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Top to bottom, left to right: Ostrów Tumski by night, Renoma mall, Rotunda of Racławice Panorama, Centennial Hall, City Hall, Monopol Hotel, Wrocław's dwarfs, Main Station
Top to bottom, left to right: Ostrów Tumski by night, Renoma mall, Rotunda of Racławice Panorama, Centennial Hall, City Hall, Monopol Hotel, Wrocław's dwarfs, Main Station
Flag of Wrocław
Coat of arms of Wrocław
Coat of arms
Motto: Wrocław – Miasto Spotkań / Wrocław – the meeting place
Wrocław is located in Poland
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Lower Silesian
County city county
Established 10th century
City rights 1214
 • Mayor Rafał Dutkiewicz
 • City 292.92 km2 (113.10 sq mi)
Elevation 105-155 m (−400 ft)
Population (2012)
 • City 632,067[1]
 • Metro 1,164,600
 • Demonym Vratislavian
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 50-041 to 54-612
Area code(s) +48 71
Car plates DW
Website .pl.wroclawwww

Wrocław (; Polish pronunciation:  ( ); German: Breslau known also by other alternative names) is the largest city in western Poland. It is situated on the River Oder (Odra) in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the south and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudety Mountains to the south. Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

The population of Wrocław in 2013 was 632,067, making it the fourth largest city in Poland, classified as a Global city by GaWC, with the ranking of high sufficiency.

At various times in history it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany. It became part of Poland in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War.

The city is going to be European Capital of Culture in 2016.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Middle Ages 2.1
    • Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation 2.2
    • Napoleonic Wars 2.3
    • Prussia and Germany 2.4
    • World War II and afterwards 2.5
    • After the war 2.6
  • Climate 3
  • Administration 4
  • Tourism 5
    • Landmarks and points of interest 5.1
    • Swimming 5.2
    • Shopping malls 5.3
    • Entertainment 5.4
    • Museums 5.5
  • Literature 6
  • Education 7
  • Economy 8
  • Transport 9
  • Religion 10
  • Professional sports 11
    • Men's sports 11.1
    • Women's sports 11.2
  • Major corporations 12
  • International relations 13
    • Twin towns and sister cities 13.1
    • Partnerships 13.2
  • Gallery 14
  • Notable people 15
  • See also 16
  • References 17
    • Notes 17.1
    • Bibliography 17.2
      • English language 17.2.1
      • Polish language 17.2.2
      • German language 17.2.3
  • External links 18


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 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:

  • Municipal website (Polish) (English) (German) (French)
  • Tourist Information Centre website (Polish) (English)
  • MPK Wrocław (transport company website) (Polish)
  • tripadvisor
  • Wrocław uncut
  • Festung Breslau
  • Wrocław z wyboru
  • Wrocław City Breaks – Discover Wrocław with Style!
  • Wrocław Life. Travel, nightlife, photographs
  • Wrocław Weekly (Polish)
  • Concentration Camps in and around Breslau 1940-1945 – Roger Moorhouse
  • Virtual Wrocław (Polish)
  • Jewish Community in Wrocław on Virtual Shtetl
  • Wratislaviae Amici (Polish)
  • Postindustrial Wrocław (Polish)
  • Postal History of Wrocław
  •, DOSS (Lower Silesian Center for Strategic Studies)
  • city life in internet (Polish)
  • Philosophical Cafes in Wrocław
  • Roman Catholic Pastoral Centre for English-Speakers

External links

  • Scheuermann, Gerhard (1994). Das Breslau-Lexikon (2 vols.). Dülmen: Laumann Verlagsgesellschaft.  
  • van Rahden, Till (2000). Juden und andere Breslauer: Die Beziehungen zwischen Juden, Protestanten und Katholiken in einer deutschen Großstadt von 1860 bis 1925. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.  
  • Thum, Gregor (2002). Die fremde Stadt: Breslau 1945. Berlin: Siedler.  
  • Weczerka, Hugo (2003). Handbuch der historischen Stätten: Schlesien. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag.  

