Monument In Honor of the Slaughtered Animals – Wrocław, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Wrocław, Poland

Monument In Honor of the Slaughtered Animals

In the center of Wrocław's old meat market stands a somber tribute to the city's livestock.  

A metal menagerie of livestock stands within this picturesque city street. Though the statues look cute, they’re actually a somber reminder of the many animals who perished in this area throughout the centuries.

Beginning in the 1240s, the historic Stare Jatki, which translates to “Old Shambles,” provided Wrocław’s population with meat from several kinds of mammals and birds. Protected by powerful guilds, the butcher’s trade flourished for many generations in this part of the city’s Old Town.

But the industry was eventually forced to move to a less central spot. Even though bread, meat, and buckwheat remained the basis of the locals’ diets, by the mid-18th century, the municipality drove this business out of the city’s heart and replaced the butcher shops with less bloody industries to provide the image of a clean, civilized city. After the buildings of Stare Jatki were partially destroyed during World War II, they were restored and now host art and design shops.

This monument that remembers the animals slaughtered during the neighborhood’s time as a hub for butchers was erected in 1997. It originally consisted of several life-sized bronze statues: a goose (with an egg), two pigs, a rabbit, a rooster, and a goat. Each creature was created by a different artist. By 2017, the assemblage was joined by a calf (a cow was considered to be too big for the site).

Know Before You Go

The monument is accessible without any restrictions all day long.

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