Wroclaw Journals

Wroclaw: Phoenix Risen From the Ashes of Two Cities

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2000 trip to Wroclaw by Owen Lipsett

View Over Wroclaw Photo, Wroclaw, Poland More Photos
Quote: After being awarded to Poland in the wake of the Second World War, Wroclaw was rebuilt on the shell of the German city of Breslau and repopulated with refugees from Lwow. It retains the best of both cities, as well as a remarkable variety of attractive buildings and bridges.

Wroclaw: Phoenix Risen From the Ashes of Two Cities

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

View Over Wroclaw Photo, Wroclaw, Poland
Quote:
Even by Polish standards, the history of Wroclaw (VROTS-wahf), which has been ruled successively by Poland, the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia/Germany, and now Poland, is remarkably complex. (Please see my entry "A Brief History of Wroclaw" for an overview). Wroclaw’s position straddling the Oder River accounts for its historical importance and today makes it one of Poland’s most verdant and attractive cities. Wroclaw’s present population is overwhelmingly Polish, but its multicultural heritage lives on its diverse buildings, although many are actually post-Second World War reconstructions. Central Wroclaw was rebuilt in a grid following its sacking by the Tartars in 1241. At ...Read More

Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice Photo, Wroclaw, Poland
Quote:
Although the panorama painting of The Battle of Raclawice is the best of its kind in the world, and only the Black Madonna of Jasna Gora has more iconic power in Polish hearts, the history of the canvas itself is even more compelling. The painting depicts the most famous victory of Poland’s ill-fated Kosciuszko Insurrection of 1794, when a rag-tag army of peasants, many armed only with scythes, under the command of the eponymous general defeated a larger Russian force. Subsequent battles went the way of the better armed Russians, and together with Austria and Prussia, they concluded the Third Partition of Poland the following year, erasing what had once been Europe’s largest and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2004

Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice
Ulica Purkyniego 11
Wroclaw, Poland

Ratusz (Town Hall)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Ratusz (Town Hall) Photo, Wroclaw, Poland
Quote:
No building epitomizes Wroclaw’s history better than the Ratusz, an eclectic edifice that dominates the Rynek. Examining the mix of architectural styles that it contains, a cynic might sarcastically suggest that it was built piecemeal over the course of centuries . . . correctly. Interestingly, unlike most other buildings in Central Wroclaw, it emerged from the Second World War with only minor damage – thus, what you’re seeing is around 90% original. Originally built as a modest single-story structure in 1241, after the Tartars had sacked the town, it was steadily expanded over the next 250 years, primarily in a late Gothic style. The famous Astronomical Clock on its east facade, the m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2004

Ratusz (Town Hall)
ul. Sukiennice 14/15
Wroclaw, Poland

A Brief History of Wroclaw

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Reenactors Preparing for Battle Photo, Wroclaw, Poland
Quote:
Wroclaw's History Museum suffers from both a paucity of explanations in English and a rather selective interpretation of historical events in favor of the Polish perspective. Interestingly, the city’s coat of arms bears a prominent "W" that serves to efface the memory of its past history as Vratislavia and Breslau. What follows is a brief summary of the history of Wroclaw. Archaelogical evidence suggests that a Slav market town known as Vratislavia occupied a large island in the River Oder as early as the 9th century. In 1000, this district acquired the name Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island) in honor of the diocese founded by Boleslaw the Brave, which it retains to this day. Its strateg...Read More

Ostrow Tumski

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Photo, Wroclaw, Poland
Quote:
Wroclaw may truly be said to begin on Ostrow Tumski, where Slavs founded a merchant town in the 9th century. Its name, which means Cathedral Island, derives from the diocese founded upon it in the year 1,000 by Boleslaw the Brave. With five churches and various other ecclesiastical buildings, it remains the nerve center of Wroclaw’s religious life. To reach it from the historic center, first cross the Piaskowski Bridge to the sandbank of Wyspa Piasek. The sandbank itself contains several fine sights, including a pair of churches and the University Library formerly used by the Nazis as a military headquarters. Most Tumski (Cathedral Bridge) connects Wyspa Piasek with Ostrow Tum...Read More