Awarded in five classes, the order was created in 1792 by Poland's KingStanisław August Poniatowski. It has been reintroduced, renamed and banned several times, with its fate closely reflecting the vicissitudes of the Polish people. Throughout the decoration's existence, thousands of soldiers and officers, Polish and foreign, several cities and one ship have been awarded the Virtuti Militari for valor or outstanding leadership in war. There have been no new awards since 1989.
The city is home to many industries, including manufacturing, steel, electrical engineering, and automotive; it features 66 institutions of higher learning, including Warsaw University, Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw School of Economics, and a Medical Academy. Warsaw is home to over 30 theatres, including the National Theatre and Opera and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.