Fun things to do in Wroclaw

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Wroclaw

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    Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St Vincent

    by Kathrin_E Written Aug 24, 2014

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    The church of St Vincent was originally built by and for the Franciscan convent, later the monastery and church became property of the Norbertine (Premonstratense) order. Until World War II it was a Roman-Catholic parish church. Only in the 1990s the Greek-Ukrainian community took over, after war damage had been repaired. This is not an orthodox but a catholic church, subdict to the Pope in Rome. Nevertheless some elements like the images/icons and the screen that closes off the chancel resemble orthodox churches. Most of these images look very new but there are also some older icons which have probably been brought from the Lemberg/Lviv/Lwów region after World War II.

    The church is open in the daytime. It is a very visitor-friendly place, tourists are actively welcomed to walk around and see everything. The concierge at the entrance will hand everyone a candle to light inside the church. The caretaker who was around in the church would also happily explain about the church and its history and point visitors to the church’s attractions in various languages.

    The church is 15th century gothic in the typical shape of Franciscan churches. Underneath you can see the remains of the much older, Romanesque crypt if you venture down the narrow staircase in the northern side nave and through what seems to be their storage cellar for flower pots, cleaning tools, ladders and whatever is needed to keep a church running (LOL).

    More impressive, however, is the baroque Hochberg chapel, built by an abbot from a noble family. Restorations have only recently been finished. Note the mirrored fake windows.
    The adjacent baroque convent building is now the seat of the faculty of philology and used for university purposes.

    %, Location: Plac Nankiera

    Light your candle Hochberg chapel The crypt
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    Jewish Cemetery

    by Kathrin_E Updated Aug 23, 2014

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    It is a mystic place. This is the world of the defunct and we, the living visitors, are intruders. That’s how it feels.

    The Jewish cemetery is a relic of the German era of the city when the Jewish community was large and influential and counted many wealthy businesspeople and renowned scientists among their members. Most inscriptions are in German and of course Hebrew, very few in Polish language. It got through the Nazi era and the war remarkably little harmed. The Nazis half-heartedly smashed some tombstones but the majority remained intact.

    Wealthy families had burial vaults and mausoleums in long rows along walls, some shaped like neoclassical temples, others in “oriental” or even Egyptian style. Everything is overgrown by ivy and other plants, and shaded by trees. The stones are crumbling. Some paths lead through but everything in between is a jungle and unpassable. The tombs of a few prominent people like the politician Ferdinand Lassalle or the parents of Edith Stein are signposted, otherwise it is up to you to find your way and discover.

    The graveyard will be even more impressive in autumn when the leaves are falling and timid sunrays search their way through the last bits of morning fog – but even on a sunny summer’s day it had an amazing flair and atmosphere. If you have the time, don’t miss it, and take your camera.
    More photos will be posted in my travelogues.

    Getting there: Don’t try to walk from the city centre, it is quite far. Take tram 9 or 15 to “Uniwersytet Economyczny”, from there it is a walk of merely two minutes in southward direction on the right side of the main street (ul. Slezka - VT does not take the Polish letters with the proper "tails" ad "acents" unfortunately).
    Entrance fee: 10 PLN for adults. The cemetery is administered by the city museum nowadays and well kept and protected.

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    Royal Palace and City Museum

    by Kathrin_E Written Aug 16, 2014

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    The Royal Palace takes us back to the Prussian era in the city's history. In the First Silesian War in 1741 Friedrich II ("Frederick the Great") conquered Silesia and Breslau, as it was named then, became part of Prussia. To have a residence in the Silesian capital Friedrich bought this palace from a local nobleman and extended it as to befit the ambitions of a king.

    Nowadays the palace hosts departments of the city museum: the pemanent exhibitions "1000 years of Wroclaw" and the art collections since 1850, in addition to that there are temporary exhibitions.

    I highly recommend the exhibition about the history of the city to anyone who is even remotely interested in this topic as it is very well done. All explanations are trilingual (Polish, German and English) and you can also obtain an audioguide should you want to. All eras from the beginnings in the middle ages to the socialist era and its end are covered and presented room by room, illustrated with characteristic objects, often pieces of high quality and value.
    This exhibition also includes the 'historical' rooms (of course it is all reconstructed) of the Prussian kings in the beletage.

    The art collection is still not very big as they only started it recently and plan to enlarge it slowly slowly. It assembles works by artists who studied and/or worked in the city. There are some interesting artworks among them. By the time I got there I was a bit too tired to really appreciate the paintings properly, I'm afraid.

