Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 108 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
My name is Philipp and I’m founder of #ZmianyWMiescie (eng. City Changes) project. I am currently working on the subject of revitalization of pre-war Breslau treasures and I have created a list of objects that have been given a second chance. I managed to capture the changes in the Old Town, Nadodrze (Oder Vorstadt), Olbin (Elbing) and Plac Grunwaldzki (area of former Kaiserstraße). Would you like to receive further notices about my project? I am also thinking about making im future such maps about smaller towns im Lower Silesia and about Szczecin/Stettin. Maybe someday :nut:

Old Town - http://www.nowemiasta.pl/zmianywmiescie/staremiasto1/
Nadodrze (Oder Vorstadt) :love: - http://www.nowemiasta.pl/zmianywmiescie/nadodrze1/
Olbin (Elbing) - http://www.nowemiasta.pl/zmianywmiescie/olbin1/
Plac Grunwaldzki (Kaiserstrasse) - http://www.nowemiasta.pl/zmianywmiescie/placgrunwaldzki1/

I know the text is in polish, but the photos are in worldwide-ish :lol:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,713 Posts
What a great idea! It is about time someone noticed and shared with the world the remarkable transformation happening in Wroclaw. Restorations, reconstructions and rebuilding of the many gap-toothed street-faces thanks to new development. I can't wait for more....:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
Probably because most of the urban architecture comes from the times of German Breslau. As for the post-war history, most foreigners say Wroclaw, not Breslau.
This bit is true for me. Especially after I'd learnt how to pronounce it correctly. What I have found though when visiting Poland, and Wroclaw in particular, is that the locals will use Breslau when speaking English.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, its difficult subject. Nevertheless, you must remember that this is a breakthrough - for many decades Poles in Lower Silesia felt alienated and... derooted. Nowadays when you hear the Pole saying "Breslau" it just means that some episode of our history is already closed. Thats totally fine.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
378 Posts
I still have mixed feelings about the name Breslau. Polish people rebuilt this city and it is what it is today because of them. I prefer the name Wrocław.

On a sidenote, the German army was fighting here until the bitter end against the Soviets, weeks before the end of WW2 in 1945. Breslau was the last major battle of WW2. It goes without saying the city would be even more stunning if they had not put up a useless fight. Right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,178 Posts
It really is a complicated issue... while as a German, I find it ridiculous to name these formerly German cities by their Polish names in German, internationally, the city is probably becoming more and more known as Wroclaw which of course is completely alright. Ironically, I think many Poles are much more laid back and relaxed about calling their own city Breslau when speaking to Germans, also a lot of the official tourist sites etc. use the Breslau/Stettin/Danzig etc. in their German versions, whereas some Germans are really uncool about this, claiming that using the German names somehow conveys unfulfilled territorial hunger.

One big problem for many Polish and other Slavic names is their complicated orthography with lots of special letters that are difficult to do on an non-Polish keyboard. This leads to the sad examples such as "Wroclaw" that I myself used above, in its worst version then being pronounced the German way which would sound something like Vrotslav.

Although of course it was and is alright for the German population of the former eastern territories of Germany to mourn the loss of their homeland, I am very grateful for the Poles that they have generally really done a nice job of rebuilding these oftentimes brutally destroyed cities and that they are so open and friendly to us despite our history. Of course, the focus for quite a while was to delete a lot of the obviously German remnants of the cities, this attitude has changed more and more over the last 10-20 years. It just cannot be healthy for a city to try to erase or at least rewrite sometimes hundreds of years of their history. And just as Strasbourg is now celebrating their Wilheminian city extensions, Breslau and many other formerly German cities are rediscovering the "German" part of their (not only architectural) history. This really is a win-win situation for everybody!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It really is a complicated issue... while as a German, I find it ridiculous to name these formerly German cities by their Polish names in German, internationally, the city is probably becoming more and more known as Wroclaw which of course is completely alright. Ironically, I think many Poles are much more laid back and relaxed about calling their own city Breslau when speaking to Germans, also a lot of the official tourist sites etc. use the Breslau/Stettin/Danzig etc. in their German versions, whereas some Germans are really uncool about this, claiming that using the German names somehow conveys unfulfilled territorial hunger.

