Centennial Hall in Wroclaw (2006)
Poland

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The Centennial Hall (Jahrhunderthalle in German and Hala Ludowa in Polish), a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in 1911-1913 by Max Berg, at the time municipal architect in Breslau, as the Polish city of Wrocław was called at the time, when it was part of Germany. 

The Centennial Hall, a multi-purpose recreational building, is a centrally-planned structure situated on the Exhibition Grounds. 

  • Deutsches Reich 1938. Centennial Hall in Wroclaw. Note that the city's name on the stamp is Breslau. 

Deutsches Reich 1938. Centennial Hall in Wroclaw. Note that the city's name on the stamp is Breslau.

Poland 1963. Souvenir sheets (imperforate) from the European Stamp Exhibition, Wroclaw. The Centennial Hall is shown in the bottom row, middle.  Green Print. Poland 1963. Souvenir sheets (imperforate) from the European Stamp Exhibition, Wroclaw. The Centennial Hall is shown in the bottom row, middle. Brown Print.

The structure of the Centennial Hall is a symmetrical quatrefoil form with a vast circular central space (65m diameter, 42m high) that can seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with a lantern in steel and glass. The windows are made of exotic hardwood and, in order to improve the acoustics, the walls are covered with an insulating layer of concrete mixed with wood or cork. The elevations have no decoration or ornament, but the exposed concrete texture is marked with the imprints of the wooden formwork. On the west side of the Centennial Hall is a monumental square modelled like an ancient forum. 

Poland 1963. Souvenir sheet from the European Stamp Exhibition in Wroclaw, featuring the City Arms, a silhouette of the Town Hall, and the Centennial Hall. Surcharge. Poland 2000. Souvenir sheet. Wroclaw Millennium 2000. Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Wroclaw. (City view of the year 1493 from the "Liber cronicarum" by Hartmann Schedel).

On its north side is the Four-Dome Pavilion designed by architect Hans Poelzig in 1912 to house an historical exhibition. In the northern section of the Exhibition Grounds, Poelzig designed a concrete pergola surrounding an artificial pond. Adjacent to the entrance is the office building of the company administrating the Exhibition Grounds (Breslauer Messe A.G.), built in 1937 to the design by Richard Konwiarz. A monumental gateway leading to the forum, is in the form of a colonnade with reinforced concrete columns, designed by Max Berg in 1924. The Centennial Hall is a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Poland (on this website). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing (Poland-Section) for further information on such properties. 

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Revised 21 aug 2006  
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