Odra – part of Wroclaw culture

About Odra

To try and imagine Wroclaw without the Odra is tantamount to thinking of Giza without its pyramids. The city is defined by this great sprawling river with its numerous tributaries and canals, as well as by the 12 islands and over 120 bridges that cross it – all of which bring so much life, character and charm to the Lower Silesian capital. With so many waterways and spans it is little wonder that Wroclaw has been dubbed as the ‘Venice of Poland’ – although new visitors to the city can take this with a pinch of salt and leave their canoes at home. River Odra – part of Wroclaw culture.

The Odra was known to the Romans as Viadrus or Viadua, and was first referred to as the Odera around 990, when it was documented as the western boundary of early Poland under duke Mieszko I. Over the centuries the river gained more and more importance to Wroclaw, both as part of the trading routes that linked Russia, Germany and Bavaria together (and as such made Polish merchants very wealthy!), and also as a source of life and energy.

Today Wroclaw has two ports on the Odra and the river continues to play a part in its burgeoning trade economy, forming one of the city’s many great transport links.

The Odra is the second longest river in Poland, after the Vistula, covering 742km in Poland and 112km in the Czech Republic, from where it originates in the Oder Mountains. As it nears the Baltic Sea 187km of its length defines the modern day Polish-German border.

Jazz on the Odra

Jazz on the Odra, one of the oldest jazz festivals in Poland.

The Jazz Personality Contest is an inseparable part of the festival, and one of its hallmarks. The oldest and the most prestigious jazz competition in Poland is open for instrumentalists and singers, who at the time of the festival are 35 or younger. The 2018 Grand Prix – Jazz Personality laureate will receive a prize of 25 000 PLN sponsored by the Mayor of Wrocław; the Jury will also distinguish the best soloist, band and composer. From the very first years of the contest’s existence, it featured great musicians and stars of Polish jazz, including Włodzimierz Nahorny, Zbigniew Seifert, Ewa Bem, Krzesimir Dębski, Janusz Strobel, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Tomasz Szukalski and Andrzej Zaucha. Last year, the Grand Prix was won by Adam Jarzmik Quintet.

Free walking tour – no boring tour guides

 

The idea of Free Walking Tour  has been around for a while, but started to be more popular nowadays. It’s a relatively new way to discover Wroclaw compared to the traditional tour concept.

A Misconception about Free Walking Tours

The word ‘free’ has obvious appeal to budget-conscious travellers but it’s also a word that can ring alarm bells.

Here’s a piece of advice from an experienced tour guide who did many FREE tours: A good FREE walking TOUR is interesting and useful even for locals, because a good FREE walking TOUR guide spends a lot time exploring the city, he knows hidden spots and places to show and speak about, so a tour will be surprising both for visitors and travelers and locals as well.

Plus there is nothing to lose apart from the calories you’ll burn with walking. FREE walking TOURs can`t be boring because their based only on donations!

Free walking tour available in several languages: English, German and Polish. There are also paid tours: CRAFT BEERS OF WROCLAW, FOODS OF WROCLAW – PRIVATE TOUR, CENTENNIAL HALL PRIVATE TOUR, OLD JEWISH CEMETERY PRIVATE TOUR, STREET ART TOUR.

How does Free walking Tour work?

Check our official site, where you can find the schedule of the tours.

For Example,

OLD TOWN WROCLAW

Sep-6th Jan: every day at 10.00 AM & 1 .30 PM
7thJan – Mar: the schedule will be available soon
Cancellations: 24th – 26th December, 1st of January tour at 10.00 am (join us at 1.30 pm)

Duration: about 2,5 hours

ISLANDS & BRIDGES OF WROCŁAW

Oct – 6th Jan: every Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat at 4:30 PM
7th Jan- May: the schedule will be available soon
Cancellations: 31st December tour is cancelled

Duration: about 2 hours

MEETING POINT

It will be guide with yellow umbrella in the Market Square close to Aleksander Fredro’s statue.

ATTENTION!
You don’t need to book a tour in advance –
JUST SHOW UP AND ENJOY.

Trip with old tram

old tram

If you like trips around Wroclaw, this is the topic for you.

An interesting offer in Wroclaw are the trips of old trams. This is possible with the organization “Towarzystwo Miłośników Wrocławia” and “Klub Sympatyków Transportu Miejskiego” (Urban Transport Enthusiasts Club).