German language

  • Gregor Thum, Obce miasto: Wrocław 1945 i potem, Wrocław: Via Nova, 2006

Polish language

  • Till van Rahden, Jews and Other Germans: Civil Society, Religious Diversity, and Urban Politics in Breslau, 1860–1925 (2008. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press
  • Gregor Thum, Uprooted. How Breslau Became Wrocław During the Century of Expulsions (2011. Princeton: Princeton University Press

English language


  1. ^ "Baza Demografia - Tablice predefiniowane - wyniki badań bieżących" [Base Demographics - Predefined tables - the results of the current] (in Polish). 2,011-12-31. Retrieved 2,014-08-20. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Wratislavia sive Budorgis celebris Elysiorum metropolis". 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  4. ^ a b Norman Davies "Mikrokosmos" pages 110–115
  5. ^ Weczerka, p. 39
  6. ^ Weczerka, p. 41
  7. ^ Benedykt Zientara (1997). Henryk Brodaty i jego czasy (in Polski). Warsaw: Trio. pp. 317–320.  
  8. ^ Norman Davies "Mikrokosmos" page 114
  9. ^ a b Thum, p. 316
  10. ^ Norman Davies "Mikrokosmos" page 110
  11. ^ Piotr Górecki, "A local society in transition: the Henryków book and related documents", PIMS, 2007, pgs. 27 and 62, Google Books
  12. ^ a b Cf. Meyers Großes Konversationslexikon: 20 vols., 6th ed., Leipzig and Vienna: Bibliographisches Institut, 1903-1908, vol. 3: Bismarck-Archipel bis Chemnitz (1903), article: Breslau (Stadt), pp. 394-399, here p. 396. No ISBN
  13. ^ a b Harasimowicz, p. 466f
  14. ^ see Till van Rahden: Jews and Other Germans: Civil Society, Religious Diversity, and Urban Politics in Breslau, 1860–1925, ISBN 978-0-299-22694-7
  15. ^ Microcosm, page 361
  16. ^ Davies, Moorhouse, p. 396; van Rahden, Juden, p. 323–6
  17. ^ "Territorial organisation of Breslau (German)". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  18. ^ Uprooted: How Breslau Became Wrocław During the Century of Expulsions. Thum, Gregor. Princeton University Press, 2011
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Norman Davies, Mikrokosmos, page 369
  21. ^ a b Davies, Moorhouse, p. 395
  22. ^ Kulak, p. 252
  23. ^ """see article "Concentration Camps in and around Breslau 1940-1945. Roger Moorhouse. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "Breslau bonczek sportfest". Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  25. ^ (27 July 2010). "History of Wrocław". Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  26. ^ Norman Davies, Mikrokosmos, page 232
  27. ^ a b Mazower, M(2008) Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe, Penguin Press P544
  28. ^ "NTKS Wrocław". Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ Iwona Gołaj, Grzegorz Wojturski (2006). "The National Museum in Wrocław. History". Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu. Przewodnik (in Polish and English). Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  31. ^ Fitch Rating Report on Wrocław dated July 2008, p.3
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Ranking Szkół Wyższych tygodnika WPROST". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Ranking Szkół Wyższych tygodnika WPROST". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Ranking Szkół Wyższych tygodnika WPROST". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Ranking Szkół Wyższych tygodnika WPROST". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Home page" (in Polish). Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  47. ^ a b c d e Polish city marks first rabbinic ordination since World War II, The Times of Israel, September 3, 2014
  48. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  49. ^ "Credit Suisse opens Centre of Excellence in Wrocław". 5 March 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  50. ^ "IBM Opens Service Delivery Center in Wrocław". 13 September 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  51. ^ "Microsoft opens software development centre in Wrocław". 30 September 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Wrocław Official Website – Partnership Cities of Wrocław" (in English, German, French and Polish). Retrieved 23 October 2008. 
  53. ^ "Dresden – Partner Cities". 2008 Landeshauptstadt Dresden. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  54. ^ "Sister Cities, Public Relations". Guadalajara municipal government. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  55. ^ "Ramat Gan Sister Cities". Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008. 
  56. ^ "Wiesbaden's international city relations". Retrieved 24 December 2012. 



