Poland, Useful Travel Guides

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Wroclaw Indoor Market, Hala Targowa

For our one week stay in Wroclaw we needed to stock up on food especially fruit and vegetables. Having done our research we knew there was only one place to go' Hala Targowa', the indoor market. To get there was only a ten minute walk from our city centre apartment just along Plac Nowy Targ to where it joins the road called Andrzeja Modrzewskiego - Frycza, the market building is at this corner right opposite the Sand Bridge which crosses the River Odra.
Wroclaw, Hala Targowa, The Indoor Market
The  gloomy building exterior is constructed of red brick and dominates this busy corner but once inside you feel  the atmosphere of  a busy traditional market.
Wroclaw, Hala Targowa, the interior
Wroclaw, Hala Targowa, produce on sale
The ground floor is full of stalls selling a wide range of  produce, you will have to go a long way to find a comparable selection of such quality. Vegetable, fruits, meats, polish sausages, cheeses and flowers on the ground floor then  arranged around the first floor balcony cobblers, lingerie, hairdressers, currency exchange booths, clothing etc .
Wroclaw, Hala Targowa, produce on sale
Take a moment to rest at the balcony and watch the market life below. If the sight of all this food has made you feel hungry then stop at the busy little pierogi bar on your way out.
We made our way back to the apartment having bought far more than intended but happy knowing we would eat well the following week.

All our photographs from Hala Targowa can be viewed at  www.imaginepoland.com

Useful Links

Polish Cuisine
Poland its Regions
Polands Official Travel Website

All photographs copyright Imagine Poland

Monday, 21 June 2010

Wroclaw, Plac Solny, The Flower Market

The southwest corner of the Rynek in Wroclaw opens out to another square called Plac Solny which was originally the Salt Market whose last salt stalls were abolished in 1815. Also sold here were leather and honey. Now the square houses a much more colourful Flower Market which is a delight to the eyes.
Plac Solny, The Flower Market
All types of flowers with their many colours and shades are on display either as stunning bouquets or beautiful single stems. The choice is yours and if you follow the Polish tradition buy them in odd no's. as even no's are used at funerals. Also chrysanthemums are for visiting the cemetery/funerals and roses of course are for lovers.
 The flower sellers colourful stalls surround a gushing ornate fountain erected in 1997 which is topped with design made from forged iron. More to the centre of the square and to one side of the flower stalls is a tall needle sculpture.
Surrounding the square are the high traditionally styled houses with restaurants and bars at street level. On the south side your eye is drawn to the Old Stock Market  (Stara Giełda) designed by a local architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans ( 1782 - 1869 ) this is quite an imposing building with a magnificent entrance.
Entrance to The Stock Exchange
It was not until we arrived back home and were doing some research for our book that we discovered that under the flower market area was a wartime shelter which was capable of housing three hundred people.
Before you leave the Flower Market look high and low and see if you can spot some of  the little residents of Wroclaw.

All our photographs of The Flower Market at Wroclaw can be viewed at


Useful Links
Historic Wroclaw

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Wroclaw, Rynek Glowny ( Market Square )

The characteristic landmark of the city, where all the routes begin is traditionally the Rynek . Wroclaw has Poland's second largest . You will see it on the majority of the postcards with its stunning Town Hall dating back to 13th century and quite rightly so as the square is the main gathering point for both social and cultural events.
The Town Hall, Wroclaw
The Astronomical Clock at the Town Hall
The Whipping Pillar in front of the Town Hall
On the eastern facade of the Town Hall - now the museum - your eye catches immediately the famous astronomical clock and in front you will see the old Whipping Pillar - now only a peaceful meeting place. The imposing 5 floor department store 'Feniks' built at  the beginning of the twentieth century - in its early years topped by a huge illuminated glass globe shattered by lightning in 1930 is located on the eastern side of the Rynek and will provide you if not with all the shopping required, certainly with fantastic views from the upper floors over the Old Town. Also on Feniks top floor can be found a very useful Internet and IT facility
The southeastern facade of the Town Hall with its stunning embellishments gives a shelter for the artists - drawing and selling their pictures on the pavement.

Artists displaying and selling their paintings in the shadow of the Town Hall
In the town halls medieval cellars next to the Piwnica Swidnicka Beer Cellar you will discover Wroclaw's oldest brewery the Spiz Brewery. At the entrance to the cellars is replica statue of the Breslau Bear, there is a fountain from its mouth which if you want good luck then you must touch it.
A replica of the Breslau Bear near the Spiz Restaurant
A more imposing monument  a hundred metres away is to  Alexander Fredro one of Poland's most prominent writers and playwright.

Monument to Aleksander Fredro prominent Polish playwright and writer
Also on this side of the Rynek can be found the two main tourist and cultural information centres - one the 'Wroclaw Info' has limited free Internet access for tourists both have very helpful English speaking staff. The Western side is dominated by the lively jetting Wroclaw Fountain giving joyful enjoyment to young and old and illuminated in the evening.

The Rynek Wroclaw Fountain
It's also from here that you will see and be enchanted by two fairy like Baroque houses named 'Hansel and Gretel linked by an archway through which can be found St Elizabeths Church which has one of the tallest towers in Wroclaw with panoramic views of the Rynek and beyond from the top. The opposite corner of the square will take you to Plac Solny which houses the open air colourful flower market open 24/7.
You can spend an entire day on the Market Square as there are many beautiful features to discover.  See if you can find any of the numerous little gnomes hiding in the least expected places.

Some of the Ryneks inhabitants, The Gnomes
Three mysterious passage-ways link the Town Hall buildings and all this among the countless number of colourful bars, cafes and restaurants with their outside seating and colourful sun shades, there was certainly no shortage of places to eat, drink, relax and meet people.

Words I would use to sum up Wroclaw Rynek - Vibrant, Historic, Colourful, Traditional.

During our stay in Wroclaw we ate in restaurants around the Rynek, drank in its bars/cafes or just sat under lush green foliage of the trees on one of the many benches and soaked up the scenery.

All our photographs of Wroclaws Rynek can be viewed in the image gallery at www.imaginepoland.com

Please come back to see our next review on Wroclaws Flower Market and Indoor Market

Useful Links
Wroclaw Info
Wroclaw Description