Place:Wrocław, Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

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NameWrocław
Alt namesBreslausource: Wikipedia
Breslau,StKr. Breslau
Wroclawsource: BHA, Authority file (2003-)
TypeCity
Coordinates51.1°N 17.0°E
Located inWrocław, Wrocław, Poland
Also located inSchlesien, Preußen, Germany     (1740 - 1945)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog


source: Family History Library Catalog

Neukirch (Kr. Breslau) was absorbed into the city of breslau before 1945.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Wrocław ( (English: );  ; ; ) is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of Wrocław agglomeration.

Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. The history of the city dates back over a thousand years, and its extensive heritage combines almost all religions and cultures of Europe. At various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy, Prussia and Germany. Wrocław became part of Poland again in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War, which included a nearly complete exchange of population.

Wrocław is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wrocław, previously Breslau University, produced 9 Nobel Prize laureates and is renowned for its high quality of teaching.

Wrocław is classified as a Gamma- global city by GaWC. It was placed among the top 100 cities in the world for the quality of life by the consulting company Mercer and in the top 100 of the smartest cities in the world in the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2017 report

The city hosted the Eucharistic Congress in 1997 and the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016, the city was a European Capital of Culture and the World Book Capital. Also in this year, Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards. In 2017, the city was the host of the IFLA Annual Conference and the World Games.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

In ancient times at or near Wrocław was a place called Budorigum. It has been mapped to the ancient Claudius Ptolemy map of the years 142–147 AD.

The city of Wrocław originated at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road.

Settlements in the area existed from the 6th century onward, during the migration period. A Slavic tribe Ślężans settled on the Oder and erected on Ostrów Tumski a gord.

The city was first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia, the Bohemian duke Vratislaus I founded here a Bohemian stronghold. Vratislavia was possibly derived from the duke's name Vratislav. In 985, Duke Mieszko I of Poland conquered Silesia including Wrocław. The town was mentioned explicitly in the year 1000 AD in connection with a founding of a bishopric during the Congress of Gniezno.

Middle Ages

The medieval chronicle, Gesta principum Polonorum, written by Gallus Anonymus in 1112–1116 AD, named Wrocław, along with Kraków and Sandomierz, as one of the three capitals of the Polish Kingdom.

During Wrocław's early history, the control over it changed hands between Bohemia (until 992, then 1038–1054), the Kingdom of Poland (992–1038 and 1054–1202), and after the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Poland, the Piast-ruled duchy of Silesia. One of the most important events during this period was the foundation of the Diocese of Wrocław by the Polish Duke (from 1025 King) Bolesław the Brave in 1000. Along with the Bishoprics of Kraków and Kołobrzeg, Wrocław was placed under the Archbishopric of Gniezno in Greater Poland, founded by Pope Sylvester II through the intercession of the Emperor Otto III in 1000 AD, during the Congress of Gniezno. In the years 1034–1038 the city was affected by Pagan reaction in Poland.[1]


The city became a commercial centre and expanded to Wyspa Piasek (Sand Island), and then to the left bank of the River Oder. Around 1000, the town had about 1,000 inhabitants.[2] In 1109 during the , Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the German march into Poland. By 1139, a settlement belonging to Governor Piotr Włostowic (a.k.a. Piotr Włast Dunin) was built, and another was founded on the left bank of the River Oder, near the present seat of the University. While the city was Polish, there were also communities of Bohemians, Jews, Walloons[1] and Germans.[3]

In the 13th century, Wrocław was the political centre of the divided Polish kingdom.[4] In April 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland the city was abandoned by the inhabitants and burned for strategic reasons. During the battles with the Mongols the was defended by Henry II the Pious and was never captured.[5]

After the Mongol invasion the town was partly populated by German settlers[6] who, in the following centuries, would gradually become its dominant ethnic group; the city, however, retained its multi-ethnic character, a reflection of its position as an important trading city on the Via Regia and the Amber Road.[7]


With the influx of settlers the town expanded and adopted in 1242 German town law. The city council used Latin and German, and "Breslau", the Germanized name of the city, appeared for the first time in written records.[6] The enlarged town covered around , and the new main market square, which was surrounded by timber frame houses, became the new centre of the town. The original foundation, Ostrów Tumski, became the religious centre. The city adopted Magdeburg rights in 1261. The Polish Piast dynasty[8] remained in control of the region, but the right of the city council to govern independently increased. In 1274 the prince Henryk IV Probus gave the city the staple right.