See also

Notable people



[55] with:twinnedWrocław is

Twin towns and sister cities

International relations

Crédit Agricole Poland and European Leasing Fund

Major corporations

Women's sports

  • Śląsk Wrocław (previous names: BASCO Śląsk Wrocław, ASCO Śląsk Wrocław, Bergson Śląsk Wrocław, Era Śląsk Wrocław, Deichmann Śląsk Wrocław, Idea Śląsk Wrocław, Zepter Idea Śląsk Wrocław, Zepter Śląsk Wrocław, Śląsk ESKA Wrocław, PCS Śląsk Wrocław, WKS Śląsk Wrocław) — men's basketball team, 17 times Polish Champion, 6 times runner-up, 14 times third place; 12 times Polish Cup winner.

Men's sports

Professional sports is not even exist KSBWrocław baseball team.

A marathon takes place in Wrocław every year in September[51]

Wrocław will be the host of the World Games in 2017.

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.

Matches of Group A UEFA Euro 2012's were held at Wrocław at the Municipal Stadium.

In the second place is basketball, thanks to Śląsk Wrocław - the award-winning men's basketball team (17 times Polish Champion).

The Wrocław area has many popular professional sports teams. The most popular sport today is football, thanks to Śląsk Wrocław - Polish Champion in 1977 and 2012.

Professional sports

Prior to the Second World War, Wroclaw, then known as Breslau, had the third largest Jewish population of all German cities.[50] Its White Stork Synagogue was built in 1840.[50] It was only rededicated in 2010.[50] Four years later, in 2014, it celebrated its first ordination of four rabbis and three cantors since the Second World War.[50] The German Foreign Minister attended the ceremony.[50]

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).

Like all of Poland, Wrocław's population is predominantly Roman Catholic; the city is the seat of an Archdiocese. However, 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 Protestant churches are also existent in Wrocław and include: Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Adventist and Free Christians. A branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also meets in Wrocław.

Wrocław Cathedral in the oldest district of Ostrów Tumski


Wrocław has a network of bike paths and a bike rental system, Wrocław City Bike.

A number of private taxicab firms operate in the city.

Public transport in Wrocław includes bus lines and 22 tram lines operated by Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne (MPK, the Municipal Transport Company).[49] 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).

The city has a river port on the Oder.

The city has an International Airport supported by Ryanair, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System, Etihad Airways; the main rail station Wrocław Główny; and, adjacent to the railway station, a central bus station with services offered by PKS,, Eurolines and other.

Wrocław is skirted on the south by the A4 motorway, which allows for a quick connection with Upper Silesia, Kraków and further east to Ukraine, and Dresden and Berlin to the west. The A8 motorway (Wrocław ring road) around the west and north of the city connects the A4 motorway with the National road 5 that leads to Poznań, Bydgoszcz and S8 express road that leads to Oleśnica, Łódź, Warsaw and Białystok. Under construction is the eastern part of the ring road.

"Polinka" - Gondola lift over the Oder


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.

Closely related to Wrocław is Poland's largest shopping mall - Bielany Retail Park and Bielany Trade Center, located in Bielany Wrocławskie where supermarkets Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, Makro, Tesco, IKEA, OBI, Castorama, Black Red White, factories E. Wedel, Cargill and warehouses Prologis, Panattoni,

In February 2013, Qatar Airways launched its Wrocław European Customer Service.

Wrocław is a major center for the pharmaceutical industry: U.S. Pharmacia, Hasco-Lek, Galena, 3M, Labor, S-Lab, Herbapol, Cezal.

Also AmRest has its headquarters in Wrocław, the largest foodservice company in Poland, a franchisee network of KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, La Tagliatella and Starbucks.

