The Centennial Hall was constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg in 1911–1913, when the city was part of the German Empire. The building and surroundings is frequently visited by tourists and the local populace.
As an early landmark of reinforced concrete architecture, the building became one of Poland"s official national Historic Monuments, as designated April 20, 2005, together with the Four Domes Pavilion, the Pergola, and the Iglica. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland. It was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.
It was in the Silesian capital of Breslau on 10 March 1813 where King Frederick William III of Prussia called upon the Prussian and German people in his proclamation An Mein Volk to rise up against Napoleon"s occupation. In October of that year, at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was defeated.
The opening of the hall was part of the celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle, hence the name. Breslau"s municipal authorities had vainly awaited state funding and ultimately had to defray the enormous costs out of their own pockets. The landscaping and buildings surrounding the hall were laid out by Hans Poelzig were opened on 20 May 1913 in the presence of Crown Prince William of Hohenzollern. The grounds include a huge pond with fountains enclosed by a huge concrete pergola in the form of half an ellipse. Beyond this, to the north, a Japanese garden was created. The Silesian author Gerhart Hauptmann had specially prepared a play Festspiel in deutschen Reimen, however the mise-en-scène by Max Reinhardt was suspended by national-conservative circles for its antimilitaristic tendencies.
After the memorial events, the building served as multi-purpose recreational building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds, previously used for horse racing. It was largely spared from the devastation by the Siege of Breslau and after the city had become part of the Republic of Poland according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, the hall was renamed Hala Ludowa ('People"s Hall') by the communist government. In 1948, a 106 m (348 ft) high needle-like metal sculpture called Iglica was set up in front of it. The hall was extensively renovated in 1997 and in 2010.
The hall continues to be in active use for sporting events and concerts.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.