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Wroclaw

Poland

Enchanting architecture, numerous elegant bridges and a fairytale-like Old Town define the city of Wrocław in southwestern Poland. Wrocław (pronounced "vrohts-wahv" by locals) is known for its incredible Christmas Market and Gothic historic centre - and, more specifically, Rynek, the vibrant and atmospheric market square. Voted the European Capital of Culture in 2016, Wrocław easily holds its own against better-known Polish cities like Krakow and Gdansk. In fact, it just may be the most exciting city in Poland

What to see

This vibrant city nestled along the Oder River has tonnes of cultural offerings and sites to see. Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), the oldest and most picturesque part of town, is accessible from the city centre via Tumski Bridge (Most Tumski). Here you'll find the 17th-century Russian Orthodox church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Archdiocese Museum and the Baroque-style University Library. For a romantic outing, grab your loved one and visit Cathedral Island at dusk, just after it’s been lit by gas lanterns, and soak in the quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

One of the top things to see in Wrocław has to be the Racławice Panorama, a monumental 19th-century painting depicting General Tadeusz Kościuszko's 1794 victory over the Russian forces at Racławice. The Panorama of Raclawice, as it's known, was created as a cylindrical mural, allowing viewers a 360-degree look at it from within a rotunda.

The Wrocław Dwarves

Similar to the owls of Dijon, there are hundreds of small bronze dwarf statues scattered all throughout the city of Wrocław. They're usually good indicators that you're near an important landmark, but the Dwarves of Wrocław have another purpose, too. Each pint-sized statue represents a nod to the Orange Alternative, an anti-Soviet resistance movement that helped dismantle the communist regime in Poland in the 1980's. You can pick up a dwarf location map from the Wroclaw tourist office and see if you can find them all!

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