Wrocław itself is a beautiful town, with a magical main square that’s made even better by the fact that unlike Krakow, it’s filled with locals. It was severely damaged in the Second World War, and the rubble was shipped off to Warsaw to rebuild Warsaw’s Old Town. Yet Wrocław was also rebuilt, and it’s an amazing place to wander around – it’s also pretty small, so it’s easy to get a feel for the place.
It seems that aside from searching for gnomes, the main thing I did in Wrocław was climb up church towers. It’s certainly a picturesque city from above.
The first tower I climbed was the tower of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, which has a ‘Witches’ Bridge’ linking the two towers. Apparently the bridge is home to the ghosts of witches – in this instance young girls who would seduce men but refuse to marry them – who are forced to spend their time sweeping the bridge. It’s a funny looking church from the outside as the spires are missing from both towers making it look a bit like a half finished project.
It cost 6zl to climb the tower and go out onto the bridge, and I was the only person there. It was a little scary walking out onto the bridge, despite the waist high railings, because the wind was blowing fiercely and I was worried about being blown off. But the view was beautiful – you could see the whole town, and look out over the river. It was worth braving the wind.
The next day I visited the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, which is located a bit further out of the main centre, Rynek Glowny. The tower was higher, and gave a rather different view to that from St Mary Magdalene. Another unusual – and appreciated! – feature of St John’s is that there are no stairs to climb up the tower. Instead, there’s a lift and the lift is mandatory. However, to get to the lift you have to walk up about 15 stairs, so it’s not really disability friendly despite the lift. Apologies if I got anyone’s hopes up! the panoramic view from the top is magnificent.
The last church tower I visited was the tower of the Church of St Elizabeth, located conveniently in the Old Town. The narrow, winding staircase of more than 300 steps is a little challenging, but the view from the top is magical. St Elizabeth’s is the tallest building in the Old Town and impossible to miss. For 5zl, it was well worth climbing the steps.