Warsaw’s Christmas countdown will become all the more real on December 7th, the date on which the switch is flicked on the city’s lights. Celebrated as one of Europe’s largest seasonal light shows, approximately 4.5 million energy efficient LED bulbs will sparkle through the city to form a truly sensational sight.
Lining 20 kilometers of roadway, the extravaganza will feature 1,300 decorative elements that will include light curtains, overhangs, icicles and free-standing decorations. Were every single light chain laid end-to-end, it’s estimated that they would stretch out in excess of 680 kilometers – roughly the distance to Vienna.
These have not appeared by magic: costing the city zł. 6.5 million, over 60 trucks were used to transport the lights to the capital with a team of around 50 elves working through November to ensure they’d be strung up in time.
As since the dawn of time, the natural focal point of it all will be the Christmas tree on Pl. Zamkowy, though this will be complimented by illuminations running all the way from the Royal Castle to Wilanów Palace. In addition, decorations will adorn the Old and New Town, ul. Mokotowska, ul. Francuska, ul. Agrykola, Poniatowski and Śląsko-Dąbrowski bridges, Pl. Bankowy and swathes of Marszałkowska, Targowa and Solidarności – and those are just the locations that have been confirmed already.
And, as ever, don’t dare miss the so-called Garden of Light outside Wilanów Palace. Lit by 300,000 pulsating diodes, lose yourself in a sea of thematic garden areas whilst tunes by Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi drift in the background. It’s beguiling, bewitching and even slightly trippy. When you leave, it’s with eyes dancing to a kaleidoscope of color.