Zielona Góra introduces new gnome to rival big sister Wrocław
Although not as well celebrated as the city of Wrocław and its ‘street gnomes’, the city of Zielona Góra two hours north is hoping to redress that with its own growing collection of gnome statues.
Named Bacchus after the Greek God of wine – a nod to the city’s historical tradition of winemaking – the latest gnome to be added to the 57 others shows a portly policeman with a bunch of grapes in his gun holster.
Made to celebrate 100 years of the Polish Police force, the anniversary was in 2019 when the original design of the statue was made but due to COVID related delays it was not unveiled until last Thursday.
Sculptor Artur Wochniak, who has created a number of the figures, told Gazeta Lubuska: “It is a policeman with a lollipop and a bunch of grapes on it.
“He has a powerful star of the Polish police but he is dressed in an American style.”
The new policeman now takes his place among some of the more colourful characters in the city which include a Yorickus the thespian, Hubertus Wagnerus who is seen serving a volleyball, a young scribe who is busy writing and Skarboniusz who is pulling his pig along.
Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, was the ancient Greco-Roman god of the grape harvest, wine and festivity among other things.
Bacchus is also a variety of grapes which was bred in Germany in the early 1930s to be better adapted to the cold weather.
This is why the figures in Zielona Góra are mainly connected with grapes and are full of cheer.
Jakub Dranczewski, creator and curator of the city’s www.bachusik.cba.pl website dedicated to the gnomes told TFN: “I'm glad more and more organisations are realising that the figures are a fun way to commemorate various occasions, like an anniversary in this case.
“It adds a permanent mark to the city, makes it more attractive to tourists and adds a sprinkle of fun-for-all-ages to it.
“Every opportunity is great to plop a grape-themed piece of bronze at a random spot! I'll say that struggling to squeeze all the figures on an A4 printable map is all in all a good problem to have for me; the more, the merrier.”