The following banks have their headquarters in Wrocław: Crédit Agricole Bank of Poland, Bank Zachodni WBK, Euro Bank, Santander Consumer Bank; as well as financial and accounting centers: Volvo, Hewlett-Packard, KPIT Cummins, UPS, GE Money Bank, Credit Suisse. The city is home to the largest number of leasing companies and debt collection in the country, including the largest European Leasing Fund.

The city is the seat Wrocław Research Centre EIT+, which contains, inter alia, geological research laboratories to the unconventional.

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.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the city has had a developing high-tech sector.

Wrocław's industry manufactures buses, trams, railroad cars, home appliances, chemicals and electronics. The city houses factories and development centers of many foreign and domestic corporations, such as WAGO ELWAG, Siemens, Bosch, Bosch-Siemens, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Volvo, HP, IBM, Google, Opera Software, QAD, Bombardier Transportation, DeLaval, Whirlpool Corporation, WABCO, Tieto, PPG Deco Poland and others. The offices of multiple major Polish companies, including Getin Holding, Akwawit-Polmos Wrocław, Telefonia Dialog, Gazoprojekt, MCI Management, Protram, Selena, Koelner, AB SA, Impel, Kogeneracja SA, EKO Holding are located there as well.

Sky Tower - the tallest building in Poland, residential complex, office and commercial space and recreation


List of ten public colleges and universities:

Wrocław is the third largest educational centre of Poland, with 135,000 students in 30 colleges which employ some 7,400 staff.[34]

Wrocław University of Technology - Faculty of Architecture


In March 2015 Wrocław submits an application for title "City of Literature by UNESCO."

Wrocław happens most extensively described in the book Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse.

Wrocław philologist and writer Marek Krajewski, a series of books dedicated forensic detective Eberhard Mock and the city of Breslau. It was also published book Michał Kaczmarek "Wrocław Eberhard Mock Guide - based on the books by Marek Krajewski". In Wrocław will be open created in one of the pre-war tenement apartment Eberhard Mock. In the year 2015 will start shooting for the series on the first book of Mock - Death in Breslau. The director of the series will be Agnieszka Holland.

In 1959 was published the book "So kämpfte Breslau" written by Hans von Ahlfen and Hermann Niehoff, the last commander of Festung Breslau.


The National Museum at pl. Powstańców Warszawy, one of Poland's main branches of the National Museum system, holds one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the country.[33]


The Thanks Jimi Festival takes place every year. The Festival of Good Beer is held every year on the second weekend of May.

The shopping center Magnolia Park features a 5D cinema.

Wrocław was the host of EuroBasket 1963, FIBA EuroBasket 2009, 2009 Women's European Volleyball Championship, UEFA Euro 2012 and 2013 World Weightlifting Championships; it will host the 2014 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship, 2016 European Men's Handball Championship and in 2017, the World Games, a competition in 37 non-Olympic sport disciplines. The city has been selected as a European Capital of Culture 2016, World Book Capital 2016 and host European Film Awards 2016.

The city is famous for its large number of nightclubs and pubs. Most of them are in the Market Square and the surrounding areas, as well as the Niepolda passage, the railway wharf on the Bogusławskiego street and Kolejowa street. The basement of the old City Hall houses one of the oldest restaurants in Europe - Piwnica Świdnicka, while the basement of the new City Hall contains the Brewpub Spiż. Several Go go bars, strip clubs and a large number of escort agencies are located within the city.


Shopping malls

  • Aquapark Wrocław (all year)
  • Wrocław SPA Center (all year)
  • Orbita (in reconstruction)
  • Morskie Oko (only in summer)
  • Glinianki (only in summer)
Aquapark Wrocław



A popular ways of sightseeing the city is sailing the small passenger vessels floating on the Oder river, or historic trams and converted into a cabriolet historic bus Jelcz RTO. Another interesting way to explore the city is seeking Wrocław's dwarfs. The nearby Mount Ślęża is a frequent destination for tourists.

Other points of interest include:

The Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia; German: Jahrhunderthalle) designed by Max Berg in 1911–1913 is a World Heritage Site inscribed by UNESCO in 2006.

