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|Motto(s): Wrocław: miasto spotkań (Polish "Wrocław – The Meeting Place")|
|Voivodeship||Lower Silesian Voivodeship|
|• Mayor||Rafał Dutkiewicz (I)|
|• City||292.92 km2 (113.10 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||155 m (509 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||105 m (344 ft)|
|Population (30 June 2017)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Postal code||50-041 to 54-612|
|Area code(s)||+48 71|
Wrocław (Polish: [ˈvrɔt͡swaf] ( listen); German: Breslau [ˈbʁɛslaʊ]; Czech: Vratislav; Latin: Vratislavia) is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2017 was 638,364, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of Wrocław agglomeration.
Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. The history of the city dates back over a thousand years, and its extensive heritage combines almost all religions and cultures of Europe. At various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Wrocław became part of Poland again in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War, which included a nearly complete exchange of population.
Wrocław is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wrocław, previously Breslau University, produced 9 Nobel Prize laureates and is renowned for its high quality of teaching.
The city hosted the Eucharistic Congress in 1997 and the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016, the city was a European Capital of Culture and the World Book Capital. Also in this year, Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards. In 2017, the city was the host of the IFLA Annual Conference and the World Games.
The city's name was first recorded as "Wrotizlava" in the chronicle of German chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, which mentions it as a seat of a newly installed bishopric in the context of the Congress of Gniezno. The first municipal seal stated Sigillum civitatis Wratislavie. A simplified name is given, in 1175, as Wrezlaw, Prezla or Breslaw. The Czech spelling was used in Latin documents as Wratislavia or Vratislavia. At that time, Prezla was used in Middle High German, which became Preßlau. In the middle of the 14th century, the Early New High German (and later New High German) form of the name, Breslau, began to replace its earlier versions.
The city is traditionally believed to be named after Wrocisław or Vratislav, often believed to be named after Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia. It is also possible that the city was named after the tribal duke of the Silesians or after an early ruler of the city called Vratislav.
The city's name in various other languages is: Hungarian: Boroszló, Czech: Vratislav, German: Breslau, Hebrew: ורוצלב (Vrotsláv), Yiddish: ברעסלוי (Bresloi), Silesian German: Brassel, and Latin: Vratislavia or Budorgis or Wratislavia. The city's name in other languages is available at the list of names of European cities.
The city was first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia, the Bohemian duke Vratislaus I founded here a Bohemian stronghold. Vratislavia was possibly derived from the duke's name Vratislav. In 985, Duke Mieszko I of Poland conquered Silesia including Wrocław. The town was mentioned explicitly in the year 1000 AD in connection with a founding of a bishopric during the Congress of Gniezno.
During Wrocław's early history, the control over it changed hands between Bohemia (until 992, then 1038–1054), the Kingdom of Poland (992–1038 and 1054–1202), and after the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Poland, the Piast-ruled duchy of Silesia. One of the most important events during this period was the foundation of the Diocese of Wrocław by the Polish Duke (from 1025 King) Bolesław the Brave in 1000. Along with the Bishoprics of Kraków and Kołobrzeg, Wrocław was placed under the Archbishopric of Gniezno in Greater Poland, founded by Pope Sylvester II through the intercession of the Emperor Otto III in 1000 AD, during the Congress of Gniezno. In the years 1034–1038 the city was affected by Pagan reaction in Poland.
The city became a commercial centre and expanded to Wyspa Piasek (Sand Island), and then to the left bank of the River Oder. Around 1000, the town had about 1,000 inhabitants. In 1109 during the Polish-German war, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the German march into Poland. By 1139, a settlement belonging to Governor Piotr Włostowic (a.k.a. Piotr Włast Dunin) was built, and another was founded on the left bank of the River Oder, near the present seat of the University. While the city was Polish, there were also communities of Bohemians, Jews, Walloons and Germans.
In the 13th century, Wrocław was the political centre of the divided Polish kingdom. In April 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland the city was abandoned by the inhabitants and burned for strategic reasons. During the battles with the Mongols the Wrocław Castle was defended by Henry II the Pious and was never captured.
After the Mongol invasion the town was partly populated by German settlers who, in the following centuries, would gradually become its dominant ethnic group; the city, however, retained its multi-ethnic character, a reflection of its position as an important trading city on the Via Regia and the Amber Road.
