Like most mainland European cities, Wrocław’s main centre square is filled with vibrant buildings, crowded streets and a rather bloody lovely Gothic town hall. It’s the tallest town hall in Poland and took over two centuries to complete, how they didn’t lose interest during those 200 years is quite astonishing. But the end product is pretty awesome.
Around the Gothic town hall there are the usual bars, restaurants, shops and herds of tourists. The price of food and drink does vary from “totes barg” to “OMG how much?” So if you’re on a budget then you’ll eat well and if you’re loaded then, well, you’re always eating well so get what you want.
There are many bike stations where you get the first 30 minutes ride for free. I rented a bike and began riding happily around Wrocław, I was riding alongside another guy on a bike when the police stopped us. Apparently you’re not allowed to cycle on the pavement in Poland. The guy got a fine but because I didn’t speak any polish I was told (I think) to move along and cycle in the road. After which I docked the bike back in a station because on this particular day I wasn’t feeling all that suicidal.
Ostrów Tumski & St John the Baptist
The oldest part of Wrocław dates back to the 10th century and has always been closely tied to Catholicism. In fact a lot of Poland is closely tied to Catholicism. In Ostrów Tumski not only can you find a lot of Jesus stuff you can also sit along the charming bridges and enjoy the relaxing part of the city.
Just around the corner is Cathedral of St John the Baptist. More Jesus. This cathedral was the first brick building in Poland when it was built in the 13th century. For a first go they really did make a pretty spiffing looking building. The centre piece of the Gothic interior is the Virgin Mary, having a nap. Because all that mother of Christ thing must be really exhausting. Before world war two, the cathedral was home to the largest organ in Poland. That sounds like some rubbish chat line a guy would say at a bar: “I’ve got the largest organ in Poland mate.” Anyway if you do visit the cathedral make sure you whizz up to the top of the church towers to see the wonderful views.
The Monument of an Anonymous Passer-by
On Świdnicka street in Wrocław you’ll find statues walking out of the the ground. The monument was created by Jerzy Kalina in 1977. The anonymous people are to scale and there’s a few old people and city workers. There’s also a man carrying a tyre, probably so his bike doesn’t get nicked. As they walk they look as if they are descending into the ground, you can probably interpret this momument in many ways. You couldn’t have anything like that in London unfortunately; mainly because there’s no room to bloody move let alone put some fake people around.
Anti-Communist Wrocław Dwarves
When you walk around Wrocław you’ll notice a few little dwarf sculptures; then when you walk around more you’ll see that there are actually bloody hundreds of the things. The dwarves were originally graffitied around the city in support for the anti-communist and anti-authoritarianism movement, Orange Alternative. Power to the people. And since 2005 they’ve become a cute little tourist attraction.