The city of Wrocław has the oldest system of electric trams in Poland.  Most lines lead from the center to individual districts. The length of the routes is about 190 kilometers.

Special routes are available for tourists. You can choose four different routes for travel: A B C D. By going along the routes you can see many interesting historical and modern places of architecture. For example:
Racławice Panorama  , Centennial Hall , Japanese Garden , Opera , National Forum of Music  and many others.
Route maps are located below in the picture:


The courses are divided into a guided tour or without. Of course, a guided tour is more interesting. While traveling, the guide tells you about the places we see.

Traveling by tram is a great fun for children. That is why it is a very good proposition for whole families. The cost of travel is also not high. We buy tickets directly on the tram:

For example –  prices for route A and B:

Normal Reduced Family
One-way 8,00 zł 4,00 zł 16,00 zł
Return ticket 12,00 zł 6,00 zł 24,00 zł

The central station where we can start the trip is the stop at the opera. This is the place where the puppet theater is located. Here you can wait for the arrival of the tram. During this time, we can admire the city’s architecture.

For those interested in more detailed information about the historic transport in the city of Wroclaw, I refer directly to the website of Urban Transport Enthusiasts Club. On the website you can see exactly all routes. You can see photos of trams you can travel. We can also read about interesting events related to urban tranportation.

I cordially invite you to such an old tram ride because it is worth it:)

Hala Targowa Wroclaw shopping center

Hala Targowa is a traditional a place of trade and meetings of residents.

A traditional place for shopping Hala Targowa (Wroclaw) – designed by Richard Plüddemann and Heinrich Küster.

Hala Targowa was built in 1908 and it is a valuable engineering monument. The design was very modern, the construction was supported on reinforced concrete arches, what gave the building a high durability. The external elevation is partly made of bricks, whereas from the south it is plastered. The window frames were made of steel. The building has two towers and a clock. The building has 4 floors, the most important is the main hall and the gallery surrounding it. In the cellars there are freezers and butchers’ rooms where there is quartered the meat. The hall towers are unfortunately not available for tourists. Many architectural elements of the Hala Targowa have been written in the list of the monuments. Starting from the main portals made of sandstone in the art nouveau style, through bas-reliefs, urban coat of arms, clocks. Ending with balustrades, stairs and even crates of meat stands also made in the art nouveau style.

Now Hala Targowa is a traditional a place of trade and meetings of residents.

After entering the main hall on the left side, you can find a few very large stands with fruits and vegetables, on the right there are meat, bakeries and dairy products. There are several stands with traditional products from Spain and Portugal. You can buy not only regional products but also high quality Spanish hams or feta cheese. You can buy here bread baked on natural sourdough, spelt buns, soy mingers, cold pressed oils, herbs and spices, birch juice. In the further part there are many stands with flowers and floristic accessories. There is a cash machine at the entrance, but for the majority of stands there is a possibility you to pay by a card. Apart from shopping, there are a few cheap bars and cafes in the hall, and a restaurant with  a craft beer in front of the entrance. In the hall gallery there are stands with chemical and household articles. In front of the building there is a tram stop (lines 8,7,17,9,23) next to it there are a few parking places, however, it is the best to walk on this part of the city.

 

Links to pages about similar topic:

News about Wroclaw:  http://wroclaw.naszemiasto.pl/artykul/hala-targowa-we-wroclawiu-dojazd-adres-godziny-otwarcia,3189197,art,t,id,tm.html

Wikipedia: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hala_Targowa_przy_ul._Piaskowej_we_Wroc%C5%82awiu

Trade Stand : http://halatargowa.pl/stoiska-handlowe/

Great Polish references

Throughout history there have been many people who have made history worldwide to excel in their work and lead an exemplary life.
Many of them are of Polish origin:

 

In Art:   Stanisław Wyspiański

Stanisław Wyspiański (January 15, 1869, Kraków – November 28, 1907, Kraków), was one of the most versatile and outstanding artists of his time, in Europe, as this painter, architect and cabinetmaker, was also a playwright Polish very influential.

 

Born in Krakow, Stanisław Wyspiański was the son of Franciszek Wyspiański and Maria Rogowska (who died of tuberculosis in 1876). His father was a sculptor without reputation, of bourgeois origin, with problems of alcoholism, and it is not known if he promoted the first steps of his son. Of course, Stanisław, when adopted by Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband, who had contacts with artists, was able to study painting, literature and history with important figures of Krakow’s life.

