Queuing for the Head


Getting this photo took some perseverance. With all the selfie-shooters and the “I was there” poseurs (the most popular shot was someone’s goofy head sticking out an eye socket), I had to patiently wait my turn.

We’re back in Krakow’s Market Square, and the juxtaposition of this modern sculpture and the 13th Century clock tower provided an interesting contrast of color, texture, and lines.

The sculpture, affectionately dubbed – you guessed it: “The Head,” is officially and more romantically named, Eros Bendato or Eros Bound. It was created by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj, and this large, hollow noggin certainly adds a modern touch to a square lined with lovely medieval buildings.

The 13th Century clock tower has a secret that I didn’t notice when I visited, and also can’t detect in the photo – it leans 22 inches. A storm in 1703 knocked it almost 2 feet out of kilter. Now that must have been stormageddon!

Happy Trails,
James & Terri

Eros 2

Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

64 thoughts

    1. Thanks for the comment and for dropping by the blog. It’s funny about these famous photos spots. I was in Copenhagen recently and was attempting to photograph a small, riverside statue of the Little Mermaid. There were a couple of tour buses and with all the queuing for photos, I finally gave up. Just too many selfies. ~James

    1. Thanks Laura. Apparently there are a couple of other copies, which makes great sense to me. Why go to the huge effort to create something this cool and just have one. ~James

  1. I bet you did have to wait patiently for all the selfie-posers to leave this crazy head. It almost looks in your picture like that clock tower is leaning. You must have planned it that way!! I too like the juxtaposition of the head with the lines of the clock tower. Cool story. Stormageddon!! 🙂

    1. Cathy, I must admit to have taken a few selfies, but honestly, 95% of them get only my (and Terri’s) forehead, or are a straight shot up the nostrils (both which get the immediate erase button). I must be missing something, because selfies seem to be extremely popular. And what about the selfie sticks? Have you seen those? I’ll just keep shooting other folks and other sights – forget the selfies. ~James

      1. I know what you mean, James. My selfies always look horrible for just the reasons you mentioned. I think only very young and beautiful people look good in selfies. The selfie sticks are all the rage in China. And I don’t know a single Chinese person who isn’t addicted to selfies. I see people, especially young girls, taking them anywhere and everywhere! Usually with coy looks on their faces, pouty lips, or fluttering eyelashes. It makes me want to say: “In love with yourself much?” 🙂

    1. I admit that I almost gave up Tess. Some people are totally oblivious to others and this is particularly true of selfie shooters. I was mumbling “Ahhh, for Pete’s sake – move along.” But it turned out well in the end. Patience is a virtue. ~James

    1. Sue, I’m not sure if people crawling in and on public art is a good thing, but if this is an indicator, this piece was successful. The artist must have known it was going to happen, so hopefully he planned accordingly. ~James

    1. Thanks Dixie, these kind words are great to hear. We realize that there’s lots, and lots, and LOTS of stuff to read online, and we just want to make sure that our blog is interesting and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. Thanks for your continuing support. ~James

    1. Thanks Rusha. Apparently there was some controversy about placing this sculpture so close to the beautiful old clock tower, but in the end, the artist prevailed. As I said, I think it makes a dandy contrast. ~James

      1. I really liked Krakow! It was bloody freezing when I was there though – it was see something, dash to a cafe, see something, dash to a cafe… 🙂

  2. Great black and white photo James. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting an arty post when I read your title. I thought it would be a funny story about waiting in line for the loo! Silly me.

      1. It is hard. Last year in Cambodia I waited for my turn at the ;Laura Croft Tomb Raider’ area for a shot. The crowd was thick and pushy. I lost my husband in the maze of winding walls. It was scary… and I didn’t get my shot. Sometimes I have the patience to wait it out, but at times you just can’t believe how people act. We are all here to see the same thing so why push and want to be first? We can all have a chance if we are patient and wait our turns. Then there are those that see you with your camera raised and they stand in front of you! UG ! travel etiquette— someone should have to take lessons before given a passport!

      2. Certain groups are worse at this than others. I swear, that the the average IQ in groups decreases as the size of the group increases. They seem to get a herd mentality, and can be oblivious and pushy for sure – particularly toward individuals or couples. ~James

    1. Andrew, I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t just my back luck to be there at a busy time. We spent a week in Krakow, and this square was buzzing with activity every day we visited. ~James

      1. You did well to get that picture. I settled for the top half so that I could cut all of the people out at pavement level.
        How did you rate Krakow as a place to visit and stay?

      2. We really enjoyed Krakow Andrew, although I must admit that we didn’t visit any of the POW sights. We had gotten our fill of the POW story in Berlin. But most travelers don’t really think about Krakow in any other way, and there’s lots of other history there; which we enjoyed. ~James

      1. I’m drawing a complete blank. Assuming I ever get my photo library back – currently being held hostage by my new laptop – I’ll have to check out my pictures!

  3. What a curious sculpture! And the fact about the tower thrown out of position by a storm? Either the bricks were poorly made or the wind was really strong!

    1. Lia, I was intrigued by the leaning tower as well. I don’t really understand how it could have moved 2 feet and not topple. I live in hurricane country and have seen winds that could do this – but in the center of Poland? ~James

      1. Hmmmm, could it have been an architectural mistake and someone tried to cover it up long ago?

  4. Never miss a photo again due to those pesky selfie takers! Take a few shots and then disappear the people with the magic of Photoshop!

    1. Pesky selfie takers – well put Bob. The real problem isn’t the selfie takers, it’s the oblivious selfie takers who don’t recognize what a nuisance they are for everyone around them. ~James

  5. Crawling on public art: It’s almost a mantra at Burning Man, James. I was laughing at the challenge of getting a person free photo. Not that we mind people in our photos, but a good art piece deserves being people free for its photo. Many’s the time I have waited like you. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Curt, I guess it says something about the quality of a piece of art if it can motivate perfectly sane and mature adults (who should know better) to crawl inside a sculpture and stick their head out of an eye socket for a photo. I’d certainly expect this sort of behavior at BM, but Krakow’s main square? ~James

      1. Certainly depends on what it was designed for, and especially whether any harm might result to the piece. And of course, there is the factor of whether it detracts from other’s enjoyment… Peggy, for example, loves to touch sculptures. Her enjoyment is tactile as well as visual. –Curt

  6. Great photos. I don’t think that was there when I went to Kraków, at least I didn’t see it. At the time I had a broken foot though so walking was a little difficult.

    1. Marie, if you had a broken foot, it’s quite understandable that you may have missed this corner of the square. If you remember the square, the head was in the SW corner next to the clock tower. Next time, just watch for the tourist crowds taking goofy selfies. ~James

  7. An impressive piece of art – thanks for the photo! I am very uncomfortable about the selfie culture and instant posting but can’t figure out if it’s because I’m just grumpy…seems too self obsessed somehow.

    1. We’ve taken a few selfies (95% which were terrible and got tossed), but it’s something we rarely do. I don’t mind the selfie culture so much as the people taking selfies who are oblivious to every other human on the planet. These are the self obsessed folks who are a such a nuisance for the rest of the world. ~James

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