March 16, 2013

0558 POLAND (Lower Silesia) - Centennial Hall in Wrocław (UNESCO WHS)

Founded as a Bohemian stronghold at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road, and later becomed the capital of Silesia, Wrocław it has been part, throughout history, of the Kingdom of Poland, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, Germany; and, since 1945, of Poland. In this city, on 10 March 1813 King Frederick William III of Prussia issued the proclamation An Mein Volk (To my People), by which he called upon the Prussian and German people to rise up against Napoleon's occupation. In October of that year, at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was defeated.

A hundred years later, with the occasion of the commemoration of the battle's centennial, the municipal authorities of the city (which at that time was named Breslau and belonged to the German Empire) have built the Centennial Hall (German: Jahrhunderthalle, Polish: Hala Stulecia) according to the plans of architect Max Berg. The landscaping and buildings were opened in the presence of Crown Prince William of Hohenzollern. The grounds include a pond with fountains enclosed by a huge concrete pergola in the form of half an ellipse, and beyond this was created a Japanese garden.

The cupola was made of reinforced concrete, and with an inner diameter of 69m and 42m high it was the largest building of its kind at the time of construction. As a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures, the Centennial Hall in Wrocław was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued on December 24, 1998, with the ocasion of the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855). Designed by J. Wysocki, the stamp depict the bust of the poet, by Jean David d'Angers (1788-1856).

The second stamp belongs to a set which celebrates several cat breeds, issued on February 17, 2010 . It was designed by Andrzej Gosik, and comprise the following stamps:
Siamese Cat (1.55 PLN) - it's on this postcard
British Shorthair Cat (1.55 PLN)
Maine Coon Cat (1.95 PLN)
Somali Cat (1.95 PLN)
Exotic Cat (3 PLN)
Persian Cat (3 PLN)

The third stamp is one of a set of two, designed by J. Konarzewski and issued on February 12, 1999, belonging to a large series named Famous Polish Men:
Ernest Malinowski (1818-1899), constructor of Central Trans-Andean Railway in Peru (1 PLN) - it's on this postcard
Rudolf Modrzejewski (1861-1940), bridge builder (1.6 PLN)

Centennial Hall - Wikipedia
Centennial Hall in Wrocław - UNESCO official website

sender: Barbara Kulka (direct swap)
sent from Brzeszcze (Lesser Poland / Poland), on 12.03.2013
photo: A. Marecik

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