Latarnik - the Lantern Lighter

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Wroclaw, Poland

Latarnik - the Lantern Lighter Wroclaw Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
371 reviews
Latarnik – Meet the Lantern Lighter on Ostrów Tumski Aug 02, 2014
The street lanterns in Ostrów Tumski are still (read: again) gas lanterns like they were in use a hundred years ago. They are a reconstruction, since Ostrów Tumski shared the fate of most of the city, severe damages in World War II. I could not believe that they weren’t electrified fakes but they indeed aren’t. They issue a special, unique light, warmish but very bright.

Gas lanterns need to be lit one by one. The city employs Latarniks, lantern lighters ­- this extinct profession still exists in Wrocław. Every night at dusk one of them walks the lanes around the cathedral to Most Tumski in his long coat, carrying a strange tool with a long „snout“, and ignites the lanterns. If you come for a walk at dusk you might spot him, or hear the hissing sound of his tool.

Ostrów Tumski is Wrocław’s most romantic evening walk, when the gas lanterns are lit and the churches are illuminated. The ‚blue hour‘ is also the finest option in town for night photos. Enjoy the sunset on the banks of the river, then walk the lanes around the cathedral while the sky is still dark blue and contrasts with the warm light of the lanterns and illuminations. I walked there one evening, and there was a man playing the guitar. He played well and his music echoed through the quiet lanes, which added a lot to the atmosphere.

At 9 p.m. sharp, listen to the bells of the cathedral, they play a melody then.

Ostrów Tumski and the streets on Sand Island are safe to walk alone after dark and quite popular with both tourists and locals. But I would avoid the parks on the other islands and on the river banks in the evenings.
Latarnik at work
Gas lantern by the cathedral
Latarnik at work
Waiting to be ignited
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spocklogic says:
A long standing tradition in Wroclaw. I liked this area of the city and sort of like stepping back in time.
Posted on: Nov 04, 2017
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