In December I visited Wroclaw for Christmas. I decided to pay a visit to the Jewish Cemetery, because it is old, grand, and in ruins. After the events of the Holocaust there was no-one to take care of the Cemetery, and it fell into ruin. Today it is a museum and you can pay a small fee to go in and walk around, take pictures, etc. It receives only minimum maintenance – as the derelict state of the cemetery is considered to be part of the memorial to the Jews of Wroclaw. I went two days after Christmas… it was cloudy, cold, and nearly empty – I only had to share the large cemetery with a British couple (they still managed to get in the way of some of my photos, however). Many of the fancy tombs are falling apart, and some areas are so overgrown that you can’t even see the stones, just lumps under the ivy.
I’ve seen them described as dwarves, and as gnomes…one thing is sure: Wrocław, Poland, has a lot of them! Oh, and the city’s name is pronounced “Rots-wahv”. Previous known as Breslau, when it was part of pre-ww2 Germany. I spent 5 days at Christmas there, and since most everything was closed for 3 of those days, I did a lot of Gnome hunting. These are a few of the pictures I took during my trip. (Wroclaw has at least 100 gnomes, some reports even say 250)
All Saints Day (Nov. 1) varies from country to country. Here businesses close and everyone goes to the cemetery and spends much of the day visiting graves, tidying the grave, and placing flowers and candles for the departed. All the Catholic cemeteries, which are much much bigger, are a bus ride away, so I found a smaller, “Evangelical” (historically Lutheran) one only a few walking minutes from our home, and made my flatmates take me there on their way to a bar that night. At first we couldn’t figure out where the entrance was, then we finally got inside and walked around a bit. All of the graves were lite, except the very old historical section. It was very lovely and of course a bit creepy. 🙂
These are large figures perched on the top of a door frame of a very unusual, but very cool building tucked away in Bielsko. I’m not sure whats in the building, other than the Chinese restaurant on the first floor (ground floor for all you Europeans).