It is one of the largest and most important art museums in Poland. The National Museum in Wrocław has four branches: The Main Building, called the National Museum in Wrocław, the "Panorama Racławicka" Museum, the intimate Ethnographic Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Four Domes Pavilion, opened in June 2016. The collection of the National Museum in Wrocław numbers 200,000 artefacts representative for all the artistic disciplines, from mediaeval Silesian sculpture in stone and wood, Silesian, Polish and European painting, as well as contemporary and modernist sculpture, drawings and prints, to an extensive collection of historical artistic craftsmanship which spans the period from the Middle Ages up to the early 20th century, and finally an extensive library of books and documents.
It is a high-tech multimedia museum dedicated to water. Divided into eight thematic parts and started off with a short 360-degree film which takes you from the Big Bang to nucleosynthesis to the formation of planets to the origin of Earth's aqua, Hydropolis is a friendly-for-all-ages discovery zone where visitors can peek at creatures found in a drop of water, spin an Archimedes' screw, sit in a replica of the Trieste bathyscaphe, which made a descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960, or kick back in the sea-sounds-and-bioluminescent-jellyfish relaxation space. Informative and impressively designed, this is one experience we wholeheartedly recommend.
It is a part of Wrocław zoo. It was opened in 2014. It is the first oceanarium in Poland and the only one in the world that is devoted to fauna and flora of only one continent. The name of the unit came from coinage of two words Africa and aquarium giving a huge insight into what the whole enterprise is about. Giving some basic numbers, Africarium has 15 000 000 litres of water, there are 21 pools and aquariums where visitors can admire over 350 species of fish. The place on average is visited by 2.5 thousand of people a day. People can admire here for example turtles, tortoises, fish, manats, hippopotamuses, patoideas, sharks, penguins, crocodiles and many other species from Africa. The most interesting moments are feeding shows. It is good to check the exact hours before the visit to be at a good place at a right time. An entrance ticket allows you to see not only Africarium complex but also the whole Wrocław zoo. Sightseeing of Africarium takes about 1.5 to 2 h but if you have more time, you can sped entire day in the whole zoo complex.
It is 140m-long canvas that depicts the legendary General Tadeusz Kościuszko's victory over the Russian forces at Racławice in 1794, and took just over nine months to complete. Painters Jan Styka and Wojciech Kossak wanted to create a monument to Polish national spirit. Their work, displayed in a rotunda built especially for it, is a popular - and financial – success. Today school groups and other tourists file in daily for a 30-minute taped lecture on the painting and its history. Headsets with commentary in 17 languages (including English, French, Russian, Spanish, German and even Esperanto) are available at no extra charge. Presentations are held every half hour. Around 1,600 people per day turn up to admire this extraordinary painting.
Leopoldina Lecture Hall is a part of Wrocław University and it is the biggest and the most representational part of the main campus. It is often called a Baroque pearl as it is a very spectacular, secular monument of architecture created at the end of this period. The lecture hall as the whole building was erected in years 1728-1732 and was named after founder of the whole university Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. The lecture hall itself as the most representative part of the building has stucco decorations, frescos and wooden sculptures. Currently it is mainly used as a part of university museum and as a place of the most prominent university celebrations. With one museum ticket tourists can visit 2, 3 or 4 attractions: the Leopoldina Lecture Hall, Mathematics Tower Oratorium Marianum or exhibition. It is one of the key points of Wrocław sightseeing plans.
The main branch of the Wrocław City Museum is housed inside the renovated Baroque Royal Palace. The City Museum of Wrocław has existed since 2000. Was created by merging three previously independent institutions - the Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum with the departments: Militaria and the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Museum of Medallic Art. In the same year, a branch of the Museum of Bourgeois Art was created. All objects of the Municipal Museum of Wrocław are monuments. The museum conducts extensive scientific and educational activities, it is also the organizer of many temporary exhibitions, cultural events and scientific meetings.
It is a unique place on the map of Wrocław. It was here, in August 1980, that the strike to support the workers of the coast began, and it was here that the Wrocław "Solidarity" movement was born. This very place is now a unique museum created to tells the history of the city - mainly through the permanent exhibition "Wrocław 1945–2016". Beautifully arranged interiors that resemble a filmset are filled with original exhibits and plentiful audio-video materials that show the complicated history of the city - from the interwar period, through World War II, post-war years and the period of Stalinism all the way to the birth of Solidarity, liberation from the communist regime and modern times. The depot is also a space for temporary or open-air exhibitions, a place offering a rich programme of educational workshops, cultural events as well as scientific and artistic projects.
Ostrów Tumski is the oldest, historic part of Wrocław. It was created in the area of crossings on the Odra River, between the estuaries of the rivers - Oława in the south, Ślęza and Widawa in the north. One of the most beautiful monuments of Ostrów Tumski is the Gothic cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Holy Cross. A popular meeting place and tourist attraction is the Tumski Bridge between Wyspa Piaskowa and Ostrów, also known as the Lovers' Bridge. The lovers hang padlocks on it as a sign of their love. There is also the Archdiocese Museum in Ostrów Tumski. The Old Market Square in Wrocław has almost 3.8 hectare and is one of the biggest old squares in Poland (after Kraków and Olecko) and Europe. It is a rectangle of 213 and 178 meters. In the centre of the square there is a big Town Hall with 66 m tower, which is the biggest in Poland. Around the market there are 60 decorative, historic tenement houses. In the basement of the Town Hall there is Piwnica Świdnicka restaurant. It is one of the oldest gastronomy points in Europe. The Town Hall is currently a city’s museum. On the market square tourists can find Aleksander Fredoro monument (one of the most famous Polish comedy writers), a whipping post and a modern fountain. The Market Square is a place of Christmas fairs, New Year’s parties and religious, academic and army celebrations and a beating heart of Wrocław for all tourists.
It is located at 99 Borowska Street. The complex has indoor and outdoor recreational pools, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an indoor sports pool, a fitness club and saunas available all year round. Recreational pools are a perfect place for enthusiasts of water fun. This zone consists of indoor and outdoor pools with many slides, a Lazy River, a play area for children, a swimming pool for active recreation enthusiasts, and an outdoor pool. Fitness Aquapark Wrocław is one of the most modern clubs in Poland. This zone consists of a well-equipped cardio zone, a room prepared for crossfit training, a stretching room, a bicycle room and a fitness room. Saunarium is a place of peace and relaxation. Among the 14 different saunas, there are traditional baths from the north of Europe, as well as modern ones using infrared.
It is the tallest building in Wrocław and one of 3 highest in the country. It is located between Powstańców Śląskich, Wielka, Gwiaździsta and Szczęśliwa streets. There is a shopping mall on the lowest storeys. Then on floors up to 28 there are offices and 184 apartments on floors 28 to 48. A publicly accessible viewpoint is located on the 49th floor. Visitors can get on top in 1 minute with the lift that carries 20 people. The entrance to the lifts is located in Gwiaździsta street. From the top, visitors can admire the panorama of the city and its surroundings, up to Ślęża, Chełmiec or Śnieżka mountains. The landscapes seen through the windows make an unbelievable impression at any time of the year.
Summing up, Wroclaw has much to offer even during winter and tourists can easily avoid blistering cold, even in the middle of a winter season and enjoy world class works of art and fascinating exhibits that witness Wroclaw’s captivating history. We greatly advice to visit the capital of Lower Silesia also in winter, when there are not so many tourists as in warmer months and enjoy its cultural and historical heritage. If you are interested in visiting any of the above sites, just contact one of ITS Poland group coordinators, that will deal with all the necessary preparations and trip details for you.
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska