One of the largest, most well known, and frequently visited green spaces in Wrocław is Szczytnicki Park, located east of the Odra River and Plac Grunwaldzki.
Throughout the 100 hectares of land, visitors can closely enjoy the approximately 500 species of flora, as the paved paths are lined by various arrangements of shrubs and trees. Other narrower stone paths meander throughout the lush vegetation, while a diversity of unique bridges span the still creeks.
By far, the most special quality of the park is the Japanese Garden, which was originally created for the 1913 World’s Fair. Though most of the features were temporary, the garden wasn’t restored to its full splendor until 1994 with help of the Japanese Embassy. The picturesque and exquisitely planned terrain is filled with Japanese architecture and landscaping elements such as a “floating” rock path over the trickling waterfall. Wooden bridges and pavilions float effortlessly above the pond as their reflection flawlessly captures their cultural majesty.
The most prominent characteristic of Szczytnicki Park is Centennial Hall and its adjacent fountains. Completed the same year as the Japanese Garden, the coliseum dome is built of reinforced concrete using similar techniques to the Pantheon in Rome. The landmark glistens like a full pot of gold in the afternoon sun, and was established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.
The exhibition ground, located in front of this modernist structure, contains the Wrocław Fountain, which is surrounded by an ivy-covered pergola. The one-hectare fountain comes to life through animated daily performances coordinating lights with music. The show is available for viewing from May until the end of October from 10:00-22:00. The dazzling water show lasts from three and half to eighteen minutes including both classical and modern music. Friday and Saturday evenings offer the most spectacular shows with a large audience. During the winter months, the fountain is transformed into an ice skating rink.
The park also contains the St. John of Nepomuk Church, which was built completely of wood at the beginning of the 17th Century. In 1913, the church was moved from Kędzierzyn Koźle to a wooded alcove of the park and presently contains a bookstore and gallery. In stark contrast to the antiquated church is a tapering steel-spire monument that stands almost 100 meters tall. Built in 1948 to commemorate control over the “Regained Territories” after WWII, the spire remains a valuable architectural symbol of Wrocław.
Its English natural style, abundance of flora and fauna, and admired attractions make Szczytnicki Park a delightful destination, regardless of the time of year.