Excerpt from the new book about visiting Poland and The Baltics.
Wroclaw is not pronounced Rock-Law, but Vrots-wahf. This is Poland’s 4th-largest city. Being so close to Germany, whether it liked it or not, Wroclaw was heavily involved in WWII especially when the Wehrmacht was besieged by the Red Army in February 1945. 30% of the pre-war population of 600,000 were killed and 75% of the city was razed to the ground during the fighting. It was well into the 1980s before the city was fully restored and the population superseded the pre-war figure.
The Old Town Hall on the south-east of the main square was started in 1327 and finished in 1504 though the 66-metre high tower took another 100 years to complete. As you would expect the architectural styles range from Early-Gothic to Renaissance. The clock is truly astronomical as it shows not only the time, but the phases of the moon. The Hansel and Gretel houses in the North-West corner of the square are connected by a Baroque archway from 1728, which used to lead to the graveyard of the Church of St Elizabeth. This explains the Latin motto on the arch – Death is the gateway to life.