Statues in Wrocław, Poland

Wroclaw statue 2

Przejście” (Passage) Statue in Wrocław, Poland

Fourteen haunting figures both slowly sink and emerge out of a sidewalk corner in the Polish city of Wrocław. Constructed by artist Jerzy Kalina in 2005, the figures are a memorial to the two-year period of harsh martial law inflicted by the People’s Republic of Poland. Martial law is normally established when civilian government fails to function properly, or during times of widespread disregard for the law. Military rule is then imposed temporarily upon citizens after traditional government fails until the problem is resolved. This happened in Poland between December 13, 1981 to July 22, 1983 under Communist rule in an attempt to crush opposition. Activists and dissenters were interned without charges or trials by the thousands; people were literally disappearing off the streets – some 100 people were even killed. Kalina demonstrates this period of terror with his statues of people who are literally being swallowed by the earth while going about their daily lives, reminding us of how much freedom we truly possess today. The fear during a time like this must have been rampant – which is only extenuated by how recent it was. Meandering the streets of today’s Poland, it is hard to imagine that this freedom-less period took place barely 30 years ago – and makes you appreciate just how far Poland has come.

More Famous Statues in Europe
  1. Gnome Statues in Wrocław, Poland
  2. The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Oscar Wilde Statue in Dublin, Ireland
  4. Dragon Statues in London, England
  5. Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany
  6. Warsaw’s Mermaid Statue, Poland


7 thoughts on “Statues in Wrocław, Poland

    • If you haven’t visited Poland yet, I definitely recommend it! It’s not at all what you’d expect; it’s actually quite colourful and very beautiful, with some of the prettiest market squares in Europe, not to mention all of its quirky things, like this collection of sculptures!

  1. Thank you for the post explaining the background behind this. I visited Wrocław in May and saw this sculpture, but got neither photos nor the story behind it. I agree with you about the wonderful market squares. Wrocław and Krakow’s are amazing.

    • I’m glad you liked it! Polish cities never get put on travel itineraries, which is a shame because like you said, Warsaw and Krakow have amazing old towns! I’m so glad I got the opportunity of visiting so many of Poland’s towns and cities last year. Also, fun fact, this photo–my only photo of the statues–was taken practically over my shoulder as I half-jogged past this corner back to the bus station with minutes to spare to make my bus back to Warsaw. So it’s a wonder I have it at all!

  2. Pingback: Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany | The Most Beautiful Places in Europe

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