Oława riverThe Oława river, not to be mixed with an homonym city nearby (to which it gave the name), is the second most important river of my city Wrocław, after the big Odra into which it merges near the center.
Contrary to the Odra, the Oława is made of lazy marshy meanders that hosts a specific ecosystem (including lots mosquitoes !). It is also the most dangerous : after heavy rains, it is the one that rises the most of the water in inhabited areas, due to its flat and wide watershed. It was the Oława who caused 1997's disastrous flooding.
Drinkable water with which the city is provided also comes from the Oława, cleaner than the Odra. During the warm summer days, it is not rare to see people swimming in few spots of the Oława too.
The visit of the Oława shores, from the Grunwaldski bridge till the limits of the city is a very interesting tour. Except in few places, the banks of the Oława are not (yet ?) featured with proper cycling tracks, but some tiny trails sometimes into wild vegetation.
But this wasn't always true: during the German years, there used to be a huge swimming resort, "Ohle Strandbad", located just right near the centre. It was a popular place till the 80's. Nowadays, this artificial lake (called later in Polish "Kąpielisko Oławka") is totally abandoned and invaded with wild reeds. But some traces of this yesterday's intense activity are still found.
Another interesting feature located just a bit further is the Pałac Hollenderów (Dutch's Palace), a beautiful palace left in ruins after the war, but magnificently renovated recently. The manor stands on a peninsula formed by a meander of the river and is worth seeing, both from the alley located on the Odra side (ul. Międzyrzecka 4.), or backwards on the other side of the Oława (access from the Oława wooden pedestrian bridge)
Today, some real estate developers are opportunely attempting to exploit the assets the Oława banks have to offer, with high standing residences doubled with infrastructures such as private yacht harbor, as well as restoring banks. The most significant of these accomplishments is the Angel Wings complex, located near "Most Oławski" (Oława bridge), an object built in 1882 inspired from Parisian bridges.
Another place worth mention is Wrocław's easternmost and less known of the wide parcs: Park Wschodni (East Park). Accessible only via the entrance on avenue Krakowska, this park that is located on many branches of the Oława allows to admire it as it deserves. It used to be accessible via the street Wilcza but the former bridge is broken.
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