    A small rococo garden has een reconstructed which can be entered from inside the palace. It looks a bit alien among the surrounding run-down socialist buildings and onstruction sites, though...

    Entrance fee: The good news is that the permanent exhibitions are free. Only for temporary exhibitions there is an entrance fee of 15 PLN, and there might be a small charge for the hire of the audioguide.
    Opening hours: 10.00 to 17.00 on weekdays, to 18.00 on weekends, closed on Mondays.

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    Fountain

    by bonio Written Oct 20, 2013

    It's at Centennial Hall, in summer large displays set to music and short shows on the hour throughout the day, manager to catch the latter and treated to 15 minutes or so, enjoyed.
    Website has lots more info.

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    HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

    by wroclawiak Updated Jul 6, 2013

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    ....... of The Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God and its monastery and hospital.
    The last Baroque church in Wrocław.

    Must sees in the church:

    1. orginal baroque interior that survived almost completely the WW II. (The damage caused by the war was about 6%)
    a. the main altar
    b. the pulpit /try to find a cannonball/
    c. the sculpture composition of John Nepomuk
    d. the unique sculptures in side altars /discover the face grimaces of St. Anna and an fallen angel/
    e. the 300 years old wooden benches
    2. the stone slab

    More details about the interior.
    The church was built by Johann Blasius Peinter
    The Baroque main altar was designed by Mathias Steinl (an Austrian painter, architect and designer, and one of the Austria's best known Baroque sculptors) and made by the sculptor Thomas Weissfeld.
    The stone slab is the oldest monument in the church dated at the turn of the15 centry. Nobody knows where it is from and why it is in this church.

    Some interesting historical facts.
    The church was designed probably by Matthias Steinl and design adjustments made ​​by Johann Blasius Peintner.
    Cornerstone laying ceremony attended by the Bishop of Wroclaw Franz Ludwig von Neuburg took place on 10 July 1715.
    The church suffered damage during the Silesian wars in the years 1740-1757, as well as during the siege of the city by Napoleon's army in 1806. Where is one of the cannon balls from that time?
    During the siege of Festung Breslau /WW II/ there was an illegal underground hospital in the crypt organized by the father Doroteusz Hejnol. More than 100 Soviet and Amerikan prisoners of war - pilots shot down over Wroclaw - found here refuge and medical help. 98 of them survived. Interesting is the fact that the monastery and hospital were transformed into a military hospital (Festungslazarett IVa) during the WW II and just few people knew that another hospital in the neighboring church crypt took care of wounded soldiers too.

    The Brothers have an herbal pharmacy in the monastery where you can buy all kind of herbs and herbal medicines. Maybe you will find one you have been looking for a long time.
    They have

    Best times to visit:
    The church is very often closed during the day. There are according to the website everyday services at 6:30 am. The morning service can last from 30 minutes to one hour. You can see before or after the service.
    The best time to visit the church is before or after the sunday service at 10 and 11.30 am.
    If you are fan of crypts you will be disappointed because it is opened once or twice a year to the public. For sure on November 1st.

    Where is the church on the map click here

    Western Facade Main Altar St. Anna Crypt Pulpit
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    Wroclaw Glowny (Train station building)

    by Airpunk Written Jun 11, 2013

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    This beautiful structure from 1857 is Wroclaw's main train station. Beside behing a travel hub, it is a sight on its own if you are interested in architectural details. The station was refurbished in 2011 and mixes the old styles (like wooden panels) with the facilities needed in a modern train station. Unfortunately, the market hall atmosphere from the early 2000s and even before is gone...

    Wroclaw Glowny Wroclaw Glowny Inside Wroclaw Glowny Inside Wroclaw Glowny Wroclaw Glowny (2009)
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    White Stork Synagogue

    by magor65 Written Apr 1, 2013

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    Located almost in the heart of Wroclaw, but in a distance from its hustle and bustle, the White Stork Synagogue is a place that each visitor to Wroclaw should include in their sightseeing itinerary. Those who come to Wroclaw today may not know much about the city's fascinating history and cultural diversity. The Four Temples Quarter with the synagogue and three churches of different Christian denominations (Orthodox, Lutheran and Catholic) might be a good starting point to find out about it.

