The three symbols that I notice in Wrcolaw

The three symbols that I notice in Wrcolaw

 

Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia.  If you want not to forget this city forever, you have to see three symbols which this city shows you in its town. Did ever you heard ‘The train to Heaven’, ‘Passage’ and ‘The dwarf’? They cover each meaning which is contained by its’ sculpture.

The train to Heaven

I heard the meaning of Wroclaw from someone. It is too impressive for me to forget it. That is a “The Gate of  Heaven”. But I couldn’t clarify if its origin of the word means right “the gate of the heaven”. I Just could find the fact that there has been a sculpture called “the train to heaven “ in Wroclaw.

There are many old and historic church in the town in Wroclaw. Tourist may wonder why they build such many churches.  As far as I know, most churches of Europe are just for tourist and there the Catholic Mass is not held anymore. Sometimes even we can see it changed to a Cafeteria.  But It is easy to see that the praise of God is sprayed from the church in Wroclaw. One day, when I came across the train forward the sky, “The Gate of Heaven”  went through my brain. Automatically my brain matched this sculpture with Wroclaw. But I found out that this sculpture is called “The train to Heaven” and it’s meaning is as below.

 

“The concept of the installation refers to the rich tradition of the locomotive industry that grew rapidly in the area of Wroclaw. Artistic styling of the locomotive and its history connects the past(area of the old locomotive factory) to its future.

For sure the “ Train To Heaven” is building the next stop on the artistic city map.

How do you find it?

“Train to Heaven” installation is located on Plac Strzegomski. You can either walk there from the center or jump on the bus, take 2~3 stops and get out of on Plac Strzegomski stop. You will easily spot it as it is placed in the center of the square.” (the source: https://getlostprojectblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/places-to-check-in-wroclaw-poland/)

                                    The passage

 When you walk the streets of Wroclaw you might encounter the mystical looking status of people coming out of the ground. I ever took a picture of my child. I thought this status was a good place to do it. Those days, I didn’t understand what this status means. This monument is placed on the street, where there are many foot passengers. About 40 years ago, the citizens of Wroclaw rose against anticommunism and here now they still stand.

 

“ The bronze monument was installed in December 2005 to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the onset of martial law in Communist Poland. From December 1981 to July 1983, the authoritarian government imposed restrictive laws on everyday citizens to quash the burgeoning anti-Communist political opposition groups. 

Symbolically, martial law drove people underground in fear, and many were arrested in the middle of the night and disappeared. The pedestrians rising out of the sidewalk on the other side of the street is believed to represent the re-emergence of Polish citizens when martial law was lifted in 1983. Notably, the monument is based on a temporary piece by Kalina installed in Warsaw in 1977, so the martial law symbolism would have been added in for the new version. “ (source: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/przejscie-passage)

Nowadays, Wroclaw is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country. It is likely for us to pass by without noticing it.

 

                               The dwarf in Wroclaw

This status is one of the things that tourist most often find.  They find their interesting to find it when they walk on the path and on the square. Each dwarf has its’ special feature, very variously.

It appears with keyword “Wroclaw” in the searching web engine of Korea. It announces that the dwarf of Wroclaw is famous to Korean tourist.

“ Back in the 80’s, communism was still present in Poland and police were very strict about any sort of secret meeting and manifestation against the ruling regime. Luckily, a group of eccentric individuals began a movement called the Orange Alternative. Eventually, the movement succeeded in planting the seeds of peaceful opposition and now there is a relatively big statue of a dwarf (called Papa Dwarf by the locals) standing in Wroclaw and funded by the modern-day government of Poland.

Yes, this is the first time in human history where a government erects a statue honoring an anarchist group. Say hello to Papa Dwarf! “

(Resource: https://www.journeywonders.com/wroclaw-dwarf-location-guide/)

Say Hello to Papa Dwarf!

 

Ostrow Tumski – in the footsteps of the old town

Ostrow Tumski

Wrocław is famous not only for its many bridges

But also for its magnificent architecture and historic sites. One of them is Ostrow Tumski, which is the oldest historic part of Wrocław. Interestingly, a well-known Polish astronomer Mikołaj Kopernik lived there for several years.

Ostrow Tumski

impresses with its views, cathedrals, and a great place for walks along the Oder.

  • Legends say that Wrocław originates from Ostrow Tumski due to its location in the area of ​​crossings on the Oder.
  • Interestingly, there is a Gothic archcathedral on it. John the Baptist, called the “mother of churches” of Lower Silesia.
  • Rebuilt after the II World War, it impresses and at the same time is a great vantage point for Wrocław.
  • Gothic chapels, rich decorations and unique architecture intrigue and attract not only tourists.

