A Day In Wroclaw’s Old Town

We’re in Wroclaw for the week for the Internacia Junulara Kongreso (the Esperanto International Youth Congress). As the conference doesn’t start until tomorrow, we used our day off to explore some of Wroclaw’s beautiful architecture in the city’s Old Town sector.

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A clock tower in Old Town’s main square

It was a fun and relaxing day spent walking along Old Town’s colorful streets. We finally had our first real Polish meal when we stopped for lunch (due to our traveling schedule, up until this point, we had been surviving on McDonald’s, street kebabs, and instant mashed potatoes). Bri tried a delicious Polish take on borscht with dumplings, with a rich, tarragon spiced broth, and Angelica tried the cabbage and mushroom croquettes. 

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Out most interesting find today was Saint Elizabeth’s Church of the Catholic Third Order of Saint Francis. Beautiful on the outside, with intricate Gothic details and a red brick exterior, the church was even more interesting inside.

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A niche on the outside wall of the Saint Elizabeth Church

The church consisted of a main hall and a series of alcoves, each featuring their own stained glass window. The most interesting of these alcoves was dedicated to Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski, the patron saint of exiles to Siberia. Born Jozef Kalinowski, the Discalced Carmelite Friar followed a winding career path that stretched from army service to engineering, until eventually running afoul with the Russian imperial authorities, at which point he was exiled to Siberia.


A stained glass portrait of St. Kalinowski, surrounded by images referencing the Siberian exiles

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The altar at the front of the church

The other alcoves featured similarly beautiful stained glass, although we can’t say to whom or what they were dedicated, as only St. Kalinowski’s portrait came with an English description.


Esperanto word of the day: dankon, thank you.
“I accidentally told that Polish-speaking waiter dankon.”
“Eh, he probably assumed you were German.”


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