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Resembling a different type of Venice, Wroclaw is a city with countless bridges, little green islands and gothic architecture. Something out of fairy-tale, full of mystery and playful energy, hugging the river banks of Oder with cobbled roads and gardens with elegant mansions.
We arrived at the Flix bus station in Wroclaw. The station is quite hidden within a modern shopping complex shaped like a turtle. It was the nicest time of day! Just before dusk, the last sun beam covered the clouds with a golden veil, giving Sucha a theatrical feel outside the central train station.
One miniature person appeared out of a bronze bus… It looked like he just returned from a big trip and was running to catch the tram. We walked in the same direction. The city has a well-connected transportation network that makes your journey quite enjoyable.
I couldn’t wait to meet the tiny city dwellers of Wroclaw to learn more about their story…
The dwarfs otherwise known as krasnale in Polish, are the main characters of Wroclaw. Lurking at every corner, playing hide and seek with passers-by, they watch when we’re not looking and surprise us with their mischief. However, the small residents didn’t appear in the city by chance, they are a symbol of the anti-communism movement ‘Orange Alternative’, which started in 1980 as a protest against the government. When the Authorities started painting over the anti-government graffiti, the movement responded by drawing dwarfs on top of the paint: The omnipresent, anonymous little guy who resists.
The first dwarf appeared in 2001 in the central Świdnicka road, ten years later after the fall of the Soviet Union. Papa is the oldest and wisest of all the dwarfs, he is the community leader and father figure. Standing on the tip of a giant finger watching over the city. In 2005 another five dwarfs appeared, creations of the artist Tomasz Moczek.
Soon after, dwarfs started appearing all across the city. The dwarfs are so cute and unexpected, you never get tired of discovering new characters. But it was getting dark and dwarf searching was difficult. So we decided to head back to our beautiful Airbnb apartment to be fresh for the next day.