Warsaw's palaces, churches and mansions display a richness of color and architectural details. Buildings are representatives of nearly every European architectural style and historical period. The city has wonderful examples of architecture from the gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical periods, all of which are located within easy walking distance of the town centre.
Gothic architecture is represented in the majestic churches but also at the burgher houses and fortifications. The most significant buildings are St. John's Cathedral (14th century), St. Mary's Church (1411), a town house of Burbach family (14th century) and the Gunpowder Tower (after 1379).
The most notable examples of Renaissance architecture in the city are the house of Baryczko merchant family (1562), building called "The Negro" (early 17th century) and Salwator tenement (1632).
The most interesting examples of mannerist architecture are the Royal Castle (1596–1619) and the Jesuit Church (1609–1626) at Old Town.
Among the first structures of the early baroque the most important are St. Hyacinth's Church (1603–1639) and Sigismund's Column (1644). One of the best examples of this architecture are Krasiński Palace (1677–1683), Wilanów Palace (1677–1696) and St. Kazimierz Church (1688–1692).
The most impressive examples of rococo architecture are Czapski Palace (1712–1721), Palace of the Four Winds (1730s) and Visitationist Church (facade 1728–1761).
Some of the best examples of the neoclassical style are the Palace on the Water (rebuilt 1775–1795), Królikarnia (1782–1786), Carmelite Church (façade 1761–1783) and Evangelical Holy Trinity Church (1777–1782).
Neoclassical revival affected all aspects of architecture, the most notable are the Great Theater (1825–1833) and buildings located at Bank Square (1825–1828).
Exceptional examples of the bourgeois architecture of the later periods were not restored by the communist authorities after the war or they were rebuilt in socialist realism style. Despite that the Warsaw University of Technology building (1899–1902) is the most interesting of the late 19th-century architecture. Some 19th-century buildings in the Praga district have been restored although many have been poorly maintained. Warsaw’s municipal government authorities have decided to rebuild the Saxon Palace and the Brühl Palace, the most distinctive buildings in prewar Warsaw.
Notable examples of post-war architecture include the Palace of Culture and Science (1952–1955), a Skyscraper located in the city centre, and the Constitution Square with its monumental Socialist realism architecture (MDM estate).
Contemporary architecture in Warsaw is represented by the Metropolitan Office Building at Pilsudski Square, Warsaw University Library (BUW), featuring a garden on its roof and view of the Vistula River, Rondo 1 office building, Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Golden Terraces, consisting of seven overlapping domes retail and business centre.
Warsaw is ranked as 79th in the List of cities with the most skyscrapers around the world.