kami

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Wroclaw gnomes

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Wroclaw is certainly one of the most beautiful Polish cities. I visited it again this winter and fall in love with one more time. But while I enjoyed wandering around the beautiful Old Town with candy-colored houses or crossing numerous bridges, the highlight of my visit was Wroclaw gnomes hunting. „Why gnomes?”, you may wonder. Well, why not? Berlin had bears, Prague cows so Wroclaw might have gnomes. But there’s a deeper story behind it.

Wroclaw gnomes

Orange Alternative – a background of Wroclaw gnomes

Back in the 1980s, when Poland was still under the Soviet regime, an underground protest movement, called „Orange Alternative”, started in Wroclaw. 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 gnomes 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…

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

The birth of Wroclaw gnomes

The very first gnome appeared in Wroclaw 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 decided to remember the anti-government initiative yet Wroclaw did it. What no one really expected was that this one gnome would pioneer a new tradition. These little creatures can be found all over the city at the moment.

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

Best of Wroclaw gnomes

No one really knows how many Wroclaw gnomes are there. The new ones are successively appearing but many are also stolen or destroyed. In October 2013 there were over 270 gnomes living in Wroclaw! Most of them are sponsored by local (and not only) businesses to promote themselves in the gnome 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 gnome 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 gnomes can be found – a blind, a deaf and a wheel chair one – they are there to show that Wroclaw is a barrier free city. But there are some rebel gnomes too – two guys enjoying their booze, another couple trying to robe ATM or a revolutionary one, holding a flag, ready to fight!

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes


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Best way to look for Wroclaw gnomes

Everyone who visits Wrocław should get a map of gnomes 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 traveling as each found gnome 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 gnome! I’m sure next time I’m in the city I will go Wroclaw gnomes hunting again as there are still so many of them that I haven’t discovered yet!

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

Wroclaw gnomes

Do you like quirky attraction? Would you go Wroclaw gnomes hunting?


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23 Kwi '14

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There are 5 Comments.

  1. No i masz ci głuptasie! Teraz przez całą majówkę będziemy szukać kasnali śpiewając „I am a dwarf and I’m digging’ a hole” :) :) :) http://youtu.be/ytWz0qVvBZ0
    Izabela latest post…Lazy day in Puerto de la CruzMy Profile

    • kami
      11:48 30/01/2015

      przepadniecie w tych poszukiwaniach, gwarantuje Ci to! rewelacyjna zabawa!

  2. Mario Falzon
    13:42 29/05/2016

    I hunted for Wroclaw dwarves purposely without any information about their whereabouts and I am pleased to say that I found 182. The ones shown in the pictures Kami included in her article were all located without any problems at all. May I add that I was not a first-time visitor to Wroclaw and I was well acquainted with the city when I went dwarf-hunting. My advice to dwarf hunters in Wroclaw: keep your eyes open at all times because you’ll find them in the most unexpected places.

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