Declared a fortress by a frightened German command during the final throes of World War II, some of Wroclaw’s ancient and graceful buildings were razed to build an airport and a barrier wall. The population was first decimated by ethnic cleansing then put to work them bombed. After two thirds of the city was destroyed and the German commanders had fled and the city finally fell after a three month siege, it was the last of the East German occupied cities to fall. Since then many of the city’s historical buildings and monuments have been rebuilt or restored in the original Prussian, Bohemian, Gothic, Baroque and Austrian styles, including the Hala Ludowa (People’s Hall) by Max Berg.
Wroclaw makes a great base for exploring Silesia - there are dozens of romantic and little visited castles and palaces within an hour's drive of the city.