With the influx of settlers the town expanded and adopted in 1242 German town law. The city council used Latin and German, and "Breslau", the Germanized name of the city, appeared for the first time in written records. The enlarged town covered around 60 hectares (150 acres), and the new main market square, which was surrounded by timber frame houses, became the new centre of the town. The original foundation, Ostrów Tumski, became the religious centre. The city adopted Magdeburg rights in 1261. The Polish Piast dynasty remained in control of the region, but the right of the city council to govern independently increased. In 1274 the prince Henryk IV Probus gave the city the staple right.
Between 1342 and 1344, two fires destroyed large parts of the city. The city joined the Hanseatic League in 1387.
In June 5, 1443, the city was affected by an earthquake of the strength of at least 6 degrees on the Richter scale, which destroyed or seriously damaged many buildings in the city. From 1469 to 1490 it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and the King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus even had a mistress from the city with whom he had a son. In 1474, the city left the Hanseatic League.
In 1475, Kasper Elyan printed in Wrocław Statuta Synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensium, first in the history of printing in the Polish language, it contains three Catholic prayers.
The Protestant Reformation reached the town in 1518 and the city became Protestant. However, from 1526 Silesia was ruled by the Catholic House of Habsburg. In 1618, it supported the Bohemian Revolt out of fear of losing the right to freedom of religious expression. During the ensuing Thirty Years' War, the city was occupied by Saxon and Swedish troops, and lost 18,000 of 40,000 citizens to plague.
The Austrian emperor brought in the Counter-Reformation by encouraging Catholic orders to settle in the city, starting in 1610 with the Franciscans, followed by Jesuits, Capuchins, and finally Ursulines in 1687. These orders erected buildings which shaped the city's appearance until 1945. At the end of the Thirty Years' War, however, it was one of only a few Silesian cities to stay Protestant.
The Polish Municipal school opened in 1666. It operated until 1766.
The precise record keeping of births and deaths by the city led to the use of their data for analysis of mortality, first by John Graunt and then later by Edmond Halley. Halley's tables and analysis, published in 1693, are considered to be the first true actuarial tables, and thus the foundation of modern actuarial science.
During the Counter-Reformation, the intellectual life of the city flourished, as the Protestant bourgeoisie lost its role to the Catholic orders as the patron of the arts. The city became the centre of German Baroque literature and was home to the First and Second Silesian school of poets.
The Kingdom of Prussia annexed the town and most of Silesia during the War of the Austrian Succession in the 1740s. Habsburg empress Maria Theresa ceded the territory in the Treaty of Breslau in 1742. Austria attempted to recover Silesia with Breslau during the Seven Years' War and the Battle of Breslau, but unsuccessfully.
In 1766, Giacomo Casanova stayed in Breslau.
During the Napoleonic Wars, it was occupied by an army of the Confederation of the Rhine. The fortifications of the city were leveled and monasteries and cloisters were secularised. The Protestant Viadrina European University of Frankfurt (Oder) was relocated to Breslau in 1811, and united with the local Jesuit University to create the new Silesian Frederick-William University (Schlesische Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität, now University of Wrocław). The city became the centre of the German Liberation movement against Napoleon, and the gathering place for volunteers from all over Germany, with the Iron Cross military decoration founded by Frederick William III of Prussia in early March 1813. The city was the centre of Prussian mobilisation for the campaign which ended at Leipzig.
Napoleonic redevelopments increased prosperity in Silesia and the city. The levelled fortifications opened space for the city to grow beyond its old limits. Breslau became an important railway hub and industrial centre, notably of linen and cotton manufacture and metal industry. The reconstructed university served as a major centre of sciences, while the secularisation of life laid the base for a rich museum landscape. Johannes Brahms wrote his Academic Festival Overture to thank the university for an honorary doctorate awarded in 1881.
In 1821, (Arch)Diocese of Breslau was disentangled from the Polish ecclesiastical province (archbishopric) in Gniezno and made Breslau an exempt bishopric. On 10 October 1854, the Jewish Theological Seminary opened. The institution was the first modern rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. In 1863 the brothers Karl and Louis Stangen founded the travel agency Stangen, this was the second travel agency in the world.
The Unification of Germany in 1871 turned Breslau into the sixth-largest city in the German Empire. Its population more than tripled to over half a million between 1860 and 1910. The 1900 census listed 422,709 residents.