 

Sport: Robert Lewandowski

 

Born in Krakow, Stanisław Wyspiański was the son of Franciszek Wyspiański and Maria Rogowska (who died of tuberculosis in 1876). His father was a sculptor without reputation, of bourgeois origin, with problems of alcoholism, and it is not known if he promoted the first steps of his son. Of course, Stanisław, when adopted by Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband, who had contacts with artists, was able to study painting, literature and history with important figures of Krakow’s life.

After being the top scorer of the third and second division of Polish football with the Znicz Pruszków, he moved to the First Division Lech Poznań team, where he won the Ekstraklasa 2009-10 and was also the top scorer of the maximum Polish soccer category .

In 2010, he was transferred to the German Borussia Dortmund run by Jürgen Klopp for 4.5 million euros, where he won several titles including two consecutive Bundesliga. Before the start of the 2014-15 season, he signed for what had been a direct rival for Dortmund in recent seasons, Bayern Munich, with which he won the Bundesliga 2014-15 in his first season.

 

Music: Chopin

 

Frédéric Chopin was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the voivodeship of Mazovia, 60 kilometers from Warsaw in central Poland, on a small estate owned by Count Skarbek, who was part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. He received the name of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.

He was a Polish composer and virtuous considered one of the most important in history and one of the greatest representatives of musical Romanticism. His perfect technique, his stylistic refinement and his harmonic elaboration have been compared historically, for his lasting influence in the music of later times, with those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms or Franz Liszt.

 

in Religion: Juan Pablo II

John Paul II (in Latin: Ioannes Paulus II), 4 of secular name Karol Józef Wojtyła5 (Wadowice, Poland, May 18, 1920-Vatican City, April 2, 2005), was Pope 264 of the Church Catholic and sovereign of the Vatican City from October 16, 1978 until his death in 2005. He was canonized in 2014, during the pontificate of Francisco.

Having been auxiliary bishop (since 1958) and archbishop of Krakow (since 1962), he became the first Polish pope in history, and in the first non-Italian since 1523. His pontificate of almost 27 years was the third longest in the history of the Catholic Church, after that of St. Peter (it is believed that between 34 and 37 years, although its exact duration is difficult to determine) and that of Pius IX (31 years). John Paul II was hailed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century, remembered especially for being one of the main symbols of anti-communism, 8 and for his fight against the expansion of Marxism in places like Latin America, where he fought energetically to the known movement as the theology of liberation, with the help of his right hand and ultimately his successor, Joseph Ratzinger.

 

 

 

 

 

Polish cinema for expats

Polish cinema for expats

Polish movies took another turn after the end of communism

If we take a closer look at the films, we can notice a sense of liberation from the prejudices and freedom of speech. The film makers were deeply rooted in the historical context, trying to create a strong connection between death, gender, role-models, politics, ethnicity and sexuality. Here’s a look at five of the most appreciated Polish movies in the contemporary period. 


1. Papusza

A movie about gender, ethnicity and how to be alone in a place full of known people wrapped in an artistic cover. This is how the movie can be described in just one sentence. The monochrome tones and the way the elements are situated in the scenario create the impression that the main action is happening at the end of the Second World War, when Poland was on the verge of its maturity, trying to figure out how the society should survive. However, the rhythmical sounds of the Romani orchestra lives up the immensely pensive mood and makes the sharp black and white palette colorful, passing through the melancholic, somber tone.

2. Golasy

The movie is an intriguing experiment for the viewers’ eyes, as it does not show an astonishing plot, full of action and breathtaking moments, but has a linear narration, without any culminant point. At a first glance, one can say that the movie is dull and unworthy, depending on one’s experiences in life.
The movie reveals the metaphor used by Charles Baudelaire as well in his poems, especially in Fleurs du mal, aesthetics of ugliness. The human body is used to create a world in which the canons of beauty don’t exist and every part of the human body is a remark which can help the spectator to know better the character.
3. My Nikifor


My Nikifor is a spare yet affecting cinematic portrait of the Polish “outsider” artist Nikifor Krynicki, who’s played in a remarkable piece of trans-gender acting by the late female thespian Krystyna Feldman. Writer/director Krzysztof Krauze sensibly concentrates on just the last few years of his illiterate subject’s impoverished existence in 1960s Communist Poland, focussing on his unlikely friendship with the party-funded painter Marian Wlosinski, who becomes his devoted protector.

