Friday, 10 June 2011

Poland 3: Statues of Silesia

I'm over the halfway point in this year's Lonely Planet assignment in Poland, and I've been traipsing through beautiful Wrocław followed by towns in the vicinity of the Sudeten Mountains.

Something you can always count on in Polish towns, big and small, is interesting statuary and street art. So here's a selection from Silesia...

1. I've written about the gnomes of Wrocław before; they're a series of small statues scattered around the city's streets, based on the folkloric krasnoludek (a kind of cross between a gnome and a dwarf). Each of them is undertaking a specific activity, usually connected to the bnuilding or business they're near. Here's a new one I spotted, next to (of course) the post office:

2. Here's a religious statue from Kłodzko; it intrigued me that one figure has a halo that's triangular. Presumably he's a fan of Pythagoras.

3. A faux piano in the mountain spa town Kudowa-Zdrój; I suspect it's had flowers planted in it at some point. There's a matching cello leaning against a lamp post nearby.

4. The Poles like these bench-based statues, I've seen a few of them around. This one is in the town of Świdnica, and depicts Maria Cunitz (1610-1664). A successor to Copernicus, in 1650 she published Urania Propitia, an acclaimed astronomical work. She's depicted holding the book here:

5. And finally, some of the more outlandish decoration within the Maximilian Hall of Książ Castle, a magnificent former stately home near Świdnica. Can anyone identify the mythological creature on the right? You certainly wouldn't forget her, if you met her at a party...