About our city
WROCLAW – a city situated at the intersection of the main trading roads leading from the West Europe to the Kiev Ruthenia and the Black Sea, as well as from the Venice to the Baltic Sea was, from the very beginning, a centre of trade and a mixture of ideas and cultures.
In the year of 1000 the bishopric of Wroclaw was subordinated to the freshly formed Metropolitan See of Poland in Gniezno. This subordination lasted till the 1821. Beginning from the half of 12c Wroclaw became a capital of the Silesian Piasts’ principality. The city was ruined during the Mongols’ invasion in 1241. Shortly after, in 1242, it was restored on the base of Magdeburg Law. The great development of the city begins at the second half of 13-th century, especially under the principality of prince Henry IV, named PROBUS. This development continues in 14 and 15c during the reign of Czech Kingdom. The city with the population of 15000 citizens belonged to the most rich and large cities in this part of Europe. A lot of tremendous Gothic churches and other edifices, the unique City Hall including, were built at that time. Buildings survived up to this day constitute a testimony of artistry, of broad minds of contemporary masters and founders, and of the city affluence as well.
At 16-th century the era of the influence of Habsburg dynasty begins. At the same time Martin Luther lessons became more and more popular. The protestant religion enters Wroclaw fast, but more peacefully in comparison to the other cities of Europe. Thanks to it the city develops still, avoiding any loses caused by possible religious conflicts. Growth of Wroclaw fortifications and its strengthening begins in the face of danger of invasion. Wroclaw is performed to a fortress. The year of 1618 is the beginning of the Thirty-Years War. This conflict leads the city to economy disaster and to depopulation. Only 17-th century Counter-Reformation helps Wroclaw to revive. The coming period would leave many tremendous and magnificent baroque edifices, churches, monasteries and palaces.
Due to the 12-th century cathedral school and worldly well-known medieval and renaissance 17-th century gymnasiums, the Jesuits College, founded by Leopold I the emperor, was established, making the beginning of the University College, what added Wroclaw more fame and publicity. The situation of Wroclaw changes with the 1741 invasion of Frederic II the Great, and attaching Silesia to the Prussian Kingdom, ruled by the Hohenzollerns’ dynasty. The following three „Silesian wars”, then the Napoleon’s wars and 2-years French occupation curbs the development of our city. The liquidation of city fortifications begins at the beginning of 19-th century. Thanks to it, the city of Wroclaw territory enlarges on the way of incorporation of five suburbs. At that time Wroclaw is one of the biggest cities in Prussia becoming one of its three capitals after Berlin and Kingsburg.
The newly appended areas, erection of new factories, railway lines, expansion of roads and the Odra river regulation at the half of 19-th century caused Wroclaw to become a great centre of communication. The 20-th century means a period of enormous changes in Wroclaw’s fate. In the face of the Second World War arriving, the city had to be fortified, getting status of “The city-fortress”.
In 1945, after several months of the city siege and heavy bombing, the city was destroyed in more then 70 %, losing the enormous part of output of numerous generation of its citizens, founders, architects, builders and humanists. The rebuilding of the city started in may of 1945. Its present citizens continue city’s multicultural and multinational tradition. The today’s city is a centre of science, culture, trade, and industry. In this place, like many years before, the crossroad of exchange of ideas and peoples causes Wroclaw to be an exclusive place on the European territory – the meeting place. That’s worth to be seen.