The City of Wrocław, the capital of Lower Silesia, is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. It is situated on the Oder River and boasts about many picturesque islands and more than 120 bridges. It is a thriving cosmopolitan city and a centre of innovation where progress, in all of its forms, seems to have no limits. With its rich history spanning over a thousand years, Wrocław is a place where the tradition and experience intertwines with the vibrancy of dynamic business centres. It is a place where Chopin, Brahms and Paganini gave concerts, where Jerzy Grotowski’s “Theater Laboratory” performed and where Krzysztof Kieślowski started his career.
Currently, Wrocław bears the title of the European Capital of Culture 2016 (along with the Spanish city of San Sebastian), it is also the UNESCO World Book Capital. The city develops its cultural infrastructure – there are here a new, renovated seat of the Musical Theatre Capitol and the National Forum of Music – the most modern concert hall in Poland. Every year Wrocław hosts numerous festivals and other cultural events.
Business Hot Spot
Wrocław has become a modern cosmopolitan business centre. Here the local, international businesses and entrepreneurships thrive, since Wrocław’s superb business ambiance offers a competitive and dynamic environment for prominent foreign investors and leading companies. Its geographical location in the centre of Europe, within 400 km of five European capitals makes it a strategic hotspot for any business.
Its theatres, the opera house, the musical theatre, and numerous museums and art galleries offer a large number of academic, cultural and artistic events. Every year, new high-end investments are undertaken in Wrocław. The city is chosen by many scientists and businessmen for their meeting point because of the appearance of new hotels and congress centres. It proves that Wrocław is becoming one of the most important and rapidly developing cities in Europe.
Wrocław hosts also numerous conferences, congresses and trade fairs. Many of them take place in the Wrocław Congress Centre or the Centennial Hall. The Centennial Hall, constructed in 1913 by Max Berg, was designed to serve as a multifunctional structure to host exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and opera performances, and sporting events. Wrocław has at its disposal also numerous conference facilities located in impressive hotels.
It is impossible to be in Wrocław and not to see the Old Town which centre is the Market Square. Whether for business, tourism, shopping or a splendid meal, the Market Square is a vibrant centre of the city life that offers something for everyone. Set among charming, colourful buildings, the historic centre of the city is a must-see in Wrocław. During the day the Market Square is crowded with tourists and office workers, but at night it becomes the most vibrant entertainment hotspot in the city.
The most important monument in the Market Square is the Town Hall. Next, the Solny Square is the area where you can see the historic tenements. Worth seeing are also numerous churches. The Old Town includes the Four Denominations District– a unique neighbourhood (southwest of the Market Square) which includes almost side by side places of worship of four different denominations, including the city’s only surviving Jewish synagogue.
Apart from the Four Denominations District, a very interesting church is the St. Mary Magdalene Church. The bridge connecting the two towers of the church is called the "Mostek Czarownic" (Witches’ Bridge). A legend says that the shadows visible on the bridge are the souls of the girls who used to seduce men without wanting to be married, being scared of housekeeping.
The oldest part of the city of Wrocław is Ostrów Tumski. It is located along the Oder River and is known as the soul and the gem of Wrocław. Archaeological excavations have shown that the western part of Ostrów Tumski, between the Church of St. Martin and the Holy Cross, was the first inhabited place and the island had approximately 1,500 inhabitants at that time. This area serves as a place of worship and reflection. The most important church is there the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wrocław and a landmark of the city. The cathedral is a Gothic church with Neo-Gothic additions.
Besides, one of the most interesting places to see in Wrocław is the Racławice Panorama. It is a monumental (15 × 114 meter) cycloramic painting depicting the Battle of Racławice during the Kościuszko Uprising. The panorama stands in a circular fashion and, with the viewer in the center, presents different scenes at various viewing angles. A special kind of perspective used in the painting and additional effects (lighting, artificial terrain) create a feeling of reality.
Moreover, an interesting place is the Sky Tower. The Sky Tower is a skyscraper which is the tallest building in Poland in the category of height to roof and category of highest floor. On the 49th floor there is a publicly accessible viewpoint.
Education and Knowledge
Wrocław is one of the biggest academic hubs in Poland. Public and private universities located in the city give education to more than 134,000 students every year. Wrocław Academic Hub is the cooperation platform for local governments and academic environment in Wrocław. Its goals are to support the development of science and university education in the city and to take care of the fruitful cooperation between universities and the city authorities. The University of Wrocław is the oldest alma mater in Wrocław. Its main building comprises the Museum of the University of Wrocław in which the pearl of the Lower Silesian Baroque – Aula Leopoldina - is located.
Another educational institution in Wrocław is the Wrocław Academic Hub which conducts projects intending to boost scientific development of the city by attracting scientists, researchers and gifted youth to Wrocław, as well as gathering information about science and research accomplishments in the world. The Academy of Young Scholars and Artists is an institution gathering together outstanding young scientists and giving them the opportunity to develop their knowledge. Wrocław supports also many research projects and is the seat for over 18 R&D centres.
Due to the Oder River, its canals and tributaries, Wrocław is a city located on 12 islands, which makes it the “Venice of the North”. Banks of rivers and islands are linked by over 100 bridges. The Piaskowy Bridge is the oldest one, whereas the Warsaw Bridge is the longest one. In Wrocław there are also numerous parks and green areas. Worth seeing is, for example, the Botanical Garden which is especially beautiful in the summer. One of the biggest parks is the Szczytnicki Park in which also the Japanese Garden is located. Nearby there are amazing fountains. Last, but not least, a definite must-see is the oldest zoo in Poland which includes also the impressive Africarium-Oceanarium – a complex presenting various ecosystems connected with water environment of Africa.