Architectural and cultural attractions of Wroclaw in Poland are as diverse as the history of this city. Tourists can see with their own eyes the most different styles of architecture from different times.
Top 14 attractions in Wroclaw
Wroclaw on the Oder is one of the most beautiful cities of Eastern Europe, which today belongs to Poland. It used to pass from hand to hand to different states, as occupies an advantageous position in Silesia.
The city was founded in the early 11th century and has since changed several states. The most interesting sights of Wroclaw can be found on Tumsky Island. There are medieval castles, palaces, cathedrals, classic parks and gardens.
There is a lot to see in the medieval Market Square in the Old Town. There are wonderful places for recreation with children, etc., built in Wroclaw. We offer you a brief description of attractions in Wroclaw with photos.
City Hall and Market Square
The market square has always been the center of life in any medieval European city. Here the most important events in the activities of the city government and citizens, important news, and trade took place.
The market square appeared in the 11th century, and the City Hall on it – during the 14th-16th centuries. The houses of the most noble citizens of Wroclaw were built around them. And the City Hall is worthy of special attention.
It was built in the Gothic style, it was built from 14th to 16th century, several times rebuilt due to fires. Today, in the building of the City Hall is a solid historical museum, also a famous landmark of Wroclaw.
At the very beginning of the 21st century, small bronze figures began to appear in the city. They are all over the city, periodically disappearing or broken, but then reappearing in their place. Today there are already several hundred gnomes.
The author of the first gnome was the sculptor Olaf Brzeski. His creation became the Gnome Pope. Then the city authorities commissioned sculptor Tomasz Mocek to make new gnomes for the cityscape.
Later, many organizations, institutions and individuals began to order new gnomes for Wroclaw. They acquired professions, images that corresponded to the wishes of the customers. Today, Wroclaw’s gnomes are the city’s calling card.
This water park was put into operation in 2008. Since then, it has been very popular with citizens and tourists visiting the city. Going here for a full day with the kids is a great choice.
The water park has a lot of slides for small children and adults who love extreme entertainment. You can spend the whole day lying around the pool with artificial waves or travel along the river on an inflatable mattress.
In addition to attractions and swimming pools, there are many kinds of baths, from Russian to Turkish, excellent modern spa-zone with salt caves. There are many skin rejuvenation procedures available to women.
It is one of the most famous sights in Wroclaw, located on the island of Tumski and was built in early Gothic style at the beginning of the 13th century. Previously there was another church in its place.
Together with this temple, the beautiful Gothic came and reigned in Poland. In addition, the Wroclaw Cathedral was the first brick church. At the beginning of the 20th century the organ, then considered the largest in the world, was built here.
More than two-thirds of this building was destroyed during the war. Some of the beautiful interiors have been saved, the rest – restored by bits and pieces. The cathedral was reconstructed for almost half a century. Today it is active and available to tourists.
St. Elisabeth’s Church
It is a magnificent iconic building that is a must-see in Wroclaw. The church was also built in the 13th century in the Gothic style. Its bell tower was the tallest in Silesia before the collapse of the spire.
Tourists climb to the top of the bell tower for a view of the Old Town and Town Hall Square. During the Napoleonic era, the church was besieged by Napoleon’s troops and destroyed.
This temple was changing its denominational affiliation. From the 16th century it was Catholic, after the world war from the middle of the 20th century it became Protestant and is administered by the Polish army.
This palace used to be the residence of the kings of Prussia. It was built in the early 18th century, at the beginning of the last century it was donated to the city. Today it is home to the Municipal Museum, which hosts exhibitions of works of art from Silesia.
In the spring of 1945 the museum was badly damaged during the siege of the city, after the war began its long and painstaking restoration. The palace was divided into Archaeological and Ethnographic sections.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the palace was completely restored, it regained all its former glory and became a Historical Museum. If you find yourself in Wroclaw, be sure to come here and see the cultural and historical exhibits.
The opera building was built in the 19th century in the classical style, and then repeatedly rebuilt. It is similar to many theaters of those times. At first the theater was dramatic, and only later the first operas appeared in the repertoire.
