Wroclaw is a city in Poland that’s very hard to pronounce but very easy to fall in love with. Wroclaw (“Vro-ts-waff”) has so much to offer. The city has a very vibrant Market Square, lovely bridges, Gothic town hall, Baroque churches, cobbled alleys. Then there are the dwarfs! The entire city is full of dwarfs! Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see them hiding at the window sills, lamp posts, pavements, everywhere! And each dwarf relates to the location in which it is found. It’s addicting. You will be thrilled as you look for one after the other.
Wroclaw’s Market Square
History of the Dwarfs / Gnomes / Krasnales of Wroclaw
History tells that Orange Alternative, an anti-communist underground movement in the 1980s, used the imagery of the dwarf (often in graffiti over government slogans) to ridicule the social and political absurdity of the Eastern European situation. In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative, the city officially placed ‘Papa Dwarf’ on Świdnicka Street, where the group’s happenings used to take place. Since then, their numbers have been continually growing and now a big (or small) tourist attraction of the city.
There are special brochures with a map on where to find these dwarfs (Polish: krasnale). There’s also a mobile application so you can track every dwarf in Wroclaw. As of 2015, there are over 350 dwarfs spread all over the city. They just pop up like mushrooms.
Więzień / Więziennik
A prisoner dwarf located on the sill of a building window that was used to be a prison in the old times. He is the only remaining prisoner there because he was sentenced a life imprisonment but dwarfs have an average of 250 years lifespan, that could occasionally far exceed (up to 300)!
He is a free-loving dwarf in front of the narrow tenements in Wroclaw – Jasie and Malgosia (Hansel and Gretel). He has a big heart that welcomes everyone to Wroclaw. Sometimes, you will see him winking at the ladies that pass by. But to wink, dwarfs must manually hold one eye open.
Quick Fact: Dwarfs are never apathetic. They either love or hate everything.
This Sisyphean pair is one of the most popular dwarfs in Wroclaw. They’ve been rolling this big granite ball along the street of Świdnicka to the other end but they couldn’t have the work completed because the other tries to push the ball forward while the other tries to push back with his legs.
This dwarf is a .NET programmer who works hard on weekdays and travels on weekends. His work is very stressful so he makes sure that there’s still a work-life balance.
These firefighters are on standby within the Garrison Church because there were already three dramatic fires of this building in the past.
A dwarf who was entrusted to guard the entry into the underground world of dwarfs. However, he is a sleepyhead. So the next time you pass by the junction of Św. Nicholas and Odrzańska, you can easily sneak in that door.
This dwarf, oftentimes seen at Świdnicka Street, is very committed to recycling. He believes that even in his ‘small’ way, he can contribute a lot to preserving the environment.
This dwarf snores loud on his comfy bed just outside Hotel Patio at Kiełbaśnicza. The dwarfs believe that if you do not snore, it is considered an omen of ill health that’s why hotel guests are already used to this.
Głuchak, Ślepak & W-Skers
These three are Wroclaw’s dwarfs with disabilities. W-Skers is still full of energy and enthusiasm despite that he is wheelchair bound. He gets along well with everyone and a very good friend of the deaf and blind dwarfs, Głuchak and Ślepak.
Being unable to execute high kicks, dwarfs understand neither Kung Fu nor chorus lines. That’s why this dwarf just likes listening to EDM.
This war veteran can be found outside the Church of St. Elizabeth. He is a well-respected and one of the most deserving dwarfs.
He gives a signal to all the dwarfs around when the performer at the Vertigo Jazz Club is about to start. Everyone’s excited once they heard the signal. They love listening to live music which happens almost every night.
This Italian dwarf can’t live without his pizza. I’m not even sure if he knows it’s pizza because most dwarven dishes do not have specific names. There are only variants of stew, roast, and boiled.
This gaucho is another proof that dwarfs really try to ride any animal that stays still long enough. But his favorite ride is this dove as it gives him the fastest means of transport.
A hardworking dwarf who repairs all the ragged walls and other building defects in Wroclaw.
This dwarf holds two buckets of water for better balance as he sits quietly on the pump. He seldom takes shower as dwarfs, in general, do not groom often but do keep a detailed inventory of every hair.
Dwarfs visit him for physical examination or when they have broken limbs. But not when they lost their eyes because dwarfs are able to regrow lost eyes.
They are simply a bunch of mischievous elves who are climbing up and down the lamp posts just looking at the passersby.
Troszka i Adoratorek
This little charming dwarf is taking photo of her even more little admirer. With his dreamy eyes, spectacles on his nose and a bouquet of beautiful flowers in his hands, I think he is very likable.
You will notice that there are not so many female dwarfs around Wroclaw. They breed slowly and only a few percentage of the population are female and not all marry. No wonder this little admirer is very persistent with her.
This professor is the most educated of all the Wroclaw dwarfs. He likes sharing his knowledge but there’s one thing that he is not good at, he is bad at riddles just like all the other dwarfs.
How many have you seen!? Sound off in the comments below!
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