The 13th century Main Market Square (Rynek) prominently displays 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 (pl). 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.

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.

Landmarks and points of interest

There is free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access on the market.

The Tourist Information Centre (Polish: Centrum Informacji Turystycznej) is located on the Market Square in building No.14.

Historic tram "Berolina"
The Tourist Information Centre


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.

However, the city is now divided into 48 osiedles (districts).

Wrocław was previously subdivided into five boroughs (dzielnica):

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.

Building of the Wrocław Voivodeship Office
Wrocław New Town Hall


Climate data for Wrocław
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.7
Average high °C (°F) 3.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.4
Average low °C (°F) −3.7
Record low °C (°F) −29.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 34
Avg. precipitation days 14 12 12 10 13 12 14 13 11 13 15 12 151
% humidity 81 84 76 69 66 70 71 71 75 78 83 85 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 59 68 117 169 221 225 223 217 151 118 54 44 1,670
Source: [32]

Wrocław is one of the warmer cities in Poland. Lying in the Silesian Lowlands between Trzebnickie Hills and the Sudetes, the mean annual temperature is 9.8 °C (50 °F). The coldest month is January (average temperature −0.5 °C), with snow being common in winter, and the warmest is July (average temperature 19.9 °C). The highest temperature in Wrocław was recorded on 27 June 1935 (+38 °C) and 31 July 1994 (+37.9 °C), and the lowest was recorded on 8 January 1985 (−30.0 °C).


Currently, the renovation and redevelopment of the Wrocław Floodway System (pl) is under construction to prevent further flooding.

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.[30] An earlier equally devastating flood of the river took place in 1903.[31] A small part of the city was also flooded during the flood in 2010.

Wrocław - flood 1997

In May 1997, Wrocław hosted the 46th International Eucharistic Congress.

PTV Echo - the first non-state TV in Poland and in the post-communist countries began to broadcast in Wrocław at February 6, 1990.

At the beginning of June 1982, during the Orange Alternative. In 1983 and 1997, Pope John Paul II visited the city.

Wrocław is now a unique European city of mixed heritage, with architecture influenced by World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace.

In August 1945 the city had a German population of 189,500, and a Polish population of 17,000; that was soon to change.[28] 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 remains in the city.[29] The Polish population was dramatically increased by the resettlement of Poles during postwar population transfers (75%) as well as during the forced deportations from Polish lands annexed by the Soviet Union in the east region, many of whom came from Lviv (Lwów) and Vilnius Region.

Monument of the Orange Alternative

After the war

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.

For most of Battle of Breslau, 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, Hanke surrendered on 6 May 1945, two days before the end of the war.[27] In August the Soviets placed the city under the control of German anti-fascists.[28]

Delegation of German officers walking for negotiations before capitulation of Festung Breslau, 6 May 1945

World War II and afterwards

The last big event organised by the Nazi Sports Body, 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.[24]

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.[21][22] Many of the city's 10,000 Jews, as well as many others seen as 'undesirable' by the Third Reich, were sent to concentration camps; those Jews who remained were killed during the Holocaust.[21] 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.[23]

Known as a stronghold of left wing liberalism during the German Empire,[19] 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.[20]

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.[17] Up to the beginning of World War II, Breslau was the largest city in Germany east of Berlin.[18]

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 returned home.[13] Antisemitic riots occurred in 1923.[16]

After the First World War the Polish community began holding masses in Polish in the Church of Saint Anne, and, as of 1921, at St. Martin's; a Polish consulate was opened on the Main Square, and a Polish School was founded by Helena Adamczewska (pl).[15]

Following World War I, Breslau became the capital of the newly created Prussian Province of Lower Silesia in 1919 in the Weimar Republic.

In 1913, the newly built Centennial Hall housed the "Ausstellung zur Jahrhundertfeier der Freiheitskriege", an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the historical German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon and the first award of the Iron Cross.

