On the plane to Wroclaw, I was planning things I wanted to do there. Hunting for Wroclaw’s dwarves was not on my list, mostly because there’s so many of them and I just didn’t see the point in wasting my time looking for something I had no interest in. I knew I wanted to see Market Square, Cathedral Island, and look for street art-but dwarves weren’t something I was going to do, I was sure of it. Turns out, I had no idea just how much these weird little dwarves were going to charm me.
After being in Wroclaw for all of five minutes, I found a dwarf. Seems you can’t help finding these little guys, even when you’re not looking for one. There was even one at the bottom of the stairs to my hotel. When I realised I kept seeing them whilst going about my day, I started taking photos of each one I saw. I have about 40 in total, though they’re not all in this post because if they were, it would never load!
The very first dwarf was placed in 2001. He was put there by the Polish authorities, to commemorate the Orange Alternative, a Polish anti-communist movement. In 2005, five more were placed. Since then, the dwarves have grown in numbers to 165 and there’s even a dwarf festival every September. Most dwarves I saw were on the ground but you’ll find if you look up, there are dwarves in places you wouldn’t expect them. I was surprised to find one dwarf on top of a wall of what looked like a house, way out of the city, just outside a park.
Everywhere I saw a dwarf, there was always a queue of people wanting to take his photograph. Children ran around trying to find them and adults looked equally as thrilled when they spotted a new one. I found myself looking around corners I wasn’t planning to walk around in case there was a dwarf there, which helped me to find street art I otherwise wouldn’t have. Thanks, little dwarves!
I think next time I go to the city, I will plan to actively seek out all 165 of the dwarves, and keep a log of which ones I’ve seen. It’s actually a good way to see parts of the city you might not otherwise go to, and I’m definitely a dwarf convert now.
If you fancy hunting out some dwarves yourself, and you’d rather do it in a more organised way than I did, you can buy a map from the tourist information office for 8 Zloty (around £2) and head out with that. Would you go looking for Wroclaw’s dwarves if you were in the city?