On witches’ trail – The Witches’ Bridge in Wroclaw

The Witches’ Bridge is not only the place to go, if you are looking for witches in Wroclaw, but also, more importantly, one of the best viewpoints in town.

On witches’ trail – The Witches’ Bridge in WroclawThe Witches’ Bridge in Wroclaw

© whitelook/Fotolia.com

St. Mary Magdalene Church is located near the Square, between Łaciarska and Szewska streets. The towers of this cathedral are connected by a brick passage, which for generations has been called the Witches’ Bridge (Bridge of Penitents). The temple is well worth a visit, not only because it houses an interesting exhibition, but also because, while there, you can try to find the Wroclaw witches.

Simply climb the tower. There are many steps, but the view from the Witches’ Bridge stretches wide. Wroclaw is picturesque from this height – you will see the towers of the Town Hall on one side, and Ostrów Tumski on the other. A history enthusiast, while climbing the tower may ponder about the concerts played here in the past by an orchestra, about the fireworks display to honour the birthday of the German Emperor William I and the fire of 1887, which destroyed the bridge for the first time. The rebuilt bridge was ruined for the second time on 17 May 1945, when, as sources tell us, a mine exploded next to the cathedral. Contemporary Wroclawians remember the recent reconstruction (at the turn of the century).

A visitor with a taste for legends might over-hear the voice of Tekla the witch, who, as a punishment for her laziness and evil, must clean this place until evil and laziness are wiped out from the world.  Legend has it that the bridge is haunted by the souls of women who did not want to marry and be content with housekeeping and raising children. Because they were frivolous and flirtatious when they were alive, they have to sweep the bridge until this day. It is said that the mothers of naive and reckless daughters brought them here to listen to the voices of the penitents and to think about their own behaviour. Another legend claims that the souls wandering 45 metres above ground (that is how high the bridge is) belong to travellers who died in the city. It is worth climbing the tower, entering the bridge and checking for yourself whether you can hear the woeful voices of the witches. 

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