We spent the final two nights of our October Polish adventure, staying in the city of Wroclaw, and used the intervening day to discover some of the delights it has to offer. Until 1945, Wroclaw was part of Germany and known as Breslau. In the last few months of the Second World War, it suffered serious destruction, with the Nazi forces seeking to defend the city, only surrendering to the Soviet Red Army on 6th May 1945, just two days before the official end of the war.
As Sybille had organised advance booking of our accommodation for the two previous nights, she declared it was my turn to both find and pay, for somewhere for us to stay in Wroclaw. So, whilst enjoying a mid-morning coffee, sitting in the central market square of Poznan, I got online and reserved us a room for two nights at the B&B Hotel Wroclaw Centrum. It was little more expensive and upmarket compared to where we had stayed in Malbork and Poznan, but I decided we deserved it for the last nights of our holiday. The hotel was located within easy walking distance of the historic city centre, had secure off-street parking for the ‘Carly’, and all the reviews said that its wifi was excellent 🙂 The reviews were correct!
Determined to avoid a repeat of the problems we’d had, trying to drive to our hostel in Poznan the previous afternoon, I’d found the street on which the B&B Hotel is located, using the city centre plan in our Polish guidebook, and worked out a route of how to get there. All went perfectly to plan, except that we found ourselves driving along on the opposite side of the street to the hotel, with a set of tramlines in-between, which it was impossible to drive across 🙁 Fortunately, we kept our sense of direction and managed to eventually find a legitimate way to drive back up the other side of the street and reach the hotel and its car park.
After checking into the hotel and getting our belongings from the car to our room, we set out to walk into the historic city centre and main market square, just as it was getting dark. The floodlit Gothic Town Hall looked magnificent, as you can see in the photograph at the top of this post. The square has numerous bars and restaurants. We eventually chose to eat at a Greek restaurant and shared an amazing seafood platter.
The weather next morning was cloudy and grey. By mid-morning, it started to rain and got progressively heavier as the day went on. This was great shame as there was much to see. The rain and lack of light, also made taking photographs more difficult. Those that follow, were taken before the rain really set in.
Near the Church of St Elizabeth, (which was unfortunately closed due to major restoration work taking place), we found this memorial to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran Pastor, theologian and anti-Nazi dissident, who was born in Wroclaw in 1906.
In the afternoon rain, we walked from the city centre, to an island in the Odra/Oder river, to visit the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist.
Whilst walking to the Cathedral, we spotted a statue of St. James. Within the Cathedral was a sign indicating it as being a point on the Via Regia, leading to Zgorzelic/Görlitz and the der Ökumenische Pilgerweg which Sybille had walked earlier in 2015.
Outside was a map, showing various waymarked pilgrimage routes. Notice how far it is to Santiago de Compostela!