Wrocław – the convent of the sisters of Notre Dame as the remains of the northern part of bygone palace
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Wrocław- the Convent of the School Sisters of Notre Dame as the remains of the northern part of bygone Palace

From the first half of the 10th century there was a grad (a settlement) – on Ostrów Tumski, an island on the river Oder. It was remodeled many times and it later formed a site for the castellanies. Finally it became a residence for the dukes of Wroclaw. In the 12th/ 13th century it was gradually reshaped into a castle (first mentioned as a brick building in 1239).

As only minor, inconclusive remains of the original settlement are preserved, it cannot be determined who was the founder of it (most probably Boleslaus the Tall or Henry the Bearded) and what buildings were a part of it. Some remains of an imposing structure with 18 sides (a donjon or a chapel), an octagonal chapel with apses, residential buildings (of the palace or monastery) and outhouses have been discovered.

Duke Henry III the White enclosed the castle with a brick walls and four towers, two of which were gate towers (a mention of their construction exists, dating from 1257). A reconstruction in the Gothic style was carried out by Henry IV Probus who ruled from 1270 to 1290. An octagonal chapel, with two buildings attached on each side was built in place of the polygonal structure. In the second half of the 1280s a new chapel of Saint Martin and another wing of the palace were built. In this way the biggest residential complex in the Polish terrains at the time was created, which reflected the royal aspirations of Henry IV. His successors, however, moved to the left bank of the river Oder, where a new castle was built.

From 1310 the castle on Ostrów Tumski was gradually handed over to the Church - the chapter of the Holy Cross and the bishopric. The formal handover took place in 1439, but already in 13 49 the castle premises had been divided into segments for the seven canonical curias by railings. In the 15th century the defense walls were demolished, but the group of curias survived until 1810 (changing its form over the course of time). A significant reconstruction was carried out after the secularization of the church estates. The last remaining part of the defense wall along with the last (prison) tower were demolished. A Masonic lodge(1815), a pediatric hospital (later the monastery school of Saint Anne) and other buildings were erected. In 1885 Św. Marcin street was built. During the siege of 1945 the majority of the buildings were destroyed and only two of them have been rebuilt, presently containing the convents and institutions managed by the Sisters of the Holy Family in Nazareth and the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Archaeological research was carried out there several times to discover the layout of the medieval remains, but archeological clues remained elusive, hidden under the ground or under the existing buildings.

Currently, the only remaining castle building is the church of Saint Martin (on an octagonal plan with an elongated chance; and notable buttresses), reconstructed in a different shape after the last war. The remains of the wall which went along the river Oder together with the remnants of the palace structure from the late 13th century can be seen. The most important part of the castle - the intriguing foundations of the 18-sided structure and the attached building - are hidden in the basements and the ground floor (partly exposed) of the convent of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Recently archaeological research has been undertaken on the terrain of the convent in preparation for the remodeling of the structure and the reorganization of the layout of the garden (‘The garden of Ecological Education and Didactics’). As a result it should be possible in the future to admire much of the already known (and maybe also some newly discovered) remains of the Romanesque and Gothic residence of the Piasts of Wrocław.


Contact: The Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

How to get there: One needs to reach the vicinity of Ostrów Tumski or Ostrów Piaskowy and continue on foot.

Visiting:  The building  is not available for tourists at the moment.

Fixed and regular events in the site: none.

Car parking: there is a car park on Frycza Modrzewskiego street or Sienkiewicza street.


Places to eat:

Restauracja „Akropol” Na Solnym

pl. Solny 18/19, 50-063 Wrocław

tel. 71 788-81-42


There is no e-mail address available.


Restauracja „Pod Złotym Psem”

Rynek 41, 50-116 Wrocław

tel. 71 372-37-60, 71342-97-89


e-mail: zloty pies@onet.pl, pj56@wp.pl


Restauracja „Casablanca“

ul. Włodkowica 8a, 50-072 Wrocław

tel. 663-765-135


e-mail: casablancawroclaw@gmail.com



Restauracja „Piramida”

ul. Wita Stwosza 12, 50-148 Wrocław

tel. 71 344-58-44

There is no website available

There is no e-mail address available



Hotel Tumski

ul. Wyspa Słodowa 10, 50-266 Wrocław

tel. 71 322-60-88/89


e-mail: hotel@hotel-tumski.com.pl


Qubus Hotel Wrocław

ul. św. Marii Magdaleny 2, 50-103 Wrocław

tel.  71 797-98-00, 71782-87-65


e-mail: rezerwacja@qubushotel.com, wrocław@qubushotel.com


Hostel Cinema

ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 17, 50-077, Wrocław

tel. 71 795-77-55, 603-257-632


e-mail: hostelcinema@o2.pl


Hotel Podróżnik

ul. Sucha 1, 50-086 Wrocław

tel./fax 71 373-28-45


e-mail: tyrna.pilch@neostrada.pl


Schronisko Młodzieżowe „Na Wyspie”

ul. Wyspa Słodowa 10, 50-266 Wrocław

tel. 71 322-11-50, fax 71 322-61-13


e-mail: schronisko@hotel-tumski.com.pl


Tourist information office:

Centrum Informacji Turystycznej The Meeting Point

Rynek 14, 50 – 101 Wrocław

tel. 71 344-31-11/12


e-mail: info@itwroclaw.pl