In 1890, construction began on the forts of Breslau Fortress. Important landmarks were inaugurated in 1910, the Kaiser bridge and the Technical University, which now houses the Wrocław University of Technology. The 1900 census listed 98% as German-speakers, with 5,363 Polish-speakers (1.3%), and another 3,103 (0.7%) speaking both German and Polish. The population was 58% Protestant, 37% Catholic (including at least 2% Polish) and 5% Jewish (totaling 20,536 in the 1905 census). The Jewish community of Breslau was among the most important in Germany, producing several distinguished artists and scientists.
Since 1912 Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wrocław and director of the Clinic of Psychiatry (Königlich Psychiatrischen und Nervenklinik) was Alois Alzheimer and, in the same year, professor William Stern introduced the concept of IQ.
Following the First World War, Breslau became the capital of the newly created Prussian Province of Lower Silesia of the Weimar Republic in 1919. After the war the Polish community began holding masses in the Polish language at the Church of Saint Anne, and, as of 1921, at St. Martin's and a Polish School was founded by Helena Adamczewska. In 1920 a Polish consulate was opened on the Main Square.
In August 1920, during the Polish Silesian Uprising in Upper Silesia, the Polish Consulate and School were destroyed, while the Polish Library was burned down by a mob. The number of Poles as a percentage of the total population fell to just 0.5% after the reconstitution of Poland in 1918, when many moved to Poland. Antisemitic riots occurred in 1923.
The city boundaries were expanded between 1925 and 1930 to include an area of 175 km2 (68 sq mi) with a population of 600,000. In 1929, the Werkbund opened WuWa (German: Wohnungs- und Werkraumausstellung) in Breslau-Scheitnig, an international showcase of modern architecture by architects of the Silesian branch of the Werkbund. In June 1930, Breslau hosted the Deutsche Kampfspiele, a sporting event for German athletes after Germany was excluded from the Olympic Games after World War I. The number of Jews remaining in Breslau fell from 23,240 in 1925 to 10,659 in 1933. Up to the beginning of World War II, Breslau was the largest city in Germany east of Berlin.
Known as a stronghold of left wing liberalism during the German Empire, Breslau eventually became one of the strongest support bases of the Nazis, who in the 1932 elections received 44% of the city's vote, their third-highest total in all Germany.
After Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in 1933, political enemies of the Nazis were persecuted, and their institutions closed or destroyed; the Gestapo began actions against Polish and Jewish students (see: Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau), Communists, Social Democrats, and trade unionists. Arrests were made for speaking Polish in public, and in 1938 the Nazi-controlled police destroyed the Polish cultural centre. In September 1941 the city's 10,000 Jews were displaced from their homes and soon deported to camps. Few survived the Holocaust. Also many other people seen as "undesirable" by the Third Reich were sent to concentration camps. A network of concentration camps and forced labour camps was established around Breslau, to serve industrial concerns, including FAMO, Junkers and Krupp. Tens of thousands were imprisoned there.
The last big event organised by the National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise, called Deutsches Turn-und-Sportfest (Gym and Sports Festivities), took place in Breslau from 26 to 31 July 1938. The Sportsfest was held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon's invasion.
For most of World War II, the fighting did not affect Breslau. In 1941 the remnants of the pre-war Polish minority in the city, as well as Polish slave labourers, organised a resistance group called Olimp. The organisation gathered intelligence, carrying out sabotage and organising aid for Polish slave workers. As the war continued, refugees from bombed-out German cities, and later refugees from farther east, swelled the population to nearly one million, including 51,000 forced labourers in 1944, and 9,876 Allied PoWs. At the end of 1944 an additional 30,000–60,000 Poles were moved into the city after Germans crushed the Warsaw Uprising.
In February 1945 the Soviet Red Army approached the city. Gauleiter Karl Hanke declared the city a Festung (fortress) to be held at all costs. Hanke finally lifted a ban on the evacuation of women and children when it was almost too late. During his poorly organised evacuation in January 1945, 18,000 people froze to death in icy snowstorms and −20 °C (−4 °F) weather. By the end of the Battle of Breslau (February-May 1945), half the city had been destroyed. An estimated 40,000 civilians lay dead in the ruins of homes and factories. After a siege of nearly three months, Festung Breslau capitulated on 6 May 1945, two days before the end of the war. In August the Soviets placed the city under the control of German anti-fascists.
Along with almost all of Lower Silesia, however, the city became part of Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. The Polish name of "Wrocław" was declared official. There had been discussion among the Western Allies to place the southern Polish-German boundary on the Glatzer Neisse, which meant post-war Germany would have been allowed to retain approximately half of Silesia, including Breslau. However, the Soviets insisted the border be drawn at the Lusatian Neisse farther west.
