(Redirected from Breslau
Wrocław (formerly Breslau) (in Polish pronounced: Wroclaw.ogg, Czech Vratislav, German Breslau, Latin: Wratislavia; many Polish documents in English use the name Wroclaw) is a city in Silesia in southwestern Poland, situated on the Oder River. As of (2003) the city had a population of 638,666. It is the principal city of the Lower Silesia region and the administrative seat of the Lower Silesian Voivodship (since 1999), previously of Wrocław Voivodship. The city is also a separate city-county and a site of the Wrocław County.
Wrocław was first recorded in Thietmar's chronicle: John, bishop of Wrocław, newly established Polish diocese, is mentioned in year 1000 (Johannem Wrotizlaensem) and later the city of Wrocław itself (Wortizlawa). The first municipal seal says: Sigillum civitatis Wracislavie, and a simplified city name is mentioned in 1175 as in Wrezlawe).
The early recordings show that the medieval city name was Wrocisław in Polish and Vratislav in Czech and it means the Wrocislaw/Vratislav's town.
The Polish name was later simplified in two stages: Wrocisław->Wrotsław->Wrocław and this simplified name was used since the 12th century till now. The Czech spelling was used in Latin documents as Wratislavia or Vratislavia, but Polish pronunciation was also infuential as shown in the spelling of Wracislavia. Later the city name was Germanized as Breslau.
The city is named after a person called Vratislaw/Wrocislaw, though it is unclear what, if any, connection exists to a Czech duke called Vratislav I. It is also possible that the city was named after the tribal duke of the Silesians, or after the early owner of the city, called Vratislav.
The name of the city seems to be an important question for the German and the Polish nationalists. The people of the city, especially these born some years after the World War II, have a problem with the German name Breslauand will become extremely offended.
An another example - the warehouse Feniks on the Rynek, built 1904, showed in November 2004 the old pictures of the building. The pictures were described in Polish, but with the usage of the original names as "Warenhaus Gebrüder Barasch, Breslau".
Situated at a long existing trading place, a city was first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia (Wratislaw) (the origin of its various later names) after Vratislav I (Wratislaw), duke of Bohemia (915-921). The settlement was conquered by the Polish duke Mieszko I in the 990s. Already a place of some importance, it became the capital of Silesia in 1138, where Silesians had founded a settlement south of the river. During the Mongol invasion in 1241 most of the population of the city was evacuated. The settlement was then sacked and burned by Mongols, but they had no time to besiege the castle where the rest of the burghers found refuge.
Documents of the time refer to the town by many variants of the name, including Bresslau, Presslau, Breslau and Latin Wratislaw. The restored Breslau town was given Magdeburg Rights in 1262. The first illustration of the city was published in the Schedelsche Weltchronik in 1493.
Under direct overlordship of the Holy Roman Empire the emperors granted government positions to members of various ducal and royal dynasties. The city was a member of the Hanseatic League of northern European trading cities. In 1335 it was along with the almost entire province of Silesia incorporated into the Kingdom of Bohemia and was part of it until 1740s, from 1526 under Habsburg dynasty all continuously part of the H.R.E. The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants became Protestants during the Reformation, but were forcibly suppressed during the Catholic Reformation by the Jesuits, working with the support of the Habsburg rulers.
After extinction of local Piast rulers in 1675 the Habsburgs inherited Breslau. Habsburg resorted to forceful conversion of the city to Catholicism. During the War of Austrian succession in the 1740s Silesia was annexed by the kingdom of Prussia. The claims of Prussia were derived from the rejected by Habsburgs agreement between the Piast rulers of the Duchy and Hohenzollerns that secured the Prussian succession after extinction of the Piasts.
The city became part of the German Empire in 1871 after the demise of the HRE in 1806. The kings of Prussia saw to it that Breslau became a major industrial centre, notably of linen and cotton manufacture, more than tripling in population in 1860-1910 to over half a million. Its municipal boundaries were greatly extended in 1928.
Many of the city's 10,000 Jews as well as the countless Poles that hid them were murdered during the Nazi genocide of World War II. When Red Army approached in February 1945, Breslau was declared a fortress and much of population, which was German, was evacuated, although some 200,000 remained. To build fortifications slave labour was needed to augment civilian workers, and concentration camp prisoners were forced to help.
After a siege of nearly three months, "Festung Breslau" surrendered on May 7 – the last major city in eastern Germany to fall. Some 40,000 Breslauers lay dead in the ruins, and the city was almost 70% destroyed. The city became the scene of horrible war crimes committed by the Red Army against the surviving German population, as in the rest of Silesia and throughout eastern Germany. A modern residential district, around the Kaiserstrasse (now: Plac Grunwaldzki), was razed by prisoners (thousands of them died) to construct a military airfield.
