The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw is a must-see for urban planning freaks. They will find it hard to forget lifting their heads when inside this extraordinary building, chiefly with regard to the master engineering behind its dome structure. Erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the victory of Germans over Napoleon under the name of "Jahrhunderthalle", the Centennial Hall still inspires new generations of architects with the multidimensional symmetry it represents. Visit it to take part in a sports event, an exhibition or performance held there or, simply, let yourself be shown around outside of any events, just to focus on the spatial detail.
is a city of many backgrounds, with its heritage related to the currently-existing Czech, German or Polish states
. Situated in western Poland, it is the most important city of Lower Silesian region
, reachable within less than 3 hours of a journey from Krakow
via a motorway. The Centennial Hall is situated quite close to famous Wroclaw Market Square
and made a spatial point of reference to Wroclaw Zoo
, its modern and popular Multimedia Fountain
or the greatly maintained Japanese Garden
, also located nearby. It is definitely worth devoting a few hours to sightsee one of the most iconic landmarks of Silesia and its adjoined attractions.
It suffices to take a look at the Centennial Hall to realise what made UNESCO place it on the list of the most preservation-worth sites in Poland
. "The Exhibition Hall" that appeared in Wroclaw just before WWI, with its references to the Battle of Leipzig
, is a work of architectural genius, occupying the so-called "Exhibition Grounds
" of the city with its unique and recognisable structure. The project of currently existing Centennial Hall was chosen from among 42 other designs
by means of a contest and the execution is said to have cost about 1,9 million German Reichmarks
, which constitutes a remarkable amount of money. Its original – and still maintained – purpose was to provide the city with a multitude of facilities within one complex structure. This recreational building, whose main substructure had an inner diameter of 69 metres
and the height of 42 metres
(with the steel-and-glass lantern topping the dome), instantly became record-breaking - both in terms of the material and rib-structure construction used. It is reported that many attendees to the Hall (with its capacity varying between 6,000 and 10,000 seats
, depending on the period) were groundlessly afraid of the dome being collapsible. Nowadays, we may not be as fearful, since this is precisely the building that set new standards in reinforced concrete-based architecture we are surrounded by.
The Centennial Hall is a special venue that still appeals to charismatic leaders, wishing to use it for their purposes – it would hold the speeches of such contrasting individuals as Adolf Hitler
or Pope John Paul II
in the past. After Wroclaw became a Polish city again (after WWII), the then-communist authorities of Poland renamed the facility to "Hala Ludowa" ("People's Hall
') to have the building serve their propaganda intentions. In the 21st century, this gem of a building underwent complex renovation works
, shining just like prior to the grey communist or war reality now. Nowadays, it is not only a popular arena to host numerous conferences, sports and music events of great importance (such as EuroBasket 2009 tournament)
, but also a self-promoting facility where the Discovery Centre
operates. This built-in facility explains it to the visitors to the Hall how the building was constructed.
Curious to see the outstanding example of architectural genius while in Poland? Contact us to have a trip to the elegant and graceful Centennial Hall arranged!