pronounced: vrots-whav or vrots-whaf, depending on whom you ask (roll the r)
5 churches in centre, some say 17 overall
250 + gnomes scattered throughout
The cathedral is the most spectacular of the churches in the centre. The whole building is exquisite art work and masterpieces, followed by more of the same.
Above, a painting on one of the walls. Below, one of the ornate columns.
The ceiling of one of the side areas at which to pray:
Far down the left of the cathedral, a grill held coins, thrown, one assumes, by those walking by. This begged the question, what would a wish in a church entail? Salvation? Health? A beloved? Would its content be restrained by its surroundings?
These are worth the time and the 15 zlotys (C$4.50) to visit. There are small lakes and a greenhouse, overflowing with cacti.
You can stroll through or bring a book and read on one of the many benches. I noticed many locals, chatting away inside its gates. There is a restaurant on the site.
There are over 250 of these little fellows, scattered across the city. Their appearance is connected to Orange Alternative, a dissident group who used humour to peacefully protest the communist regime.
The resistance began, during the early 1980’s, when the communists painted over any anti-regime graffiti. The Alternative would immediately replace the fresh paint with the picture of a gnome.
My host told me this group used humour in other forms. One time, he said, the group staged an illegal protest (no more than five people could congregate at a time). Everyone wore Santa suits. Forced to separate the group, the police chased Santa Clauses through back alleys, shops, across roads, etc.
I took more notice of these little fellows, once I’d heard this story. Here is my favourite one, on the left.
He stands off to the side of this statue, erected in 1904, of a student who gambled and lost everything (even his clothes). The only thing he saved was his sword.
The story is, students were allowed two pleasures: gambling and duelling. The statue was a caution to students.
The gnome is a pacifist and carries an umbrella. He is also naked.
Outstanding buildings are everywhere. Twice now, I start looking for gnomes and end up forgetting about the little guys and taking picture after picture of amazing buildings.
The little house gets first prize for being so well done up. Who says small isn’t impressive? The other building is the library, a building my host insists resembles Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.
Between the numerous organic, vegetarian restaurants, the pierogies, the borsch, the local and international eateries and the fantastic coffee, this place is a food lover’s dream.
Whether you are travelling alone, as a couple or a group, I am sure Wroclaw will delight you. Some English is spoken across the city.
Copyright 2014. Monique Martel. All rights reserved.