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Wroclaw

Wroclaw

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Multicultural metropolis

Wrocław (Wroclaw) is an excellent example of a multicultural metropolis situated at the interface of ethnically diverse areas. For a greater part of the city's history, German was the dominant language in Wrocław (Wroclaw). However, for several generations the city was home to the Korn publishing house, which printed many books in Polish (250 titles between 1732 and 1790). Here the German playwright Karl Holtei staged a play about the Polish national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko (Tadeus Kosciusko) in 1826. The Czechs have also played an important role in the city's history (in 1335- 1526 Wrocław (Wroclaw) belonged to the Kingdom of Bohemia). As late as 1719, the great sculptor Johann Georg Urbański (Urbanski) of Bohemia was given the key to the city.

Multiculturalism again left a very deep impression on the city's character after the Second World War, when the city's German population was largely replaced by people arriving from various regions of Poland, including those resettled from the eastern provinces of Poland taken over by the Soviet Union. In particular, many former citizens of Wilno (Vilnius) and Lwów (Lvov) settled here. With them came the great library collection of the Ossoliński (Ossolinski) Institution from Lwów (Lvov), which found a new location in the magnificent Baroque edifice of the former monastery of the Red Star Knights of the Cross. Two other works of unique significance for Polish culture were transferred from Lwów (Lvov): the statue of the leading Polish comic dramatist, Count Aleksander Fredro, and the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice (Raclawice), a monumental painting representing the victorious battle with the Russian forces fought by Tadeusz Kościuszko (Tadeus Kosciusko) on 4 April 1794, one of only several paintings of this kind to have survived in Europe until the present. It took over 35 years before it was possible to show the Panorama to the public, but today it is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

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