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The heart of the city – The Market Square in Wrocław

Publication Date: January 21, 2023
Post thumbnail - The heart of the city – The Market Square in Wrocław

When you come to the ISBA Conference in September, start your journey around Wrocław with the heart of the city – the vibrant Market Square. It is one of the oldest and largest historical markets in Poland. Its foundation dates back to 1214 -1232.

In the center of the market there is a huge Town Hall of Wrocław, consisting of two parts (old, late Gothic and new one), with a beautiful clock face. This is one of the best well-preserved town halls in Poland – a true architectural gem.

Inside of the old part of the town hall there is the Museum of Bourgeois Art, which specializes in collecting and presenting objects related to Wrocław craft workshops and artists, from the earliest times to the present days. In the oldest part of the town hall – the Burghers' Hall, marble busts of outstanding personalities associated with Wrocław are exhibited. The most important meetings of the city council are held in the main hall of the building.

If we go a little bit underground, in the basement of the town hall we will find the oldest restaurant in Europe - Piwnica Świdnicka, with a short break, has been opened to customers since 1273! Among the celebrities dining here, we can mention Chopin, Słowacki or Goethe. During our conference, you must go there for a dinner or a dessert.

Continuing our stroll around the market square, it is worth stopping for a moment at the monument of the literary man Aleksander Fredro – a Polish comedy writer, memorialist and poet who produced his masterpieces in the era of Romanticism. An interesting fact is the origin of the monument:  after the war in 1956 it was moved to Wrocław from Lviv and placed where the pedestal commemorating the king of Prussia was. The poet knew the city very well, but the monument was intended, above all, to commemorate the fact that many repatriates from Lviv had settled in Wrocław.

The market square is also surrounded by beautiful and colorful tenement houses. The most characteristic of them are named sonorously: “Hansel and Gretel” (“Jaś I Małgosia”), "Under the Golden Dog" or "Under the Seven Electors".

In the tenement house called "Under the Golden Sun" there is another museum – the Pan Tadeusz Museum, which was established in 2016. Of course, you will find there all the information and curiosities about "Pan Tadeusz" and its author – Adam Mickiewicz, but also interesting things about another poet – Tadeusz Różewicz.

In front of the town hall (almost in the same place as before) a historic pillory’s replica from 1492 was erected. It is worth paying attention to, especially before entering the council building, because it used to be associated with punishing the guilty ones judged in the courthouse. Legends say that the famous German sculptor Wit Stwosz was lashed under it because he was proven to have forged a bill of exchange.

Going further, we will see the famous fountains – a motive often found on Wrocław's postcards. The "Zdrój" fountain is a favorite (because of its very distinctive shape) meeting point for the residents. It consists of 29 sheets of insulated glass, each of them weighs 450 kg! Another well-known fountain, dated back to 1904, is located in the square near the University of Wrocław and presents a naked swordsman. Legend says that the man depicted on the fountain is the sculptor himself, who after arriving in Wrocław to study, drunk by other students, pledged not only all his possessions, but also his clothes while playing cards. The loser was only left with a sword – a symbol of his noble status and honor.

The Wrocław market square borders with Plac Solny, which used to be a subsidiary market square and a marketplace. The name of this place – Plac Solny (Salt Square) - comes, as you can guess, from the goods sold here: mainly salt from Wieliczka, but also honey, wax and leather goods. In the Middle Ages, local gold prospectors met up at the square. Currently, flower stalls reign here, several of them are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyways – come and see it by yourself!

We invite you to the capital of Lower Silesia.
See you soon in September.



 

 

 

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ul. Hallera 123, 53-201 Wroclaw

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