Zosia Zgolak and I visited the city of Wrocław, Poland on 3 January 2018.  Located in the southwest part of the country, Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland and has a rich history which dates back over a thousand years.

Upon arriving in Wrocław, we first visited Panorama Racławicka, a museum with a single exhibit--a 360-degree painting of the Battle of Racławice which took place on 4 April 1794.  The battle was the start of a Polish uprising led by Tadeusz Kościuszko against the Russian Empire.  While the uprising was ultimately crushed (leading to the Third Partition of Poland and the cessation of Polish sovereignty for 123 years), the Polish victory at Racławice remains a symbol of national pride and was commemorated in the panoramic painting which was completed by a team of Polish painters in 1894.

Our admission ticket to Panorama Racławicka allowed us free admission to a number of other museums in Wrocław, and we next visited the nearby National Museum which contains a large and varied collection of Polish artwork.

After our visit to the museum, we checked into our accommodation at the Centrum Hostel to have a rest before heading out again in the evening to tour Old Town.  While Old Town is admittedly touristy with an abundance of shops and restaurants, it is nevertheless a great place to wander for a few hours and admire some of the historic architecture.  We also delighted in discovering a few of the many little dwarf figurines which can be found throughout the city.  These figurines were initially created in 2005 as part of a social statement against communism, but as more and more of them appeared over the years, they have evolved into one of Wrocław's most popular tourist attractions.  When we finally had our fill of dwarfs and walking around Old Town, we returned to our hostel and retired for the night.
Tip: Take photos during the tour presentation because when it ends, the staff chase you outta there pretty quickly! Sonny listens to a recorded English tour presentation at Panorama Racławicka.  Behind him is a section of the painting depicting the Battle of Racławice.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

For a single exhibit, I'm not sure it's worth the price of admission, but at least you can use your ticket stub to visit some other museums in the area. Zosia stands outside Panorama Racławicka.
Also known as "Cathedral Island".

Across the Oder River is Ostrów Tumski, the oldest part of Wrocław.

Looks like a police lineup... Zosia fills in for an absent saint along this wall in the National Museum in Wrocław.
Back when backcountry skiers didn't need avi safety gear! The skier in the painting is uncannily dressed just like Zosia.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Why is there a picture of London's Big Ben in a Polish hostel??

Sonny relaxes in his room at the hostel.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Don't mind the guy reaching into the lion's mouth... Sonny tries to imitate the Fight and Victory Fountain on Ruska Street.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Her Mini-Me! Zosia finds her namesake dwarf, Zoska, in front of Coctail Bar Max & Dom Whisky.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." --George Orwell from Animal Farm

These statues located in Jatki Street are a memorial to slaughtered animals.  In the past, this was the location of the town's abattoir.  Note the rooster at upper left.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Cool clock! Zosia stands in front of the Wrocław Town Hall.
Hold that tongue! Sonny rubs Breslau Bear's tongue outside the Town Hall for good luck.  Prior to the end of World War 2, Wrocław was known as Breslau and belonged to Germany.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

The next morning, 4 January 2018, Zosia and I checked out of our hostel and walked briefly through Old Town again before heading to Ostrów Tumski, the oldest part of Wrocław.  Formerly an island in the branches of the Oder River, Ostrów Tumski is predominantly occupied by cathedrals and other theological buildings.

Zosia and I were originally scheduled to leave Wrocław on a late afternoon bus, but having visited all the places we wanted to see by noon, we decided to go to the bus depot to see if we could get our tickets changed to an earlier departure.  Unfortunately, the bus company would not allow for ticket changes on the spot even though the earlier bus had plenty of empty seats.  We were told that we had to make the changes online, and we likely would have had to pay extra.

Abandoning our attempt to change our bus tickets, we ended up with about four hours to kill.  Rather than waste that time wandering the shopping mall which stood above the bus depot, we walked about 4 kilometres northeast to the Four Domes Pavilion museum.  This was another museum that we could get into using our admission tickets from Panorama Racławicka.  Despite the long walk to get there, I found the Four Domes Pavilion to be the most interesting of the three museums we visited in Wrocław.  The contemporary art displayed there is probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I quite enjoyed the many thought-provoking exhibits.  Even the museum building itself is quite intriguing with its austere white walls and open spaces.

By the end of our visit to Four Domes Pavilion, we were starting to feel a little weary, but we managed to hike another 4 kilometres back to the bus depot for our scheduled departure to the next city on our itinerary--Kraków.
On the road again... Sonny steps outside of the Centrum Hostel in the morning.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Candy condos! Old Town reveals its colours in daytime.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

This table is a little wet!

Sonny hangs out in front of a bakery in Market Square.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Very gothic!

The Town Hall looks just as impressive in daylight.

How do you like our chiseled features?

Strange figures populate the boulevard near Piaskowy bridge.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

That's a big mitre!

This giant bishop stands outside the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Sand.  The inscription below reads "We forgive and ask for forgiveness" in both Polish and German.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

The Plus-15 isn't exclusive to Calgary!

Sonny walks toward a portrait of St. Elizabeth on an overpass in Ostrów Tumski.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Might be hard to use the onboard washroom...

Zosia tries to hitch a ride on a dwarf bus.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Looks like a bridge from medieval times, but it's only a little over a hundred years old.

The Grunwald Bridge's mix of steel and granite gives it a distinctive look.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

I wish I had a bicycle! Sonny walks along a scenic pathway near the Wrocław University of Science and Technology.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

A very difficult structure to photograph!

This steeple in front of Centennial Hall is nearly 100 metres high.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Very cool building!

This is the ceiling of one of the domes at Four Domes Pavilion museum.

Zosia is always hanging out with a bunch of stiffs!

Zosia falls in with a crowd of headless figures made of burlap.

Might be a little too big for my apartment...

This is one of the larger paintings on display at Four Domes Pavilion.


When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you!

Zosia finds a friend with a similar smile.