Over 85% of the urban tissue of Warsaw was destroyed by Nazi troops, just after the World War II. In consequence, the Old and the New Town was almost completely ruined. However, the Bureau of World Heritage Committee underlined that the inscription of the historic center of Warsaw was recommended in particular in recognition of Polish nation's merits in the meticulous reconstruction inspired by its efforts and determination to rebuilt the historical and culture identity no matter the difficulties that the following political conditions brought into the action.
Warsaw's Old Town (Polish: Stare Miasto, colloquially: Starówka) is the oldest historic district of the city. It is one of Warsaw's most prominent tourist attractions. The heart of the area is the Old Town Market Place, with its restaurants, cafés and shops. Surrounding streets feature medieval architecture such as the city walls, barbican and St. John's Cathedral. Warsaw's Old Town was established in the 13th century. Initially surrounded by an earthwork rampart, prior to 1339 it was fortified with brick city walls. The town originally grew up around the castle of the Dukes of Mazovia that later became the Royal Castle. Until 1817 the Old Town's most notable feature was the Town Hall built before 1429. In 1701 the square was rebuilt by Tylman of Gameren, and in 1817 the Town Hall was demolished. In 1918 the Royal Castle once again became the seat of Poland's highest authorities: the President of Poland and his chancellery.
The Royal Castle (Polish: Zamek Królewski) - the royal palace and official residence of the Polish monarchs, located at the Castle Square (Polish: plac Zamkowy), at the entrance to the Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the 16th century until the Partitions of Poland. On 3 May 1791, the Constitution of May, Europe's first modern codified national constitution, as well as the second-oldest national constitution in the world, was drafted here by the Four-Year Sejm (Polish Parliament). In the 19th century, during the November Uprising, on 25 January 1831, the Parliament debating in the castle dethroned Tsar of Russia Nicholas I as the Polish king. After the collapse of the November Uprising, it was used as an administrative center by the Tsar of Russia. During the First World War it was the residence of the German military governor, and from 1920 to 1922, the residence of head of state. Between 1926 and World War II the palace was the seat of the Polish president, Ignacy Mościcki. After the devastation of World War II it was rebuilt and reconstructed. Today it is a historical and national monument, and is listed as a national museum.
Warsaw's New Town is a neighbourhood dating from the 15th century. It lies just north of the Old Town and is connected to it by Freta Street, where Marie Curie was born, which begins at the Barbican. Like the Old Town, the New Town was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and rebuilt after the war.
During the Invasion of Poland (1939), much of the district was badly damaged by the German Luftwaffe, which targeted the city's residential areas and historic landmarks in a campaign of terror bombing. Following the Siege of Warsaw, parts of the Old Town were rebuilt, but immediately after the Warsaw Uprising (August-October 1944) what had been left standing was systematically blown up by the German Army. A statue commemorating the Uprising, "the Little Insurgent," now stands on the Old Town's medieval city wall.
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. Bernardo Bellotto's 18th-century vedute, as well as pre-World-War II architecture students' drawings, were used as essential sources in the reconstruction effort.