Wroclaw, Poland

Gnome Hunting Most Popular One in Wroclaw Poland
Gnome Hunting is Fun!
This is the Most Popular One 
in Wroclaw, Poland
Renek Old Town Main Square Night Wroclaw Poland
Renek (Old Town Main Square)
at Night - Wroclaw, Poland
Beautiful Renek Old Town Main Square Wroclaw Poland
Beautiful Renek (Old Town Main Square)
 - Wroclaw, Poland
Lunch Kielbasa Polish Sausage Wroclaw Poland food
Lunch - Kielbasa (Polish Sausage) 
- Wroclaw, Poland

Outdoor Cafe Night Wroclaw Poland
Outdoor Cafe at Night - Wroclaw, Poland
Wayne Dunlap Papa Krashal Gnom Wroclaw Poland
Wayne with Papa Krashal Gnome 
- Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw, Poland (5/31-6/1/2011) – Wroclaw bills itself as the “new Krakow” and with good reason. Wroclaw is beautiful and well set up for tourism that is just starting to come.  

The large number of students in Worclaw gives it vitality and insures a substantial number of restaurants and clubs.

One of the most unique things about Wroclaw is the 170 small metal Gnomes of Wroclaw that are scattered around the city. Gnome hunting is a popular sport here (we found 15 in the downtown area). Artists protesting the Communist rule started putting the gnomes around Wroclaw and now businesses add them for fun. 

Wroclaw's main old town square (Rynek) is one of the largest in Europe. The wonderful Town Hall in Rynek is a delight to wander with its beautifully restored German-style Gothic and baroque architecture. Here we visited St. Elizabeth’s Church (found 4 gnomes there) and several more beautiful churches and cathedrals after a nice walk to nearby Cathedral Island (Ostow Tumski) along the Odra River. Wroclaw has the 4th most bridges of all European cities. 

Another remarkable attraction in Wroclaw is the Panorama of Radawicka, a very large 360 degree painting of the 1794 Battle of Raclawice where a Polish army with local peasants defeated a larger Russian army. The Panorama of Radawicka is beautiful and is a source of pride for Poles because it was the last major victory in Polish history before being partitioned up among neighboring nations. 

A bunch of history about Wroclaw and Poland… Prior to WWII, Wroclaw was the German city of Breslau, capital of the German province of Prussian Lower Silesia. Wroclaw became Polish territory after WWII when the Soviets moved the German/Polish border westward. Declared a “Fortress City” by the Germans near the end of WWII Wroclaw was the site of one of the most devastating assaults of the war. For 80 days the Soviet army shelled Wroclaw almost completely to ruins. In the 60’s, Wroclaw was beautifully restored. 

Old Town Square Renek Wroclaw Poland
Old Town Square (Renek) - Wroclaw, Poland
Poland experienced its golden age from the 14th to the 16th century extending its rule from the Baltic to the Black and Adriatic Seas. In the 16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was the largest country in Europe. However, the 17th century was troubled times for Poland being invaded by the Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Transylvanians, Swedes, and the French. Various sections of Poland were occupied by its neighbors (Russia, Prussia and Austria) in three coordinated "partitions" between 1772 and 1795. After the last partition and a failed uprising, Poland ceased to exist as a country for 123 years. 

Map Wroclaw Poland
Map of Wroclaw, Poland
Poland returned to the map of Europe at the end of WWI, officially regaining its independence in 1918. Soon after, the newly-reborn Poland got into territorial disputes with Czechoslovakia, the new Soviet Russia with which it fought a war, and the Weimar Germany, which strongly resented the annexation of portions of it's eastern Prussian territories. This put Poland in a precarious position of having potential enemies on all three sides setting up what happened at the start of WWII when Germany and the USSR invaded and partitioned Poland. 

Map of Poland
Map of Poland
Concentration camps were established near Krakow, including Plaszow and Auschwitz where millions were murdered including 3 million Polish Jews. During WWII, Poland had about 20% of its population killed, nearly all its major cities destroyed with its capital Warsaw 80% destroyed, 10 million Poles relocated, the Polish economy was in ruins, and the country was forced to become a Soviet satellite country. 

In 1980, the anti-communist trade union "Solidarity" became a strong force of opposition to the government, organizing labor strikes, and demanding freedom of press and democratic representation. This inspired a succession of peaceful anti-communist revolutions throughout the Warsaw Pact block. The Polish Communist Government collapsed in 1989.

Please see our other post on Poland:

Krakow, Poland

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