tress high above them.

Entrance to the Citadel is free. Entrance to the prison, called the “Tenth Pavilion” is free on Sunday. On other days there is a small fee.

The history of the Citadel is long. It served to control Warsaw with over 500 guns. It was a prison for some of Poland’s most famous people who opposed the Russians. From the prison they either went to the execution gate where they were hung or sent off to Siberia.

During the Second World War, the Germans used it to control Warsaw and to keep Northern Warsaw split from the remainder of the city.

The section that remains in Zoliborz was the Northern Defense for the main section. The connections between the two no longer exist. And the Northern piece has been fully renovated and turned into a cultural center.


The video to the left gives you an overview of the citadel.

This is not one of those things that the average tourist takes time to see. And probably rightly so.

But if you are in Warsaw for an extended stay, it is something interesting to visit.

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