The Centennial Hall in Wrocław

The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw – a masterpiece of architecture by Max Berg, included on UNESCO World Heritage Sites list due to its light, cake-tiered and multifunctional structure. Providing visitors to Wroclaw with the impressive view of an excellently-planned venue, surrounded my meticulously arranged space of reinforced concrete, water and greenery since 1913.

Tour Overview

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.

Wroclaw 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!

Tour Details

  • Make sure to inform us of whether you wish to visit the Centennial Hall with regard to a specific event held there or without such a purpose.
  • It is possible to visit the Centennial Hall regardless of your place of stay in Poland. Inform us of where you are, what the date of your planned visit is and let us arrange a pick-up and drop-off-including trip there for you.
  • The price includes: transport, admission fees and a guided tour for individuals / small groups of visitors.

Some Photos

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