Wrocław is one of the oldest cultural centres in Poland. The theatres (e.g. Teatr Polski), museums (e.g. the only Polish Museum of Architecture) and art galleries (e.g. independent gallery Entropia) will satisfy the tastes of the tourists who are willing to experience the mainstream culture as well as those who search for the independent, unofficial one. As a city of contradictions, Wrocław attracts tourists with the Gothic Ostrów Tumski or Panorama Racławicka (Racławice Panorama), well-advertised Afrykarium (Africarium), but also with the modernist architecture (Wrocław Manhattan at plac Grunwaldzki) or the 19th-century tenements of Nadodrze. The enthusiasts of music will soon be able to admire one of the biggest concert halls, Narodowe Centrum Muzyki (National Forum of Music), which is currently under construction. The demanding fans of the alernative music will surely enjoy the concerts in Centrum Reanimacji Kultury (Culture Reanimation Centre) or Klub Firlej (Firlej Club). Those who love film, should visit studio cinemas (because multiplex ones can be found anywhere), such as DCF of Kino Nowe Horyzonty (New Horizons Cinema, an organizer of the aspiring festival Nowe Horyzonty – New Horizons). And if anyone would like to spend some time in the fresh air, we recommend atmospheric parks: a small park Tołpy with a lovely pond, nearby the Department of Architecture, Park Szczytnicki with the Japanese Garden, or Park Grabiszyński covering 42 ha.
Below, you will find some links to the websites about the cultural events in Wrocław:
Walking routes in Wrocław:
The must see places in Wrocław
Initially, OstrówTumski was an island. Only in 1824, when one of the arms of the Odra river was filled up, it became a part of the dry land. Around the 9th century, there was established the original settlement of Wrocław, which was raised to the rank of the bishopric by the king BolesławChrobry (Bolesław I the Valiant) in 1000. There are many of the oldest monuments of Wrocław situated in Ostrów Tumski: Katedra św. Jana Chrzciciela (St John the Baptist Cathedral), Most Tumski (Tumski Bridge), Kościół św. Idziego (St Giles Church) and Brama Kluskowa (Kluskowa Gate), Kościół św. Krzyża (St Cross Church), Kościół Św. Bartłomieja (St Bartolomew Church), ulicaKanonia (Kanonia Street), ulica Katedralna (Katedralna street), Muzeum Archidiecezjalne (Archdiocese Museum) and the Bothanical Garden nearby.
Rynek (Market Square)
It is one of the biggest old market squares in Poland (after Cracow and Olecko). There is a Town Hall with a 66-metre tower, dated late Gothic. In the vaults, there is one of the oldest restaurants in Europe, Piwnica Świdnicka. The Market square is surrounded by 60 tenements, funded by the patricians of Wrocław: e.g. Kamienica pod Złotym Słońcem (The Tenement under the Golden Sun), Kamienica pod Gryfami (The Tenement under the Griffs), Kamienica pod Siedmioma Elektorami (The Tenement under the Seven Electors), Kamienica pod Błękitnym Słońcem (The Tenement under the Blue Sun) and the department store of the Barasch brothers (today: trading house Feniks). There is also a notable whipping post, which was destroyed during war and has been reconstructed.
Kamieniczki "Jaś i Małgosia" (The Tenements “Hansel and Gretel”)
They are the old houses of the altarists, the carers of the altar in today’s Kościół Św. Elżbiety (St Elisabeth Church). They were built in the 15th century and they completely surrounded the churchyard. After the war they were maintained by Towarzystwo Miłośników Wrocławia (the Society of Friends of Wrocław). In 1995, “Jaś” (“Hansel”) was leased out lifelong by late Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz, a graphic artist and sculptor, who created DomekMiedziorytnika (Engraver’s House).
UliczkaJatki (Jatki street)
In the Middle Ages it was a place of meat trading. Later it started performing residential functions. Today Jatki street is a seat for the art galleries and studios of some of the best artists in Wrocław. There are also some shops selling painting, loom and paper materials.
Panorama Racławicka (Racławice Panorama)
It was a famous painter from Lvov, Jan Styka (1858-1925) who came up with the idea of creating the Panorama. Another author of that monumental painting was Wojciech Kossak (1856-1942), the painter of the battle scenes. The large canvas (15x114m) was painted in just 9 months, from August 1893 to May 1894. Thanks to use of some special artistic effects, such as sophisticated perspective or chiaroscuro, as well asto some architectural measures (dark and winding approach, artificial terrain), the viewer has the impression of being transferred into the reality of the painting.
Muzeum Architektury (Museum of Architecture)
The museum has been in existence since 1965. Its seat is located in the Gothic building of the past Observants’ monastery from the 15th century. The monastery consists of the St Bernard of Siena Church and the quadrilateral of the monastery, situated around the monastery garden.As it is one of few preserved medieval buildings in Silesia, it is one of the most precious monuments in Wrocław. It is worth paying closer attention to the monastery garden, surrounded by cloisters, which is visible from the inside of the museum.
Muzeum Narodowe (National Museum)
It is located in a beautiful building that was built in the years 1883-1886 in the style of the Dutch Neo-Renaissance. In the main building (pl. Powstańców Warszawy 5) there are a few permanent exhibitions, two of which display medieval art.: Śląska Rzeźba Kamienna XII-XVI w. (Silesian Stone Sculpture 12th-16th c.; ground floor) and Sztuka Śląska XIV-XVI w. (Silesian Art 14th-16th c.; first floor). Later artistic accomplishments of that region are displayed in the exhibition Sztuka Śląska XVI-XIX w. (Silesian Art 16th-19th c.; first floor). The exhibitions Sztuka Polska XVII-XIX w. (Polish Art 17th-19th c.) and Sztuka Europejska XV-XX w.(European Art. 15th-20th c.) can be seen on the second floor. In the attic, there is the exhibition Polska Sztuka Współczesna (Contemporary Polish Art) on display.
Muzeum Współczesne (Wrocław Contemporary Museum)
The museum is located in the shelter built in 1942 by design of Richard Konwiarz, an architect from Wrocław. It is one of a few air-raid shelters built in Wrocław during the Second World War.In the years 2010-2011 the building underwent the major renovation and was adapted to the needs of the temporary seat of the Wrocław Contemporary Museum. In the renovated building there are temporary exhibitions, archives, urban activity space, “living museum” – temporary displays of the works by the young artists, and storerooms. On the roof of the shelter there is KLUB-MUZEUM, a cafe-club and shop with the panoramic view over the neighbourhood.
Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall)
It was designed by the eminent architect, Max Berg, and it was named one of the biggest architectural achievements of the 20th century.At the moment of its construction, the Hall was a very special building; it had the cupola made of the reinforced concrete that had the biggest span in the world – biggest span was to be found only in few steel constructions.The Hall is 42 m high, and its cupola is 67 m in diameter.The maximum width of the inside of the Hall is 95 metres, the available space covers 14,000 m². Apart from the central hall, there are also 56 other exhibiting rooms and a big lobby surrounding the main hall. The whole is estimated to contain 10,000 people. In 2006 the Centennial Hall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Pergola’s closeness to the Multimedia Fountain, the Japanese Garden and the ZOO makes it one of the most often visited places in Wrocław.