Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and, with 1.7 million inhabitants, its largest city. It is located on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła), roughly equidistant (350 km, 217 mi) from both the Baltic Sea (Bałtyk) in the north and the Carpathian Mountains (Karpaty) in the south.
The medieval capital of Poland was the southern city of Krakow, but Warsaw has been the capital of the country since 1596, and has grown to become Poland's largest city and the nation's urban and commercial center. Completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, the city lifted itself from the ashes. Today, almost every building in Warsaw dates to the postwar era — with what little remains of the old structures being confined largely to the restored districts of Stare Miasto (the 'old city') and Nowe Miasto ('new city'), as well as selected monuments and cemeteries, plus midwar modernist districts Ochota and Żoliborz.