The Archdiocesan Museumin Wroclaw

Is the oldest museum in Wrocław, deserves an interest. The collections contain the most valuable and the most beautiful mementos of sacred art.

Immediately next to Ostrow Tumski, there is the Wroclaw Botanical Garden, where you can admire the magnificent vegetation and specially prepared exhibitions. It is a great place for walks on warm and sunny days.

Ostrow Tumski is one of the few places in this large and noisy city, where time flows much slower. He is known for being in love with the Tumski Bridge, where for many years there are padlocks with confessions and declarations of love.

There you can also admire gas lanterns, running the entire length of the route from the Tumski Bridge to the cathedral. Every night the lighthouse lights 91 gas lanterns, which makes it a unique and fairy-tale place.

Ostrow Tumski – tourist must see in Wroclaw

Is characterized by many wonderful places, attracting both tourists and residents. In its area there are magnificent cathedrals, a museum, as well as a characteristic bridge and a walking path along the Oder. At the Odra we also have the opportunity to sail by boat and spend our free time on the green areas or the newly built square on the other side of the shore. An interesting fact may be the fact that next to it there are the most popular in Wroclaw “Polish lody” about which taste and exceptionally long queues are already circulating legends on the Internet.

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw

Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw- what is there to see?

Revival of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw can be observed since the beginning of the transformation in 1989. After the painful events of World War II and the years of negligence during the communism time, finally the Jewish communities are again becoming a part of city life.

White Stork Synagogue in Wroclaw

The White Stork Synagogue

The beating heart of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw is around the White Stork Synagogue, on Włodkowica street. Synagogue is situated in the city center, in the Quarter of Four Temples. It is the place of religious worship and cultural events. Thanks to the efforts of Jewish Community and Foundation Bente Kahan synagogue was rebuilt after the years of neglect and destruction. The effects of that process can be seen in the film below.

In 2005 the Center of Jewish Culture and Education was established. First of all it significantly impacted the cultural life of the community and the city as well. There are a lot of cultural  events, concerts, workshops open to general public. Simcha- Festival of the Jewish Culture is one of the most important events organised by the community. Synagogue welcomes visitors and tours are free of charge, in addition it also offers guided tours of old Jewish Wroclaw

Senior Club and Jewish Primary School are among the institution working for the community.  For those interested in the Jewish cuisine, there is CIŻ Cafe nearby, where you can try amazing coffee and especially tasty kosher food. There is also a Kosher Canteen, serving traditional Polish and Jewish kosher food.  Between 12 and 13.30  Monday to Friday there is a possibility to eat two course meal for around 15 PLN.

  • ul. Włodkowica 7
  • www.wroclaw.jewish.org.pl
  • Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 10-17; Fri: 10 – 16; Sat: closed; Sun: 11 -16
  • Tickets: Free admission

Jewish Cemeteries

There are two Jewish cemeteries in Wroclaw, the Old and the New one.

Old Jewish Cemetery (Museum of Cemetery Art) on Ślężna Street, is the part of the City Museum Of Wroclaw. Place is yet the only graveside from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, preserved in Wroclaw.  Cemetery is also a beautiful testament of the strength of the pre- war Wroclaw’s (Breslau) Jewish community. The place is a unique and original composition of the grave sculptures and small architecture, influenced by the middle ages, art nouveau, modernism and religious symbols. There are 12 thousand tombstones located in the museum, some of the famous people. Most noteworthy names are Ferdinand Lassalle, Ferdinand Cohn, wife of Fritz Haber or parents of Edith Stein. The cemetery is a beautiful place for a walk, especially thanks to the greenery surrounding the tombstones.

  • ul. Ślężna 37/39
  • Opening hours: Mon- Sun: 10-18;
  • Tickets: 7- 20 PLN

The New Cemetery is on Lotnicza street and the Jewish Community in Wroclaw takes care about it. Established in 1902 to fulfill the needs of the growing community, the place is not so new as the name would suggest. Paul Erlich, a rather famous architect from Breslau, designed the cemetery.  Most of the cemetery undergoes the restoration at the moment, as large parts of it are a safety hazard. Therefore the state of the cemetery today is a chilling reminder of what the Jewish community had once been before the time of persecution by Nazi and then years of neglect in PRL.  Nevertheless the visitors can still enjoy the beauty of this place.