One big problem for many Polish and other Slavic names is their complicated orthography with lots of special letters that are difficult to do on an non-Polish keyboard. This leads to the sad examples such as "Wroclaw" that I myself used above, in its worst version then being pronounced the German way which would sound something like Vrotslav.

Although of course it was and is alright for the German population of the former eastern territories of Germany to mourn the loss of their homeland, I am very grateful for the Poles that they have generally really done a nice job of rebuilding these oftentimes brutally destroyed cities and that they are so open and friendly to us despite our history. Of course, the focus for quite a while was to delete a lot of the obviously German remnants of the cities, this attitude has changed more and more over the last 10-20 years. It just cannot be healthy for a city to try to erase or at least rewrite sometimes hundreds of years of their history. And just as Strasbourg is now celebrating their Wilheminian city extensions, Breslau and many other formerly German cities are rediscovering the "German" part of their (not only architectural) history. This really is a win-win situation for everybody!
Cheers to our common heritage and future! :cheers:

As for the revival of Wroclaw architecture - the old office building at Jan Paweł II square got dandified :)
 

·
Atlantyda
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
90% of the city was destroyed by Germans and Russians in WWII so not much survived (close combat house-to-house fighting. directorial shelling etc). Some of it was deliberate - blowing up churches and houses in the city center by German SS troops to make way for an airport.

Today it would be very hard to notice anything without actually knowing what to look for. The city looks stunning and with the level of investment flowing in year after year it will eventually be a rich and modern city.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This would be a perfect time to ask, but is there is a database of pictures online that shows Wrocław after WW2. Also, what was the status of Breslau throughout German history? It appears that it was a rich city. Even today, you can admire a lot of the restored architecture that survived the war.
There is a database of pictures and photos of Lower Silesia before and after WWII - https://dolny-slask.org.pl
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,713 Posts
Also, is there much that has survived from the Piast dynasty?
If I may interject, the vaulted basements of the original 13th century Piast Castle survive under the cloister complex of the sisters of Notre Dame.

https://www.wroclaw.pl/zamek-piastow-slaskich-wroclaw





After all the Piasts founded Wroclaw. Slavic tribes settled the area around Ostrow Tumski from as early as the 6th century and it apparently was known as a stronghold by the Romans. Up until about the mid 1300's the city was essentially Polish but then was absorbed into the kingdom of Bohemia. Throughout its early history German settlers were arriving especially after Mongols destroyed the city.It was under Hapsburg rule until the mid 1740's when the Kingdom of Prussia annexed it, during this period and the subsequent annexation to the German Empire in 1871 we see Wroclaw develop the most into what it is today essentially and until the end of WWII it was German-controlled.

So, with all honesty we can't say Wroclaw was German for most of its history, that is German controlled (1740-1945 maybe), German-influenced certainly just like many cities in central and eastern Europe, after all Germans were the major merchant class. Wroclaw is a very complex and fascinating city.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dickpound

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
90% of the city was destroyed by Germans and Russians in WWII so not much survived (close combat house-to-house fighting. directorial shelling etc). Some of it was deliberate - blowing up churches and houses in the city center by German SS troops to make way for an airport.

Today it would be very hard to notice anything without actually knowing what to look for. The city looks stunning and with the level of investment flowing in year after year it will eventually be a rich and modern city.

These buildings are all reconsutrctions them??
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
378 Posts
I think 90% destruction is misleading. It was far less destroyed than Warsaw.

Does Germany even have it's own style of architecture and design (I mean centuries old not bauhaus)? What style are we looking at in Wrocław? I always thought most popular architectural styles came from Greece, Italy, France and England. Let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think 90% destruction is misleading. It was far less destroyed than Warsaw.

Does Germany even have it's own style of architecture and design (I mean centuries old not bauhaus)? What style are we looking at in Wrocław? I always thought most popular architectural styles came from Greece, Italy, France and England. Let me know.
Well, at least Silesia has its own architecture wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesian_architecture?wprov=sfti1
 
1 - 20 of 108 Posts
Top