In August 1945, the city had a German population of 189,500, and a Polish population of 17,000. After World War II the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union. Almost all of the German inhabitants fled or were forcibly expelled between 1945 and 1949 and were settled in the Soviet occupation zone and Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. The city's last pre-war German school was closed in 1963. A small German minority (about 1,000 people) remains in the city. The Polish population was dramatically increased by the resettlement of Poles during postwar population transfers during the forced deportations from Polish lands annexed by the Soviet Union in the east region, many of whom came from Lviv (Lwów), Volhynia and Vilnius Region.
Wrocław is now a unique European city of mixed heritage, with architecture influenced by Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian traditions, such as Silesian Gothic and its Baroque style of court builders of Habsburg Austria (Fischer von Erlach). Wrocław has a number of notable buildings by German modernist architects including the famous Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia or Jahrhunderthalle) (1911–1913) designed by Max Berg. In 1948, Wrocław organised the Recovered Territories Exhibition and the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace.
In 1982, during martial law in Poland, the anti-communist underground organizations Fighting Solidarity and Orange Alternative were founded in Wrocław. Wrocław's dwarfs made of bronze famously commemorate Orange Alternative.
In 1983 and 1997, Pope John Paul II visited the city.
PTV Echo, the first non-state television station in Poland and in the post-communist countries, began to broadcast in Wrocław on 6 February 1990.
In May 1997, Wrocław hosted the 46th International Eucharistic Congress.
In July 1997, the city was heavily affected by a flood of the River Oder, the worst flooding in post-war Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. About one-third of the area of the city was flooded. An earlier equally devastating flood of the river took place in 1903. A small part of the city was also flooded during the flood in 2010. From 2012 to 2015 the Wrocław water node was renovated and redeveloped to prevent further flooding. It cost more than 900 million PLN (c. 220 million euro).
In 2016 Wrocław was European Capital of Culture.
In 2017 Wrocław hosted the 2017 World Games.
Wrocław won the European Best Destination title in 2018.
The city stretches for 26.3 kilometers on the east-west line and 19.4 kilometers on the north-south line.
Wrocław is one of the most polluted European and Polish cities. In a report by French Respire organization from 2014, Wrocław was named the eighth most polluted European city, with 166 days of bad air quality yearly. Air pollution mainly occurs in winter.
According to the Wrocław University research from 2017, high concentration of particular matters (PM2.5 and PM 10) in the air causes 942 premature deaths of Wrocław inhabitants per year. Air pollution also causes 3297 cases of bronchitis among Wrocław's children per year.
84% of Wrocław inhabitants think that air pollution is a serious social problem, according to the poll from May 2017. 73% of people think, that air quality is bad.
In 2014, inhabitants founded an organization, called the Lower Silesian Smog Alert (Dolnośląski Alarm Smogowy, DAS), to tackle the air pollution problem. Its goals are to educate the public and to reduct emission of harmful substances.
Wrocław has a humid continental climate (Dfb in the Koeppen climate classification). It is one of the warmer cities in Poland. Lying in the Silesian Lowlands between Trzebnickie Hills and the Sudetes, the mean annual temperature is 9.04 °C (48 °F). The coldest month is January (average temperature −0.7 °C), with snow being common in winter, and the warmest is July (average temperature 18.9 °C). The highest temperature in Wrocław was recorded on August 19, 1892 and August 8, 2015 (+38.9 °C). The previous records were +38 °C on June 27, 1935 and +37.9 °C on July 31, 1994. The lowest temperature was recorded on February 11, 1956 (−32 °C).
|Climate data for Wrocław|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.3
|Average high °C (°F)||2.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−29.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||27
|Average precipitation days||14||12||12||10||13||12||14||13||11||13||15||12||151|
|Average relative humidity (%)||84||82||77||71||71||72||71||72||78||81||86||86||78|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||54||74||125||204||250||251||251||247||166||119||67||47||1,855|
In Wrocław, the presence of over 200 species of birds has been registered, of which over 100 have nesting places here. As in other large Polish cities, the most numerous are pigeons. Other common species are the sparrow, tree sparrow, siskin, rook, crow, jackdaw, magpie, swift, martin, swallow, Kestrel, mute swan, mallard, coot, merganser, black-headed gull, great tit, blue tit, Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Hawfinch, Collared Dove, Common wood pigeon, fieldfare, redwing, Common starling, gray heron, white stork, Common chaffinch, blackbird, jay, nuthatch, bullfinch, cuckoo, waxwing, Lesser spotted woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed woodpecker, white wagtail, blackcap, Black redstart, Old World flycatcher, Emberizidae, goldfinch, Western marsh harrier, Little bittern, Common moorhen, reed bunting, Remiz, Great reed warbler, Little crake, Little ringed plover and White-tailed eagle.