The 1900 census listed 5,363 people as Polish speakers, and another 3,103 (0.7% of the population) as speaking both German and Polish.[12] The population was 58% Protestant, 37% Catholic (including at least 2% Polish)[13] and 5% Jewish (totaling 20,536 in the 1905 census).[12] The Jewish community of Breslau was among the most important in Germany, producing several distinguished artists and scientists.[14]

Important landmarks were inaugurated in 1910, the Kaiser bridge and the Technical University, which now houses the Wrocław University of Technology.

In 1890 he began to build forts of Wrocław Fortress.

In 1877 in Wrocław was established section Deutscher und Oesterreichischer Alpenverein (DuOEAV) (currently DAV and OeAV), which in 1882 built Breslauer Hütte mountain hut in the Alps, at the foot of Wildspitze. By contrast, in 1887 established section Karpathenverein that eight years later built a shelter Silesian House in Tatra Mountains, at the foot of Gerlach. In Wrocław, its sections were also the Moravian-Silesian Sudeten Mountain Society, Silesian Sudeten Mountain Society, Riesengebirgsverein, as well as Beskidenverein.

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.

On October 10, 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.

In 1821 (Arch)Diocese of Breslau was disentangled from the Polish ecclesiastical province (archbishopric) in Gniezno and made Breslau an exempt bishopric.

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.

Market Square 1890-1900

Prussia and Germany

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.

Entry of Prince Jérôme Bonaparte to Breslau, January 7, 1807

Napoleonic Wars

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.

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 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.

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 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.

City Towers in 1736
Breslau in the 17th century

Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation

In 1475, Kasper Elyan printed in Wrocław Statuta Synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensium first in the history of printing in the Polish language contains three Catholic prayer.

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. In 1474 the city left the Hanseatic League.

In 1335, Wrocław, together with almost all of Silesia, was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bohemia, then a part of the Holy Roman Empire. Between 1342 and 1344, two fires destroyed large parts of the city. City joined the Hanseatic League in 1387.

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.[9] The enlarged town covered around 60 hectares, 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 center. The city adopted Magdeburg rights in 1261. The Polish Piast dynasty[11] remained in control of the region, but the right of the city council to govern independently increased.

After the Mongol invasion the town was partly populated by German settlers[9] 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.[10]

In April 1241, during fearing 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.[8]

In the 13th century, Wrocław was the political centre of the divided Polish kingdom.[7]

Church of Saint Giles built in the 20s, the thirteenth century, Ostrów Tumski, Wrocław.

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.[5] 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[4] and Germans.[6]

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, during the Congress of Gniezno. In the years 1034-1038 the city was affected by Pagan reaction in Poland.[4]

The medieval chronicle, Gesta principum Polonorum, written by Gallus Anonymus in the years 1112-1116, named Wrocław, along with Kraków and Sandomierz, as one of the three capitals of the Polish Kingdom.

Middle Ages

The city of Wrocław originated at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road. Settlements in the area existed from the 6th century onward, when a Slavic tribe Ślężans settled on the Oder and erected on Ostrów Tumski a gord, which Vratislaus strengthened in the 10th century. The town was first mentioned explicitly in the year 1000 in connection with a founding of a bishopric.

In ancient times at or near Wrocław there was a place called Budorigum. It has been mapped to the ancient Ptolemy map of the years 142-147 AD.

Historical affiliations

Duchy of Bohemia early 900s – 990
Kingdom of Poland 990–1038
Duchy of Bohemia 1038–1054
Kingdom of Poland 1054–1202
Duchy of Silesia 1202–1335
Kingdom of Bohemia 1335–1526
Habsburg Monarchy 1526–1742
Kingdom of Prussia 1742–1871
German Empire 1871–1918
Weimar Germany 1918–1933
Nazi Germany 1933–1945
People's Republic of Poland 1945–1989
 Republic of Poland 1989–present


Persons born or living in the city are known as "Vratislavians" (Polish: Wrocławianie).

. the list of names of European cities The city's name in other languages is available at [3].Wratislavia or [2]

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