4. The double life of Veronika

Unique. This is the word that comes to my mind when I am thinking about Kieślowski’s movie. The lights, the music, the story itself unfolds in front of the spectators a masterpiece, where every scene is a hint that help us reveal the scenarios. Why using the word scenarios and not the singular form of it? In my opinion, looking at other Kieślowski’s works and comparing them, I can say that there is never just one side of the story, but just little elements that can be used in different combinations depending on the spectator experiences in life to give a personal significance to the movie.

5. Wolyn



The movie shows an excessive cruelty of the people, who think that every human being is their enemy. They believe that through torture, they can conquer the lands. The director wants its spectators to feel the pain of the victims, by showing the acts in their primary state. In the central picture, it is Zosia, a young Polish girl, from  Volhynia’s village, settled by Ukrainians, Poles and Jews.

4 contemporary buildings in Wroclaw for Instagram addicted.

Check this 4 contemporary buildings in Wroclaw to make outstanding Instagram photo profile.

NAWA pavilion

This architectural installation actually makes more sense if you take a closer look. NAWA pavilion was created by an innovative process of production – FIDU – based on air blowing of metal layers from two-dimensional to a three-dimensional object. The charming arch fits perfectly into its surroundings.

“The sculpture does not alter the wild character of the island. Quite the contrary: it amplifies the nature’s presence. Polished steel surface is reflecting its green surroundings, the river and historic architecture. Depending on the weather and time of the day, the sculpture looks different each time.”

Oskar Zieta, the architect of NAWA pavilion.

Sci-FI, abstract, fashion styles etc. The properties of NAWA are expending the scope for the photo shoot ideas. The appearance carries an idea emphasizes and complements the beauty of the surrounding nature worthy to be captured in the photo moments.

Hydropolis

Hydropolis is one of the architectural monuments of the water supply system. If you are aiming for a photo shoot in Hydropolis, then prepare to spend there even half of a day.

First of all, the area of the building is 5145.0 m2.

Secondly, the unique background for photography is in almost every corner of the interior and exterior of the building. Outside there is a 3D water performance. And the inner part – visualization immersing in the sciences studying water, its properties and significance in the life of the planet.

 

Silver Tower

Another contemporary building is rather less appear to be that universal but still potentially brings the difference. Furthermore, the building is located next to the railway station – the place which you also can combine with Silver Tower while picking a foreshortening.

Nanan the patisserie 

This minimalistic miracle looks much like the sweet dream world. Delicate shining brass details, rosa aurora marble table tops, natural oak veneers and oak parquet floor. The deliberately minimalist interior provide a subtle setting for the protagonists: finely decorated sophisticated cakes and éclairs made with meticulous care.

And finally, the place in which you definitely wouldn’t feel mediocre while decide to make a food photo 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First time in Wrocław – Krzysztof Gonciarz

Krzysztof Gonciarz first time in Wrocław

First time in Wrocław? Check how travellers doing it!

Krzysztof Gonciarz is a polish journalist, traveller and books writer. He is also one of the most popular polish vloger. His main channel on Youtube has more than 700 000 subscribers. At November 2016 he Was for the first time in Wrocław and in this article we can reconstruct his path.

At the begining Krzysztof went to the city centre. He visited market square and university buildings. He was really charmed about architecture in Wrocław, especially the old churches and historical monuments like Hala Targowa, National Museum or Public Library.

National Museum in Wrocław

In Wrocław next to old buildings stands fresh ones like for example National Forum of Music. Krzysztof also noticed this. It’s a consequence of tragic flood in 1997 year which destroyed bigger part of the city. This is why in Wrocław old and new buildings neighbouring.

He didin’t miss cult places like Wrocław’s neons or Ostrów Tumski – historical complex of Christian buildings with traditional lamp which the lightkeeper light up every evening by hand. Unfortunately he was late to bought tickets to see Panorama Racławicka which is the biggest (15 × 114 meter) cycloramic painting in Poland and mandatory object to visit when you are first time in Wrocław.

One thing always attract attention of tourists visiting Wrocław. The Wrocław’s Dwarfs which more than three hundreds are scattered around the city. Try to find each of them and then you can tell you know this city. Maybe some day Krzysztof will accept challenge like this, but he didin’t for his first time in Wrocław. Enjoy the video and necessarily visit Wrocław city!