The Gnomes of Wroclaw

As my adventures continue in Poland, I have discovered a little tourist treat that has a bit of history.  Wroclaw has gnomes!  These little guys are spread all over the city engaged in various activities.  While I have not found them all, there are said to be from 50 to 180 of these little guys around different parts of the city.

These little guys were part of a huge political movement against toward the end of the communist rule.  It was started by a history of art student by the name of Waldemar Fydrych.  He used the gnomes to make a statement about the then state of affairs without getting his head separated from his body.  This movement was called the Orange Alternative movement.

Fast forward to 2005 and Tomasz Moczek is credited with building these little statues.  He was commissioned by the Wroclaw’s City Council and the reaction was more than expected.  As their popularity began to grow, local businesses also began to commission more gnomes to be created.  Depending on who you ask, there is somewhere upwards of 150 of these little guys to be found doing everything from pushing a granite ball from two different directions, to firefighting, to climbing lamp posts, to sitting in a make-shift jail on a window sill bound with a ball and chain.

Enjoy a few photos of the gnomes in their natural habitats.

These are a couple of firefighter gnomes across from St. Elizabeth’s church as you enter the town center.

This little guy was taking a bit of a rest near the guys above.

I found this guy trying to jump the steps of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.

And finally, these three guys just looked like they were causing trouble.