You probably didn’t know this, but the Polish cities are filled with street art. Even better, you can find one of the most beautiful street art cities in the world in Poland: Lódz! Sadly I didn’t visit Lódz, so I cannot tell you how amazing it is. A reason for me to come back soon. This time I ‘narrowed’ myself to the three Polish cities Poznan, Wroclaw and Krakow, and believe me, there is also enough street art here to see. A little photo essay of what I saw during my visit.
You can find the street art of Poznan mainly outside the old centre. To be more precise on the Ostrow Tumski, the ‘Island of Cathedrals’ on the other side of the river Warta. Just like many Polish cities have their own Ryneks (market squares), there are also several Ostrow Tumskis in Poland, for example in Wroclaw and Poznan. But they’re not exactly the same. While the island in Wroclaw is mostly green and full with flowers, the Ostrow Tumski in Poznan mainly brown brick colored. But the empty walls here provide the ideal canvas for street art. You can find these little art pieces on the borders of the island, for example in the tunnels or near the red steel Jordan Bridge.
Spread out through Poznan you can also find some subtle but striking pieces of a local artist ‘I am someart’. These are floating heads with empty eye sockets and a markup ballon that says ‘I am someart’. Once you’ve spotted one of these heads, you will soon see them all. And you can see these heads not only in Poland, but also in Barcelona!
Spot the ‘I am someart’-head!
The artists of Wroclaw have made it easy for you. Here most works are collected in only one street: the Ruska Street. Or should I say, a little back alley of the Ruska Street. At first I wasn’t sure if I should go into this alley. It looked run-down and somewhat private. Also the locals didn’t look too happy. But once I got a good look at the walls, all my doubts were washed away. Stunning! Horizontally and vertically the old factory walls are filled with beautiful works. For instance I spotted a very detailed wolf, a couple of roaming ghosts and an indian ornament. The higher I looked up the walls, the more I saw. Back home I discovered that this was not coincidence. The Ruska street is part of a local art project (Miastoproject) that gives young talent the opportunity to show their talents. And with great success: it’s simply amazing.
In Krakow you can find street art throughout the city. You can fill a whole afternoon with street art spotting. But if you don’t have the time (or the energy) for this, then I advise you to go the Kazimierz and Podgórze neighbourhoods. Two districts with a Jewish history. One offered a safe home for centuries, the other turned into the last stop for most Jewish families in the 1940’s. Both districts recently experienced an artistic revival. Street art popped up everywhere. On my stroll through the city one work made a strong impression: the ‘Ding Dong Dumb’ from the Italian artist BLU. With his mural BLU wants to show you the power church has over society. Take notice of the church bell that actually is a loud-speaker from the church towards the people. I loved this work, and I’m so excited to hear that BLU also has some pieces in Lisbon, my next destination!
The city that surprised me the most is Wroclaw. I didn’t expect to find such a beautiful pieces tucked away in a corner alley. And the best thing was, we were totally alone! No tourists. It was like no one knew it existed.
Which city surprised you the most when it comes to street art?