Wrocław – a City for Learning
ULS students benefit from the historic city of Wroclaw, a magical urban space and Poland’s fourth largest city (640,000 inhabitants). This intellectual hub, where every sixth resident is a student, offers an inspiring learning context where ULS students can investigate the past and its impact on the present dynamics of a 21st century Central European metropolis in transition. Once a vibrant German metropolis almost totally annihilated during WWII, Wroclaw was later nearly entirely re-populated and rebuilt by Poles in the post-war era and today embodies a complex and multi-layered European identity.
History of Wroclaw
The structure of Wroclaw industry changed, and at present, it is mainly focused on motorisation, pharmacy and new technologies. The modernisation of the Wroclaw industrial centre is favoured by a precipitous development of higher education, providing for qualified staff, which has continued since the middle of the 90s.
The rapid economic development of the city broke through the barrier of long-lasting infrastructural neglect, both in the city itself, and within the region and entire country. Over the past several years, the municipal authorities have done a lot to give one of the largest cities in Poland the features of a metropolis. It is one of the country’s leaders in attracting foreign investment. This is accompanied by thorough modernisation of the communication system. The municipal architecture has been continuously revitalised.
The transformation of Wroclaw is happening not only in the material sphere, but also in the mental – in the awareness of its citizens. A feeling of identity with the city is developing, and Wroclaw is becoming a meeting place for visitors from around the world and an organisation spot for international events such as the European Youth Meeting from Taizé in Wroclaw (1993), the 46th International Eucharistic Congress with the participation of Pope John Paul II (1997) and the solemn celebration of the Millennium of Wroclaw (2000). Furthermore, Wroclaw became a member of several international organisations and started partner cooperation with a few European as well as Northern and Southern American cities.
In September 2001, Stanisław Huskowski became Bogdan Zdrojewski’s successor as President of the City. He was replaced in November 2002 by Rafał Dutkiewicz – the first President of Wroclaw elected in common elections.
author: Krzysztof Popiński, Ph.D.