Wrocław – a thousand years is just a beginning!
Wrocław, the historic capital of Silesia, is one of the biggest and oldest Polish cities. Vratislavia was first unambiguously mentioned as a mighty burg about the year 1000. It was then that a Polish ecclesiastical see was created there. In 1335 the city has fallen under the sway of the Czech king John of Luxembourg and broke its ties with Poland. Later Vratislav, together with the entire Poland, fell under the sway of the Hungarian monarchy, and it is from those times that the Hungarian name of the city, Boroszló, dates. Together with the Czech crown, Wrocław was incorporated in to the Habsburg monarchy and renamed to Breslau. In 1741 the entire Silesia was taken over by Prussia, and thus Wrocław was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia, and later the German Reich, until 1945. After the Second World War Wrocław was returned to Poland.
Wrocław is full of monuments of its thousand years of history. It is best to begin visiting the town in its oldest part, or the former islands on the Odra River and its forked tributaries. The most famous of these are Ostrów Tumski and the Piasek island, a medieval residential quarter, today one of the Polish Monuments of History. Another site on this list of only 30 locations is the Centenary Hall, also honored on the UNESCO list.
On the “islands” it is hard to miss the Church of the Holy Cross and St. Bartholomew. The great medieval architect known as Magister Lapida Wilancius divided the interior of the building into two floors occupied by two separate churches.
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