#PlacesthatMatter: Wroclaw, Poland
There is a time in everyone’s life when everything is perfect: in winter, under a glassy sky, walking together along the banks of the River Oder whose waters reflected the two bell towers of St John’s Cathedral, in Ostrów Tumski the oldest part of Wroclaw, the island in the middle of our river. Romantic, certainly, but many of us have stories full of romanticism, challenges, exaggeration.
In our factory, years ago, a young man challenged Soviet power in the name of Solidarność, and today a young woman has become an Ironwoman, running 42 km in 9 hours 56 minutes, cycling 180 km, and swimming nearly 4 km. Confidence and an iron will. Very Whirlpool style.
The name of our town appears for the first time in the year one thousand. It seemed as if the world was about to collapse, but we carried on. We have become one of the most important commercial hubs in Silesia, we joined the Hanseatic League, we built that masterpiece of urban architecture that is Rynek, a square like no other in Europe, we became German, Prussian, and German again, then we became Polish in the Soviet Empire, and finally we became just Polish.
Polar, our factory, was created thirty years ago. Refrigerators, of course. Whirlpool arrived in 2002 and the temperature changed, not only because we started producing ovens. Another thaw, a new sense of ease, new career opportunities. Everything more flowing, everything new. Not the river though: that has remained the same, its waters keep flowing under the bridges and in winter, at night, the ice shines like the sky.