In addition, in the city there live rats, hedgehogs, foxes, wild boars, bats, martens, squirrels, deer, hares, beavers, polecats, otters, badgers, weasels, stoats and raccoon dogs. May also appear Muskrat, American mink, raccoon.
The city lies on the Oder River and its four tributaries, which supply it within the city limits: Bystrzyca, Oława, Ślęza and Widawa. In addition, the Dobra River and many streams flow through the city area.
Wrocław draws drinking water from the area of water – bearing areas supplied with groundwater and surface waters of the Oława and Nysa Kłodzka rivers through the Nysa-Oława Canal.
The city has a sewage treatment plant on the Janówek estate.
Wrocław is the capital city of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, a province (voivodeship) created in 1999. It was previously the seat of Wrocław Voivodeship. The city is a separate urban gmina and city county (powiat). It is also the seat of Wrocław County, which adjoins but does not include the city.
Wrocław was previously subdivided into five boroughs (dzielnica):
However, the city is now divided into 48 osiedles (districts): Bieńkowice, Biskupin-Sępolno-Dąbie-Bartoszowice, Borek, Brochów, Gaj, Gajowice, Gądów-Popowice Płd., Grabiszyn-Grabiszynek, Huby, Jagodno, Jerzmanowo-Jarnołtów-Strachowice-Osiniec, Karłowice-Różanka, Klecina, Kleczków, Kowale, Krzyki-Partynice, Księże, Kuźniki, Leśnica, Lipa Piotrowska, Maślice, Muchobór Mały, Muchobór Wielki, Nadodrze, Nowy Dwór, Ołbin, Ołtaszyn, Oporów, Osobowice-Rędzin, Pawłowice, Pilczyce-Kozanów-Popowice Płn., Plac Grunwaldzki, Polanowice-Poświętne-Ligota, Powstańców Śląskich, Pracze Odrzańskie, Przedmieście Oławskie, Przedmieście Świdnickie, Psie Pole-Zawidawie, Sołtysowice, Stare Miasto, Strachocin-Swojczyce-Wojnów, Szczepin, Świniary, Tarnogaj, Widawa, Wojszyce, Zacisze-Zalesie-Szczytniki, and Żerniki.
Wrocław is currently governed by the city's mayor and a municipal legislature known as the city council. The city council is made up of 39 councillors and is directly elected by the city's inhabitants. The remit of the council and president extends to all areas of municipal policy and development planning, up to and including development of local infrastructure, transport and planning permission. However, it is not able to draw taxation directly from its citizens, and instead receives its budget from the Polish national government whose seat is in Warsaw. The city's current mayor is Rafał Dutkiewicz, who has served in this position since 2002. Previous mayors include Stanisław Apoznański (25.05.1984–13.12.1985), Stefan Skąpski (26.03.1986–4.06.1990), Bogdan Zdrojewski (5.06.1990–8.05.2001) and Stanisław Huskowski (8.05.2001–19.11.2002).
Free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) is available at a number of places around town.
Ostrów Tumski is the oldest part of the city of Wrocław. It was formerly an island (ostrów in Old Polish) known as the Cathedral Island between the branches of the Oder River, featuring the Wrocław Cathedral built originally in the mid 10th century.
The 13th century Main Market Square (Rynek) features the Old Town Hall. In the north-west corner of the market square there is the St. Elisabeth's Church (Bazylika Św. Elżbiety) with its 91.46 m tower, which has an observation deck (75 m). North of the church are the Shambles with Monument of Remembrance of Animals for Slaughter. The Salt Square (now a flower market) is located at the south-western corner of the market square. Close to the square, between Szewska and Łaciarska streets, there is the St. Mary Magdalene Church (Kościół Św. Marii Magdaleny) established in the 13th century.
The St. Vincent and St. James' Church and the Holy Cross and St. Bartholomew's Collegiate Church are burial sites of Polish monarchs Henry II the Pious and Henry IV Probus respectively.