    The White Stork Synagogue was designed by a well-known German architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans and completed in 1829. From 1847 to 1872 it was the main public synagogue for the liberal branch of the local Jewish community. When the New Synagogue was built in 1872, White Stork bacame the temple for the Orthodox Jews. Gradually its interior changed. The galleries for women were constructed, a bimah in the centre was erected, central heating and electric light were installed. The tragic events of the Crystal Night on November 1938 devastated the White Stork's interior but the building was luckily spared. The New Synagogue though ceased to exist. The White Stork Synagogue was again the main place of worship for both orthodox and liberal Jews until the deportations to death camps made it impossible to continue the services. In 1945 the Synagogue was converted into a garage and warehouse for stolen Jewish property.
    After the war it again became a place of worship for the Polish Jews who settled in Wroclaw. As post-war years were to prove, Poland was only a temporary stage in Jewish peregrinations and the year 1968 turned out to be an apogee of the anti-semitic campaign run by the communistic regime forcing almost all Jews to leave the country. Wroclaw was no exception, and in consequence the synagogue was taken over by the Polish government. The building was gradually deteriorating, although its subsequent owners came up with various concepts of how to make use of it.
    The synagogue had to wait long years till in 1996 it was returned to its rightful owners - the reborn Jewish community in Wroclaw. Soon the work of restoration began. It accelerated when the Bente Kahan foundation was established in 2005. The works were completed in 2010. Today the synagogue is a worship place as well as a cultural centre with many events such as concerts and lectures held here.
    In front of the synagogue there is a courtyard with a few beergardens, the one belonging to Mleczarnia (Dairy) cafe being most popular. Mleczarnia has also a hostel with a very special ambience.

    White Stork Synagogue
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    Exhibition Grounds

    by EasyMalc Updated Feb 23, 2013

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    Situated in the southern part of Szczytnicki Park the Exhibition Grounds should be on every visitors list of what to see in Wroclaw.
    Trams 1,2,4 and 10 will take you to Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall) and then it's just a short walk down Ulica Wystawowa to the Centennial Hall Promenade.
    The grounds were established in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig. Also known as the Battle of the Nations, it ended with Napolean's defeat and Germany's liberation. It was also the largest battle ever staged in Europe prior to WW1.
    Heading towards the Centennial Hall you'll pass the rather forlorn Four Domes Pavilion on the left which at the moment is owned by a film studios and then you'll no doubt stop to look up at the 96 metre tall steel spire which was built as part of the 'Recovered Territories Exhibition' in 1948. This spire was meant to symbolise the 'soaring achievements' of the country's newly acquired territories since they were 'returned' to communist Poland.
    Looking ahead, the huge landmark building known as Centennial Hall was revolutionary in its construction when it was built as an exhibition hall, and although it may not be to everybod's taste, it made it onto Unesco's list of World Heritage sites in 2006. Today it houses a 'Discovery Centre' - an exhibition which charts the history of the hall in a modern way.
    In front of the hall is a large lake surrounded by a Pergola. Since 2009 this area has become known as the 'Wroclaw Fountain'. Although I was here out of season and didn't witness it personally it is supposedly a spectacular feature with a dazzling display of light, sound and water and has become one of Wroclaw's favourite attractions. The displays operate every hour between 10.00 and 22.00 from April to the end of October.
    A Japanese Garden nearby is also open in the summer months for a small charge.
    I didn't time my visit to the Exhiition Grounds particulary well because it was a public holiday in November but if ever I come back to Wroclaw it will be definitely at the top of my places to re-visit. Although it's not in the city centre the transport connections are good and it doesn't take long to get there, but if you time it better than I did then you may be longer here than you think.

    Centennial Hall The Iglica
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    Plac Solny

    by EasyMalc Updated Feb 18, 2013

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    Salt Square is a delightful square just off of the Rynek. Its name, as it suggests, originates from the time it was a salt market back in the Middle Ages.
    Religion was a contentious issue back then and a famous preacher, John of Capistrano, who later became a saint, preached sermons from a window here in the square. His sermons were full of fire against any heretics, and his diatribes culminated in a pogrom of the Jews with 41 of them being burned at the stake here in 1453. A modern sculpture in the square in the form of a flame recognizes the event.
    The square has an interesting collection of buildings, none more so than the Old Stock Exchange. Most of the buildings have had to be re-constructed since WW2 but it has a harmonius feel to it. These days though it should be re-named Flower Square because the 24 hour flower market here gives it a special place in the hearts of the people of Wroclaw. Whenever I buy flowers it always seems to appear that I'm apologising for something, but here in Wroclaw the giving of flowers has a much more positive feel to it as the young ladies wandering around clutching them will testify. It's this that I will always remember about Plac Solny - Flower Square to me.

