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Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Looking forward to meeting you on my blog in 2011:)
With Wroclaw in the grips of snowy winter, many people feel inclined to stay in their flats and see out the winter months in hibernation mode. Apart from being dull, such behaviour can lead to feelings of depression, very common in the dark winter months. However, this need not be the case! If food and drink is your thing then throw on some layers and head to Wroclaw’s centre for some culinary exploration.
It has often been said that good food has the ability to change our moods, with certain foods like chocolate even affecting hormone production. Apart from the physical effects of delicious grub we often feel a lot better after a decent hot meal. For those of you who are new to Wroclaw and haven’t yet had the joy of experiencing traditional Polish cooking, simply head to one of the city’s many restaurants and try hearty fare such as Bigos (cabbage and meat stew), Barszcz (beetroot soup) and Kluski (Silesian dumplings). It has to be said that Polish cuisine is rather heavy on the cabbage, the thought of which feels some with a certain dread. However, Polish cabbage dishes are generally made with a lot of care and preparation and are absolutely delicious. As the majority of side dishes and salads contain at least one kind of cabbage it is difficult to get along without trying this winter vegetable.
If you prefer the homemade touch, or are missing your national cuisine, there are plenty of places in Wroclaw to buy specialist fruit, vegetables, and spices. Make your way to one of Wroclaw’s large delicatessens, most of which sell ingredients for making Indian, Thai and Japanese cuisine, as well as certain elements for Mexican and Caribbean food. However, you will not find the same range of products as in the UK or Germany, for example. That means that you will have to improvise and make the best of what you’ve got, but what better way to while away a cold winter’s evening? If you want to cook up a delicious, spicy curry or anything that needs some serious spice, head to Hala Targowa, Wroclaw’s most famous indoor market. Here you can find some super spicy chilli peppers, such as Habaneros, at very reasonable prices. Chillies from supermarkets simply don’t compare to these small, powerful vegetables.
Finally, if you’re looking for a warm drink after a cold stroll around the Christmas market, try a tasty mulled wine or head into a bar for a warm beer. Most places have a variety of syrups to add to beer and if you have a particular favourite just ask! Again, warm beer may not be many people’s first choice of drink but during the freezing winter months it can really hit the spot and help to drive away the winter blues.
Panorama Racławicka in Wrocław is one of a few places in the world where one can admire the relic of the XIX century of mass culture. The huge painting (15 metres high and 114 metres wide) because of the special painting operations (special view) and technical (light, artificial land, dark, winding approach) takes a viewer to other reality and time. Panorama Racławicka is the first and only such a preserved painting. The author of Panorama was the famous Lviv painter Jan Styka who invited the well-known painter of battles Wojciech Kossak to the cooperation. They were also helped by: Ludwik Boller, Tadeusz Popiel, Zygmunt Rozwadowski, Teodor Axentowicz, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Wincenty Wodzinowski i Michał Sozański.
The authors of the idea wanted to commemorate the national tradition in the 100 year anniversary of Insurekcja Kościuszkowska (Kociuszko uprising) and the battle that happened on 4 April 1794 in Racławice won by the rebel army famous kosyniers led by Taduesz Kościuszko against the Russian troops commanded by general Tormasow. The National Exhibition that was organized in Lviv in 1894 was the great occasion to present the Styka’s painting. The special woven cloth was bought in Brussels and the iron construction of rotunda projected by Ludwik Ramułt – in Wien. The building of Rotunda that was located in Stryjski Park in Lviv was ready in July 1893. The huge painting was made in 9 months, between August 1893 and May 1894. The unveiling celebration of Panorama Racławicka took place on 5 June 1894.
After the Second World War, the painting together with Ossolineum collections got to Wroclaw in 1946. The special social committees tried to convince the authorities to maintain and display the painting. The expectations of a lot of Poles came true after August 1980. The second unveiling of Panorama was on14 June 1985. It became a great attraction of Wrocław.
Among the numerous guests that saw Panorama Racławicka there were: the pope John Paul II, the queen Beatrix and the Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz.