History of Wrocław Infographic
History

The most important Events in the History of Wroclaw

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The History of Wroclaw has many unique elements. It is full of different rulers who shaped the city and left their own marks, many cultures who lived and loved the city for ages, but also dramatic events that impacted millions of lives. 

We do not want to write a book about the history as there are much smarter people to do so… But as we love the city, we want to provide a little 5-10 minutes overview of the events in Wroclaw. With that knowledge, it will be much easier to understand the present.

Let’s have a little walk first

There are multiple ways to learn more about the history of Wroclaw. One is the history trail in the city which we will bring to your homes here.

But well, it looks that sometimes history can be subject to interpretation… That is why we saw a reason to create some cool infographics of Wroclaw’s History as well. This will be the second part of this article where you can find all events together.

Of course at last after that, we are going to point out some cool museums where you can spend hours to learn more…

The Walk of History in Wroclaw

One way to see the 20 most important events of the city actually is to take the little history trail which is located in the street plac Nankiera in the city centre. We will bring this history trail home to you now and walk through it together! 

Every important event got its own special stone in the pavement and we really like that idea. However, one thing is a bit “questionable” to be honest, but we will explain that later. Let us start our walk…

The most important Events in Wroclaw’s History

1000

Establishment of the bishopric in Wroclaw

The Bishopric of Wroclaw was founded by Otto III and Bolesław I the Brave under the first name of the city: Vratislavia. This is the first written mention of Wroclaw.

Wroclaw in Year 1000

1000
1241

Mongol invasion of the city

During the Mongol invasion in 1241, the city was destroyed significantly. 

The Mongol Invasion in Wroclaw

1241
1242

Wroclaw receives municipal rights

With the Magdeburg city rights, the market squares of Wroclaw were delineated. 

Wroclaw receives municipal rights

1242
1335

The loss of Silesia to the Kingdom of Bohemia

After Henry VI died, the city falls to the Bohemian crown. Wroclaw becomes Bohemian

1335
1526

Wroclaw in the Habsburg Monarchy

Following the events of the Mohacz Battle and the death of Louis Jagiellończyk, the city becomes part of the Habsburg Monarchy. Wroclaw and Habsburg

1526
1530

Establishment of the current coat of arms

Ferdinand I Habsburg granted the coat of arms to the city – which is again in use today. You find a more colourful version of it in our infographic at the bottom.Wroclaw establishes its coat of arms

1530
1633

The bubonic plague in Wroclaw

Over 18.000 people died in the bubonic plague, at that time a quite significant amount of the population, almost half of it.bubonic plague in Wroclaw

1633
1702

Establishment of the University of Wroclaw

With financial resources from Leopold I, the University of Wroclaw was founded as Jesuit University. If you check the door of it, you see the two letters LI for Leopold I but intentionally it also looks like “U” for University.University of Wroclaw

1702
1741

Prussian reign

After the Silesian war between Austria and Prussia, the new rulers of the city are……. The Prussians! Wroclaw becomes Prussian

1741
1793

The tailors’ revolution

Journeymen were fighting against repressions in 1793, however the army was able to stop it.The Tailors Revolution in Wroclaw

1793
1807

Napoleonic troops seize Wroclaw

Napoleons troops arrived in 1806 to Wroclaw and the city capitulated in 1807. This meant the end of fortification for Wroclaw.Napoleon in Wroclaw

1807
1842

The first railway line on *todays* Polish territory

Well, according to the sign on the history trail, in 1842 the first railway started from Polish territory. However, in that year we all know that unfortunately there was no Poland on the maps…. In our Infographics below, we just took the first railway in Wroclaw.

The first railway line in Wroclaw

1842
1913

Construction of the Centennial Hall

Max Berg created his masterpiece – the Centennial Hall. Click here for more information on this wonderful building which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.Construction of the Centennial Hall Wroclaw

1913
1945

Festung Breslau

Actually already on 25 July 1944, Wroclaw is declared to be a fortress that cannot be given up at any cost. Within less than one year, the city capitulated. Again, here some quite significant events are missing, we have added them to our infographic at the bottom.Festung Breslau 1945

1945
1980

Solidarity

The Solidarity movement emerged from increased dissatisfaction.

Solidarity Movement

1980
1997

The Eucharistic Congress

Pope John Paul II. visited Wroclaw during the Eucharistic Congress, it was in May to June.The Eucharistic Congress Wroclaw

1997
1997

The great flood

One of the largest natural disasters in the history of Wroclaw – the great flood in July. The great flood in Wroclaw 1997

1997
2012

EURO 2012

Together with Ukraine, Poland hosted the EURO 2012.

Wroclaw Europe Championship 2012

2012
2016

European Capital of Culture

Together with San Sebastián in Spain, Wroclaw became the European Capital of Culture in 2016.Wroclaw is European Capital of Culture

2016
2017

The World Games 2017

Disciplines like Karate, Sumo and Climbing belong to the World Games – which Wroclaw hosted in 2017.

World Games 2017 In Wroclaw

2017
Soon

Your Visit!

The most important event is still ahead – we hope it will be your visit in Wroclaw 🙂 If you plan a trip to Wroclaw, click here for our planning guides. 

Soon

Infographics: History of Wroclaw

Of course, the history trail that we just walked together, a lot of important events are missing. Naturally there are lots of books about Wroclaw’s history and there can be many different levels of detail.

As the emperors of the city kept changing, we believe we found a better way than the history trail to provide you with an overview of what happened in the past. In our infographic you will not only find the most significant events of Wroclaw, but additionally it might be easier to see who ruled the city at which time.

A little hint: Click on the infographic to increase the size!

We hope that you liked our infographics about the history of Wroclaw!

The one above is too large for you and includes too many details? No worries, we have a compact version with all rulers of Wroclaw too. This will help you to determine who was in charge in which years. Of course by clicking on it, you can zoom in again.

You like them? Feel free to share them on social media! You may even use them for free on your own website if you like, please just make sure to link this article then 🙂 

Interested in more History of Wroclaw?

We hope that our post already gave you a little bit of overview about Wroclaw’s history, but if you are still curious, we have some more recommendations for you!

Visit the Historical Museums

We have two favourite museums of Wroclaw when it comes to history and we can recommend the following:

Some of the museums in Wroclaw even offer free entrance on one day per week – we created a little table for that in our article about the 15 best free things to do in Wroclaw.

Participate in a Historic Tour of Wroclaw

Read a book about Wroclaw and its history

We recommend the book “Uprooted” which provides a very detailed overview of the events when Wroclaw became a Polish city. Add it here to your wishlist:

In English: Here is the direct link to Amazon.de 

In German: Here is the direct link to Amazon.de or if you prefer Buecher.de here.

The German version as eBook is currently much less expensive from Buecher.de here.

We hope that you enjoyed this post about the history of Wroclaw and its most important events!

You want to plan a trip to Wroclaw? Check out our planning guides here!

What we also recommend is our virtual free walking tour about German History in the alternative district Nadodrze – click here.

Do you have some comments on this article? Help us and also help other visitors by leaving your feedback in the comment section below!

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