Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel are two medieval apartment houses built probably around the 15th century. They are placed in the corner of the market near the St Elizabeth church. Both buildings were inhabited by Acolyts who took care of altars of St Elizabeth’s church. Please notice the gallery connecting the apartments. At the cartouche over the gate, you can still see the Latin sign "Mors Ianua Vitae" – which means "Death is the gate of life". This sentence reminds of a graveyard that was here for many years and was finally defunct in the 18th century because of Odra river nearby. The modern name of the apartments „Hansel and Gretel” was given by the settlers coming from all over the world to Wrocław, deserted after World War II. They saw two characters from the Grimm Brothers tales, Hansel and Gretel. The arcade between buildings reminded the citizens of the gesture of two siblings holding each other hands.

At the end of the 20th century, the “Jaś” apartment was rented to Wrocław artist for a bag of fur. Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz, a well-known graphic, and sculptor took care of the building until his death. Even now we can see some of his work on the walls of “Jaś”. His self-portrait is on the eastern side. His secondo more controversial relief and „Do it yourself” is on the St. Elizabeth church side. 

St Elizabeth’s church is also worth watching. It was found in the 13th century and named the main city church. Since then it is supposed to show how splendid the city was and its authorities. In the 15th century, a 134 meters high tower was built and at the time it was one of the tallest buildings in the world. Unfortunately, the wooden top of the tower collapsed in 1529. Throughout both World Wars the church stood unharmed yet in 1976 it was burnt down completely in a fire. Presently it is completely rebuilt as you can see yourselves.

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