Wroclaw the city of over 350 Dwarves
The tour in the city of Wroclaw has just begun, It’s not just all about it’s spectacular Square Market, Town Hall, Fountains, and Tenament Houses. The quirky trademark of this city is the small bronze figurine 20-30 cm tall spread around the city.
These are actually the dwarves of the city, there are over 350 dwarves living in the city of Wroclaw. The bronze figurines first appeared in Wroclaw in 2005 but symbolize an anti-communist movement Orange Alternative. which began in the 1980s as a peaceful protest against the government.
The dwarves are everywhere, you can find them in the streets, squares, and backyards. They arouse enthusiasm particularly among the youngest group of locals and guests.
These cheeky bronze figurines are mostly known as Krasnale in Polish. They are charming, remarkably imaginative and each represents a part of the city’s daily life or history.
Dwarves names represent many professions, like
- Bankuś (a banker),
- Bibliofil (an avid reader),
- Botanik (a botanical),
- Hohelka (a dwarf with a big ladle ready to serve guests in the Jacek I Agatka bar) and much more.
There are also dwarves that you can catch in real-life situations, such as
- Lunatyk (a sleepwalker),
- Miłostek (a very romantic dwarf with two hearts),
- Ogorzałek and Opiłek (a duo of heavy drinkers),
- Opiekunek (children’s best friend and guardian) and
- Krasnomaleństwo (a small dwarf looked after by Opiekunek)
History of Dwarves
The first dwarf to call Wroclaw home was “Papa Dwarf” or the Father of the Dwarves. He was placed on Świdnicka Street in 2001, the main street of the city.
As it was here that the Orange Alternative, an anti-communist underground movement that claimed the dwarf as its symbol, used to meet in the Eighties to protest against the authoritarianism of Poland’s Soviet masters.
In 2001, a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, of which Poland was a puppet state, Papa Dwarf took his place at the crossroads with Kazimierza Wielkiego. In 2003 another dwarf was added to guard the city’s dwarf museum and more came after that.
The first dwarf encounter for us, as we walk in Świdnicka Street. Florian is the first chimney sweep among dwarves and brings luck to everyone.
It was our very first time seeing this first dwarf statue in the street. At that time we didn’t have any idea about what’s happening. I thought it was just some adorable statues installed to be exposed to this kind of place.
Known as one of the most popular dwarves in town, these two hard-working dwarves seem to become one of the main symbols of Wrocław.
As you can see, they are rolling this granite ball assigned to decorate in Świdnicka Street.
This raucous dwarf is freely set in front of the computer, A nerd who embraces and codes the world of code, and applications. So that the dwarfs do not get lost in the developing world and can use the technology without difficulty.
On the tenth day of the month, you will find him at the cash dispenser of Bank Krasnodar Bank.
Three Disabled Dwarves
One of the three ambassadors of the initiative “Wrocław without barriers”. When you reach the Town Hall opposite of the façade part you’ll probably bump into these three stooges, oh I mean three cheeky smiley dwarves.
This particular one named W-Skers, the first disabled dwarf that came in the city, when invited by the Wrocław Disabled Persons Council.
This two, Blindie and Deafie are the other disabled dwarves. who was invited by W-Skers to be the ambassadors of “Wrocław without barriers”. Together they fight stereotypes regarding disabled people than the dwarves.
They are the patrollers of the city, in search of architectural barriers which make their life harder. In their own special dwarf way. they invariably try to change the way of thinking about the disabled and encourage them to be more active.
This fella can be found just right after the Tourism Office of the Town Hall. In the corner, you will see a boutique of souvenirs. He is just sitting right there waiting to greet the tourist.
He has actually a mission, it is to improve the quality of life of terminally ill children and help them cure their illness. Also associated with a project called “Pomagajka” selling any product with his image on it for a cause.
Leszko z Wrocławca
You will find him in front of the Town Hall, holding his guitar waving and smiling. His name was derived from the character of Leszek Cichoński, the organizer of the Thanks Jimi Festival where participants attempt beating the Guinness Record in playing “Hey Joe” together.
This was recently achieved in 2016 when 7356 guitars played together on Wroclaw’s Market Square.
Sitting on the water pump at the Market Square, this dwarf is known as a generous and a joker at the same time. He loves to share his bucket of water for refreshment. Sometimes help those who are the hangover, or even soothes wrinkles!
This dwarf symbolizes the bravery of the soldiers. He will always remind the Wroclawers about respect for the fighters on the front. You can find him in the corner of the St. Elizabeth Church waving at you.
The most impressive dwarf that I’ve seen so far, he just snore in his soft bed outside the Patio Hotel. According to the locals, this snorer sleeps well, quietly snoring under his nose.
Only when nobody’s around, he rises from his beloved bed to stretch a little and wander around. And jump back to his bed when someone approaches him.
He is known as the unstoppable traveler, always prepare to travel. He always packs his bags and set off to another journey of a voyage.
The story of this little guy is much complex than the other dwarves. He travels around the world and decided to stay in Wroclaw for a while. You will definitely meet him on Kiełbaśnicza Street, next to the Art Hotel.
I find him as the most active in the street dwarf, very busy with his work repairing the towns plasterboard that falls of. All the damaged walls and other construction imperfections in Dwarf City.
Based on his description he loves sculpting and dreamt to have an artistic career. however decided to do a simple and helpful field.
This is the sweetest dwarf we’ve seen, he was inviting us to grab a cone of ice cream. Though I can’t take those ones from his hands I did buy one scoop from the boutique where he is staying.
There are some dwarves statues that are not registered or included in the guide map to find these dwarves of the city. Apparently, There are over 200 dwarves included in the map.
However, the rest of them doesn’t have any pieces of information. We have found this music lover dwarf right after Mr. Platerer. on the Sukiennice Street.
The last one that we have found in the city is this little fella. Riding on a lion’s back, I’m sure he is one of that adventurer who loves wild animals.
He was just right before Mr. Barton, kinda weird that he is not included on the Dwarves Map.
Above list is only some of the dwarves that you will meet, I’m proud to say that we did encounter 17 of them with our limited time. Without any map or application online, it was pure instinct and it was all worth it.
How many hours did we stay in the city? approximately 3 hours only!
More Information about Dwarves
The official tally of Dwarves in Wroclaw city is 165. 52 available to see in the Old Town, they hide among the streets and narrow alleys, eluding the sight of passers-by.
The rest are found outside the Old Town, there are also six of them found at the LG plant in Biskupice Podgórne, just outside the city. However, there are unlisted dwarves that are spread all over in and out of the city.
This year’s additional Dwarves are
- Mishap, the most mysterious dwarf in the city.
- Leszko from Wroclaw, a dwarf who beats records
- Lady Liberty, a dwarfette who can speak three languages.
- Prince Witold, royalty member
- Neptune, ruler of the oceans and seas
- Goldie, the coins and banknotes holder
- Drunky, who swelled the ranks of the dwarf community
- Irtek, specialist in Lower Silesia
If you wish to travel to Wroclaw? be prepared to catch all these cuties. You can avail the dwarves map online or a booklet sold in the city.
Use the online map here for rapid access!