The pride of Wroclaw at the height of 122 metres
The Rędzin Bridge is one of the most attractive sites in Wroclaw. It catches your eye from far away. It is the largest river crossing in Poland: - it is 1742-metres long (30 metres longer than the Solidarity Bridge (Most Solidarności) over the Vistula River in Plock) and the pylon on which it is suspended is 122-metres high (8 metres higher than the viewing terrace of the Palace of Culture and Science - Pałac Kultury i Nauki). The construction of the Rędzin Bridge took five years and was completed in August 2011; it costs PLN 576 million.
The chief construction engineer of the Rędzin Bridge is Jan Biliszczuk, a professor at the Wroclaw University of Technology.
The pylon is H-shaped. The construction employs an original solution: the two multi-lane routes are attached separately to the arms of the pylon positioned on an isle in the Oder River.
New techniques were also employed during its constructions – subsequent sections of the bridge were "glued" to the parts which had been installed earlier: the bridge would reach forward from the bank over the water.
The Rędzin Bridge is part of the Wroclaw Motorway Ring Road (Autostradowa Obwodnica Wrocławia).
Modernity from before 100 years ago
The Grunwald Bridge (Most Grunwaldzki) on a winter evening [photo: Rafał Makieła]
The Grunwald Bridge is the most famous bridge in Wroclaw. It was constructed in years 1908-1910 according to a design by Richard Plüddemann, the then city planner in Wroclaw.
During its construction new technology was employed – the span is attached with steel straps to 20-metre brick pylons standing at the river banks. The ceremonial opening of the Imperial Bridge, as it was named, was attended by the Wilhelm II, the Emperor of Germany then. After World War I it was named the Freedom Bridge, but after several years it was renamed the Imperial Bridge again.
In spring 1945 it suffered severe damage. When an airport was being built and tens of townhouses were demolished in the beleaguered Wroclaw at the present Grunwald Square (Plac Grunwaldzki), the pylons were considered too high and hindrance for air plane take-off and landing. Therefore the crowning pinnacles were dismounted. Then the bridge was destroyed further and was not fit for use. Repairs took over two years. After World War II, the crossing was named Grunwald Bridge (Most Grunwaldzki).
The bridge is 112.5-metres long and 18-metres wide.
Bridges in Wroclaw
According to data from before World War II, Wroclaw had 303 bridges; today there are 100 bridges and 33 gangways. Unique on a Polish and European scale, the number of crossings is due to the location of the city. Wroclaw is crossed by the rivers of Oder, Ślęza, Widawa, Bystrzyca, Dobra and a dozen or so streams. Depending on the water level there are up to 25 islands in the city boundaries.
Besides the Grunwald and Rędzin Bridges, the following bridges are also worthwhile to see: Zoo Bridge (Most Zwierzyniecki), Tumski Bridge (Most Tumski leading to Ostrów Tumski), Sand Bridge (Most Piaskowy), Mill Bridges (Mosty Młyńskie), Freedom Bridge (Most Pokoju), Szczytniki Bridge (Most Szczytnicki), Jagiellonian Bridges (Mosty Jagiellońskie), Warsaw Bridges (Mosty Warszawskie), Pomeranian Bridge (Most Pomorski) and University Bridge (Most Uniwersytecki).
Bridges in Wroclaw - tidbits
- 1742 metres – length of the Rędzin Bridge, the longest one in Poland
- 303 – number of bridges and gangways in the pre-war Breslau
- 122 metres – height of the Rędzin Bridge
- 25 – number of islands on which Wroclaw lies in part
- 6 – number of rivers flowing through Wroclaw