The gnomes have it!

Professor, Pl. Uniwersytecki

Cute little guy, isn’t he?  He’s a “krasnal”- one of a series of about 150 gnomes, some of whom I photographed on my recent trip to Wrocław.  He was appropriately situated outside the University Buildings- a work of art if ever I saw one.  Now there’s a place to study!

Entrance Hall at the University

The Oratorium

OTT? Yes, but stunning!

I had read about the gnomes somewhere, and was half determined to ignore them, but I failed miserably.  Before I knew it I’d purchased the 6 złoty guide (just over £1) and was off in hot pursuit.

Ball-pushing and ball-lifting Sisyphus

These two got the ball rolling (sorry!), on ul. Świdnicka.  This rather bad-tempered looking walker was there too.  But then, you’d be grumpy if someone splashed your beard with red paint!

Walking enthusiast/ health lover!

Still on ul. Świdnicka, any guesses what this handsome fellow is doing?

Florian- he’s a chimney sweep!

By now I’ve drifted into the Rynek, where I get a warm welcome from this little chap.

Friendly, or Well-wisher

Refusing to be distracted by the fountains, I move on to Plac Solny.  I was tempted by the deck chairs, but there were more pressing matters.

A wall of water in the Rynek

Plac Solny, decked out for Summer

No luck in Solny- I’ll have to backtrack later, but ul. sw. Elzbiety yielded this little guy, fast asleep, and the firemen with hoses, trying to wake him up?

Sleepy

Firefighters

Found the butcher next, and his little chopper, on ul. Jatki.  No worries for the pigs and goat.  They were bigger than him.

Butcher

Ulica Jatki

And now we’re back at the University, where the Swordsman tries to protect himself with an umbrella!  Very foolish!  He’s been stolen twice.

The Swordsman

Taking time off from gnomes, I head for the Botanic Gardens, but I have to shelter in the greenhouses when it rains.

Don’t know which cactus, but it’s very pretty

Wouldn’t you know it?  I escape the rain and am accosted by gardener gnomes.

Gardeners in the Botanic Garden

Wrocław is a city with lots of water.  The River Odra flows though it and there’s also a system of canals.  Walking along Podwale is a peaceful option, and there’s a delightful park bordering it.  Of course, there are gnomes too.

Water gnomes, by the Theatre

Odd Guy, representing the Odd Fellows and a “helping hand”

Checking out the shops, I find a burglar gnome!  Turns out he’s an art lover.

Antiquarian, Plac Kosciuski

And there are useful gnomes too.

Recycler

Dispensers- “old style” cash dispensing

Economist, checking the flow of money

But one little chap pulled at my heart strings.  He couldn’t even pop in for a cup of coffee.

The prisoner, in his pretty jail

These fellows have their own website www.krasnale.pl and of course, a Facebook page so you can follow their exploits.  Their origins are explained on the site, but basically they are beloved of the Polish people for their association with anti-communism.  The first of the gnomes in bronze statuette form was Papa Krasnal, sculpted in 2001.  Today he’s happy to pose with my Dad, and niece Kasia, who lives in Wrocław.

Papa Krasnal- the first of the gnomes

I only managed to see about 30 gnomes, so it’s obvious I’ll have to go back.  Can you blame me?

 

54 comments

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! Your series of the dwarf is great. Some of them I’ve never met although I live in Wroclaw. Some years ago it was not easy to see the dwarf. At present there are too many “figures” in the city… Thank you for visit my webpage JBB

  2. What a lovely post 🙂
    I love bronze sculptures, there is something so ‘touchy feely’ about them, your photos have made me want to visit, just to be able to ouch them 🙂

    1. It took me 3 or 4 days to find these guys, so I need at least another month to find them all. Of course, I do get sidetracked by beautiful buildings to explore. Thanks Amy.

    1. Have a look at the website and get your kids to follow them on Facebook (if you allow them to use FB, that is)? It started as part of the Orange Movement. The communists would paint out any anti-communistic slogans and these folks would paint gnomes over that. It was more fun than political but it was a great reaction. After the first couple of bronze statuettes were cast, businesses started to get involved and sponsor them, and that’s how it’s grown. Yes, there are lots of stories involved.

      1. Wow, how cool! That would be fun for the kids to see. I’ll have to check it out. I will go back to the website and take a look. What a fun idea….it always amazes me how creative people are!

    1. Thank you! The window sill guy really captivated me. Wish I’d got a better shot! And you would have loved the shop- there were 2 or 3 antique ones together with some fabulous furniture and “objets d’art”.

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