The wonderful main building of Wroclaw University, along with the adjacent Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus, was built by the Jesuits back in 1670 when they founded the University.
The buildings have had a checquered history, none more so than during the 2nd World War when they were badly damaged during the Nazis takeover of the library as their Headquarters.
Notable academics include Alois Alzheimer who gave his name to the disease and Robert Bunsen, who although never actually invented the Bunsen Burner, done so much to perfect it that it was named after him.
From the visitors point of view there are 4 places that you can visit - The Aula Leopoldina, Oratorium Marianum, Mathematical Tower and the Museum. When I was here (Nov 2012) it cost 12zl (less than £3) to see all 4 and that's what I did.
The highlight is undoubtedly the Aula Leopoldina, and if you don't see anything else you must come in to see this magnificent baroque hall.
Next on your list should be a walk up the steps (it's the only way I'm afraid) past the 51st parallel line that runs through here, to the top of the Mathematical Tower for views over the city.
A visit here is worth 3 quid of anybody's money and you really shouldn't leave Wroclaw without visiting it.
This beautiful neogothic building this is the University Library. It was build by Richard Plüddemann 1887-1891, since 1945 there was the seat of the Public Library and before the residence of the Municipal Savings Bank.
Nowdays in this building (Rehdigeranum) are located General Collections and Circulation Units.
This catholic church is known under several names. Originally it was built as the Jesuit College church of the blessed name of Jesus 1689-98. A local guy was architect (influenced by Italian Baroque) but the beautiful fresco at the ceiling depicting the peoples of the world around the open heaven with Jesus Christ on a chariot was created by famous Austrian painter Johann Michael Rottmayer.
After secularization in 1820 the church became parish church St. Matthias. Nowadays it is used by the students of the university again. It was only slightly damaged in WWII. If you are keen on ornate Baroque churches then go in an see it - but be prepared to pay a (however small) entrance fee.
Aula Leopoldina is one of the most beautiful secular interiors I have ever seen. It is named after Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I. who 'upgraded' the Jesuit College to a University in 1702. The hall is decorated with frescos/paintings from floor to ceiling. The trompe-l'oeil fresco at the ceiling praises the Emperor as patron of the sciences, the portraits along the walls remind of professors and honorary citizens.
The benches in front of the podium are for students, the slightly elevated seats along the walls are reserved for professors. In case there is no festive ceremony scheduled you can visit this room from Thur - Tue 10 am to 3.30 pm. Admission fee see previous tip.
Caution: Upon entering the hall a student lunged at me and handed me an audio guide (available in Polish, English and German). Only afterwards he told me the additional cost of 5 PLN for this - I accepted because I really wanted explanations in detail (and recommend it). Who doesn't must refuse immediately. Please note: they accept Euro, but for a rip-off exchange rate. 2 Euro is almost twice as much as 5 PLN.
The University origins from a Jesuit College from 1628. In 1702 it was 'upgraded' by Emperor Leopold I. to a University. In 1810 it was secularised. Many famous scientists have studied and taught there, e.g. Nobel Prize winners Theodor Mommsen, Fritz Haber, Max Born. Nowadays about 40,000 students are enrolled.
The main building - Collegium Maximum - is a beautiful Baroque building, with a simple northern facade of 171 m along the Odra river and a very beautifully decorated southern facade towards University square. It was built 1728-41. Several of its magnificent auditorium halls were destroyed but a few survived resp. were reconstructed, among the latter the Oratorium Marianum (the music hall, see pictures) where often classical music concerts take place. Famous ensembles perform there, it must be a wonderful experience to attend.
Beside the Oratorium Marianum you can visit the Longchamps Hall and the Mathematician Tower. Highlight, however, is the Aula Leopoldina, see next tip.
Opening hours: Thur - Tue (closed Wed) 10 am - 3.30 pm
Admission fee for all four halls: 10 PLN, for students/kids 6 PLN
Admission fee for two out of the four halls: 6 PLN, for students/kids 4 PLN
(I recommend to pick Oratorium Marianum and Aula Leopoldina as the two out of four. The box office is in Longchamps hall, so you can catch a glimpse of that one anyway :-))
The University of Wroclaw has a rich history of more than three centuries. Founded by Leopold I Habsburg the university evolved from a modest school run by Jesuits into one of the biggest academic institutions in Poland. After the Second World War a group of Polish professors, formerly from Lvov, started teaching and research activities at the University of Wroclaw. Initially they created the Faculties of law and administration, arts, natural sciences, agriculture, veterinary, medicine, mathematics, physics and chemistry. Some of these Faculties were soon transformed into other universities. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wroclaw produced 9 Nobel Prize winners, such as Theodor Mommsen, Philipp Lenard, Eduard Buchner, Paul Ehrlich, Fritz Haber, Friedrich Bergius, Erwin Schrödinger, Otto Stern and Max Born.
Main university building is great example of baroque architecture, its 171 meters of riverside facade should be nice theme for your Wroclaw photos.
This beautiful Baroque University building on the Odra River is 300 years old!! (1728-1741)
Inside you can see magnificent Baroque Aula Leopoldina and Oratorium Marianum. Time to time there teke place concerts of classical music. The main staircase in university building is a masterpiece as it is covered with frescoes of F.A.Scheffler.
You can enjoy also a panoramic view of the city, when you climb the stairs and visit the Mathematicians' Tower.
The university developed very rapidly in the second half of the 19th century, then called the University of Breslau. The first Polish team of academics arrived in Wroc³aw in May 1945 and took custody of the university buildings, which were 70% destroyed. Very quickly some buildings were put in working order, and a cadre of professors built up, many coming from prewar Polish universities in Wilno (Vilnius) and Lwów (Lviv). The university was refounded under its current name as a Polish state university by a decree issued on August 24, 1945. Its first lecture was given on November 15, 1945 by Ludwik Hirszfeld.
In 2002 the university celebrated the 300th anniversary of its founding. Nobel Prize winners:
- Friedrich Bergius
- Max Born
- Hans Georg Dehmelt
- Paul Ehrlich
- Theodor Mommsen
- Otto Stern
This is the most beautiful interior I ve ever seen inside a universtity building. They have a cool stairway as well and then the Aula Leopoldina and the Oratorium Marianum....wow. The university was founded in 1702.
Monday - Friday 10.00 AM - 3.30 PM
Why is it worth visiting?
- Aula Leopoldina at the University of Wroc³aw
- A university museum
- A university church
- Great view over the city and river Odra
Beautiful building by the Odra river, you will find it on the way from Market Square to Cathedral Island.
...it also looks wonderful at night. Actually the Library reminds me Vienna. The first time I saw this view, I stood there amazed for about a quarter.
It was built between 1709 and 1730 and until 1810-1811 it served as monastry.
The house was rebuilt after World War II between 1950 and 1958.
I especially admire the way it looks during the day...