    Plac Solny

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    Stare Jatki

    by EasyMalc Written Jan 20, 2013

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    Walking from The Rynek along Odrzanska past St. Elisabeth's Church brings you to a cobbled alleyway through some gates on your left.. Known as Stare Jatki or Old Shambles, this medieval meat market has now become the home of several artists studios.
    The first thing you can't fail to miss is the bronze 'Memorial to Slaughtered Animals' installed here in the 1990s and which keeps visitors cameras clicking away almost as much as the street itself.
    First mentioned in 1261 the narrow street originally had houses on both sides with stalls opening out onto the street, a storeroom at the back and the 2 storey butchers flat above. Over the years the appearance has changed and what we see today mainly dates from the 17th and 18th centuries.
    If you walk through to the end of the alleyway, turn right and then right again you will find yourself in Malarska St. (Painters St). Here you will be able to see the renovated fronts of the buildings in Stare Jatki.

    Stare Jatki Malarska St.

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    Sightseeing for free

    by wroclawiak Updated Aug 12, 2012

    If you plan to pay a visit to Wroclaw and wish a local guide accompanying you on journey through the city's history and architecture, please contact me. I would be very happy to show you my city and all the spots you are interested in. I’ m going to work as a licensed Wroclaw city guide and I would be very glad to have an opportunity to test my theoretical knowledge and improve my language skills.

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    The Anonymous Pedestrians

    by HORSCHECK Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    The Anonymous Pedestrians are 14 bronze statues representing the people who disappeared during the introduction of martial law in Poland on the 13th December 1981.

    The memorial which was designed by Jerzy Kalina was erected in December 2005. The correct name of the artistic work is "Transition" (Przejscie).

    Directions:
    The Anonymous Pedestrians statues can be found on the pavement at the street corner of Pilsudskiego and Swidnicka which is located about 1,5 km south of the Market Square (Rynek).

    The Anonymous Pedestrians
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    People's Hall (Hala Ludowa)

    by HORSCHECK Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    The People's Hall (Hala Ludowa) was designed by the Modernist architect Max Berg and inaugurated in 1913 when the 100th anniversairy of Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig was celebrated. At that time the hall was known as Century Hall.

    Its cuploa has an inner diameter of 65 m and is 42 m high, so at the time of construction it was the largest building of its kind.

    Nowadays the 7000 seater hall is mainly used for exhibitions and all sorts of cultural events.

    Even the pope spoke here in 1997. Since 2006 the hall is on the UNESCO world heritage list. The grounds around the hall include a 96 m high metal needle which was a "gift from the Soviet people".

    Directions:
    The People's Hall is situated between the Szczytnicki Park and the Zoo on the right bank of the Odra river just east of the city centre. Several buses (#145, #146) and trams (#2, #4, #16) serve the area.

    Website: http://www.halaludowa.wroc.pl/

    People's Hall (Hala Ludowa) People's Hall (Hala Ludowa)
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    A dwarf tour- FUN!

    by TarjaH Updated Jan 24, 2012

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    You can find dwarfs everywhere!
    From Jatki street, many of them from Rynek and even from spa.
    Just keep your eyes open and have fun with finding!:)
    For kids (and also for little bit older ;) Wroclaw info sells dwarf maps so you can have a walking tour. It's also great way to get familiar with the city because in most cases dwarf has some meaning; dwarf outside of the post office has a letter in his hand etc.

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    Wyspa Piaskowa and Ostrów Tumski

    by Mikebond Updated Nov 13, 2011

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    Wyspa Piaskowa or Wyspa Piasek ("Sand island") isthe most important island in the Odra and one of the most ancient parts of Wrocław, today linked up by Most Tumski (see tip "Bridges").
    Ostrów Tumski was the most ancient human settlement in what is today Wrocław. They were the centre of the medieval life, so don't wonder if all the main churches are located there. The most relevant of them are Katedra św. Jana Chrzciela ("Saint John the Baptist's cathedral"), Kościół św. Krzyża św. Bartłomieja ("Holy Cross of Saint Barthelemy", both on Ostrów Tumski) and Kościół Najśw. Marii Panny na Piasku ("Church of Holy Virgin Mary on the Sand"). See the following tips for more information about these and more churches.

    cathedral Holy Cross Holy Virgin Mary on the Sand Most Tumski with the cathedral Most Tumski
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