Fun things to do in Wroclaw

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Wroclaw

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    The Odra

    by Mikebond Updated Nov 13, 2011

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    Wrocław lies on the Odra, one of the main Polish rivers, which you may already know under the German name of Oder. This river has become famous for being chosen as a definitive natural border between Germany and Poland after World War II.
    Cruises along the Odra are organized every day, but we didn't go for one since we had little time. Here you see a boat on the river.

    river Odra

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    Multimedia Fountain

    by magor65 Written Sep 23, 2011

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    The Multimedia Fountain was open on June 4th, 2009 to commemorate the first free elections in post-war Wroclaw that had taken place twenty years earlier - on June 4th 1989. Now it has become one of the favourite attractions, both for locals and visitors coming to the city.
    It is really captivating - the spectacle of water, music and lights is especially amazing in the evening hours, but also at daytime it looks terrific. In summer you can watch a short show every full hour, and special displays at weekends.
    There are 300 water noozles that produce foam, mists , geysers and water columns rising up high in the air. On the enormous screen of water you can admire fantastic pictures made by means of laser. The programme changes and occasionally some special events take place, like Brian Eno's multimedia sculpture, that accompanied the European Culture Congress held in Wroclaw in September, 2011.
    The fountain is located in a very attractive part of Wroclaw- near the Centennial Hall, Japanese Garden and the ZOO. In winter the pond changes into a big ice-rink.

    Multimedia fountain in Wroclaw
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    The Train To Heaven

    by wroclawiak Updated Sep 21, 2011

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    THE TRAIN TO HEAVEN – THE BIGGEST SCULPTURE IN POLAND

    Train to Heaven is a project made by Andrzej Jarodzki – an artist doing e.g. graphics, murals, painting, drawings and sculptures.

    When I saw the sculpture for the first time I was very astonished and my feelings were mixed. I am working in different places of town and I can see this sculpture many times a week. Passing by three or four times a week and watching it I can say that the sculpture deserves any kind of attention. The sculpture is like a magnet for me because I can not resist to glimpse for a second or two passing by. Sometimes I am drawn into its powerful grip and I am truly stuck. I can say it is the new Genius loci of Wroclaw.

    More about his project visit Andrzej Jarodzki’s website:

    andrzej.jarodzki/train

    According to the website “pociagdonieba.org” it took 16 years to bring this project to the end.
    The sculptere was errected in 2010.

    We can read in the web site pociagdonieba.org:

    ”Train to Heaven is an artistic project that combines in itself the best features which have been worked out by Wroclaw for centuries. It is space for ideas, multitude of meanings, flamboyance in daily life.

    Heritege of the Past

    Train to Heaven has been erected to commemorate Technical Thought and the history of the town. The location has not been chosen by accident. Plac Strzegomski [Strzegom square] is a place which history is associated with production of locomotives and rolling stock.
    (Factory: Linke-Hoffmann-Werke)

    Click here to see where The Train to Heaven is.

    See the departure of The Train to Heaven on youtube

    Click here to see where The Train to Heaven is.

    Walking distance from the Town Hall approx. 30 Take a bus (132, 142) or a tram (2,10,12)
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    The White Stork Synagogue

    by wroclawiak Updated Sep 20, 2011

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    FAQ

    Is the White Stork Synagoge a must see place?

    It is up to you but if you stay longer than one day in Wroclaw it is definitely.

    What is the best time to visit it?
    The best time to visit it is obviously during an event that can take place at your time of visit. For the events check the website: http://www.fbk.org.pl/. But besides that, the best time to pay a visit is it in the afternoon or in the evening when the atmosphere becomes more exciting and enjoyable. The best time to shoot pictures is in the afternoon and evening too because the main façade is facing west-south. The synagogue is open from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and on Fridays till 3 p.m.

    Should I pay for the visit?
    Yes. 6 zl. There are reduced price tickets for students.

