Hanging Out and People-Watching in Rynek

Wroclaw Travel Blog

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Wroclaw's iconic view

Rynek, the main square, is the heart of Wrocław. In fact it is not an open square but a wide, almost square ring around the historical city hall and a block of houses with three lanes in the middle. In German it was even named „Ring“. Rynek is connected with Plac Solny, the „salt market“, a smaller square that opens on the southwestern corner. Plac Solny is the seat of the flower market.

After the damage in World War II the historical houses were rebuilt rather soon. Rynek is surrounded mostly by renaissance and baroque facades, some original, some 19th century „neo“, painted in all shades of pastel colours, with the occasional art nouveau building in between.

There is a lot to look at. The square has several monuments, including the one for the poet Aleksander Fredro, the pillory in front of the town hall, some gnome figures, and a couple of fountains.

The modern fountain
The most recent addition is the modern glass fountains on the western side. When the fountain was installed, discussions were controversial, many were against „that modern stuff“. Now that it is there, the fountain has quickly become a part of the Rynek ensemble and a popular spot for photos. Many tourists pose with it and have their pictures taken.

The combination of water and glass also invites to try some experimental photography. Light and effects are already quite good in the daytime, but they are even more fascinating after dark. If you have a tripod, you have even more possibilities. But there is enough light to try without, like in my pictures.

I was hanging out in Rynek almost daily, doing my homework on the terrace of Pod Gryfami or another of the many street cafes round the square, walking or sitting on a bench to people-watch, and enjoying the performances of the many street artists.

The southwestern corner twoards plac Solny
Rynek is always lively. There is always something going on. Sometimes a bit too much… Acoustics in the square are very good, and hearing two or three bands playing simultaneously may overstrain the spectator’s ears.

You probably know the Indian saying: No matter how fast you travel, the soul walks. When I return to Wrocław, I am never really and completely „there“ until I had my first coffee in Rynek…

 

Rynek attracts people all the time – that means a good chance for street artists to make some money. Artists of all kinds are there any time. Musicians, dancers, living statues, painters, magicians, clowns, gymnasts… options seem endless. Some are there regularly, others are travelling and come to perform only once or a few days in a row, then disappear.

The modern fountain
It takes a good show to attract the crowd’s attention.

The painter was there more or less daily, painting portraits and caricatures of customers on the spot. The guitar player with the curly hair was also a regular. One day he became the painter’s model…

A German piano player visited one day. This guy seriously tours with a huge concert piano.

My favourite among the regulars was The Invisible Beggar. This guy was present in Rynek almost every day, or rather, he was not... who knows. There was a pair of shoes, an old baseball cap for coins, and a sign that translates to „I am invisible“. In those weeks I spent in Wrocław I never saw who is behind it. After two weeks he had extended his business (see second photo).

Rynek view
Yes I paid him... as a reward for the funny idea!

 

The pavement of Rynek must be the cleanest place in the whole city centre, regarding the amount of soap that goes down on it every day... Soap bubble making is a popular entertainment. There is always a guy or two or three with a bucket of soapsuds and self-made constructions of two sticks and a thin rope tied into either one big or a couple of smaller slings. The rope is dipped into the soapsuds and the wind does the rest of the work. The result can be gigantic. Usually they also let children use their equipment and make bubbles. Of course the guys appreciate a little donation.

The soap-bubble men are always surrounded by spectators. Proud parents and grandparents love taking photos of their offspring.

On this very hot summer day, water sprayers were installed for people to refresh in.
Children love making bubbles, and they also love chasing bubbles to pop them. Others, like me, love taking photos of the bubbles, so there can be a conflict of interests sometimes, LOL. Anyway, the delicate, rainbow-coloured artefacts call to be banned into pixels before they end their short existence. Even wedding photographers have discovered this photo option.

Wedding Photo sessions seem to be a big affair in Poland. You encounter bridal couples and photographers more or less every day of the week so I assume that they don't do their photo sessions on the wedding day itself but on a different day, also because they take so long. Photographers have plenty of ideas for romantic, strange, and sometimes downright silly poses so this is really hard work for the „happy couple“. Besides I'd rather not ask what the beautiful white dress will look like at the end of the session, after having been in touch with, for example, a bicycle chain, soapsuds, and the generally dirty pavement...

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Wroclaws iconic view
Wroclaw's iconic view
The modern fountain
The modern fountain
The southwestern corner twoards pl…
The southwestern corner twoards p…
The modern fountain
The modern fountain
Rynek view
Rynek view
On this very hot summer day, water…
On this very hot summer day, wate…
Cooling water is welcome at 35°C
Cooling water is welcome at 35°C
The historical pillory
The historical pillory
The eastern facade of the city hal…
The eastern facade of the city ha…
The painter does a portrait of the…
The painter does a portrait of th…
A travelling artist sells his pain…
A travelling artist sells his pai…
Sunset in Rynek
Sunset in Rynek
Soap bubbles - always popular with…
Soap bubbles - always popular wit…
Blue hour in Rynek
Blue hour in Rynek
The modern fountain after nightfall
The modern fountain after nightfall
Blue hour in Rynek
Blue hour in Rynek
The painter and his self-portrait
The painter and his self-portrait
Pose!
Pose!
The football artist attracts mostl…
The football artist attracts most…
I am invisible
"I am invisible"
I am invisible 2: extended his b…
"I am invisible" 2: extended his …
One of many restaurants and cafes …
One of many restaurants and cafes…
And another
And another
Another cafe
Another cafe
Strange filming...
Strange filming...
This busker tours with a concert p…
This busker tours with a concert …
Soap bubbles
Soap bubbles
Proud mum
Proud mum
A band of street musicians
A band of street musicians
Through the gate of one of the str…
Through the gate of one of the st…
The new fountain is always good fo…
The new fountain is always good f…
Wedding photos 1
Wedding photos 1
Houses in Rynek
Houses in Rynek
Art nouveau shop buildings in Rynek
Art nouveau shop buildings in Rynek
Wedding photos 2
Wedding photos 2
Soap bubble
Soap bubble
Sunday afternoon
Sunday afternoon
A soap bubble man
A soap bubble man
A short-lived beauty passes by
A short-lived beauty passes by
Soap bubbles
Soap bubbles
The sun is already low
The sun is already low
Nightlife
Nightlife
Nightlife
Nightlife
Illuminations
Illuminations
A lively evening
A lively evening
Photo games with the modern founta…
Photo games with the modern fount…
Photo games with the modern founta…
Photo games with the modern fount…
Movement
Movement
Nightview of the city hall
Nightview of the city hall
A different perspective: though th…
A different perspective: though t…
My favourite photo taken from the …
My favourite photo taken from the…
View from a window of the city hall
View from a window of the city hall
The citys coat of arms in the pav…
The city's coat of arms in the pa…
Soap bubbles again
Soap bubbles again
Soap bubbles!
Soap bubbles!
A sudden shower and the square is …
A sudden shower and the square is…
No one predicted rain for their we…
No one predicted rain for their w…
Wairing for customers
Wairing for customers
In plac Solny
In plac Solny
Reflection
Reflection
Wroclaw
photo by: anjok