Explore the corners of Wroclaw by following the footsteps of its famous gnomes! These bronze-made bits of counterculture in the historical centre of this noble city have their special trails set out to introduce you to the activity of anti-communist "Orange Alternative" movement that fought the absurdities of this oppressive system with the symbol of an innocent and petite dwarf. Throughout your nearly 2-hour-lasting walking tour, you will come across hundreds of unique gnome species, each one having their work to do and a special name that is difficult to pronounce. Prepare yourself for a whole lot of anecdotes collected by the creators of the smallest enemies of communism there ever existed!
is one of the largest Polish cities and arguably the most significant one among those situated in western Poland. Located 3 hours of a ride northwest from Krakow
and slightly over 2 hours southwest from Lodz
, it is currently blooming as a business seat of many successful companies
. It is often hard to believe that – prior to 1989
and the upcoming collapse of Iron Curtain
– the now bustling city of Wroclaw
would be a gray and gloomy place with plenty of militia units patrolling its streets to hunt for the enemies of the authoritarian system, just like in the case of Nowa Huta district
. Apparently, this is when the counterculture of Wroclaw started thriving
, not letting the sad guardians of communism bound the imagination of the city's young artists with any censorship or other suppressive means imposed. Anytime an anti-communist slogan appeared on the buildings of Wroclaw
only to be covered with white paint by the militia
, there would be a fun gnome painted on such prepared background
. All of a sudden, the gnomes not only started being present all around, but also became a new target of communist censorship
. This only proved the thesis provided by the gnome authors of Wroclaw – the Orange Alternative artistic movement
. It unofficially stated that communism was in fact an absurd-ridden system
, capable of perceiving even little and badly-drawn dwarfs
as suspicious and unacceptable in the public space. Even though the movement itself ceased to exist in the 1990's, the dwarf tradition of Wroclaw was revived in 2003. This is when the first bronze figurine ("Papa Dwarf") was unveiled in Swidnicka street
where some of the most famous happenings of Orange Alternative movement were held. Throughout the years to come, nearly 400 more dwarfs
appeared in various parts of Wroclaw, mainly with regard to the Old Town district
Being involved in dwarf-hunting
when in Wroclaw makes for one of the most amusing ways for exploring this stunning city, not sticking to the very distant history alone at the same time. The abundance of humorously-designed gnomes performing different tasks all around Wroclaw is also something child visitors never seem to have enough of
! Picturesque, creative and often making you reflect upon some more serious matters they symbolise, the dwarfs of Wroclaw have managed to a become the semi-official symbols of the city
, still multiplying their number in a mysterious way that is only known to a bunch of the skilled artists of Wroclaw.
Ready to devote some time to dwarf-spotting around Wroclaw? Contact us to have a good companion to this unusual activity arranged for you!