    History
    You should know that Wroclaw was in the German Reich till May 1945 and was called Breslau. Breslau was home to one of the largest Jewish Communities in the Germany that day.
    The Nazis ransacked the synagogue and devastated its interior during the “Kristallnacht” pogrom of November 1938. The building itself survived but became a ruin.
    After WW II the Polish Communist authorities seized control over the synagogue.It returned to the Jewish Community in 1996. The renewal began. The synagogue was opened to the public in 2007.
    Wroclaw is home to a very small Jewish community now.

    Who was the architect?
    Carl Ferdinand Langhans – the son of Carl Gotthard Langhans who built the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin.

    When was the synagogue built?
    The Synagogue was opened on April 23rd 1829 but the first service was hold on April 10.

    Why does the synagogue bear that name?
    The synagogue derives its name from an inn which had previously stood on that place

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    • Religious Travel

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    The Mistery of The Fencer Fountain

    by wroclawiak Updated Sep 20, 2011

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    The fountain was errected by Hugo Lederer
    1904. It is one of the most favourite fountains in Wroclaw.
    The most interesting thing to everyone is the mistery of the fencer sabre. The sabre disapears namely from time to time and the fencer is fully nude. Could you imagine how can this man look like without his most important thing?

    FENCER FOUNTAIN
    the story

    In 1896 the young Lederer came to Wroclaw to study under sculptor Christian Behrens. Right after he arrived he put his luggage down in his temporary living place, went trough all the formalities in his master’s workshop and set off to the center of the town. He wanted to see a statue of Wilhelm I, German emperor designed by his master and just unveiled and his master’s sculptures on the southern town hall façade. On the way he met a couple of students which went to Market Square to have a pint or two and discuss the reasons of the fall of the Roman Empire. The students invited Lederer for a beer to the Schweidnitzer Keller. The naïve Lederer didn’t even suspect that he gained the sympathy of the new friends by looking rich and wearing a saber. The poor students used the situation to drink on his costs. Every toast was Hugo’s successes of the future. After midnight the cellar was being closed and the students was obliged to leave. They bought a jug of beer and moved to a room rented by one of the students. They played cards and Hugo lost all his money. He decided to risk and win back what he had lost. From that moment he had only his clothes and the saber. He staked his all clothes and lost. He got furious with himself and wrapped in the blanket he came to his rented room and promised himself not to play cards again.
    A couple of years after he became a professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and made a fencer sculpture to warn the young people about the dangers of being alone (without parent’s care) and starting new life in a foreign city.

    Trivia
    One of the anecdotes sais that if there is a virgin nearby his best body part becomes bigger.
    Till now there is no evidence that his one-eyed snake has been got bigger.

    The Sabre Fencer Fountain
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    Boating trip down the Oder River

    by briantravelman Updated Aug 31, 2011

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    A perfect way to end your day in Wroclaw isby taking a boating trip down the Oder River. There are a variety of different trips. Shortest one is about 50 inutes and longest one is about an 75 minutes. Prices very depending on the trip. The longest trip was about 20 Zloty, and senior and student discounts are avaliable.
    Don't be surprised if you get ripped off. The longest trip was suppose to take 75 minutes, we got back about 10 minutes early. The longest trip passes the famous Grunwald Bridge, and then turns around at the zoo. You can also get out at the zoo if you want, and then catch another boat back. Make sure you check with the schedual though.
    The view are average, but overall the trip is very relaxing, and a good way to rest your legs after a long day of walking. Perfect for all ages.
    Beer and other refreshments are also avaliable on the boat.
    The boats are located on the river along Buliwar Piotra Wlostowica, near the Tumski Bridge.

