Adventures in Poland continue. The next city after Katowice
is another well known city in this country, Wroclaw. This is one of the most colorful and sweet cities we’ve visited here and in my notes below you’ll see this.
Some more hours on the way by bus ran very smooth. Roads here in Poland are very good, straight, with no mountains and serpentine. The views around are adorable: all green forests and valleys, little quiet villages, where you’ll see a lot of attention signs with mentioning “deer”. And indeed, we saw some of them running, playing together somewhere not very far from the main roads. Seems it’s normal here to have them around, as local people even didn’t pay attention on them. They were very close to the houses, so first we saw them, we thought these are dogs. But we were surprised when we noticed they are deers.
When we reached Wroclaw, it was already dark. Our hostel was a bit far from the station, but was very close to the Old Town. We had to take a train and then walk a little bit to find the hostel. And this time again we were really lucky with the hostel selection. It was in the best location, with a great stuff and super clean and comfortable rooms with all necessary amenities available.
We hurried to leave our luggage in the cozy room and went out for an evening walk in a new city. It was a little rainy, ground was wet, but there were a lot of people walking in the streets. We walked directly to the center of Old Town, where our friends (who live here) were waiting for us. Had a nice walk around, calm dinner in a nice restaurant and relaxed end of evening in our quiet room with some drinks and snacks. The day was over with this, but we had full next day ahead to discover all the treasures of Wroclaw.
One thing that was found on every step, in well seen or hidden places of the city, were dwarfs, small figurines. There are more than 350 of them spread in the city. Of course we couldn’t find them all, but for the ones that want to make a “hunting” there were special maps and even mobile applications, that will give exact locations of those tiny figures. But to be honest, it’s much interesting to find them by chance, while looking for something else, and then come closer to see them better. Each of them had special location and meaning. None of them is repeating, so every time you’ll see “someone” new 🙂
In the morning when we woke up, we were surprised to have a blue sky and a beautiful weather outside. Seems rainy days are over and we can enjoy better our day trips. Rapidly took all that we might need and started our walking journey. Of course, first place we went to check was again the center of an Old Town, that was all surrounded by bright and colorful buildings. The highest building standing in the center of Rynek (Market Square) was of course the Gothic Old Town Hall
, which is an Art Museum nowadays. Streets nearby were very similar to each other, as all the buildings were almost the same, colorful, nice, built in the same way.
Not very far from the Rynek there is a place that might be known by every kid in the world from a fairy tale named “Hansel & Gretel”. So their houses are here, in a 2-3 minutes walk from the center, near the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Memorial. These were 2 small houses connected with each other with an arch. Now there were small souvenir shops inside the houses. Behind them was already mentioned memorial and the 14th century St. Elizabeth’s Church with its 91,5m tall Lookout Tower of the Church of the Garrison, which had could probably give an inspiring view from the top, if the door was open and if we climbed up for 200 steps. But there was a reconstruction work going on and it was closed. No worries, we had something nice on our plans yet 😏
But before that we had another treasure on our way to visit. This was probably one of the most important places here. This was a public research university which had some rooms open for visitors. That included Aula Leopoldina, Mathematical Tower, Marianum Oratorium & Exhibition Hall. Marianum Oratorium was closed as there was some special event on that day.
First we entered to Aula Leopoldina. And what we saw was just WOW. This was the largest and the most representative part of the main building, a unique secular monument of the late Baroque. It was built in 1728-1732 with the whole complex of university building and received its name in honor of Emperor Leopold I, the founder of the University in 1702. The walls and ceiling were all covered with frescoes and sculptures, ornaments and marbles. The room was incredible, out of any words. This was definitely worth to visit, see and feel the spirit of the magic.
Right next to the Aula Leopoldina there was an exhibition room which was showing the history of the University and exhibits from every faculty.
And we had still the Mathematical Tower to go. There were no any boards showing the way. What we did, we climb up for one floor, looked around, and asked one of the teachers the way. She was very kind and came with us to show the way to the tower. We didn’t know what to expect. Climbing up with nicely decorated floors, that had different objects from history of the technology. The Tower is a former Astronomical Observatory. Now it’s a observation deck giving a panoramic view of the city.
Another famous place for tourists is Hala Targowa or Market Hall, which is a great market place for food shopping and also for having some meal in the small cafes inside. What I liked in Poland was a big variety of mushrooms, all kind of them. They look so delicious with their perfect shape :))
But the best view was yet to come. On the other side of the river Oder, after passing the most Tumski (blue bridge), there is another beautiful part of the city, Ostrow Tumski district. Most Tumski continues with street Katedralna, which leads to the most admirable Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. On the right side of the street you’ll see Archbishop’s Palace. Even from the far this area calls as a magnet.
But even here the buildings around are still covered with sunny colors. The small square in front of the Cathedral was almost empty and quiet at time when we came. Small open bus was waiting for tourists to take them for a small city tours. Small souvenir markets were waiting for their visitors to offer some postcards and magnets.
And here is the Cathedral, 13th century place of Catholic worship, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Today it is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wroclaw. The current standing cathedral is the forth church to have been built on the site. Previous ones were destroyed during Mongol invasions, fire and bombing during WWII. It was reconstructed many times. It’s a Gothic church with Neo-Gothic additions. The Cathedral holds the largest pipe organ in Poland.
On the both sides of the main entrance (there were 2 other entrances except this one) there are two high towers, which were open for visitors to go up, of course for a small fee. There was an elevator that was “helping” people to go up. It was on the left side from the entrance (inside the church). But after the elevator we still had to take clockwise steps, and here we are on the top. The view that was opened from here made us speechless. The weather was nice, no fog, and thanks to this, we had 360° panoramic view of the city. The roof was fool of people, all walking from one corner to another to find the best view. But from each corner the view was different and still amazing. The only thing that was making the stay here uncomfortable was cold and strong wind. After taking some pictures and enjoying the view here we went down with the same way we came and continued our walking fully recharged with fantastic feelings.
On the way back we took different way to walk and passed near the Botanical Garden of Wroclaw. We didn’t enter, but even from the side it was seen how beautiful it could be from inside. It was middle of October, but all the trees in the garden were green and looking so fresh. On some trees and plants behind the fence were clearly seen small boards with plants’ descriptions.
The garden was somehow like a border between old and new cities. On the one side of the street was the garden with old and colorful buildings, while on the next side were only modern buildings and streets full with local habitants. The difference was so big.
But here in the historical center of Wroclaw there was a building that was “connecting” old and new architectures. This was once the biggest and the most high-end department store opened on 1930. As other buildings here, Renoma department store was damaged from bombing in 1945 but in a few years it was renovated again. Now it is one of the most visited places by locals and tourists.
The evening came, time to go back to the hostel, take our luggage and go to the Central bus station. This time we will have a long night on the way to another beautiful city Gdansk. But even in the last minutes city was surprising with its beauty and the last ones were sculptures on the streets, which were “coming out” from the ground. This was probably the most unexpected thing that we saw here, we didn’t have any expectations to see those sculptures on our way.. They were adorable..
The city was full of surprises. On every part of it something new and beautiful was found.
The most of the places we went were mainly planned and checked in advance, but there were some places and things that we had by chance and this was the best. Maybe someday need to go somewhere without any itinerary planned, so everything seen would be a surprise. Who knows 🙂