The Transformation of Breslau, Germany, to Wroclaw, Poland

WroclawThis marvelous Town Hall dominates the main square (Rynet) in Wroclaw  and has for the last seven centuries. Originally only a single story after  the ruinous Tatar sacking in 1241, it now presents the late Gothic Style from the 15th century.

Our first meal in Wroclaw was lunch in a Greek restaurant directly across from the Town Hall.  An added dimension to our introduction to the city was 100+ cap and gowned university students “graduation” ceremonies right in front of us.  At the end, one of the thrown caps landed next to Mike…who, as an ex- softball player, sent it back. The owner applauded his throw!

After lunch, and looking for a hotel, we spotted St. Mary Magdalene’s Church.

The Cathedral

Because of the many tourists, we slipped down a side street….right to the Hotel Quebus. While I went in to check it out, Mike got the car and parked in front. A young, energetic hotel employee ran out, grabbed the luggage and started in when Mike yelled “Wait, I don’t know if my wife checked in yet!”  The guy answered “Doesn’t matter, I’ll bring it back out…it’s my job.”

The Qubus Hotel

“Come on” I said,” the clerk said if we like the room, it’s ours for 2 days.” And it was charming, more so because it had 2 nice armchairs. Best of all was a small balcony that overlooked one of St. Mary’s flying buttresses and a bit of the town.

Our top floor balconyWonderful location and free parking.

Early that that evening we continued our walk-about and found a Restaurant.  Noticed that pedestrians were not crossing the central area and wondered why.

Dinner the first night

We sat under the awning (with heaters)  and watched strolling people….and the central fountain spraying. (Apparently everyone knew except tourists!).  The water changed heights and colors and suddenly the front of the restaurant was packed……probably with locals hoping to see some wet and surprised tourists.

Center SquareWe had a marvelous waiter/university student and history major who spoke fluent English.

He talked about WWII (his thesis) and the bombing of Breslau.

Another picture of devestation

Behind (and beneath) this beautiful city, we now see a story of ruin and devastation. Originally Slav, then for centuries German as Breslau, then populated by Poles from the Soviet Ukraine city of L’viv, after the war.

 

And another

 

 

 

During WWII, The Nazis decided to turn the entire city of Breslau into a fortress but only managed to hold out for 4 months against the Red Army, capitulating on May 6th, 1945.

Injured and leavingThe fighting left 70% of the city in ruins and three quarters of the civilian population fled west.

Ironically St. Mary Magdalene’s 14th century church survived the war only to be partially destroyed 3 days after liberation when the Soviet’s munitions, stored inside, accidently exploded. It was rebuilt in the 1970’s.

After the warThe survivors  are climbing up through the rubble to start over! The last person is only half way up.  These statues were built on a street corner as a reminder.

About carolinebotwin

Caroline Botwin and her husband Mike are retired educators who have always had a yen for travelling: he with a PH.D and teaching Architectural Engineering plus California wine education, and she having taught high school English, speech and drama. Both wanted to learn first hand about other cultures. While Mike predominately studied buildings and structures and met with winemakers, Caroline hunted for ancient sites and peoples. And kept journals of all their travels. Kevin Klimczak, extraordinaire, is the website designer and editor of the blogs.
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One Response to The Transformation of Breslau, Germany, to Wroclaw, Poland

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