    Boat on Oder River Grunwald Bridge Boat trip on the Oder River Oder River Ostrow Tumski Island
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    Communist Architecture

    by Airpunk Written Jul 26, 2011

    Gierek and his friends have left Poland with hundreds of living blocks which were erected in the communist years. They were built to solve housing problems and offer almost equal living space to all members of society. The new living areas were built in a way that all places of everyday life like grocery stores, hairdressers, snack bars, bakeries and so on were in vicinity, often located in the same building as the flats themselves. Whether you like them or not depends on your taste. However, no trip to Eastern Europe is complete without at least thinking about this form of living. By the way, one of the last projects of the 1980s in Wroclaw, located close to the city centre, was not completed. People are living in flats in the upper floors while the lower floors where shops were supposed to be were never completed at just shut off by bricks.
    In many cases, older buildings were left into decay for many years before being pulled down to make space for such living blocks. One example from nearby Zabkowice Slaskie affected the market place. A row of historic houses was pulled down in the 1970s to build the concrete flat blocks. The two buildings in Wroclaw's Rynek, however, were not from the communist era. They were already build in the 1920s and took over the place from older buildings.

    Living blocks in Gaj Living blocks in Gaj Unfinished living blocks
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    Dominican Monastery and other ruins

    by Airpunk Written Jul 26, 2011

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    In 1224, a Dominican Monastery dedicated to St. Adalbert was built in Wroclaw. It didn't survive for long, but some romanesque red brick structures survived the centuries. It was a matter of discussions when a new shopping mall was opened in 2001.
    A couple of other ruins are also still standing in Warsaw – not only from the 20 th century, but also from former ages. Unfortunately, I can't exactly remember where I found these arches...
    Pillory

    The pillory was a popular place in the middle ages, if you loved such spectacles as executions and torture. Today, pillories are reminders of cruel times on modern market places. Wroclaw's pillory saw executions being performed until 1681, but flogging and similar punishments took place until the 18th century.

    Ruins of monastery next to shopping mall Ruins in Wroclaw's city centre Ruins in Wroclaw's city centre
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    Jewish and German heritage

    by Airpunk Written Jul 26, 2011

    Of course, it is easy to find traces of Jewish and German heritage in places like museums. However, if you go through the streets of Wroclaw, you may still find some traces. On some of the older buildings, you can still see signs and ads from the early 20th century in German. And the one or other jewish symbol on a house also survived the nazi and communist years.

    Building with star of David Sign of former German carpet shop
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    White Stork Synagogue

    by Airpunk Written Jul 26, 2011

    Wroclaw once had Germany’s third largest Jewish community and the White Stork Synagogue, built in 1829, was one of its focus points. It was the only synagogue in Wroclaw to have survived the war, but with the Jewish community almost extinguished, it was only in limited use by the Jewish community until 1968. The Communist regime denied the rights of property to the Jewish community so that ownership was transferred to the University of Wroclaw in 1974. From that year on, used anymore and fell into disrepair. Unlike the Jewish cemetery, which was supported by the city museum (and its subsidiary, the museum of cemetery art), it took over fifty years until restoration started. In 1995, the building was given back to the Jewish Community and from 2000 on, rebuilding took place. Since 2010, religious services are held again in the building.

    White Stork Synagogue
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    Jewish Cemetery

    by Airpunk Written Jul 26, 2011

    Wroclaw has been a center of Jewish life in Germany and Poland for centuries until the holocaust. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find a well-kept Jewish cemetery in Wroclaw, although its preservation in this kind did not start until 1975. The cemetery at Slezna street was officially founded in 1856, but the site has been in use as a burial place for the Jewish community since the middle ages. Tombstones – some better preserved than others – of all varieties can be seen, many of them showing the wealth of the deceased, others combine simplicity and style. Among the most famous persons buried here are the Biologist Ferdinand Cohn as well as Friedrich Lasalle, the founder of what would become Germany’s Social Democratic Party (one of the two big parties in present-day Germany). The cemetery contains also the small museum of cemetery art which has documentations about Jewish life as well. Books on both of those topics are available. It’s probably not a must-do like the Jewish cemeteries in Krakow, but better preserved and an interesting place for those who are interested in Wroclaw’s Jewish legacy.
    There is also another Jewish cemetery at Lotnicza Street which is not as well kept, but has an aura of mystery with all the ivy-overgrown tombstones.

