The history of Wroclaw

View of Wroclaw

View of Wroclaw ©Stefan Schlautmann/Flick

Wroclaw is the fourth largest town in the country in terms of population and history.

It is an artistic and decorative city at the intersection of two routes: the Via Regia and the Amber Rout. Wroclaw had excellent conditions for development.

The city was first mention in a written document in 1000. The Slezans were the owners of the settlement of the island of Ostrow Tumski at least from the 6th century.

We would like to present you the history of Wroclaw.

Poland was a military passage for centuries between Eastern and Western Europe. Wroclaw in the last millenniums alternately belonged to Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany.

Nearly one thousand years of different rules

Wrocław has long been a market place when it was for the first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia (Wratislaw).  The Polish Prince Mieszko I. conquered it in the year 990. In 1138 became the capital of Silesia. During the Mongol invasion in 1241, the majority of the population was evacuated.

View of Wroclaw

View of Wroclaw ©Stefan Schlautmann/Flick

The year 1335 was a significant year in the history of Wroclaw when it was attached to the Czech kingdom with a big part of Silesia. Between the years 1469-1490 belonged to Hungary with Silesia and then attached again to the Czech Republic in the 1740s, which became part of the Habsburg Empire in 1526. From that time, although the majority of the population was of Polish descent, they were speaking German. During the Reformation, the inhabitants of Wroclaw were predominantly Lutherans, but during the Counter-Reformation they were forced back to their former religion by the Jesuits, who have worked with the support of the Habsburg rulers.

After the local Piast dynasty died out in 1675 the Habsburgs inherited Wroclaw. The Austrian emperors strongly urged the city’s conversion to Catholicism. After the Habsburgs renounced to the title of emperor in 1806, the city remained under Prussian government, and in 1871 joined the newly formed German Empire.

Bridge on the Oder River in Wroclaw

Bridge on the Oder River in Wroclaw ©Stefan Schlautmann/Flick

The development and reconstruction of Wroclaw

After this in the history of Wroclaw followed a quick development: the area became a significant center of industry, especially cotton and linen industry and the population of the city tripled between 1860 and 1910, to half a million. The city’s borders have expanded greatly in 1928.
Wroclaw has become equal to earth during the Soviet bombardment in 1945, but the medieval town regained its former splendor thanks to the meticulous reconstruction of the ruins. Because of the excellent work done in the city you will probably not see the signs of the reconstruction anywhere.

Buildings on the city square of Wroclaw

Buildings on the city square of Wroclaw ©wyzik/Flick


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