About Wrocław

The green capital of Poland, Cultural Capital of Culture 2016, medieval city in the heart of Europe and the place where the European modernism created its masterpieces, would love to welcome PLEA 2024 delegates! Wrocław is easily accessible and has opinion of the most beautiful and hospitable academic city in Poland, with plenty of tourist attractions, still safe and not overcrowded.

In course of history, Wrocław changed its state affiliation several times: it belonged to the Piast dominion, to Bohemian Crown, to Habsburg empire and to Prussia. All these periods have left our remarkable city with iconic architectural landmarks.

Wrocław begun its history as a seat of a local prince. Remnants of his palatium from the 10th and 11th century can still be found in Ostrów Tumski. In the vicinity of the prince’s seat thrives the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. The stately turn of the 14th century edifice we can appreciate today is the fourth version of the monument. Some remnants from earlier Gothic period, as well as some Baroque additions can be appreciated during the visit as well.

Near Ostrów Tumski lies the Market Square of the 13th century Wrocław, founded on the basis of a town privileges charter, with a 14th century Town Hall.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of Frederick William III and the triumph at Leipzig, the Centennial Hall was built in Wrocław in 1913 – a pioneering exhibition facility made of reinforced concrete. During the Weimar Republic in the east of town, a unique marvel was created. On the initiative of the German Werkbund, one of the housing exhibitions took place.

Wrocław, a city on the eastern border of Germany, in the first post-war years (after 1918) struggled with huge housing difficulties associated with the scarcity and low quality of housing. In 1925, the Silesian Chapter of the German Werkbund (Schlesischer Landesverband des Deutschen Werkbundes) was established under the leadership of Heinrich Lauterbach. In 1929, the Silesian Branch of the Werkbund prepared an exhibition in Wroclaw (much like the Weissenhof exhibition) under the slogan „Workplace and House Exhibition” („Wohnung und Werkraum” Ausstellung – WUWA). After the WWII the city was turned over to Poland. Over 60% of the city was destroyed in the war, along with the stately townhouses in the Market Square. With great piety those were gradually restored by polish preservation services to the delight of the visitors today, who can enjoy a stroll through one of the largest medieval markets in this part of Europe.

Today we are proud to invite you to the 21st century Wrocław – cosmopolitan, friendly, green and step-by-step more eco-friendly, where we can all feel at home and welcome thanks to a multilateral history.

Local architecture & landmarks

„Workplace and House Exhibition” („Wohnung und Werkraum” Ausstellung – WUWA) was an exhibition prepared by Silesian Chapter of the German Werkbund in 1929, on the initiative of Heinrich Lauterbach. Its task was to present various types of small and medium-sized apartments, which had such great social significance at that time. The exhibition consisted of two parts: an exposition located in the exhibition grounds around the Centennial Hall and a model housing estate. Ready-made model residential interiors were arranged: kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms and entire „Existenzminimum” apartments – to display the cheap, yet esthetic furnishings. Eleven architects were invited to implement the housing estate. They were given full creative freedom. They were Paul Heim, Albert Kempter, Theodor Effenberger, Ludwig Moshamer, Heinrich Lauterbach, Paul Hausler, Moritz Hadda, Emil Lange, Gustav Wolf, Hans Scharoun and Adolf Rading. The housing estet was realized in the Grüneiche (Polish Dąbie) neighborhood, newly incorporated in the city in 1928.

Church is located on the island of Ostrów Tumski, near the Cathedral od St. John the Baptist. The late Romanesque church was built in the 1st half of the 13th century and was a foundation of the dean of the cathedral chapter, Victor. The church was used as the chapter’s meeting place until the 15 th century. Despite several fires and destruction, it is the only building in Breslau, almost entirely in Romanesque form. It is a small temple with a two-bay nave body and an almost square chancel ending in a trilateral apse.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, erected in the 13 th -15th century on the island of Ostrów Tumski as a rebuilding of an earlier buildings. Wrocław’s first cathedral was built in 1000, soon after the establishment of a local diocese. The next church erected in the second half of the 11th century was replaced in 1149-69 by the third one, a three – nave Romanesque basilica with a transept, founded by Walter, Bishop of Malonne. The present Gothic building is a monumental three nave basilica with a straight ended chancel encircled by an ambulatory. As time passed the building’s main body was surrounded with a ring of chapels including two particularly notable mausoleums: inspired by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini’s work the chapel of St. Elizabeth executed in 1679-82 for Bishop Ferdynand Heski, and the chapel of Corpus Christi executed in 1716-24 to a design by the great Austrian Architect Fischer von Erlach for Bishop Franciszek Ludwig Neuburski. Destroyed in the Battle of Wrocław in spring 1945 the church lost its vaulting and most of furnishings. Restored and reconsecrated after war.

The Town Hall is located in the south-eastern corner of Wrocław market square. The building is made up of a two-story three-bay building on a rectangular plan. From its north-western side, a 66-m-high tower adjoins. The oldest mention of Wrocław Town Hall comes from 1299. At that time, the income related to the oldest part of the building, the consistorium, was recorded. In the next two centuries, the building was expanded. The last stage of the transformations of the seat of the municipal authorities of Wrocław was the erection of the southern nave with three avant-corps, which took place in the years 1470–1486. The southern façade of Wrocław Town Hall is one of the most representative Gothic façades in Central Europe.

the Main Building of the University of Wrocław is located near market square, at the University Square. A medieval castle formerly stood on this site. Construction of the Baroque building originally Jesuit University began in 1728. The west wing of the building was completed in 1730. The east wing and the mathematics tower were erected in 1734-37. The link between the university building and the university church was completed in 1737.The most representative halls with rich Baroque decoration were located in the west wing. The most beautiful interiors are the Aula Leopoldina (almost unchanged to this day) and Oratorium Marianum (partially destroyed in 1945, now restored). Also noteworthy are the building’s representative Baroque facades.