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Słodowa Island is a small island on the Odra river in Stare Miasto district and downtown water junction, in the neighborhood of Bielarska Island and Młyńska Island that are a bit smaller than Słodowa. Słodowa Island is divided from Młyńska Island by a short watercourse and it is connected with this island through Słodowy Bridge and Bielarska Island is connected through 20 meter long Saint Klara Brigde that is located above the canal that is a remnant of two mills. The first of them belonged to the monastery of Poor Clares, and the second one to Franciscans of Saint Jacob. The first one was built in 1242 and the second in 1275. After some time the second one also became the property of Poor Clares so they were called Saint Clare’s mills.
Both islands were originally called Bielarska Tylna and Bielarska Przednia (nowadays Słodowa). The names came from the painter canvas’ guild that worked there. The ground of the island belonged to Poor Clares since the Middle Ages, when they stayed outside the city walls, through the XVIIIth century’s rebuilding of fortifications on the right edge of the Odra River, till the 1807-1810 when the fortifications were demolished and the island changed the owner for the city hall. Then there were built two iron bridges between the islands and the residential buildings on them.
In the first part of the XXth century there was built the route that joined two edges of the Odra River. In the Second World War during the siege all buildings were destroyed; only the mills and few other buildings were saved.
Saint Clara’s mills existed till 1975, when they were destroyed by sappers. It was a decision of president Marian Czuliński and was criticized by all citizens and people of culture inter alia Jerzy Waldorff, architects, urbanites and restorers especially because one year before there had been introduced a programme that protected monuments. The mills weren’t dangerous and after rebuilding they could have been a great example of the Middle Age monuments.
The first motif called “Saints and Sinners” will present the music of Middle Ages. One of its elements will be telling the story – Choir of Węgajta Theater will play the Middle Ages’ liturgical drama “Ludus Danielis”. The organizer will also guest Benjamin Bagby who will take the role of bard in his version of “Beowulf”epic. The music tradition of courts will be presented by Orlando Consort.
The second and the most expanded part of the Festival will be connected with the motif that presents a quotation from the Middle Ages’ Gregorian hymn “Media vita in morte sumus” (ang. Living we are in death). It will begin with the Symphony no. 8 of Krzysztof Penderecki “Pieśni przemijania”. During the festival organizers want to commemorate the great Polish composer Henryk Michał Górecki who died in 2010 and to present his work “Symfonia pieśni żałośnych”.
The 2011 year is the time of the 10th anniversary of the worst events that happened in New York. The anniversary will be commemorated by Wroclaw’s Festival Orchestra that will present the work of Herbert Howells, Samuel Barbera and amazing “Symfonia nr 1” of Elgar. This new orchestra will be directed by the artistic director of the Festival – Paul McCreesh and will consist of the most talented great Polish musicians and international stars who will play as guests.
During the festival there will be the series of different, late night concerts that will present recitals in the most beautiful Wroclaw’s churches. Nicholas Daniel and Pieter Wispelwey will play the work of Britten, Rachel Podger will present Bach’s works and Henninga Kraggeruda will present the work of Ysaÿe. Gustav Leondhardt, a legendary harpsichordist, will be the next famous guest of the festival.
Source: Wratislavia Cantans
Bolesław Chrobry called saint Adalbert, the bishop from Czech, to come and carry out missionary works among Prussian’s pagans. When he was on the way he heard that in a forest of Silesia there were hidden groups of pagans and missions didn’t know their existence. He decided to convert them into Christianity.
Among forests, on a huge glade and very close to cottages, he stood in front of men and women. He started preaching about Christianity and against pagans practices. They were listening to him with disbelief. They were living in peace, they didn’t hurt anyone, forest and land gave them everything and they didn’t want to change it.
Saint Adalbert was tired after preaching and he came down from a stone that he had been standing on. Then the scream of amazement came from the mouths of pagans. Those, who were listening so indifferently, came closer to look at the foot of the bishop that were left clearly in the stone.
This stone might have been located in Opole, but then it was transported to Wroclaw. Since then it was in the south part of the Cathedral and above it there was the 17th century’s painting that presented saint Adalbert who was standing and holding his cut head in his hands. Nowadays the stone is in the Archdiocese Museum in Wroclaw.