Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall
Wrocław - Jahrhunderthalle5.jpg
Centennial Hall after renovation in 2009
Former namesHala Ludowa
LocationWrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Coordinates51°06′25″N 17°04′38″E / 51°06′25″N 17°04′38″E / 51.10694; 17.07722
OperatorCity Hall Company Ltd. of Wrocław
CapacityBoxing: 11,000
Handball: 8,500
Basketball: 10,000
Volleyball: 10,000
Broke ground1911
Opened20 May 1913
ArchitectMax Berg
Main contractorsDyckerhoff & Widmann AG (Dywidag)
Śląsk Wrocław (Major attendance games)
Official nameCentennial Hall in Wrocław
Criteriai, ii, iv
Designated2006 (30th 1165
State PartyPoland
RegionEurope and North America

The Centennial Hall (Polish: Hala Stulecia; German: Jahrhunderthalle), formerly named Hala Ludowa ("People's Hall"), is a historic building in Wrocław, Poland. It was constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg in 1911–1913, when the city was part of the German Empire. Max Berg designed Centennial Hall to serve as a multifunctional structure to host "exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and opera performances, and sporting events."[1] The hall continues to be used for sporting events and concerts.

As an early landmark of reinforced concrete architecture, the building became one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated April 20, 2005, together with the Four Domes Pavilion, the Pergola, and the Iglica. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland. It was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.


It was in the Silesian capital of Breslau on 10 March 1813 where King Frederick William III of Prussia called upon the Prussian and German people in his proclamation An Mein Volk ("To My People") to rise up against Napoleon's occupation. Besides, in this proclamation king Frederick created the Iron Cross award, which later became famous German military honour and symbol. In October of that year, at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was defeated.

The opening of the hall was part of the celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle, hence the name. Breslau's municipal authorities had vainly awaited state funding and ultimately had to defray the enormous costs out of their own pockets. The landscaping and buildings surrounding the hall were laid out by Hans Poelzig were opened on 20 May 1913 in the presence of Crown Prince William of Hohenzollern. The grounds include a huge pond with fountains enclosed by a huge concrete pergola in the form of half an ellipse. Beyond this, to the north, a Japanese garden was created. The Silesian author Gerhart Hauptmann had specially prepared a play Festspiel in deutschen Reimen, however the mise-en-scène by Max Reinhardt was suspended by national-conservative circles for its antimilitaristic tendencies.

After the memorial events, the building served as multi-purpose recreational building, situated in the Exhibition Grounds, previously used for horse racing. It was largely spared from the devastation during the WW II (Siege of Breslau). After the war, when the city (together with most of historical Silesia) had become part of the Republic of Poland according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, the hall was renamed Hala Ludowa ("People's Hall") by the communist authorities. In 1948, a 106 m (348 ft) high needle-like metal sculpture called Iglica was set up in front of it. The hall was extensively renovated in 1997 and in 2010. Recently the Polish translation of the original German name, Hala Stulecia, became official.

Centennial Hall hosted EuroBasket 1963 and a preliminary round group of the EuroBasket 2009 tournament.[2]

Following the renovation in 2009–11, the arena can now hold 10,000 people. In october 2014, the building received a $200,000 renovation grant from the Getty Foundation, as part of the Keeping It Modern grant program that was created a month earlier by the American foundation.[3]

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