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Wroclaw - the City of Parks
Wroclaw, with 25 square meters of green area per person, is said to be the greenest city of Poland. The green areas cover approximately 5,000 hectares, which makes up about 17 % of the total city area. The parks are among the largest of them.
The green areas in the centre which are popular with strollers are the Old Town Promenades. In the past there used to be city fortifications. Nowadays there are beautifully wooded paths along the city moat and the Oder river.However, it is not only the city centre that abounds in green spaces. Larger areas like parks are situated further from the centre.
One of the oldest and the most beautiful parks in Wroclaw is Szczytnicki Park.
It covers the area of about 100 ha and was created in the place of a forest. In 1783 Prince Frederick Louis Hohenlohe-Enelfingen bought the forest from the city authorities and turned it into one of the first English-style landscape gardens in Europe. The park was not only rich in various species of plants, but there were replicas of ancient sculptures in the park as well. In the years to follow the park was being neglected. In 1854 it was bought back by the city authorities and made bigger by adding the surrounding areas. The park was redesigned in 1862. There are rare species of plants brought from various parts of the globe. The park is a popular leisure destination for people of Wroclaw and for tourists alike, especially in spring and summer. The part of the park which is the most frequently visited is the Japanese Garden. The other landmarks in the park include a 16th/17 th century wooden church, the Centennial Hall, a pond with benches and a pergola around.
Southern Park (Park Południowy) covers the area of 27 ha. It was set up in the English landscape style in 1882-1890 as a gift from J.Schottlander,the landowner, to Wroclaw. Though the park is not as big as Szczytnicki Park, it is equally popular with the inhabitants of Wroclaw. In the middle of the park there is a pond with ducks and swans on. Nearby there is also a covered bandstand where numerous musical events are held. Another attraction is the 4-meter-high Chopin monument cast in bronze. The park abounds in benches where one can relax admiring the rare species of plants growing in the park.
Eastern Park (Park Wschodni) designed in the 1920s covers the area of 41 ha. It is situated in the forks of the Upper and Lower Olawa rivers, which is reflected in the character of the park. Thus, the park abounds in ponds, old trees, meadows and footbridges. Though the park was damaged during the flood of 1997, it has been restored since then.
Western Park (Park Zachodni) situated in the western part of the city has an area of approximately 75 ha. The park abounds in old trees which are home to birds and squirrels. The paths are lined with benches for strollers to sit on and relax. The edge of the park in Lotnicza Street is bordered by the Jewish Cemetery.There is also a WW I infantry bunker.
There are also other parks in Wroclaw, however, only the major ones have been mentioned above. The others, though smaller, are perfect recreation sites as well.