Euro 2012 Host Cities – Wroclaw, Poland
The city of Wroclaw is considered by some to be a smaller and more manageable version of Krakow because it has basically all the cultural and entertainment attributes of the capital, but in a smaller and less tourist-heavy area.
The city features the unique blend of Polish architecture, a mixture of Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian influences, all of which can be seen reflected in the city’s rather magnificent market square.
Wroclaw is located on the Odra River and features no less than 130 bridges and riverside parks, which link its twelve islands, all of them coalescing to create an almost idyllic setting.
Many consider the city to be something of an undiscovered gem, and some would suggest to visit it sooner rather than later, as it will sure catch on with the tourist crowds and before long it will be swamped with hordes of tourists and the subsequent high prices that they seem to bring with them.
The aforementioned Rynek central square is by far the most obvious attractions, being one of Europe’s largest town squares helps with that reputation. There are photo opportunities not only at every street corner, but on all sides of the square and adjacent streets.
There are quite a few interesting churches to see during your stay here, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist which is a 13th century building, featuring wonderful architecture as well as the largest church organ in the country, and despite its age it actually has an elevator installed which can help you reach the top.
Then there’s St. Elizabeth’s Church and St. Maria Magdalena Church which are both worth a see.
Architecture students and enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Centennial Hall, which was built between 1911 and 1913 and it’s an early landmark for the use of reinforce concrete to create great architecture.
However despite its rather pretty architectural face, Wroclaw is the country’s fourth-largest city and one of the major industrial, commercial and educational centres in the country. Basically everything of importance in the southwest of Poland, starts, ends or takes place in Wroclaw, it’s quite the ‘it’ place to be in if you live in the region.