Wroclaw (Breslau)
Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful and oldest cities in Poland, initially established on one of the islands formed by the multiple channels of the river Odra near its junction with the Sleza, the Olawa, and the Widawa. As a city of 12 islands and 112 bridges, it is known as the ‘Polish Venice’.
Particularly worth seeing is Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), the oldest part of the city. The small (4.5 ha) island near the ancient Amber Route, separated from the mainland by a wide river, was a perfect place for a settlement and was duly occupied in the 7th century by the tribe of the Slezanie. In 1000 King Boleslaw Chrobry established a bishopric on Ostrów Tumski. Soon thereafter a cathedral was erected and followed by the first ducal castle in Wroclaw.  In the 19th century, after one arm of the Odra was filled with earth, Ostrów was incorporated into the city.

Ostrów Tumski is accessible over the scenic Tumski Bridge, the earliest documented bridge in Wroclaw. There are five churches in its charming lanes, including the Romanesque St. Giles’ Church, the oldest in town, and the striking Church of St. Cross , which actually consists of two churches, one on top of the other, each entered through separate doors. The island owes its name to the Gothic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, an architectural masterpiece from the mid-14th century.

Ul. Kuznicza takes you from the market square to the university compound. The site, once occupied by the duke’s castle, was given in 1659 to the Jesuits by Emperor Leopold I. The enormous edifice of the former Jesuit academy, founded in 1702 and altered between 1728 and 1742, is considered a gem of Baroque architecture. The architects were Johannes Blasius Peintner and Joseph Frisch.
Upstairs is the main assembly hall known as Aula Leopoldina, a Baroque masterpiece adorned with trompe l’oeil paintings, gilded stuccoes and sculptures. The ceiling frescoes in the staircase, depicting the apotheosis of Silesian duchies, were done between 1734 and 1735 by Felix Anton Scheffler from Munich.
Rising in the centre of the market square, the Wroclaw town hall is one of the finest examples of secular Gothic architecture in Europe. Built between the late 13th and the early 16th century at the crossroads of major trade routes, it was the city’s showpiece, attesting to its power and wealth. The architect was Paul Preusse from Meissen.  The eastern facade features a 16th-century clock with only one hand, which shows the phases of the Moon.
The Main Railway StationEnglish Neo-Gothic. One of the first railway stations in Wroclaw, opened in 1856.
The Park Szczytnicki (115 ha) was laid out between 1780 and 1784 for Duke F.L. von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen as a romantic jardin anglais. The park owes its current appearance to the world-famous garden architect Joseph Peter Lenne.
Accessible from ul. Mickiewicza is the Japanese Garden designed for the World Exhibition in 1913 by Count Fritz von Hochberg, the German ambassador to Japan, and Japanese gardener Mankichi Arai.

Hala Ludowa (People’s Hall) in Wroclaw is most famous for its size. With a capacity of about 300,000 cubic m, a diameter of 130 m and a height of 42 m, it can accommodate 20,000 people. The enormous hall, one of the world’s first constructions made of reinforced concrete, was erected in 1913 to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig.  Today it’s a venue for sports events, concerts and exhibitions. I


 

Wroclaw is one of the largest centres of higher learning, research, and culture in Poland. 

 

The attractiveness of Wroclaw has been growing year by year, with increasing numbers of visiting tourists, business people, and artists.
 

 


 

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