Wrocław, which for 350 years belonged to the Polish, after the death of Henry VI the Good in 1335 was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bohemia, then a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Between 1342 and 1344, two fires destroyed large parts of the city. The city joined the Hanseatic League in 1387.

On June 5, 1443, the city was affected by an earthquake of the strength of at least 6 degrees on the Richter scale, which destroyed or seriously damaged many buildings in the city. From 1469 to 1490 it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and the King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus even had a mistress from the city with whom he had a son. In 1474, the city left the Hanseatic League.

In 1475, Kasper Elyan printed in Wrocław Statuta Synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensium, first in the history of printing in the Polish language, it contains three Catholic prayers.

Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation

The Protestant Reformation reached the town in 1518 and the city became Protestant. However, from 1526 Silesia was ruled by the Catholic House of Habsburg. In 1618, it supported the Bohemian Revolt out of fear of losing the right to freedom of religious expression. During the ensuing Thirty Years' War, the city was occupied by Saxon and Swedish troops, and lost 18,000 of 40,000 citizens to plague.

The Austrian emperor brought in the Counter-Reformation by encouraging Catholic orders to settle in the city, starting in 1610 with the Franciscans, followed by Jesuits,[9] Capuchins, and finally Ursulines in 1687. These orders erected buildings which shaped the city's appearance until 1945. At the end of the Thirty Years' War, however, it was one of only a few Silesian cities to stay Protestant.


The Polish Municipal school opened in 1666. It operated until 1766.

The precise record keeping of births and deaths by the city led to the use of their data for analysis of mortality, first by John Graunt and then later by Edmond Halley. Halley's tables and analysis, published in 1693, are considered to be the first true actuarial tables, and thus the foundation of modern actuarial science.

During the Counter-Reformation, the intellectual life of the city flourished, as the Protestant bourgeoisie lost its role to the Catholic orders as the patron of the arts. The city became the centre of German Baroque literature and was home to the First and Second Silesian school of poets.

The Kingdom of Prussia annexed the town and most of Silesia during the War of the Austrian Succession in the 1740s. Habsburg empress Maria Theresa ceded the territory in the Treaty of Breslau in 1742. Austria attempted to recover Silesia with Breslau during the Seven Years' War and the Battle of Breslau, but unsuccessfully.

In 1766, Giacomo Casanova stayed in Breslau.

Napoleonic Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars, it was occupied by an army of the Confederation of the Rhine. The fortifications of the city were leveled[9] and monasteries and cloisters were secularised. The Protestant Viadrina European University of Frankfurt (Oder) was relocated to Breslau in 1811, and united with the local Jesuit University to create the new Silesian Frederick-William University (Schlesische Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität, now University of Wrocław). The city became the centre of the German Liberation movement against Napoleon, and the gathering place for volunteers from all over Germany, with the Iron Cross military decoration founded by Frederick William III of Prussia in early March 1813. The city was the centre of Prussian mobilisation for the campaign which ended at Leipzig.

Prussia and Germany

Napoleonic redevelopments increased prosperity in Silesia and the city. The levelled fortifications opened space for the city to grow beyond its old limits. Breslau became an important railway hub and industrial centre, notably of linen and cotton manufacture and metal industry. The reconstructed university served as a major centre of sciences, while the secularisation of life laid the base for a rich museum landscape. Johannes Brahms wrote his Academic Festival Overture to thank the university for an honorary doctorate awarded in 1881.

