It was another trip with Bartosz’s family. We decided to visit the capital of Lower Silesian county – Wrocław.
It's sometimes called The City of 100 Bridges - there's over 130 bridges and footbridges in the city!
I'd say Wrocław could also be called The City of Dwarves – there are over 300 figures of dwarves placed randomly here and there. And the number is still growing! I like this idea - it spices up the city's atmosphere.
We were actually trying to hunt down some of the dwarves and take as many pictures as possible but it turned out that the clever beasts aren't as simple to find as you would think. They can lurk over the windows few metres above the ground, sometimes they're stuck closely on the wall - you'd need a keen eye for detail to spot them
I was curious about the origin of Wrocław's dwarves and did a bit of a research. It turns out that the reason of placing the figures is political (obvious, isn't it?).
There was once "Orange Alternative" - an underground anti-communist formation that used absurdity and nonsense to show peaceful but subversive protests. For instance, the protesters who disagreed with public space censorship drew funny anti-communist signs and pictures, some of them being gnomes. In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative, first dwarf figure was placed on Świdnicka street where the group's happenings usually took place.
What caught my attention in the city is the architecture and colorfully painted houses. It makes it look happy and positive and, I guess, keeps your spirits high in grey winter time.
In Wrocław you can easily see strong German influence on the architecture – the city belonged to Germany for many years. It only became part of Poland in 1945.
There are many restaurants and pubs in the town’s square but, since there was one Lithuanian among us, we decided to go to ‘the most Polish’ restaurant we could find - "Dwór Polski" ("Polish Manor"). It serves traditional Polish food and offers great view of the Old City. The food was great but beware – the portions are quite big and it is not easy to eat first and main course in one session
Since we only had one day we managed to explore Old City, saw Panorama Racławicka and Most Grunwaldzki (Grunwaldzki Bridge).
The Racławice Panorama's a large painting (15 x 114 metres) which presents the view of the battle in Racławice.
The battle was part of Kościuszko Uprising – Polish rebellion against Imperial Russia and Kingdom of Prussia in 1794. The Racławice Panorama's an impressive relic of 19th century mass culture. It's the oldest and, in fact, the only panorama painting which remained safe in Poland. Thanks to special devices and technical effects the painting seems very realistic and you have got the feeling that you actually participate in this battle. There's also artificial terrain built right under the painting which makes it look even bigger.
Grunwaldzki Bridge's one of the most beautiful bridges in Wrocław! It's situated close to the city centre. It's also one of the biggest bridges in Poland – 112.5 metres long and 18 metres wide.
It's quite old as well – was built before World War I. To be quite honest, it would be very romantic place with the river Oder reflecting city lights and the bridge being so mysteriously floodlit... It would be but the traffic on the bridge's so heavy that it's impossible to stay there longer than 15 minutes unless you're into exhaust fumes and screaming to each other in order to be heard.
And one more important info, especially for everyone who have a sweet tooth – go to "Amorinio" cafe on the town’s square. They serve their own craft ice-creams and desserts, cakes, tarts, shakes, coffees - everything! Oh dear, so delicious... I promised to myself we'll go there every time we'll be in Wrocław!
And you, have you ever been to Wrocław? If so, did you do 'dwarves hunting'?