  • ul. Lotnicza 52
  • Opening hours: Wed: 14 – 17; Sun: 9 – 13;
  • Tickets: 8 PLN

To conclude…

Although small in numbers, Jewish community plays significant role in the city spectrum. Getting to know history and culture of Jewish community, makes it consequently easier to learn and understand the city’s history and culture. So enjoy!

 

Best cultural places to visit in Wroclaw

best cultural places to visit in Wroclaw

Trying to find the best cultural places to visit in Wroclaw?

It might be a difficult task. The city – Capital of Culture 2016 – is well known for its cultural offers. From museums, concerts, galleries to film festivals – there is plenty to choose from. So much that sometimes you can get lost. Below is my subjective guide to make it a bit easier to choose from.

 

Wroclaw Contemporary Museum

MWW – Wroclaw Contemporary Museum

Museum promotes and popularize local and progressive contemporary art. It is also a place where regular debates, lectures and conferences take place.  MWW focuses on education and social programs targeted at the residents of Wrocław. MWW is located in an air-raid shelter built for civilians in 1942. There is free admission on Thursday and also all permanent exhibitions are free of charge.

MWW

  • pl. Strzegomski 2A
  • www.muzeumwspolczesne.pl
  • Opening hours: Mon: 10 – 18; Tue: closed; Wed – Sun: 12 – 20
  • Tickets: 5 and 10 PLN; Family ticket 15 PLN
History Center Zajezdnia

History Centre Zajezdnia

Zajezdnia is another best place to visit in Wroclaw. Museum is located in the old tram depot, that played a significant role in Solidarity movement strikes in the 80.  It houses the exhibition that is devoted to postwar history of Wroclaw and Lower Silesia. Especially the use of modern technologies, multimedia presentation, attractive and engaging content makes Zajezdnia another must see place in the city.

Centrum Historii Zajezdnia

  • ul. Grabiszyńska 184
  • www.zajezdnia.org
  • Opening hours: Mon: closed; Tues -Thurs: 9 -17; Fri – Sun: 10 – 18
  • Tickets: 5 and 10 PLN; Family ticket: 25 PLN
White Stork Synanogogue

White Stork Synagogue

Synagogue has been built in the same place as the old tavern called “Under the White Stork” and takes its name from it. The place is now the center for the Jewish Community in Wroclaw. There are a lot of cultural  events, concerts, workshops open to general public. Synagogue is open to visitors and tours are free of charge, in addition it also offers guided tours of old Jewish Wroclaw as well as possibility to try kosher food in the nearby Cafe Ciż.

Synagoga pod Białym Bocianem

  • ul. Włodkowica 7
  • www.wroclaw.jewish.org.pl
  • Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 10-17; Fri: 10 – 16;Sat: closed; Sun: 11 -16
  • Tickets: Free admission
BWA Awangarda Gallery

BWA Awangarda Gallery

The gallery presents contemporary art, but also deals with publishing, educational and promotional activities. Most of all its exhibitions are often a commentary to the current political and social events. Gallery is located less than couple of minutes walk from the market square, in the old Hatzfeld’s Palace, which remains were preserved after WW2 as the “living ruin”. In addition to free admission on every Wednesdays gallery offers free tours at 5pm on Wednesday and any other day for group bigger than 6pax.

BWA Galeria Awanagarda

  • ul. Wita Stwosza 32
  • www.bwa.wroc.pl
  • Opening hours: Tues, Thurs – Sun: 11 – 18; Wed: 12 – 20
  • Tickets: 4 and 8 PLN, Wednesday Free
New Horizons Cinema

New Horizons Cinema

First of all it is the biggest cinema in Poland that presents artistic films. Furthermore is the host for the biggest film festival in Poland: T- Mobile New Horizons. Apart from focusing on presenting artistic films,New Horizons offers film educational projects, opera transmissions, cinematic reviews and festivals, exhibitions and finally special events like joga or family morning cinema.  Furthermore the place also has a cafe, bistro and bookshop. As a result it is a one of the best cultural places to visit in Wroclaw.

Nowe Horyzonty

  • ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 19A- 21
  • www.kinonh.pl
  • Opening hours: 8 – 23
  • Tickets: between 10 – 27 PLN

Wroclaw’s culture is so rich and diverse mainly due to its complicated history. And while it’s easy to just stay around the strict city center, there is so much more to encounter if you just try to use another route. Hopefully my recommendations will help you choose and as a result you will have a fantastic time. So enjoy the best cultural places to visit in Wroclaw.