Centenary Hall in Wroclaw
The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, which used to be called the People’s Hall, is a historic building designed by architect Max Berg in 1911–1913, when the city was part of the German Empire. You can often see tourists in and around the building: it is close to other tourist attractions, such as the Wroclaw Zoo, the Japanese Garden and a pergola with a multimedia fountain. The building, which is one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete construction, became one of the officially recognized National Historic Monuments in 2005. The following year, UNESCO entered it on the World Heritage List.
The opening of the building was part of the celebrations held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon. The municipal authorities of Breslau paid for the construction from their own pockets. The landscape and architectural ensemble around the hall were created by Hans Polzig and opened in 1913. A large pond with fountains, which surrounded a large pergola in the form of a half ellipse, was arranged on the territory. To the north was a Japanese garden.
Today, the hall continues to be actively used for sports events and concerts. After renovation in 2010, the hall is able to accommodate 10 thousand people.
After the celebrations ended, the building served many purposes. It was located in the Exhibition Grounds, where horse races used to take place, quite far from the theater of war, which unfolded in Breslau in 1945. After Poland became an independent republic, the Communists renamed the building into the People’s Hall. In 1948, a metal sculpture “Needle” 106 m high was erected right in front of it. The last large-scale restoration took place in the hall in 1997 and 2010, and today it continues to be actively used for sports events and concerts. After renovation in 2010, the hall became able to accommodate 10 thousand people.
The Iglitsa monument, as a result of restoration work of the modern period, has lost the top 10 m, but it still seems impressive. The monument is officially included in the list of historical monuments of the country, although today no one in Wroclaw can really say what it symbolizes.
The construction is distinguished by a dome whose inner diameter is 69 m. The height of the dome is 42 m, and at the time of construction it was the tallest building of this type. The main part, 23 m high, is made of steel and glass. The building with many windows became an example of a new architectural style in the 20th century.
Centenary Hall in Wroclaw
Initially, inside the hall was an organ created by Walker Orgelbau; it had more than 15,100 pipes, and it was the largest in the world. Most of the organ fragments were transferred to Wroclaw Cathedral, restored after World War II.
The multimedia fountain, located near the hall, is a musical fountain with beautiful lighting, which runs from early May to late October. It was built in 2009 and at that time became one of the largest functioning fountains in Europe. The area of the fountain is 1 ha, and more than 300 sockets for supplying water are installed on it. About 800 lighting sources controlled by a computer program illuminate the fountain. In winter, when the fountain freezes, it turns into a large ice rink.