Coat of arms of Wrocław
|Coat of arms of Wrocław|
In the centre is the severed head of John the Baptist, the city's patron saint. The crowned lion rampant in the first (upper left) quarter represents the Kingdom of Bohemia, which Wrocław became part of upon the death of Duke Henry VI of Silesia in 1335. In the second (upper right) quarter there is the Silesian eagle which comes from the ruling Piast dynasty. The letter "W" in the third quarter stands for both Wratislavia, the Latin name of the city, and for the name of the legendary founder of the city Wrócisław (probably Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia). In the fourth quarter there is John the Evangelist with halo and an overturned crown as pectorale.
Its blazon is: "Quarterly, I: Gules, a lion rampant queue fourch erect facing sinister Argent, armed and langued Or outlined Sable, crowned Or outlined Sable; II: Or, an eagle Sable charged with across its breast and wings a crescent Argent upward pointing with a crosslet Argent attached rising from the middle; III: Or, a capital letter 'W' Sable serifed; IV: head and shoulders of St. John the Evangelist gardant Argent, with youthful face and long hair Argent outlined Sable and with halo Or outlined Sable, issuant from an inverted crown Or outlined Sable. Surmounting all at center a roundel Argent, double-bordered in Sable, charged with St. John the Baptist's head Argent, with beard and hair Sable, semi-gardant turned toward the dexter."
In 1938, this coat of arms was abolished, as the Nazi authorities viewed it as too Slavic. It was replaced by a "purely German" coat-of-arms, a shield parted horizontally, with a black Silesian eagle on the top without Christian crosslet on the breast, and an Iron Cross in red field on the bottom. This was abolished after Wrocław became part of Poland in 1945.
Wrocław, as part of the People's Republic of Poland, changed the coat of arms again as the authorities now - ironically - considered the original version as too Germanic. It was replaced by a "purely Polish" coat of arms with a Silesian black eagle on gold and a Polish white eagle on a red field. These coat of arms were used from 1948 to 1990.
- Norbert Conrads. Wrocław – Identities and cultural memory. ENRS. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2013-09-14.