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DWARVES

Publication Date: November 28, 2022
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When you walk around Wrocław, little bronze figures of dwarves are sure to catch your attention. Even though they are only 30 centimetres tall, you cannot pass them up, as there are almost 400 of them. They’ve certainly made themselves feel at home in the city. You might find them near various monuments, galleries, universities and even in front of hotels and restaurants.

Where did Wrocław’s dwarves come from? This fact remains unknown even for many citizens of the city….

There are many legends about the origins of the dwarves. One of them says that the dwarves were summoned by the authorities to help the habitants of Wrocław get read off an annoying goblin who had been making their lives miserable. Another version of the legend says that the dwarves have been helping the citizens of Wrocłw for ages in return for food and a place to live.

However, the historical truth is entirely different. It dates back only to the 1980s’ - the times when the underground organisation, Orange Alternative, was standing up to the censorship and absurdity of the communist era with the humour and happenings focused on political events and celebrations of anniversaries and state holidays. One of the most famous actions of the organisation was painting orange dwarves with a flower in hand in the places where the militia had previously covered anti-communist slogans. In this way, Wrocław's dwarves contributed to overthrowing communism.

Today, the dwarves remain the symbol of Wrocław and even have their own holiday. Currently, there are around 380 figures of friendly dwarves in the city. Each one is different, and they still grow in number. Taking part in ISBA Conference 2023, you will definitely meet many of them, such as Kind-One, Democrat, Helpik, as well as, Wrcoław’s disabled dwarves: Deaf One, Blind One and W-Skers (Wrocław Without Barriers). Possibly you will also have an opportunity to participate in their holiday – Wrocław Dwarves Festival organised in September.

Read more: The official travel guide in Wrocław. Places, events, monuments, restaurants.

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Address: Fundacja Imago,
ul. Hallera 123, 53-201 Wroclaw

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