In 1821, (Arch)Diocese of Breslau was disentangled from the Polish ecclesiastical province (archbishopric) in Gniezno and made Breslau an exempt bishopric. On 10 October 1854, the Jewish Theological Seminary opened. The institution was the first modern rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. In 1863 the brothers Karl and Louis Stangen founded the travel agency Stangen, this was the second travel agency in the world.


The Unification of Germany in 1871 turned Breslau into the sixth-largest city in the German Empire. Its population more than tripled to over half a million between 1860 and 1910. The 1900 census listed 422,709 residents.

In 1890, construction began on the forts of . Important landmarks were inaugurated in 1910, the Kaiser bridge and the Technical University, which now houses the Wrocław University of Technology. The 1900 census listed 98% as German-speakers, with 5,363 Polish-speakers (1.3%), and another 3,103 (0.7%) speaking both German and Polish.[10] The population was 58% Protestant, 37% Catholic (including at least 2% Polish)[11] and 5% Jewish (totaling 20,536 in the 1905 census).[10] The Jewish community of Breslau was among the most important in Germany, producing several distinguished artists and scientists.[12]

Since 1912 Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wrocław and director of the Clinic of Psychiatry (Königlich Psychiatrischen und Nervenklinik) was Alois Alzheimer and, in the same year, professor William Stern introduced the concept of IQ.



In 1913, the newly built Centennial Hall housed an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the historical German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon and the first award of the Iron Cross.

Following the First World War, Breslau became the capital of the newly created Prussian Province of Lower Silesia of the Weimar Republic in 1919. After the war the Polish community began holding masses in the Polish language at the Church of Saint Anne, and, as of 1921, at St. Martin's and a Polish School was founded by Helena Adamczewska. In 1920 a Polish consulate was opened on the Main Square.

In August 1920, during the Polish Silesian Uprising in Upper Silesia, the Polish Consulate and School were destroyed, while the Polish Library was burned down by a mob. The number of Poles as a percentage of the total population fell to just 0.5% after the reconstitution of Poland in 1918, when many moved to Poland.[11] Antisemitic riots occurred in 1923.[13]

The city boundaries were expanded between 1925 and 1930 to include an area of with a population of 600,000. In 1929, the Werkbund opened WuWa in Breslau-Scheitnig, an international showcase of modern architecture by architects of the Silesian branch of the Werkbund. In June 1930, Breslau hosted the Deutsche Kampfspiele, a sporting event for German athletes after Germany was excluded from the Olympic Games after World War I. The number of Jews remaining in Breslau fell from 23,240 in 1925 to 10,659 in 1933. Up to the beginning of World War II, Breslau was the largest city in Germany east of Berlin.


Known as a stronghold of left wing liberalism during the German Empire, Breslau eventually became one of the strongest support bases of the Nazis, who in the 1932 elections received 44% of the city's vote, their third-highest total in all Germany.[14]

KZ Dürrgoy, one of the first concentration camps in the Third Reich, was set up in Breslau in 1933.

After Hitler's in 1933, political enemies of the Nazis were persecuted, and their institutions closed or destroyed; the Gestapo began actions against Polish and Jewish students (see: Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau), Communists, Social Democrats, and trade unionists. Arrests were made for speaking Polish in public, and in 1938 the Nazi-controlled police destroyed the Polish cultural centre.[15][16] In September 1941 the city's 10,000 Jews were displaced from their homes and soon deported to camps. Few survived the Holocaust. Also many other people seen as "undesirable" by the Third Reich were sent to concentration camps.[15] A network of concentration camps and forced labour camps was established around Breslau, to serve industrial concerns, including FAMO, Junkers and Krupp. Tens of thousands were imprisoned there.[17]

The last big event organised by the National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise, called Deutsches Turn-und-Sportfest (Gym and Sports Festivities), took place in Breslau from 26 to 31 July 1938. The Sportsfest was held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon's invasion.[18]

