Centennial Hall

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Centennial Hall
Wroclaw - Jahrhunderthalle5.jpg
Centennial Hall after renovation in 2009
Former namesHala Ludowa
Location Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Coordinates 51°06′25″N17°04′38″E / 51.10694°N 17.07722°E / 51.10694; 17.07722 Coordinates: 51°06′25″N17°04′38″E / 51.10694°N 17.07722°E / 51.10694; 17.07722
OperatorCity Hall Company Ltd. of Wrocław
Capacity Boxing: 11,000
Handball: 8,500
Basketball: 10,000
Volleyball: 10,000
Broke ground1911
Opened20 May 1913
Architect Max Berg
Main contractors Dyckerhoff & Widmann AG (Dywidag)
Śląsk Wrocław (Major attendance games)
Official nameCentennial Hall in Wrocław
Criteriai, ii, iv
Designated 2006 (30th session)
Reference no. 1165
State PartyPoland
Region Europe and North America

The Centennial Hall (Polish : Hala Stulecia; German : Jahrhunderthalle), formerly named Hala Ludowa ("People's Hall"), is a historic building in Wrocław, Poland. It was constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg in 1911–1913, when the city was part of the German Empire. Max Berg designed Centennial Hall to serve as a multifunctional structure to host "exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and opera performances, and sporting events." [1]

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Wrocław City in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of the Wrocław agglomeration.


The building and surroundings is frequently visited by tourists and the local populace. It lies close to other popular tourist attractions, such as the Wrocław Zoo, the Japanese Garden, and the Pergola with its Multimedia Fountain.

Pergola outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway

A pergola is an outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. The origin of the word is the Late Latin pergula, referring to a projecting eave. As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions. They are different from green tunnels, with a green tunnel being a type of road under a canopy of trees.

Wrocław Fountain

The Wrocław FountainWrocław Multimedia Fountain, — Polish: Wrocławska Fontanna, is a multimedia musical fountain and ornamental pond in Wrocław, of western Poland. The fountain runs only during the summer season - from the last weekend of April or the first weekend of May to late October.

As an early landmark of reinforced concrete architecture, the building became one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments ( Pomnik historii ), as designated April 20, 2005, together with the Four Domes Pavilion, the Pergola, and the Iglica. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland. It was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

Reinforced concrete composite building material

Reinforced concrete (RC) (also called reinforced cement concrete or RCC) is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility. The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and/or structural failure. Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed, so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads. In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning.

Iglica is a needle-like monument in Wrocław, Poland. It was built in 1948 and was 106 metres tall. Today, after renovation, the top ten metres have been removed and it is now 96 metres tall.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

The hall continues to be in active use for sporting events and concerts.


It was in the Silesian capital of Breslau on 10 March 1813 where King Frederick William III of Prussia called upon the Prussian and German people in his proclamation An Mein Volk ("To My People") to rise up against Napoleon's occupation. Besides, in this proclamation king Frederick created the Iron Cross award, which later became famous German military honour and symbol. In October of that year, at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was defeated.

Silesia Historical region

Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is about 40,000 km2 (15,444 sq mi), and its population about 8,000,000. Silesia is located along the Oder River. It consists of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia.

Frederick William III of Prussia King of Prussia

Frederick William III was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He ruled Prussia during the difficult times of the Napoleonic Wars and the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Steering a careful course between France and her enemies, after a major military defeat in 1806, he eventually and reluctantly joined the coalition against Napoleon in the Befreiungskriege. Following Napoleon's defeat he was King of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna, which assembled to settle the political questions arising from the new, post-Napoleonic order in Europe. He was determined to unify the Protestant churches, to homogenize their liturgy, their organization and even their architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of Churches.

An Mein Volk

The proclamation An Mein Volk was issued by King Frederick William III of Prussia on 17 March 1813 in Breslau. Addressed to his subjects, Preußen und Deutsche, it appealed for their support in the struggle against Napoleon. Hostilities had been declared the day before.

The opening of the hall was part of the celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle, hence the name. Breslau's municipal authorities had vainly awaited state funding and ultimately had to defray the enormous costs out of their own pockets. The landscaping and buildings surrounding the hall were laid out by Hans Poelzig were opened on 20 May 1913 in the presence of Crown Prince William of Hohenzollern. The grounds include a huge pond with fountains enclosed by a huge concrete pergola in the form of half an ellipse. Beyond this, to the north, a Japanese garden was created. The Silesian author Gerhart Hauptmann had specially prepared a play Festspiel in deutschen Reimen, however the mise-en-scène by Max Reinhardt was suspended by national-conservative circles for its antimilitaristic tendencies.

Hans Poelzig German architect

Hans Poelzig was a German architect, painter and set designer.

Japanese garden type of traditional garden

Japanese gardens are traditional gardens whose designs are accompanied by Japanese aesthetic and philosophical ideas, avoid artificial ornamentation, and highlight the natural landscape. Plants and worn, aged materials are generally used by Japanese garden designers to suggest an ancient and faraway natural landscape, and to express the fragility of existence as well as time's unstoppable advance.

Gerhart Hauptmann German dramatist who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1912

Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann was a German dramatist and novelist. He is counted among the most important promoters of literary naturalism, though he integrated other styles into his work as well. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1912.

After the memorial events, the building served as multi-purpose recreational building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds, previously used for horse racing. It was largely spared from the devastation during the WW II (Siege of Breslau). After the war, when the city (together with most of historical Silesia) had become part of the Republic of Poland according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, the hall was renamed Hala Ludowa ("People's Hall") by the communist authorities. In 1948, a 106 m (348 ft) high needle-like metal sculpture called Iglica was set up in front of it. The hall was extensively renovated in 1997 and in 2010. Recently the Polish translation of the original German name, Hala Stulecia, became official.

