Back in the 1980s, when Poland was still under the Soviet regime, an underground protest movement, called „Orange Alternative”, started in Wrocław. Its main purpose was to fight with the current system using methods that were considered funny and not harmful, i.e. protesting in an absurd way or painting dwarves over paint spots that covered anti-government slogans. In every attempt of arresting a supporter of Orange Alternative the police became a laughing stock. These were some really weird times and hilarious events…
The very first dwarf appeared in Wrocław in 2001. The monument was made on Świdnicka Street, where happenings of the Orange Revolution used to take place. It’s something unique in the whole world’s scale that the city decides to remember the anti-government initiative yet Wrocław did it. What no one really expected was that this one dwarf would pioneer a new tradition. These little creatures can be found all over the city at the moment.
No one really knows how many dwarves are there. The new ones are successively appearing but many are also stolen or destroyed. In October 2013 there were over 270 dwarves living in Wrocław! Most of them are sponsored by local (and not only) businesses to promote themselves in the dwarf way. There’s one taking money from ATM in front of the bank, another one lying flat, with huge belly after eating too much in Pizza Hut or two more creatures stealing chocolate from the sweet-shop. Outside the tourist information a tourist dwarf is trying to find his way around the city on the map, next to the hotel another one is sleeping tightly in a comfy bed. In the heart of the picturesque Town Square a trio of disabled dwarves can be found – a blind, a deaf and a wheel chair one – they are there to show that Wrocław is a barrier free city. But there are some rebel dwarves too – two guys enjoying their booze, another couple trying to robe ATM or a revolutionary one, holding a flag, ready to fight!
Everyone who visits Wrocław should get a map of dwarves’ location (it can be downloaded from the official website or bought in just about every shop in the Old Town) and go around looking for them! Not only it’s so much fun but also that way you can explore the most beautiful streets and corners of the city. It was one of the most pleasant activities I’ve done when travelling as each found dwarf has brought a big smile on my face. We don’t have an Easter egg hunting tradition in here but I imagine there must be something similar in these two games. I felt like a kid when I was walking around the city with my nose glued to the ground and I was full of joy each time I stumbled across a new dwarf! I’m sure next time I’m in Wrocław I will go dwarves hunting again as there’re still so many of them that I haven’t discovered yet!
Do you like quirky attraction? Would you go dwarves hunting?
If you think of visiting Poland or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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