Pan Tadeusz Museum- Operating since May 2016 year. Located in the building of the Golden Sun in the Market. You'll find the manuscript of the national epos- "Pan Tadeusz", multimedia exhibits, interactive educational halls and museum workshops there.
Other points of interest include:
Small passenger vessels on the Oder offer city tours, as do historic trams or the converted open-topped historic bus Jelcz 043. Another interesting way to explore the city is seeking out Wrocław's dwarfs, small bronze figurines found throughout the town.
In Wrocław functions "Free Walking Tour" – https://freewalkingtour.com/wroclaw/
The city is well known for its large number of nightclubs and pubs. Many are in or near the Market Square, and in the Niepolda passage, the railway wharf on the Bogusławskiego street. The basement of the old City Hall houses one of the oldest restaurants in Europe – Piwnica Świdnicka (operating since around 1275), while the basement of the new City Hall contains the brewpub Spiż. There are many other craft breweries in Wrocław: three brewpubs – Browar Stu Mostów, Browar Staromiejski Złoty Pies, Browar Rodzinny Prost; two microbrewery – Profesja and Warsztat Piwowarski; and seven contract breweries – Doctor Brew, Genius Loci, Solipiwko, Pol A Czech, Baba Jaga, wBrew, Wielka Wyspa. Every year on the second weekend of June the Festival of Good Beer takes place. It is the biggest beer festival in Poland. Every year in November and December the Christmas market is held at the Market Square.
The history of Wrocław is described in minute detail in the monograph Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse. A number of books have been written about Wrocław following World War II.
Wrocław philologist and writer Marek Krajewski wrote a series of crime novels about detective Eberhard Mock, a fictional character from the city of Breslau. Accordingly, Michał Kaczmarek published Wrocław according to Eberhard Mock – Guide based on the books by Marek Krajewski. In 2011 appeared the 1104-page Lexicon of the architecture of Wrocław, and in 2013 a 960-page Lexicon about the greenery of Wrocław. In March 2015 Wrocław filed an application to become a UNESCO's City of Literature.
Wrocław is the third largest educational centre of Poland, with 135,000 students in 30 colleges which employ some 7,400 staff.
List of ten public colleges and universities:
Other cultural institutions:
Wrocław is a major road junction. Wrocław is skirted on the south by the A4 highway, which allows for a quick connection with Upper Silesia, Kraków and further east to Ukraine, and Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin to the west. The A8 highway (Wrocław ring road) around the west and north of the city connects the A4 highway with the S5 express road that leads to Poznań, Bydgoszcz and S8 express road that leads to Oleśnica, Łódź, Warsaw, Białystok and National road 5 and National road 8 to the Czech Republic. Under construction is the eastern part of the Wrocław ring road.
The main rail station is Wrocław Główny supported by PKP Intercity, Przewozy Regionalne and Koleje Dolnośląskie. Journey times from Wrocław: Warsaw – 3 h 36 minutes, Poznań – 2 h 26 minutes, Szczecin – 6 h, Gdańsk – 5 h, Kraków – 3 h 14 minutes.
Public transport in Wrocław includes bus lines and 22 tram lines operated by Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne (MPK, the Municipal Transport Company). Rides are paid for, tickets can be bought above kiosks and vending machines, which are located at bus stops and vehicles. The tickets are available for purchase in the electronic form via mobile. Tickets are one-ride or temporary (0,5h, 1h, 1,5h, 24h, 48h, 72h, 168h).
In Wrocław there are 255 km of cycling paths and about 100 km paths on flood embankments. Wrocław has a bike rental network – Wrocław City Bike. It has 810 bicycles and 81 self-service stations. Operating every year from 1 March to 30 November.
Wrocław's population is predominantly Catholic (Roman Catholic). The diocese was founded in the city as early as 1000, it was one of the first dioceses in Poland at that time. Now the city is the seat of an Archdiocese.