Centennial Hall hosted EuroBasket 1963 and a preliminary round group of the EuroBasket 2009 tournament. [2]

Following the renovation in 2009–11, the arena can now hold 10,000 people.


The interior of the hall Hala Stulecia wnetrze pano2.jpg
The interior of the hall

The cupola modeled on the Festhalle Frankfurt was made of reinforced concrete, and with an inner diameter of 69 m (226 ft) and 42 m (138 ft) high it was the largest building of its kind at the time of construction. The symmetrical quatrefoil shape with a large circular central space seats 7,000 persons. The dome itself is 23 m (75 ft) high, made of steel and glass. The Jahrhunderthalle became a key reference for the development of reinforced concrete structures in the 20th century.

At the centre of the structure a superior dome with lantern is situated. Looking from the inside, there is a clearly visible pattern of the Iron Cross [3] at the top of the dome; for this reason the centre of the structure was shrouded during the Communist era in Poland. [4]

The hall was originally provided with a Sauer pipe organ built by Walcker Orgelbau, which then, with 15,133 pipes and 200 stops, ranked as the world's largest. On 24 September 1913, Karl Straube was the first to play it, performing Max Reger's Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue , Op. 127, specially composed to celebrate the occasion. Most parts of the organ were transferred to the rebuilt Wrocław Cathedral after World War II.


The hall lies east of the city centre, but can easily be reached by tram or bus.

The hall is open daily to visitors for a small entrance fee. There are several programs including the Hall, Discovery Center and videomapping and the Plastic Panorama of Old Lviv.

Related Research Articles

Silesian Voivodeship Voivodeship in Poland

Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province, German: Woiwodschaft Schlesien, Czech: Slezské vojvodství) is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centered on the historic region known as Upper Silesia, with Katowice serving as its capital.

Churches of Peace wooden church

The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica in Silesia were named after the Peace of Westphalia of 1648.

University of Wrocław Polish university

The University of Wrocław is a public research university located in Wrocław, Poland. The University of Wrocław was founded in 1945, replacing the previous German University of Breslau. Following the territorial changes of Poland's borders, academics primarily from the Jan Kazimierz University of Lwów restored the university building heavily damaged and split as a result of the Battle of Breslau (1945). Nowadays it is one of the most prominent educational institutions in the region.

Max Berg German architect

Max Berg was a German architect and urban planner.

Silesians inhabitants of the Silesia region

Silesians is a geographical term for the inhabitants of Silesia, a historical region in Central Europe divided by the current national boundaries of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Royal Palace, Wrocław palace

The Royal Palace is a palace in Wrocław, Poland. Originally a palace of the Prussian monarchy, it now houses the city museum.

Centennial Hall may refer to:

Wrocław has long been the largest and culturally dominant city in Silesia, and is today the capital of Poland's Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

Wielka Sowa mountain

Wielka Sowa with a height of 1,014.8 metres (3,329 ft) is the highest peak of the Owl Mountains, a range of the Central Sudetes. The mountain is located in Dzierżoniów County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.

Wrocław Główny railway station railway station in Wrocław, Poland

Wrocław Główny is the largest and most important passenger station of the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław. Built in the mid-19th century near the centre of the city, until 1945 it was known as Breslau Hauptbahnhof. It also is the largest railway station of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, located at the junction of several important routes.

Wrocław Market Hall

Wrocław Market Hall was designed by Richard Plüddemann and built between 1906-08 as the Breslauer Markthalle Nr 1, when the city was part of Germany. It is situated by Ulica Piaskowa (Sandstraße), at the junction of Plac Nankiera (Ritterplatz) and Ulica Sw. Ducha (Heiligegeiststraße) close to Market Square, Wrocław and oldest districts of Wrocław. The Hall was completed along with similar building at Ulica Kolejowa. Both buildings were created in order to organize street trading in the city center. Once completed, all street markets have been moved into the newly opened halls.

Wrocław exhibition ground

Wrocław Exhibition Grounds are located in eastern part of the city close to the zoological garden. Construction works took place in years 1911-1913 according to the project of Max Berg and Hans Poelzig.

National Museum, Wrocław National museum in Wrocław, Poland

The National Museum in Wrocław, established 28 March 1947 and officially inaugurated on 11 July 1948, is one of Poland's main branches of the National Museum system. It holds one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the country.

Wrocław Opera opera house in Wrocław, Poland

The Wrocław Opera is an opera company and opera house in Wrocław, Poland. The opera house was opened in 1841 and up to 1945 was known as the Breslau Opera.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Wrocław, Poland.

Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue organ composition by Max Reger, 1913

Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue in E minor, Op. 127, is an extended composition for organ by Max Reger, composed in 1913 and dedicated to Karl Straube who played the premiere in Breslau on 24 September. It was published in November that year in Berlin by Bote & Bock.


  1. Cervinkova, Hana; Golden, Julia (2014). Gonzalez, ed. "Centennial Hall in Wroclaw: Re-Envisioning A Protected Urban Landscape Against the Backdrop of Changing European Borders and Identities". Landscape Anthropology in European Protected Areas (Valencia, Spain).
  2. Kibice wywalczyli nam polskie mecze, 15 January 2007
  3. Cf. a photo
  4. Disputed Memory: Emotions and Memory Politics in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe Front Cover Tea Sindbæk Andersen, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa
Preceded by
Belgrade Fair
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Palace of Sports
of the Central Lenin Stadium