Warsaw’s Christmas countdown will become all the more real on December 4th, the date on which the switch stands to be 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.
As absolutely always, the natural focal point of it all will be the Christmas tree on Pl. Zamkowy, though this 27-meter beauty will also be complimented by illuminations running all the way from the Royal Castle down to Wilanów Palace.
Following what many call the Royal Route, highlights to look for along this stretch will include an illuminated ‘balloon seller’ and a glimmering ‘organ grinder’. On top of that, city authorities have also promised chess pieces on Pl. Twardowski, a carousel on Pl. Hoovera as well as a 54-meter long ‘tunnel of light’.
Additionally, expect lights to adorn the Old and New Town, Mokotowska, Francuska, Agrykola, the fountain park, Lazienki, Marszałkowska and other major parks and arteries criss-crossing Warsaw. Given that, it’s tempting to ask if the city can afford it – the answer, they say, is yes.
“The illuminations consist of energy-saving eco LED lights that consume ten times less electricity than normal bulbs,” say City Hall. “Thanks to this, the cost of feeding this year’s decorations should amount to around zl. 1,000 per day.”
Garden Of Light!
People are naturally going to gravitate to the center, but for Warsaw’s biggest dazzle look south to the Garden of Light!
Established as one of the biggest pulls of Poland’s winter, find the Garden of Light lit by 300,000 pulsating diodes spread over a sea of thematic garden areas outside what’s often dubbed ‘the Polish Versailles’: yep, you’ve got it, Wilanów Palace.
According to the organizers, “the elements and details of the light exhibition refer to iconographic sources, the coat of arms of Jan III Sobieski and the symbolism of the palace.
The entrance to the garden is guarded by eagles adorning the illuminated pergola, and in the northern garden, you can walk along an avenue planted with vines and see the illuminated gazebo stylized in the 17th century…”
Beguiling and bewitching, you walk a stunning trail of shimmering oddities that culminate with the Garden of Dreams, a surreal world that takes visitors journeying past vivid and fantastical installations whilst classical tunes are piped in the background.
Spectacularly hallucinogenic, the effect is not unlike following Alice through the looking glass, and the best could yet be to come – debuting on December 4th, brace yourself for a spectacular kaleidoscope of color in the Rose Garden. Additionally, 3D mappings are scheduled to take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Kids under seven get to enjoy it for free, while others will be paying zł. 5-10 (kids, students and seniors) or zł. 20-40 (adults) depending on the day they choose to visit. Buying tickets online comes recommended (ticket.wilanow-palac.pl).
Ogród Świateł – Piotruś Pan
Debuting for the first time, Powsin unleashes the Kingdom of Peter Pan…
As you’ve probably already established, Warsaw will not go short of illuminations this Christmas. But if there was a smidgen of doubt, then allow those to be dispelled by the Peter Pan World of Lights.
Tucked waaaay down south in the Powsin Botanical Park, the labyrinthine route takes you through the heart of this gorgeous park and past glimmering attractions that include a ‘magic chair’, ‘treasure chest’ and ‘pirate ship’. Decorated with over half a million LED lights, there’s 30 installations in all, as well as new-fangled multimedia points of interest, laser shows and video mappings.
Having thrilled Kraków last year with their Alice in Wonderland light extravaganza, this year organizers hope the capital will be as responsive – we see no reasons why not. For details, see: piotruspan.ogrodswiatel.pl (admission from zł. 1 to zł. 33).