The history of Wroclaw Opera is closely connected with great composers, musicians, and opera singers. These walls have heard Wagner and Paganini, Strauss and Liszt, Rubinstein and Wieniawski. The Wroclaw Opera House is a historical monument.
Interestingly, one of the rebuilds of the Wroclaw Theater involved the removal of sculptures of muses and monuments to Nazi leaders. Unfortunately, politics often interferes with art.
This suspension bridge connects the banks of the river Oder in Wroclaw. It was built at the beginning of the last century, is just over 100 meters long and weighs almost 2.5 tons. At first the bridge was called the Imperial Bridge, and then it was renamed the Freedom Bridge.
The Grunwald Bridge is made of steel, granite and brick under the direction of the German architect Pludemann. Emperor Wilhelm II himself was present at its grand opening.
During the war, the Grunwald Bridge was badly damaged, but two years after the victory, traffic on it resumed. Today there is a streetcar line here, as well as a national highway.
Another bridge over the Oder worth seeing in Wroclaw. It was built in the 1980s of the 19th century. It used to be used by cars, but now it is only for pedestrians.
This bridge also has the name of the Bridge of lovers, because. Traditionally, lovers or newlyweds come to it and close the locks as a symbol of strong and indestructible feelings. And the keys to the locks are thrown into the river.
The steel Tum Bridge was built under the direction of the famous German architect von Scholz. A few years after its commissioning, a sculpture of John the Baptist was placed on the bridge.
This is a huge canvas depicting the Battle of Racławice between the rebels led by the national hero Kosciuszko and the army units of the Russian Empire, which took place in 1794.
The picture was painted on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Battle. It is more than 100 meters long and about 15 meters high. The authors of the canvas are artists Styk and Wojciech.
The panorama was originally installed in Lviv, but after the Great Patriotic War it was reinstalled in Wroclaw. Later, in the 1980s, the canvas was restored and a separate building was built for it.
This is a huge model of the railroad, where in miniature the world of Lower Silesia and its inhabitants will open before you. The creators of Koleikovo tried to portray this world as realistically as possible, as in a documentary.
The layout shows scenes of daily life: you can watch the work of foresters and rescuers, for a while to be skiers or construction workers, sunbathe on the beach or get into a circus performance.
Kolejkovo is located at the old railway station of the city. This unique landmark of Wroclaw in Poland is a must see and admire the gigantic talent and work of the authors of the layout.
It is the oldest and most numerous zoo in Poland. It began in the middle of the 19th century when the city belonged to Prussia. The territory of the zoo today is more than 30 hectares.
The zoo is home to more than eight hundred species of animals and birds, as well as more than seven thousand individuals. It is the most visited Zoo in Poland, a great place to spend a whole day with children.
In the territory of the Wrocław Zoo several 19th century buildings have been preserved: the House of Monkeys, the House of Butterflies, etc. There are magnificent natural landscapes, which guests of the park never fail to admire. There is an Africarium with the ecosystems of this continent.
This magnificent garden is located in the heart of Wroclaw in Szczytnicki Park. It was founded in the early 20th century, when the fashion for Japanese-style gardens came to Europe. A famous Japanese gardener was invited to Prussia for this purpose.
The garden was shown to the public at the World Garden Show. Over time it has lost a bit of its Japanese look, but essentially its style and character have been preserved. Then there were two world wars, the garden was destroyed, there was no interest in it in Poland.
It was only in the mid-90s of the 20th century that the first reconstruction of the Japanese garden in Wroclaw began with the participation of specialists from Japan. In 1997, the garden was inaugurated and immediately flooded. Then it was rebuilt for two more years.
The sky tower is the tallest skyscraper in Wroclaw and the third tallest in Poland. It was originally intended to build several of these towers, but later decided to save money.
Sky Tower has been under construction since 2007, survived the global crisis, when all construction was frozen for a long time, and finally opened in 2012. The final height of the Tower is 207 meters.
There have long been discussions in the country that the Sky Tower does not fit into the architecture of the old city, gives too much shadow to the surrounding houses. But to see this attraction of Wroclaw and the whole of Poland we recommend you definitely.