Despite severe restrictions on the freedom of worship, Breslau culturally flourished under Austrian rule, as Baroque architecture and arts were actively pursued.
The Austrians' legacy is still highly visible to this day, with sweeping Baroque buildings found throughout the Old Town.
In 1526, the city was absorbed into the Austrian Habsburg monarchy.
Having largely converted to Protestantism during the Reformation, Breslau was targeted by the Catholic Habsburgs during the Counter-Reformation after the Thirty Years War.
By early 1945, the Soviet Red Army had encircled the city for a siege.
Declaring Breslau as a fortress city, Hitler ordered it to be defended at all costs.
The city is also known for its high quality of life.
During the Nazi era, the city's Polish and Jewish communities were intimidated, suppressed, and ultimately liquidated.Most of Breslau's remaining Jews were sent to perish in the concentration camps, while all traces of Polish culture in the city were destroyed or removed through Germanization.During World War II, the city became a major center for refugees fleeing the Eastern Front, as Breslau was largely spared of Allied bombing and far from the battlelines.The rise of Solidarity in Gdańsk in the early 1980s and its suppression by martial law sparked the Orange Alternative, a peaceful protest movement which used public art, absurdist humor, and flash mobs to voice dissent in the city.The Orange Alternative's impact on Wrocław's culture was immense.Wrocław (pronounced Vrots-swaf; commonly known by its German and English name Breslau before 1945) is the largest city and capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. With a population close to 630,000 and a metropolitan figure well over a million, Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland, and is among one of the republic's major manufacturing, banking, industrial, tourist and cultural centers.