During the late 14th Century, Warsaw or Warszawa was a small fishing village. After the fall of Jazdów, Warsaw became the capital of Mazovia in 1413.
When King Sigismund III Vasa ruled over Warsaw during the 16th Century, the city became the capital of the Commonwealth and the Polish Crown. In the middle of the 17th Century, Swedish, Transylvanian and Brandenburgian forces attacked Warsaw.
In the late 18th Century, Poland was divided between Russia, Prussia and Austria. In 1815, Warsaw became the capital of the Polish Kingdom. Though it was dependent on Imperial Russia, it had considerable autonomy.
During the 19th Century, the city of Warsaw progressed rapidly in different sectors - education, transport, infrastructure, bridges, transit and sewer systems etc. Poland regained its independence in 1918, with Warsaw as its capital. It was 1939-1944 when the wrath of Germany painted the city red. The Nazis blasted every existing structure and annihilated around half a million people. The Jewish Ghetto lasted about a month, and the whole city was destroyed, including the Royal Castle.
In 1945 the reconstruction of Warsaw started. Communism fell while Poland lived under socialism. Many historical museums, castles, streets and churches are restored, and the Old Town has become a part of UNESCO's World Heritage list. Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and continues to become a modern and charming city today.