Wroclaw with all the cultural attributes and entertainment of this popular destination, the capital of Lower Silesia also has an appealing character all its own. With its Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian influences, the city has a unique architectural and cultural make-up and is Poland’s fourth-largest city and the major industrial, commercial and educational centre for the region. At the same time it’s a lively cultural centre, with several theatres, major festivals, rampant nightlife and a large student community.
TOP 8 PLACES TO SEE
1.OLD TOWN HALL
Built form 1327 until 1504 and another century to built the high tower and the decoration the halls eastern facade reflects three distinct stages of the town hall’s development. The oldest is the segments to the right, with its austere early-Gothic features, while the delicate carving in the section to the left shows elements of the early Renaissance style. Topped by an ornamented triangular roof adorned with pinnacles is the central 16th-century section.
2.CHURCH OF ST MARY MAGDALENE
The Gothic redbrick building dated from the 14th century is a showpiece of the Romanesque portal from around 1280 on the south wall. It was moved here in 1546 after the abbey was demolished. You can climb the 72m-high tower and cross the so-called Penance Footbridge.
3.CATHEDRAL OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
The three-aisled Gothic basilica was built between 1244 and 1590 and is the centerpiece of Cathedral Island. The high altar boasts a gold and silver triptych from 1522 attributed to the school of Veit Stoss, and the western portico is a medieval gem.
The squat brick Arsenal with two towers and an enormous courtyard is the most significant remnant of the city’s 15th century fortifications. The Archaeological Museum is also housed here.
5.THE MONUMENT OF AN ANONYMOUS PASSER-BY
The monument is constituted by 14 modern, bronze sculptures. It was original in one of Wroclaw’s museum but was later moved onto the streets. What is special about these sculptures is that as we approach the road, each one of them ‘vanishes’ deeper and deeper into the ground.
Constructed in the 20th century by Max Berg the Hall figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2006. It is the most important cultural hall in the whole of Poland, hosting a number of concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and other similar events. The design is a clever eclectic combination of tradition and modernity, similarly to the events hosted in the hall.
7.THE WHITE STORK SYNAGOGUE
Built in 1829 and is paradoxically a prize example of the Protestant sacral art. During World War II, the members of the Jewish community were gathered here to be deployed to the Nazi concentration camps. After the war it was restored and in 2010 reopened as a Jewish cultural centre. It is also home to a permanent exhibition about the history of Jews in Wrocław and Lower Silesia, as well as other temporary exhibitions.
The multimedia fountain is one of only several similar objects in the world. Almost 800 small and big sources of light are placed in the basin. In the winter the 4700 square fountain is turned into a ice rink. After 8 p.m. water fantasies are accompanied with magnificent illumination. At each full hour the fountain displays a dynamic show, using almost all nozzles and geysers creating unique impression.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around in Wroclaw is by taxi, train, tram, bus or ferries.
The best time to visit Wroclaw is during months May, June, July, August and September when the average temperatures are perhaps a little cooler than preferred but still a pleasant 10°C / to 20°C.