Centennial Hall

Wrocław, Poland

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.

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Founded: 1911-1913
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Poland

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Wojciech Szewczyk (2 years ago)
The Centennial Hall looks... well... like just a "big old building" from the outside, but inside it's massive and impressive. Definitely worth the entry fee. The museum is so good, one could almost forget taking a look at the center of the building and the massive dome. The museum part is incredibly small. Again: Don't want to imagine it on a busy day. Coming here off-season pays off: You can enjoy the museum of antique and modern dome buildings and also the interactive exhibition around the DOME you're in, it's construction, it's history and some anecdotes around it.
Glover (2 years ago)
Great history, great design, very interesting to visit
Kateřina Eklová (2 years ago)
Architectonically the UNESCO hall is beautiful. There is a nice exhibition about the history of the place and construction of the hall. There is a cafe or a restaurant missing.
raj badhan (3 years ago)
A truly amazing building. Regularly used for exhibitions of varying kinds. Including concerts and sporting events. Car park is a ransom as overpriced, but due to government money making plans, no options. Gardens around to walk about, but the fountain when operating is truly amazing. Food options are available from restaurants and food trucks. Web site is poorly constructed and difficult to understand. With no English option for checking the schedule. That's just lazy. Easier to check local online for updates of what's on.
Daipeng Zhang (3 years ago)
Nothing much to see. There is a preparation of some event, so the main building is closed until next week. It is famous for its fountain display at night
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