Like the rest of Silesia, Breslau was given to Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Accords, and its name was changed back to Wroclaw. The Polish communist regime started a programme of ethnic cleansing of all remaining Germans. Most of them were expelled to western Germany by the Soviet-installed communist administration by 1947. It was resettled by Poles either from the small towns and villages from the provinces nearby, or those expelled from territories lost by Poland to the USSR – many of them from Lwów (now L'viv, Ukraine).
Gradually the old city was restored to its beauty. Nearly all the monumental buildings were preserved. Now it is a uniquely European city in present-day Poland, with its architecture echoing that in Austria, Bohemia, Prussia. Wrocław Gothic style is originally Silesian, its Baroque style owes much to court builders of Habsburg Austria (Fischer von Erlach, Ch. Tausch ), and Wrocław still has a number of buildings by eminent modernist architects, such as Hans Poelzig or Max Berg, the famous Jahrhunderthalle (Hala Ludowa) by Berg (1911-13) being the most important.
In July 1997 the city was hit by a severe flooding of the Oder.
Wrocław is divided into 5 boroughs ( in Polish: dzielnice )
- Psie Pole (litteraly: Dog's Field)
- Stare Miasto (Old Town)
- Śródmieście (City Center)
Significant Events of 20th Century
External links with photo galleries, mostly in Polish.
Nobel Prize laureates
1800: 64,500 inhabitants
1831: 89,500 inhabitants
1850: 114,000 inhabitants
1852: 121,100 inhabitants
1880: 272,900 inhabitants
1900: 422,700 inhabitants
1910: 510,000 inhabitants
1925: 555,200 inhabitants
1933: 625,198 inhabitants
1939: 629,565 inhabitants
1946: 171,000 inhabitants
1960: 431,800 inhabitants
1970: 526,000 inhabitants
1975: 579,900 inhabitants
1980: 617,700 inhabitants
1999: 650,000 inhabitants
2003: 638 000 inhabitants
2004: 633 700 inhabitants
Today's Wrocław has ten state-run universities, including:
as well as numerous private institutions of higher education, including
- Wyższa Szkoła Filologiczna ().
Economy and Transportation
Its major industries were traditionally the manufacture of railroad cars and electronics. The city has both an airport and a river port.
- Volvo Polska sp. z o.o., Wrocław
- Grupa Lukas, Wrocław
- AB SA, Wrocław
- Polifarb Cieszyn-Wrocław SA, Wrocław
- Kogeneracja SA, Wrocław
- Impel SA, Wrocław
- Europejski Fundusz Leasingowsy SA, Wrocław
- Telefonia Dialog SA, Wrocław
- Wrozamet SA, Wrocław
- American Restaurants sp. z o.o., Wrocław
- Hutmen SA, Wrocław
- MPEC Wroclaw SA, Wrocław
Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Wrocław constituency:
- Chaładaj Jan, SLD-UP
- Dobrosz Janusz, PSL
- Gucwińska Hanna, SLD-UP
- Jasztal Teresa, SLD-UP
- Kozłowski Piotr, Samoobrona
- Krasoń Janusz, SLD-UP
- Muszyński Marek, PiS
- Otręba Andrzej, SLD-UP
- Protasiewicz Jacek, PO
- Schetyna Grzegorz, PO
- Stryjewski Antoni, LPR
- Szymański Jan, SLD-UP
- Ujazdowski Kazimierz, PiS
- Zdrojewski Bogdan, PO
to be written yet
There are many popular professional sports team in Wrocław area. The most popular sport today is probably basketball thanks to Idea Slask Wrocław the award winning men basketball team (former Polish champion, 2nd place in 2004). Amateur sports are played by thousands of Wroclaw citizens and also in schools of all levels (elementary, secondary, university).
Men professional teams
Women professional teams
A skating ring in the Rynek (Market Square) - Dec 2003.
- Encyklopedia Wrocławia. Wrocław 2001
- Wrocław jego dzieje kultura. Warszawa 1978
- G. Scheuermann. Das Breslau-Lexikon. Dülmen 1994
- K.Maleczyński, M.Morelowski, A.Ptaszycka, Wrocław. Rozwój ubranistyczny. Warszawa 1956
- W.Długoborski, J.Gierowski, K.Maleczyński, Dzieje Wrocławia do roku 1807., Warszawa 1958
- Microcosm, Portrait of a Central European City, by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse (Jonathan Cape, 2002) ISBN 0224062433 (ISBN 8324001727 – Polish translation)
- An Eye for an Eye, by John Sack (John Sack, 2000) ISBN 0967569109 (paperback)