This 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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
He talked about WWII (his thesis) and the bombing of Breslau.
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.
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.
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, accidentally exploded. It was rebuilt in the 1970’s.