Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Do you know where all the little dwarfs are?
You are absolutely right, they are in Wrocław.
And they are over 500 strong.
The little, cast bronze creatures can be found in the streets, nooks and crannies of old houses. Some are old fashioned, some quite modern wearing headphones or with laptops, some were seen using the ATMs.
It all began in, we hope forever gone era, when several artists decided to protest and mock the absurdities of everyday life in communism. The Dwarfs first came to life as simple wall paintings produced by Waldemar Frydrych, the founder of the Orange Alternative, a movement opposing the system. These paintings, quick drawings rather soon became the symbol of this movement. Now they are a symbol of Wrocław and one of its tourist attractions. They are also a reminder, a social voice that reflects on modern times (see gnome – “The constitution”).
The recent dispute and movements of the government tampering with Polish Constitution does not have the backing of a large portion of citizens, hence the action of dressing various monuments in t-shirts with KONSTYTUCJA printed on front.
The game ”Find the Dwarfes” is a bit like playing Pokemon Go with one substantial difference – the little Dwarfs are real… well, they are sculptures scattered throughout Wrocław. Remember the madness when people walked round with mobile phones and tried to find virtual beings. In Wrocław you will be able to play a game in the real world.
But Wrocław is not only about Dwarfs. The city of over 1000 years history has its fascinating architecture, the Market Square is a place where you will find magnificent buildings testifying the wealth of traders and merchants. It may be hard to believe, that Wrocław, located approximately 450m from the sea coast, used to be a member of the Hanseatic League. Its dwellers were involved in the marine trade.
It is also not to a wide knowledge, that in the 30s of 20s century, those beautiful old town buildings were planned to be destroyed and replaced by modern concrete office buildings! Fortunately, this plan did not come into life.
The history of Wrocław is difficult and specific. Since the Polish King Bolesław I the Brave in, established the bishopric of Wroclaw in 1000, over the centuries this city passed under the reign of Bohemia, Prussia, Germany. Under the Potsdam Treaty (1945), after World War II, it was incorporated into Poland. The post-war reconstruction of the city included not only the physical rebuilding of town, which in parts was left in total ruins often and often furthermore ruined by acts of vandalism, fires and looting. It was also about degermanization. The city lost its status as an economic power.
In 1997, the largest flood wave in the history of Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany passed through the Odra basin. One third of the city was under water. Paradoxically, the city gained a lot from this tragic event. The authorities have allocated huge funds for the renovation of the Old Town and other parts of Wrocław.
The present day Wrocław is one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in Poland. Its attracions are: the famous Afrykarium in ZOO, the modern Hydropolis water museum, beautiful bridges and parks, fenomenal street art, Panorama Racławicka (the largest, 15 x 114 m, panorama painting in Poland), the Centennial Hall with multimedia fountains.
Last but not least you will find here great cuisine with excellent beers from small local breweries, some situated and brewing in pubs or restaurants.
One of the best times to visit this beautiful town is the December Christmas Fair.
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