Prior to World War II, Breslau had a majority of Protestants, a large Roman Catholic and a small Jewish minority. In 1939, of 620,976 inhabitants 368,464 were Protestants (United Protestants—mostly Lutherans and minority Reformed—in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union), 193,805 Catholics, 2,135 other Christians and 10,659 Jews. Post-war resettlements from Poland's ethnically and religiously more diverse former eastern territories (known in Polish as Kresy) and the eastern parts of post-1945 Poland (see Operation Vistula) account for a comparatively large portion of Greek Catholics and Orthodox Christians of mostly Ukrainian and Lemko descent. Wrocław is also unique for its "Dzielnica Czterech Świątyń" (Borough of Four Temples)—a part of Stare Miasto (Old Town) where a Synagogue, a Lutheran Church, a Roman Catholic church and an Eastern Orthodox church stand near each other. Other Christian denominations present in Wrocław include: Adventist, Baptist, Free Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter-day Saints, Methodist and Pentecostal. There also exist associations practicising and promoting Slavic neopaganism.
In 2007, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wrocław established the Pastoral Centre for English Speakers, which offers Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, as well as other sacraments, fellowship, retreats, catechesis and pastoral care for all English-speaking Catholics and non-Catholics interested in the Catholic Church. The Pastoral Centre is under the care of Order of Friars Minor, Conventual (Franciscans) of the Kraków Province in the parish of St Charles Borromeo (Św Karol Boromeusz).
Prior to World War II, Wrocław, then known as Breslau, had the third largest Jewish population of all cities in Germany. Its White Stork Synagogue was built in 1840. It was only rededicated in 2010. Four years later, in 2014, it celebrated its first ordination of four rabbis and three cantors since the Second World War. The Polish authorities together with the German Foreign Minister attended the official ceremony.
Matches of EuroBasket 1963 and EuroBasket 2009, as well as 2009 Women's European Volleyball Championship, 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship and 2016 European Men's Handball Championship were held in Wrocław.
Wrocław was the host of the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships and will the host World Championship 2016 of Duplicate bridge and World Games 2017, a competition in 37 non-Olympic sport disciplines.
Wrocław is the second wealthiest city in Poland after Warsaw. Moreover, an estimated number of 401 millionaires live in Wrocław, or individuals whose annual income exceeds 1 million PLN (as per 2014). The city is also home to the largest number of leasing and debt collection companies in the country, including the largest European Leasing Fund as well as numerous banks. Due to the proximity of the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic, Wrocław and the region of Lower Silesia is a large import and export partner with these countries.
Wrocław's industry manufactures buses, railroad cars, home appliances, chemicals and electronics. The city houses factories and development centres of many foreign and domestic corporations, such as WAGO Kontakttechnik, Siemens, Bosch, Whirlpool Corporation, Nokia Networks, Volvo, HP, IBM, Google, Opera Software, Bombardier Transportation, WABCO and others. Wrocław is also the location of offices for large Polish companies including Getin Holding, AmRest, Polmos and MCI Management SA. Additionally, Kaufland Poland has its main headquarters in the city.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the city has had a developing high-tech sector. Many high-tech companies are located in the Wrocław Technology Park, such as Baluff, CIT Engineering, Caisson Elektronik, ContiTech, Ericsson, Innovative Software Technologies, IBM, IT-MED, IT Sector, LiveChat Software, Mitsubishi Electric, Maas, PGS Software, Technology Transfer Agency Techtra and Vratis. In Biskupice Podgórne (Community Kobierzyce) there are factories of LG (LG Display, LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Innotek), Dong Seo Display, Dong Yang Electronics, Toshiba, and many other companies, mainly from the electronics and home appliances sectors, while the Nowa Wieś Wrocławska factory and distribution center of Nestlé Purina and factories a few other enterprises.
The city is the seat of Wrocław Research Centre EIT+, which contains, inter alia, geological research laboratories to the unconventional and Lower Silesian Cluster of Nanotechnology. The logistics centers DHL, FedEx and UPS are based in Wrocław. Furthermore, it is major center for the pharmaceutical industry (U.S. Pharmacia, Hasco-Lek, Galena, Avec Pharma, 3M, Labor, S-Lab, Herbapol, and Cezal).
Wrocław is home to Poland's largest shopping mall – Bielany Avenue (pl. Aleja Bielany) and Bielany Trade Center, located in Bielany Wrocławskie where stores such as Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, Makro, Tesco, IKEA, Jula, OBI, Castorama, Black Red White, Poco, E. Wedel, Cargill, Prologis and Panattoni can be found.
In February 2013, Qatar Airways launched its Wrocław European Customer Service.
Interior of Wrocław Cathedral
John of Nepomuk Monument on Cathedral Island
Tenement houses at Wrocław Market Square
Aleksander Fredro Monument
University of Wrocław by night
Aula Leopoldina at the University of Wrocław
Public bath, now a Spa