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Cheeky and charming – a photograph essay on Wroclaw Dwarfs

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They appear straight out of a fairy story, with their impish grins and cheekiness and are the very symbols of Wroclaw, the fourth largest metropolis in Poland “Lets go dwarf looking,”says my information Berta as we stroll across the Outdated City Sq. . You see them in every single place – hanging from a lamppost or sleeping on the pavement. Berta says that there are over 350 dwarfs throughout Wroclaw and the Outdated City alone has over 50 of them. And vacationers have maps and apps to help them of their seek for these little fellas with tales and backstories. Wroclaw Dwarfs or Wroclaw gnomes as they’re known as at the moment are the most important and hottest attraction of Wroclaw.

Wroclaw dwarfs, Wroclaw gnomes


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I’m intrigued as I neglect concerning the locations to see in Wroclaw as I begin on the lookout for them. The Wroclaw Dwarfs are just about in every single place. You discover them posing as bankers, butchers, retailers, docs, dentists, gardeners, professsors, chimney sweepers, musicians, buskers .

They’re in entrance of those eating places, banks, sweet shops and also you see them across the Wroclaw points of interest – be it a church, a college and even on the banks of the river. There’s even a whole orchestra enjoying for you on the live performance corridor and a museum of dwarfs, with after all a dwarf guarding it.

These Wroclaw dwarfs or Wroclaw gnomes are points of interest by themselves as they symbolize a slice of Polish life, the historical past and tradition.  Wroclaw celebrates an annual Dwarf Competition in September. And in winter, the native residents costume up these Wroclaw dwarves with shawls and mittens to even maintain them heat.



Berta narrates the story behind the dwarfs. In early 2001, the Metropolis Council of Wroclaw determined to commemorate an anti Communist Motion known as The Orange Different by carving a dwarf, that’s fondly known as Papa.Papa stands tall on the streets reminding folks of the Orange Motion.

It  was a peaceful underground motion that defied the Communist powers that dominated Poland and the members used to fulfill on the streets and protest silently.  They used graffiti of dwarfs as these pint sized males finally developed because the symbols of the motion.  The members of the motion used to struggle for the “Rights of Dwarves.”


After the Papa  Dwarf , the town was fully taken in by these charming males, oozing with character that the Mayor determined to fee an area artist ,Tomasz Moczek to carve 5 of them in bronze. The primary of them, is a pair known as Sisyphus, who push in opposition to one another and so they stand within the Outdated City Sq. immediately.They had been joined by the fencer and the butcher amongst others and slowly there have been dwarfs which had been each women and men that began mushrooming across the metropolis.


It nearly appears like a treasure hunt as you go on the lookout for the Wroclaw dwarfs.. Typically these endearing dwarfs greet you in your path whereas many occasions they’re hidden out of view. We really feel like youngsters each time we bump into one in all them. I used to be so fascinated to see how they’re carved and therefore visited the manufacturing unit with my information .


It was a warehouse manufactured from bricks, on the outskirts of the town centre and it appeared like a world by itself . I met an artist who couldn’t communicate English however my information helped me with a translation as I learnt that she has carved over 100 dwarfs herself .

As she confirmed me round, I used to be advised that the dwarfs are in demand abroad as properly. A pair , carved within the likeness of erstwhile German royalty had been flying to Germany. I used to be advised that the group was engaged on a dwarf for the Indian consulate as properly.

Wroclaw has at all times been described because the Polish Venice because the River Odra creates 12 islands with 30 bridges. But on this charming panorama crammed with vibrant squares and palaces with outdated world allure , probably the most fascinating sights are these little legion of males who’re there to greet you at each nook and nook.

On this picture essay, we’ve got tried to take a snapshot of the completely different Wroclaw gnomes that we’ve got seen within the metropolis and within the manufacturing unit. The pictures had been taken by my husband Sharath Krishnamurthy.


We had been each invited by Polish tourism board and we visited the cities of Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. Have you ever been to Wroclaw ? What are your favorite Wroclaw dwarfs ?


















The submit Cheeky and charming – a photo essay on Wroclaw Dwarfs appeared first on Lakshmi Sharath.

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