Parks in Wrocław
People of other metropolises can envy the inhabitants of Wrocław the number of places where they can relax surrounded by green area. There are 44 parks ranging from a few to over a hundred hectares within the city borders only. The botany lovers are delighted with the species that cannot be seen anywhere else in the public space.
Szczytnicki Park (Park Szczytnicki) is one of the oldest green areas with its native fragments preserved until today. It has over a hundred of hectares which extend between the streets: Różyckiego, Paderewskiego, Kopernika and Olszewskiego.
The first park in this place (the area of contemporary Szczytniki village in the suburbs of Wrocław) was founded in 1783 by the commander of city garrison, L. Hohenlohe. The large park of 16 hectares was maintained in English style. However, it was severely damaged by Napoleon's troops in 1806.
In 1833, recreational areas in this part of the city grew. In addition to the increased area of the park, a horse race track was established to the south of the park, and it operated until the early twentieth century.
Peter Joseph Lenne, a royal gardener who came to Wrocław from Berlin, had a large impact on the current appearance and wealth of Szczytnicki Park.
At the end of the nineteenth century a system of dykes was created. What is more, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, on the occasion of the Centennial Exhibition (Wystawa Stulecia) in 1913, many objects that intrigue today and are an important points on the tours appeared in Szczytnicki Park.
In 1913, the wooden church of St. John Nepomucene was moved to Wrocław and placed in the eastern part of the park. It was originally built on the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth century in Stare Koźle.
In 1905, a monument of the bust of the German Romanticism poet, Friedrisch Schiller, was built in the northern part of Szczytnicki Park. It was destroyed during World War II, and later reconstructed. This is one of the favourite spots of a poet and playwright, Tadeusz Różewicz.
A separate part of Szczytnicki Park is a Japanese Garden (Ogród Japoński). It was reconstructed in 1994, whereas a similar garden with a pond and Japanese-style buildings had been founded in the early twentieth century on the occasion of the Garden Art Exhibition (Wystawa Sztuki Ogrodowej).
Szczytnicki Park is close to other attractions of Wrocław. To the south there is Pergola, the Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia) and the Zoological Garden (Ogród Zoologiczny). To the east, there are pre-war buildings of WuWa, whereas to the north there are huge lawns and playgrounds.
Szczytnicki Park is one of the most diverse areas in terms of nature. There are about 350 species of trees from Europe, Asia, North America, such as Lawson cypress, common beech, London plane, Himalayan pine, scarlet oak. There are also many species of animals, such as foxes, pine martens, bats, 70 species of birds.
Parks in Wrocław
The second largest park in Wrocław is Park Tysiąclecia (Centennial Park) with its 90 hectares. It is located in the eastern part of the city between streets: Graniczna, Autostradowa Obwodnica Wrocławia and Ślęza River. It was founded in 2000 on the occasion of the foundation jubilee of Wrocław — hence its name. The works there are still in progress. For now, the alleys have been set out.
Park at the Centre of Culture (Centrum Kultury Zamek)
Over Bystrzyca, another Wrocław river, there is Leśnicki Park. It is remote from the city centre and visited mostly by the citizens of Leśnica and guests of events organised at the local Centre of Culture (Centrum Kultury Zamek), which serves as a cultural centre. Peter Joseph Lenne, the royal gardener, the same man who worked on the development of Szczytnicki Park, had a great impact on the look of the park that was founded in the second half of the nineteenth century. The park of over 20 hectares is a part of a complex of green areas including Mokrzanski Forest (Las Mokrzański), a popular place for trips and picnics among the inhabitants of Wrocław.
South Park Park (Park Południowy)
South Park (Park Południowy) is also a popular hangout place among the citizens of Wrocław. The history of its foundation is extraordinary. In 1877, 25 hectares of land in a high-class district of Wrocław was given to the city by a wealthy merchant and philanthropist, Julius Schottländer. Within the next several years, a picturesque natural park with large pond and meadows was created. There was an elegant restaurant until the Second World War, however it has never been rebuilt.
In the park you can encounter plane trees, American tulip trees and Taxodiums.
Parks — cemeteries
Western Park (Park Zachodni) is one of the most visited parks in Wrocław, with its 75 hectares located between streets: Lotnicza and Pilczycka. It lies on area of the former cemetery, one of the largest in the capital of Lower Silesia. The remains of the past of this place are still visible: i.e. a system of alleys, coldwater plants, such as an extremely rare honey locust. In addition, adjacent to the park there is a Old Jewish Cemetery (Cmentarz Żydowski) that was a part of municipal cemetery before the war.
Skowroni Park is also of a similar character, as it served as burial place until the '60s of the twentieth century.
Old Town Promenade (Promenada Staromiejska )
Old Town Promenade (Promenada Staromiejska) is an original place to relax in the centre of Wrocław. An almost four-kilometre-long green belt leads from the Sikorski Bridge (Most Sikorskiego) to the east of the Rynek (Market Square), next to the Registry Office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego), along the moat, near the Opera and Puppet Theatre (Teatr Lalek), through the Partisan Hill (Wzgórze Partyzantów), next to Dominican Gallery (Galeria Dominikańska), the Słowacki Park (Park Słowackiego), up to the Museum Bridge (Mostek Muzealny) and gondola bay at the National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe).
The Promenade was established in the place of old city walls, demolished at the behest of the French who captured Wrocław after the siege in 1807. It is one of the most popular walking routes in Wrocław. It leads near the historic buildings towards the city centre. Along the promenade there are cafes, restaurants and other interesting historical sites.