The Fremont neighborhood in Seattle— self-proclaimed the “Center of the Universe”— hosts its share of quirky events and attractions, including a giant statue of Lenin that was originally displayed in Slovakia and an annual solstice parade that features a procession of nude bicyclists covered in body paint. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the neighborhood’s most noteworthy residents is a giant one-eyed troll who looks as though he’s about to have a Volkswagen beetle for lunch.
Located under the 80-year-old Aurora Bridge at the end of the aptly named Troll Avenue, the Fremont Troll is the result of a nationwide competition held by the local Arts Council in 1989. The competition’s aim was to find an interesting sculpture to fill an otherwise empty space under the bridge. The winning proposal, chosen by the people of Fremont at its annually held neighborhood fair, was made by a team led by sculptor Tom Badanes. After funding was secured, it took about seven weeks to create the sculpture out of rebar steel, wire, and two tons of ferroconcrete. Thus, the Fremont Troll was born.
A popular tourist attraction since its creation, you can usually find the Troll adorned with fans of all ages, posing for photographs and trying to catch a glimpse of what might be hiding behind the sculpture’s formidable head. The Troll is accessible day and night, and there’s plenty of free street parking nearby. You’ll just have to fend off the rest of the visitors, especially during the busy summer months.
- 24 Hours
- Location: Avenue and N. 36th St., Seattle, WA
- Website: www.fremont.com/fremonttroll.html