History of Wroclaw The history of Wroclaw begins at the end of the 10th century. At this time the city bears the name of Vratislavia and is limited to Ostrów Tumski (the Cathedral Island). In approximately the year 1000 King Boleslas establishes the first bishopric of Silesia. In 1163 it becomes the capital of the duchy of Silesia. It is devastated by the Mongols in 1241, but then rebuilt around the Market Square (Rynek). At that time many Germans settle down in the area, and the name Breslau appears for the first time in written records. Trade is booming which results in the fact that at the end of the 13th century Wroclaw joins the Hanseatic League, a powerful association of German and North European cities. However the Polish Piast dynasty remains in control of Silesia. The last Piast prince dies in 1335 and the duchy of Silesia is annexed to Bohemia, despite the efforts of king Casimir III of Poland. In 1526 the city is conquered by the Habsburgs, but keeps a certain level of independence. Breslau endures some very hard times during the Thirty Years War, but the treaty of Westphalia marks an economic and cultural revival. In 1741, after the assault of Frederic II, the city and most of Silesia are annexed to the kingdom of Prussia,. In 1806 the troops of Napoleon invade the city and it remains occupied by the French until 1811. Breslau thereafter stays under Prussian domination. Industrial and commercial development continues while the population of Breslau reaches 600,000 by the year 1934. At the end of World War II, the Germans declare Wroclaw a fortress, and battle the Soviet forces for almost three months. Finally the Red Army crosses the Odra river, and on on the 7th of May 1945 - after an 82 day siege - the devastated city surrenders. The Treaty of Potsdam (1945) gives Wroclaw back to Poland. T h e i n fo r m a ti o n w e r e ta k e n fr o m w e b p a g e “ W o r s j a P o l s k a ”
Published on Jun 8, 2017
This city guide is based on personal opinion. It's dedicated to students of Wroclaw for easier getting around the city.