Wrocław, the Meeting Place
Wrocław combines many seemingly independent areas that complement
one another in a smoothly functioning system. But Wrocław is, above all,
the people who create the unique atmosphere of the city.
Here, everyone is from somewhere, but they are all from Wrocław.
Juvenalia – Wrocław’s student festival
PRESS MATERIALS OF WROCŁAW CITY HALL
Wrocław is probably the most European of Polish cities. The proximity of the border means that from Wrocław we can travel to the Sudeten mountains in an hour, while it is only 8 hours to the Alps, 11 hours to Croatia and 2.5 hours to Berlin. Flights from our international airport serve over 80 destinations, and the main railway station offers connections with Vienna, Budapest, Berlin and Lviv.
Wrocław citizens are a friendly and open community, and the multicultural traditions of the city promote bold and innovative initiatives.
Wrocław is an open city. Open to the young, who come here to study; to the young at heart who follow courses at the University of the Third Age; and to young business, because there are over 200 start-ups. This is because youth is a state of mind and in Wrocław we have the perfect conditions to maintain this youthfulness for as long as possible.
Wrocław is also a city of Nobel laureates. To the dozen or so from the times of the pre-war German history of the city and region, we can now include the writer Olga Tokarczuk, who is an honorary citizen of Wrocław.
Wrocław is also one of the greenest cities in Poland. Green spaces occupy 18% of its land area. The city centre itself provides many opportunities for relaxation. Around the old town stretches a ring of greenery, the socalled Old Town Promenade. Right next to the market square, you can make for one from the Odra islands: Słodowa, Bielarska, Daliowa, Piasek or Tamka. There, you can relax among the trees, admire the unusual sculptures or sit in the seasonal pubs. Nearby are the equally picturesque green boulevards of Dunikowski, Maria and Lech Kaczynski, Father Zienkiewicz or Cardinal Wyszyński. It is not only in the city centre that you can take a breather – within the city limits there are 44 parks. And then there are our famous gardens: botanical, zoological and Japanese. There are no sky-scrapers in the city or a so-called financial district, even though many western and eastern corporations have decided to open branches here in the capital of Lower Silesia. And despite the fact that 169 business service centres already operate in Wrocław employing a total of 52 000 specialists, in the morning you will not see rivers of „white collars” streaming down the streets.
In early autumn the city’s squares teem with students returning to their Alma Mater. Because Wrocław is the third largest academic centre in Poland.
This vibrant destination has been chosen by over 110 000 students who are educated in 25 universities and colleges. Additionally, these institutions are strongly international, open to students from abroad. All this, combined with the cost of living in the city and – due to the presence of numerous international companies – the guarantee of finding a job, means that more and more students from abroad choose to study in Wrocław. Moreover, they also increasingly settle here after graduation.
Wrocław is seen as a city of young people, a typical student city, offering good prospects and a unique atmosphere.
The capital of Lower Silesia is also the most popular choice of place to study. As many as 61% of young poles, when asked in which of the cities surveyed they most wanted to study, replied Wrocław. Speaking of Wrocław, the research participants cited that it was a dynamic place where the past and the future were connected; they spoke of the international environment and rich social life. They associated Wrocław with development, tradition, fun and events on the Odra.
In 2017, ten Wrocław universities organised a joint „Generation W” campaign. Not only students, but also graduates of Wrocław’s universities and scientists affiliated with the city took part.
„We are not all from one year group. We listen to different music, we have different interests, needs and experience. However, there is one thing that connects us – we chose Wrocław!
We are Generation W, because we chose Wrocław for our place of study, work and life. Here we learn, we work, we live and we reside. Here we change reality to live the way we like and want!”
The concept behind this campaign was to communicate the idea that Wrocław has a certain magic that makes you want to stay here.
In truth, it is people that create the unique atmosphere of a city. It is their diversity – of experiences, faiths, nationalities. Here, everyone is from somewhere; yet, everybody is from Wrocław. In its more than 1000-year history, Wrocław has been a crucible in which various religions and cultures have been mixed together. After the Second World War, the very fabric of the city had to form itself completely anew. As Pope John Paul II said: „Wrocław is a city located at the intersection of three countries, whose histories are very closely intertwined. It is a city of encounter, it is a town that unites. Here, somehow, the spiritual traditions of the East and the West meet.”
This atmosphere of meeting and exchange of ideas is visible in different aspects. This starts with the unique District of the Four Faiths, also called „the District of Mutual Respect”. Here, in the area lying between the streets of Kazimierz the Great, St Anthony, Paweł Włodkowic, and St Nicholas a new community was established in Autumn 1995 on the initiative of both Christian clergymen (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) and representatives of the Jewish community. This community is one of a kind as it not only participates in religious events but also comes together to create and bring to fruition shared initiatives: artistic, educational and social. In the near vicinity buildings of various religions can be found: the Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin, the Church Catholic of St Anthony, the Under the White Stork Synagogue and the Evangelical-Augsburg Church of the Divine Providence. This special corner of the city is located in an area entered in the register of Listed Buildings and is recognised for its historical value.
Wrocław is also a melting pot of culture and art. The numerous museums, cinemas and theatres, and the concert hall and opera provide spiritual nourishment on a regular basis. The city’s most famous festivals (New Horizons, Jazz over the Odra, Wratislavia Cantans or the Stage Songs Review) attract crowds annually. It is not without reason that in 2016 Wrocław was European Capital of Culture.
This city combines many seemingly independent areas that complement one another in a harmoniously functioning system. Business and careers, studies, science and modern research, culture, art and history, personal development, leisure and good fun. These interrelated elements form a truly unique quality.
Today, Wrocław is once again in a special way a young city – since for the third time young people are coming here to celebrate the European Youth Gathering. We would like them to get to know Wrocław as it is, with its unique atmosphere, openness, and culture. And we want them to return to us. Wrocław is worth spending more time in.