Wroclaw, also known as Wroclove, is the city of meetings gathering people from all over the world. As it won the competition for the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2016, we are proud to be hosting you here for the very special MUN session.
Wroclaw, located in south-west of Poland, is one of the most important Polish cities. It is the member of Union of Polish Metropolis (known as UMP), and is also the centre of many leading political parties’ departments. The political and also cultural interest of many foreign countries is being represented in the embassies, as well as committees focusing on the problems of national minorities in Wroclaw. Furthermore, the respect of international relations is reflected by the number of twin towns, sister cities and partnerships with agglomerations all around the globe. Therefore, Wroclaw is a well-rounded centre of international relations.
EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2016
Wroclaw, together with Spanish city San Sebastian, has won the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2016. Polish nation has a unique ability to recover despite many hardships, what also applies to Wroclaw. After the Second World War the city was utterly ruined. However, combining all its strength, it started to heal. After the recovery it emerged as the mix of three cultures: German, Jewish and Polish. The city wants to tell its story which will not bore anyone who wants to listen.
The preparations have begun in 2008. Wroclaw will use its cultural heritage, multiculturalism and openness to implement: 400 projects, 1,000 cultural events, 8 curators setting the programme in various fields of culture, accompanied by thousands of volunteers.
ECC 2016’s Vision is ‘Metamorphoses of Culture’, Mission ‘Spaces for beauty’ and Objective ‘Variety’. Those goals will be achieved on four scenes: Wroclaw Scene, Lower Silesia Scene, the National Scene and the European and World Scene.
- The Wroclaw Scene focuses on the citizens and their relationship with culture through projects, such as “mikroGRANTS”, “Excluded”, or the new Infopunkt Barbara.
- Lower Silesia Scene allows to present the region which capital is Wroclaw by the projects including NieKongres of Cultural Animators, Slot Art Festival, Silesia Art_Biennial.
- National Scene brings to the light the multiculturalism of Poland through the projects like “Wroclaw – City/Laboratory of the Future”, the exhibition “Eco Expanded City 2016”.
- European and World Scene show the role of Wroclaw and its uniqueness to the rest of the world.
- ZOO (Africarium) — It is the oldest zoo in Poland and also one of the largest (33 hectares). The infrastructural construction of the garden consists of several objects from the nineteenth century. However, nowadays what attracts tourists the most is the Africarium. This is an aquarium presenting aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater) and land fauna of Africa. The complex was opened in 2014 – it is the first of its kind in Poland.
- The Centennial Hall — It is the complex located in one of the oldest parks in Europe – Szczytnicki Park. It is the most important element of the historic complex also creating an ideal meeting place in the centre of Wroclaw (with a Multimedia Fountain, Pergola and green areas around it). The Centennial Hall is one of the most popular place for organization of the largest mass events. The Hall, as an example of the unique technological innovation, is on the UNESCO’s list.
- Market Place — This is one of the largest markets in Europe with the highest Old Town Hall in Poland. Buildings surrounding the market are from different historical periods. The Old Town Hall is located in the central part of the Market Place. On its tower we can find the oldest bell clock in Poland and the oldest (dating on 1368) clock tower. The market also includes: Salt Square and the square around the Elizabeth’s Church with a known tenement “Jaś and Małgosia”. During the siege of Wroclaw in 1945, the city was heavily damaged (over 70%). Reconstruction lasted about 7 years. Within the Market we will also find a fountain and numerous medieval houses. Some of them have their historical name, usually associated with the attribute placed on the roof – for example “Under the Griffins” or “Under the Blue Sun”.
- Panorama Raclawicka — This is one of the most original and unusual art museums in Wroclaw. Exposes circular painting – Battle of Racławice, painted in the years 1893-1894 by Jan Styka and Wojciech Kossak. It shows the most important moments of the battle, according to the creators.
- Ostrow Tumski — This is the oldest historic place of Wroclaw. We can say that this is a place where the time has stopped. At the beginning, it was functioning as an island but in 1824 it was incorporated into the mainland. You can find many ancient monuments there.
- Wroclaw Stadium — Football stadium is used by the football club Slask Wroclaw. The stadium was one of the arenas in which Euro 2012 was held. The stadium meets the highest requirements of the fourth category of UEFA. There are many different attractions around the stadium. It can be used as a covered go-kart track or the skateboard track. In winter there is a skating rink and a snow park. You can find there banquet rooms, offices and a gym as well. The stadium is allowed to be visited by tourists.
- Multimedia Fountain — It is the largest fountain in Poland and one of the largest in Europe where water multimedia presentations are displayed by coloured laser lights to the rhythm of the music. Particularly effective shows are those presented at night. The opening of the fountain took place on 4 June 2009.
- Sky Tower — It is the highest residential building in Poland (212 m). Together with two other buildings, it forms a complex of residential, office and commercial space. It is one of the characteristic symbols of the city.
- Sport — In 2012 our city was announced one of four places in Poland where UEFA Euro 2012 Championships took place. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of events that our city offers annually. Each year a group of runners meets to participate in Wroclaw Marathon. For people less professionally engaged in sports, who are looking for leisure activities, we propose a wide range of Fitness Clubs situated all over the city, Bowling clubs, Aquapark as well as Squash, Badminton or Climbing gyms. This year in Poland (also in our city) European Championship in handball took place. What’s more, organization of World Games 2017 was assigned to Wroclaw.
- Wroclaw has invested in the construction of Polinka – it’s a gondola which runs above the Odra River between the main campus of the Technical University of Wroclaw (on Wyspiański’s Coast) and Geocentrum. It plays not only the role of transport for students but is an attraction for tourists as well.
- In a 1000-year history of Wroclaw many legends were collected concerning the monuments which have survived to our times (for example about Kluskowa Gate, the head for the cathedral tower, bridge of witches or the history of the coat of arms and the foundation of the town)
- Wroclaw is the most attractive city in Poland for educated people (according to Newsweek)
- In Wroclaw, we can find the oldest restaurant in Europe – Piwnica Świdnicka. The restaurant was founded 730 years ago in the market which was the centre of cultural city. It was visited, for example, by Chopin, Slowacki, Wybicki or Goethe.
- During the Wroclaw Guitar Festival – Thanks Jimi Festival 2006, Guinness World Record in the number of guitarists performing a Jimi Hendrix’s song “Hey Joe” was established. Each following year (in 2007 and 2008), the record was gradually improved. In 2009, 6346 guitarists were playing the same song on Wroclaw’s market.
- Wroclaw’s tram lines have a total length of 285 km. There are over 200 trams in use.
- The city is on the 4th place in Europe (just behind Amsterdam, Venice and St. Petersburg) when it comes to the largest number of bridges and footbridges.
- One of the main symbols of Wroclaw are dwarfs. There are more than 120 figures of them. They are easy to spot everywhere in the city, especially on streets around the Market Place. The campaign was initiated by placing the a statue of a dwarf in 2001 at the corner of Świdnicka Street as a symbol of the Orange Alternative. Since then, from time to time we can see new dwarfs on the streets.