Warsaw in 1945
During the invasion of Poland (1939), much of the old Town was badly damaged by the German Luftwaffe, which targeted the city’s residential areas and historic landmarks in a campaign of terror bombing. After the Warsaw uprising (1944) the German army blew up what had been left standing.
After World War II, the Old Town was meticulously rebuilt. As many of the original bricks were reused as possible. The rubble was sifted for reusable decorative elements, which were reinserted into their original places.
Sigismund was Swedish, son to the Swedish King Johan III and the Polish princess, Katerina Jagellonica. He was elected King of Poland in 1587. For a short while – 1592-1599 – he was also King of Sweden, but he was deposed by his uncle, Karl IX. Sigismund remained King of Poland till his death in 1632. He was succeeded by his son, Wladislaw IV, who commissioned this column.