Szczytnicki Park and Centennial Hall
Wrocław exhibition ground, Wroclaw, Poland
Szczytnicki Park and Centennial Hall Wroclaw Reviews
A matter of taste? Jul 17, 2014
The Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia) in Wroclaw was built between 1911-1912 as part of a Centennial Exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon at the battle of Leipzig by the coalition of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. The building was constructed in the area of an unused racetrack near the edge Szczytnicki Park and involved some controversial architecture, specifically the use of reinforced concrete on this scale, which had not been done before. When it was finished in 1912 it was the largest building in the world using this concrete construction.
In 1913 the Four Domes Pavilion and pergola (shaded walkway) surrounding what is today the multimedia fountain were built. Centennial Hall itself is the centerpiece here. The dome of the hall is 65 m wide and 42 m high, with an auditorium inside that can apparently accommodate 10 thousand persons. The hall, surrounding structures, and park is a popular place in Wroclaw for taking a walk and enjoying the park. The multimedia fountain is quite the attraction too. Centennial Hall was included as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2006.
I found Centennial Hall itself to be kind of an ugly and uninspired building in style, though I appreciate the innovative technology required to build it. It has ivy growing all over it too, which I think makes it look even worse close up. The Four Dome Pavilion, Multimedia Fountain, and garden grounds are splendid, but the centerpiece of it all (Centennial Hall) disappointed me a bit. I didn't see the inside, however, so reserve judgement on that. Overall, it's worth a visit to see the Four Dome Pavilion and enjoy a show at the Multimedia Fountain, just don't expects to be wowed by Centennial Hall. Perhaps it's a matter of taste, and just didn't satify mine.
See my associated review on the Wrocawska-Fontanna:
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Nice park, big hall Jun 01, 2004
Szczytnicki Park is the largest park in Wroclaw, a bit outside the centre but you can get there by tram (and there's a campsite nearby). It's very nice for walking and there are also some interesting sights, such as an old wooden church and a Japanese garden.
Just outside the park is another sight: the Unesco-listed Centennial Hall. Constructed in the early 20th century to commemorate the Battle of Nations in Leipzig a century earlier, it's one of the oldest buildings made from reinforced concrete. Now I'm not a huge fan of concrete buildings, but this one looks quite nice, though I only saw it from the outside.
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