    Jewish Cemetery Wroclaw Jewish Cemetery Wroclaw Jewish Cemetery - Lasalle's tombstone
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    Jatki Street

    by Airpunk Written Jul 24, 2011

    A little medieval street with half-timbered buildings is one of Wroclaw's hidden secrets. Even if it is a popular tourist destination, it is still off the beaten path of most city tours. Some centuries ago, the butchers use to have their stalls and butcheries. Today, you will find small cafés and pubs as well as many galleries and souvenir shops.
    Have a look at the bronze sculptures of animals, placed to remember the original trade in this street in a quite direct way.

    Jatki Street
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    Monument to Boleslaw Chrobry (Boleslaw the Great)

    by Airpunk Written Jul 24, 2011

    Boleslaw Chrobry is often seen as the ruler who put Poland on the map. He was the first ruler of Poland who didn't call himself only Duke, but was crowned as a King. Boleslaw Chrobry made Poland one of the most powerful monarchies in Europe in the 10th century and is seen as a kind of national hero. Therefore, you'll usually find at least a street named in honour of Boleslaw Chrobry in every Polish city or a monument as here in Wroclaw. And of course, also the 20 zloty banknote depicts Boleslaw Chrobry.
    The monument was unveiled in 2007 and stands on a place on which there was formerly a statue of German Emperor Wilhelm I. The socket shows a map of Europe in the year 1000 as well as contemporary heads of states like Pope Sylvester II and Holy Roman Emperor Otto III.

    Monument to Boleslaw Chrobry (Boleslaw the Great)

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    Monument to Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek

    by Airpunk Written Jul 24, 2011

    Monument to Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek

    Wroclaw's history is a history of conflicts and friendship between Germany and Poland and of course the last conflict, WWII, when Wroclaw changed hands for the last time, is still present. In the following years, the cold war did not alleviate the tensions between the two countries. However, from the late 1960s on, politicians and other important figures on both sides worked on restoring friendly relations between the two countries. Probably the best known among them is the German chancellor Willy Brandt. Here in Wroclaw, Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek played an important role, especially in restoring the friendship on a clerical level. He was the first Polish bishop of Wroclaw after the war. He is known as one of the initiators of a letter to his German colleagues which included the famous words “we forgive and ask to be forgiven” from 1965. He kept on working with other Poles and Germans on friendlier relationships and lived to see the first fruits of the German Ostpolitik as well as the Polish efforts. Kominek died in 1974 and was buried in the Cathedral of Wroclaw. In a city where Polish-German relationship is always a present topic, his monument takes a special role and is often the place of ceremonies and official tokens of friendship.

    Monument to Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek
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    Katyn Monument

    by Airpunk Written Jul 24, 2011

    An Angel of Death may be perceived as an oxymoron, or at least a treacherous figure. It's more than just something evil. That's the feeling I had when I saw the Angel of Death as one of the two main figures in the monument dedicated to the victims of the massacre in Katyn. In 1940, a large part of the Polish intellectual and military elite was killed in the forests near Katyn by forces of the Russian Army. This massacre did not only extinguish a generation of Polish leaders, but was a burden for the Russian-Polish relationships since World War II. Indeed, in 2010 it became a difficult topic again when the Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in an aviation accident when he was on the way to a commemoration ceremony for the victims of Katyn.
    The monument has the angel of death with a sword pointed towards a kneeling female figure, symbolizing the Polish Nation bidding for mercy, but accepting its fate in a dignified way. She kneels in between blocks of concrete symbolizing mass graves. The monument was placed here in 1990, just when Poland shook off the Russian influence and the new situation allowed public statements against the Eastern superpower which had massive influence on Poland for almost 60 years.

    An impressive peace of art, probably one of the things which I remember the most among the places in Wroclaw.

    Katyn Monument
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Wroclaw Hotels

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