Fremont Troll – Seattle, Washington - Atlas Obscura

Seattle, Washington

Fremont Troll

A giant Troll lurks under a Seattle bridge overpass. 

An 18-ft. tall troll made of cement clutches an old VW car underneath an overpass in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. The car is an actual Volkswagen encased in concrete, bearing a California license plate.

The Troll was constructed in 1990 after winning a Fremont Arts Council competition for designs to improve the freeway underpass, which then was a dumping ground. He was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead.

The troll has had a rough go of it, and is often getting spray painted. One incident involved giving the troll green fingernails, tattoos, fangs, and a green eye.

The paint can’t be easily removed from the troll and to cover it a fresh layer of concrete is added every time, so over time the troll has been growing blobby concrete lumps. While painting it is poor form, climbing on it is encouraged.

December 31 is recognized as the Fremont Troll’s birthday, a celebration open to the public called Troll-o-ween. 

Know Before You Go

The Troll is literally located under a bridge at the dead end of a street, so parking is tight. It's best to park a little farther out, and enjoy the walk through the neighborhood to give the Troll a visit.

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