Centennial Hall in Wroclaw (World Heritage)

By | August 8, 2021

The hall, built by Max Berg from 1911 to 1913, is an important example of modern reinforced concrete architecture. It formed the center of the Wroclaw Exhibition Center. At that time, the dome was the largest of its kind with a diameter of 65 m and a height of 42 m.

Centennial Hall in Wroclaw: facts

Official title: Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
Cultural monument: Reinforced concrete multipurpose hall for events and exhibitions; erected from 1911 to 1913 to commemorate the Prussian fight against Napoleon I. 100 years earlier; 23 m high building in the shape of a four-leaf clover with an extensive, circular central part, dome made of 32 vaulted ribs with a span of 65 m; at the time the world’s largest domed structure was built; Sober, factual building without any decorative elements
Continent: Europe
Country: Poland
Location: Breslau (Wroclaw), Silesia
Appointment: 2006
Meaning: Milestone and pioneering work of modern architecture; Testimony to various architectural influences at the beginning of the 20th century; Model and starting point for the later development of metal and reinforced concrete structures in public buildings; outstanding example of the attempt to make places of leisure time aesthetically accessible to all social classes

Centennial Hall in Wroclaw: History

1911-1913 Construction of the Centennial Hall by the German architect Max Berg from reinforced concrete; the dome, with a span of 65 m, is the largest in the world at this time
May 20 to October 26, 1913 Exhibition of the century for the opening of the hall
May 31, 1913 Performance of “Festival in German Rhymes” staged by Max Reinhard, written by Gerhard Hauptmann especially for the occasion; Scandal due to the war criticism contained therein, as a result of which the play was canceled prematurely
1970s and 1980s Use as a cinema
present Use for trade fairs, cultural and sporting events (6,000 seats, with standing space up to 20,000 spectators possible)

German-Polish cultural heritage

According to physicscat, the magnificent Muskauer Park Garden Kingdom in Upper Lusatia was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004 as a joint Polish-German cultural heritage site. The Muskauer Park is one of the largest landscape parks in Europe in the English style and delights many visitors every year with its unique beauty.

“If you want to get to know me completely, you have to know my garden, because my garden is my heart,” wrote Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau about his gardens, which are east of the city of Bad Muskau on both sides of the Neisse – and thus on both sides the German-Polish border – extends. The fact that more and more people are fulfilling the prince’s wish today is also thanks to UNESCO, which included the park as a joint German-Polish cultural heritage on its World Heritage List. The reason for this decision was not only the fact that the Muskauer Park is a harmonious piece of garden art that decisively influenced the landscape architecture in Europe and the USA, but also the exemplary cross-border cooperation in its extensive restoration and daily maintenance.

The Muskauer Park covers around 830 hectares, making it the largest English-style landscape park in Central Europe. It extends on the slope terraces of the Neisse valley; on the German side it consists of the castle, bathing and mountain park, on the Polish side of the Unterpark, the Arboreum and the Braunsdorfer fields. In the park you will find extensive meadows, trees and woods, lakes, rivers and bridges, with various structures in between blend harmoniously into the landscape. But what looks like a naturally grown landscape was actually carefully planned and carried out over a period of almost 30 years. Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau had the inspiring idea for this idyllic garden artwork.

Prince Pückler (* 1785, † 1871) had a troubled childhood and youth, but on a trip to England in 1812 he recognized his true calling: The English parks fascinated him so much that from now on he studied garden art in theory and devoted practice. He was supported by his wife, Lucie von Hardenberg (* 1776, † 1854), nine years his senior. The love of the two for their parks even went so far that they divorced pro forma in 1826 – only so that the prince could remarry as richly as possible, because he had ruined himself financially with the construction of Muskauer Park. Nevertheless, he had to part with his parks in 1845. But he was lucky: the new owners continued his construction plans. It looked even better in a romantic way:

Prince Pückler wrote various adventurous travel reports under a pseudonym, but he published only one work under his real name: the allusions to landscape gardening (1834), the theoretical basis for what he practically implemented in Muskauer Park. He further developed the idea of ​​the English park and thus decisively influenced landscape design in the 19th century. His aim was to create a park landscape “which [should] have the character of the great outdoors and the landscape, so that the human hand should not be visible in it and only make itself noticeable through well-maintained paths and appropriately distributed buildings.” Among other things, he transplanted mature trees in order to realize his concept of the lines of sight, which should connect striking places, right from the start. He diverted rivers and created canals, and entire lakes were created under his direction. Pückler himself described his work as “painting nature”; he saw himself as a painter, who painted with mountains, meadows, rivers or lakes instead of colors. In this way, beautiful paintings were created that can be explored in different ways: on foot, by bike or boat.

Centennial Hall in Wroclaw