Monday 30 July 2018

Poland: Attractions Of Wroclaw Pt 1 (Ostrow Tumski)

Wroclaw is the third Polish city I visited but believe me, it's not easy to pronounce 'Wroclaw' by just looking at the spelling. I realised that I have made a mistake all this while calling it VRO-CLAW as it is actually pronounced as "VROTZ-WAHV". Wroclaw, one of Poland's oldest city is also the largest city in West Poland.

I didn't have a very good first impression of Wroclaw simply because the streets my bus passed through upon my arrival looked dull and lifeless. I saw chunky blocks of 5- storey buildings that didn't appeal somehow. On top of that I ate in a mediocre Chinese restaurant that served very uninteresting food. 
When I left for a day tour the next morning, Wroclaw took me by surprise! It certainly exuded a different kind of ambiance altogether and the more I walked the city, the more I liked the place. The Old Town, especially the Market Square is simply awesome so much so I decided to rate Wroclaw as one of the most beautiful cities I have visited.

Wroclaw consists of 12 islands surrounded by the waters of River Odra. These islands are connected by 112 bridges which are distinctively designed. The setting of the town is very unique and you can get picturesque riverscape of the city if you know where the best photography spots are.

Ostrow Tumski
Ostrów Tumski also known as Cathedral Island is the oldest part of Wroclaw. It is a  major city attraction not only because of its historical significance but because it is home to many spectacular buildings (most of which have religious affiliation) set in the midst of a charming riverscape. I entered this island through another smaller island and remembered crossing two bridges. I didn't explore the whole of Ostrow Tumski though. Posted below are some of the gorgeous buildings located on it.

Church Of Saints Paul & Peter was originally constructed in the early 15th century. It was destroyed a few times by fire but reconstructed each time. This is the first grand monument seen upon entering Cathedral Island.

The Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Wroclaw (CDAW) is a place dedicated to many pastoral activities. It is a very beautiful building.

All the buildings I saw are classic looking. Though not the original, the reconstruction was excellently executed.

The Metropolitan Court is also located on Ostrów Tumski. There is an obvious absence of contemporary buildings in this island and I guess that's what make it alluring.

The most famous building in Ostrów Tumski is Cathedral of St John the Baptist. This cathedral was originally built in 1244 and is also the first brick building in Poland. 

This cathedral has a gothic architectural style with ornate facades.

The door is intricately carved out of wood and the interior is equally beautiful.

I didn't walk further than Cathedral of St John the Baptist and only caught glimpses of the buildings beyond. 

Ostrów Tumski appeared serene with hardly any commercial activities. There is a medieval charm about this place that really captivates. I believe it'll make a great retreat for those seeking relaxation. 

Tumsky Bridge
To enter Ostrów Tumski, visitors have to cross Tumsky Bridge. This is a steel bridge constructed in 1889 to replace an old wooden bridge. There are thousands of padlocks on the bridge placed by couples who have come here to profess their love. This has been a Wroclaw tradition where love birds would throw the keys into Odra River after the padlocks are secured on the metal bars of the bridge. Because of this Tumsky Bridge is also known as Lovers' Bridge. 

Piasek Island (Sand Island)
The island adjacent to Ostrów Tumski is Piasek Island. This island is much smaller and can easily be circumnavigated on foot.

Dominating Piasek Island is Church of St Mary which is also the largest monument on Piasek. 

A good spectacle of Ostrów Tumski can be seen from the river bank of Piasek Island.

The two slots for windows have been replaced by the portrait of a man and a woman on this facade of Wroclaw University Library which is located on Piasek Island.

Piaskowy Bridge
Piaskowy Bridge links Piasek Island to the city centre. It is a short metal bridge with a radiant red colour. The train runs through this bridge frequently.

Seen in this beautiful riverscape is Milynski Bridge

Related Posts:
1.An Evening Walk In Bialystok
2.An Early Morning Walk In Bialystok
3.Warsaw Old Town: Castle Square And Royal Castle
4.Walking Tour Of Warsaw Old Town
5.Walking Tour On Warsaw Royal Route
6. Attractions Of Wroclaw Pt 1: Ostrow Tumski

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