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Guide to Wratislavia Cantans Festival

About the festival (3 - 12 September, Wrocław, Poland)

What are the festival programs?
The program of this year's 56th edition of the festival will be an opportunity to listen to great performers interpreting compositions created over many eras. Among them there will be both Renaissance masterpieces and works written in the 20th century. World-class stars will perform, including singers: Magdalena Kožená, Agata Zubel and Joanna Freszel, and the ensembles: Il Giardino Armonico with the festival's artistic director - Giovanni Antonini, Duncan Ward and NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Huelgas Ensemble, Quatuor Mosaïques, Klangforum Wien, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Foster and Wrocław Baroque Ensemble conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak.

What are the venues?
Each year, excellent concerts attract thousands of music lovers to the acoustically excellent halls of the National Forum of Music and the historic interiors of Wrocław and several cities of Lower Silesia. The NFM, built with music-oriented architecture in mind and at the same time beautiful and timeless in its style, is one of the most valued concert venues in the world. There are four concert halls: The Main Hall for 1800 people and three chamber halls. The festival's events also take place in the historic interiors of Wrocław, such as churches: St. Elizabeth, Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the University Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus, the Evangelical-Augsburg Church of Divine Providence, the collegiate church of the Holy Cross and St Bartholomew, the White Stork Synagogue, as well as the Town Hall and Wrocław University halls (Aula Leopoldina, Oratorium Marianum). Apart from Wrocław, you can go to selected concerts to other towns of Lower Silesia and Greater Poland, so far they have been, among others: Bardo, Bielawa, Bolesławiec, Brzeg, Dzierżoniów, Głogów, Jelcz-Laskowice, Jelenia Góra, Kalisz, Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, Kłodzko, Krotoszyn, Krzeszów, Legnica, Lubiąż, Lubomierz, Milicz, Oleśnica, Oława, Polkowice, Prochowice, Strzegom, Szczawno-Zdrój, Syców, Środa Śląska, Świdnica, Trzebnica, Wałbrzych, Zgorzelec and Żmigród.

Where it is?
The International Wratislavia Cantans Festival is one of the most famous European festivals, which every year attracts outstanding artists from around the world. Singers, conductors, chamber ensembles, choirs and symphony orchestras are featured in the programme. The festival focuses on presenting the beauty of the human voice, filling not only the NFM concert halls with music, but also the beautiful churches that are monuments of Lower Silesian architecture. Wrocław, picturesquely situated on the Oder River, is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Full of architectural monuments and excellent restaurants, it teems with life and attracts visitors with a rich cultural offer. Thanks to direct airplane connections with the whole of Europe, Wrocław is frequently visited by tourists. 

Dress code
Some choose formal outfits; others prefer casual chic. According to the rules of dress code, the correct one would be the one called visiting, i.e. the one that we most often choose for special, but other than business occasions. The weather is changeable, so take an umbrella with you and be prepared for both sunny and colder days.

Local accommodation
Plac Wolności is a vast area in the heart of the bustling city. There are plenty of hotels around, with apartments and private accommodation are also available. It is best to make reservations in advance, as Wrocław is visited by many tourists.

Why should you visit the festival?
To participate in one of the most important classical music festivals in Europe, which is synonymous with the highest artistic and organisational quality.

What can tourists visit nearby?
NFM is part of the Culture Quarter. It is adjacent to the Classicist building of the Wrocław Opera, and to the north of the Theater Museum and the Historical Museum located in the magnificent Royal Palace, whose French-style garden adjoins Plac Wolności. The Market Square, by many believed to be the most beautiful town market in Poland, with a splendid late Gothic Town Hall, is just 10 minutes on foot from the NFM.  Many historic buildings have been preserved in Wrocław itself, and the city is the pearl of Lower Silesia.

Food and drink
The Forum restaurant is located in the NFM building, on the ground floor at the side of the city moat and pl. Wolności, and invites you from Tuesday to Sunday from 12.00 to 18.00 (when there is no concert) or to the beginning of the evening event and during concert intermissions, if any. Two bars - "white" and "red" on both sides of the Main Hall are in the foyer on level -1 – and are open one hour before the concert taking place in this hall and during the intermission. They serve drinks, sweets and light snacks.

How to get there?
Located in the heart of Wrocław, NFM is well connected by public transport with many points of the city, including the airport and the main railway station. You can easily reach it by tram (stops: Narodowe Forum Muzyki, Zamkowa, Opera) and by bus (stops: Świdnicka, Renoma, pl. Orląt Lwowskich). You can also walk to the NFM from the Market Square and other popular Old Town spots.