Second World War and afterwards

For most of World War II, the fighting did not affect Breslau. In 1941 the remnants of the pre-war Polish minority in the city, as well as Polish slave labourers, organised a resistance group called Olimp. The organisation gathered intelligence, carrying out sabotage and organising aid for Polish slave workers. As the war continued, refugees from bombed-out German cities, and later refugees from farther east, swelled the population to nearly one million,[19] including 51,000 forced labourers in 1944, and 9,876 Allied PoWs. At the end of 1944 an additional 30,000–60,000 Poles were moved into the city after Germans crushed the Warsaw Uprising.[20]

In February 1945 the Soviet Red Army approached the city. Gauleiter Karl Hanke declared the city a Festung (fortress) to be held at all costs. Hanke finally lifted a ban on the evacuation of women and children when it was almost too late. During his poorly organised evacuation in January 1945, 18,000 people froze to death in icy snowstorms and weather. By the end of the Battle of Breslau (February-May 1945), half the city had been destroyed. An estimated 40,000 civilians lay dead in the ruins of homes and factories. After a siege of nearly three months, Festung Breslau capitulated on 6 May 1945, two days before the end of the war.[21] In August the Soviets placed the city under the control of German anti-fascists.

Along with almost all of Lower Silesia, however, the city became part of Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. The Polish name of "Wrocław" was declared official. There had been discussion among the Western Allies to place the southern Polish-German boundary on the Glatzer Neisse, which meant post-war Germany would have been allowed to retain approximately half of Silesia, including Breslau. However, the Soviets insisted the border be drawn at the Lusatian Neisse farther west.

After the war

In August 1945, the city had a German population of 189,500, and a Polish population of 17,000. After World War II the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union.[22] Almost all of the German inhabitants fled or were forcibly expelled between 1945 and 1949 and were settled in the Soviet occupation zone and Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. The city's last pre-war German school was closed in 1963. The Polish population was dramatically increased by the resettlement of Poles during postwar population transfers during the forced deportations from Polish lands annexed by the Soviet Union in the east region, many of whom came from Lviv (Lwów), Volhynia and Vilnius Region. A small German minority (about 1,000 people, or 2 % of the population) remains in the city, so that today the relation of Polish to German population is the reverse of the relation 100 years ago.[23]

Wrocław is now a unique European city of mixed heritage, with architecture influenced by Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian traditions, such as Silesian Gothic and its Baroque style of court builders of Habsburg Austria (Fischer von Erlach). Wrocław has a number of notable buildings by German modernist architects including the famous Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia or Jahrhunderthalle) (1911–1913) designed by Max Berg. In 1948, Wrocław organised the Recovered Territories Exhibition and the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace.

In 1963 Wrocław was declared a closed city because of a smallpox epidemic.

In 1982, during martial law in Poland, the anti-communist underground organizations Fighting Solidarity and Orange Alternative were founded in Wrocław. Wrocław's dwarfs made of bronze famously commemorate Orange Alternative.

In 1983 and 1997, Pope John Paul II visited the city.

PTV Echo, the first non-state television station in Poland and in the post-communist countries, began to broadcast in Wrocław on 6 February 1990.

In May 1997, Wrocław hosted the 46th International Eucharistic Congress.

In July 1997, the city was heavily affected by a flood of the River Oder, the worst flooding in post-war Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. About one-third of the area of the city was flooded.[24] An earlier equally devastating flood of the river took place in 1903.[25] A small part of the city was also flooded during the flood in 2010. From 2012 to 2015 the was renovated and redeveloped to prevent further flooding. It cost more than 900 million PLN (c. 220 million euro).

Three matches in Group A of the UEFA Euro 2012 championship were played in the then newly constructed Municipal Stadium in Wrocław.

In 2016 Wrocław was European Capital of Culture.

In 2017 Wrocław hosted the 2017 World Games.

Wrocław won the European Best Destination title in 2018.

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