Hall of the Century, why is it worth visiting?
The Centennial Hall was designed by Max Berg – a famous architect. The construction lasted from 1911-1913, and after completing the project inside a huge exhibition was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon near Leipzig. Around the hall, the area is intended for exhibition and recreation areas. The developing city needed a large, characteristic structure capable of housing a significant number of exhibitors and visitors.
The creation of the hall, the most famous work of Wrocław modernism, was associated with the centenary of the release in Wroclaw by Frederick William III of the appeal of March 17, 1813, calling for general resistance against Napoleon. This ceremony was decided to celebrate with exceptional momentum and class. To this end, a world exhibition was organized to commemorate these events. For this purpose, the city has developed areas located on the edge of the Szczytnicki Park, close to the Wrocław Zoological Garden founded about 40 years earlier and enjoying increasing popularity. Of the 43 submitted designs, the design of the Wrocław city architect Max Berg, who proposed a huge exhibition hall of unprecedented design, was accepted. Despite the original, but very controversial design of the hall and the high estimated costs of its construction, on June 28, 1911 he obtained a formal building permit.
At the time of construction, the hall was an exceptional object, having the reinforced concrete covering with the largest span in the world – only a few steel constructions reached larger sizes at that time. The hall is 42 m high and the dome covering it is 67 m in diameter. The maximum width of the interior of the hall is 95 meters, and the available area is 14.0 thousand. m². In addition to the central hall in the building, 56 other exhibition rooms are planned, spacious lobbies encircling the main hall, and the whole was calculated for 10,000 people.
In 2006, Hala Stulecia was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which is a unique tribute to this place. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was founded on November 16, 1945. This organization was established to protect the world’s largest class monuments or unique creations of nature. The objects inscribed on the UNESCO list are monuments that are unique to all humanity and deserve special protection.
The dynamic construction of Hala Stulecia was a great technological undertaking, an example of the highest engineering skill and craft proficiency. The bold structural and organizational solutions used have become a model for other buildings of this type.
The story of an amazing place
The history of Hala Stulecia is inseparably connected with the history of Wrocław and the whole region. Particularly important events and celebrations took place there, which had an impact on the current nature of the city.
The hall survived World War II without major losses. The exhibition grounds around the hall and it itself was used for the first time after the war on a larger scale from July to September 1948 at the Exhibition of Regained Territories and during the accompanying World Congress of Intellectuals in Peace Defense (August 25-28).
In the People’s Republic of Poland, no major works were carried out that would significantly change its character. . It served as a place for concerts, sporting events, and the largest cinema in the city was also operating in the hall. Only the urban context of the hall has changed quite significantly, by cutting off the southern part of the exhibition grounds. in 1948 a Spire was built in the square in front of the entrance.
1990s and the present day
After 1989 some changes were made in the hall, the general renovation there lasting several months in 1997 included such changes as plastic window blinds, notice boards, sound system, and above all lowering the floor level by about 1 m and building sliding stands and folding pitches (enables changing the purpose of the hall depending on current sports or exhibition needs.On May 31, 1997, during his sixth visit to Poland, John Paul II led an ecumenical prayer in the hall as part of the Eucharistic congress.
Renovation of Hala Stulecia was carried out in the years 2009-2011
The façade regained its pre-war yellow-sand color. Replacing the windows turned out to be the biggest problem. Max Berg used iron mahogany imported specifically from Australia in his project. Today this species of tree does not occur, so at the request of the conservator of monuments, teak tree was used. This resulted in increased repair costs and extended repair time.
The next stage was the construction of a new Regional Business Tourism Center. The construction in the historic site was possible thanks to the preserved and unrealized expansion plans by Max Berg. The official opening took place on September 17, 2010. The last planned stage was the renovation of the facade inside the building. It was also planned to increase the capacity of the hall for the audience during sports competitions
In 2014 volleyball championships were held here.
Despite numerous historical turmoil, the hall did not change its original character.