Fremont Troll

Walk beneath the entrance of a busy bridge to discover the stone monster lurking there. This beloved piece of public art was chosen by the local community.

Venture under the Aurora Bridge to see the Fremont Troll, an iconic sculpture of a wizened fairy-tale creature. The sculpture is a popular spot for photographs with many visitors posing beneath his giant hands.

Myths and rumors circulated about the presence of trolls beneath the Aurora Bridge ever since it was built in the early 1930s. When a competition was launched to design something to fill a space beneath its cantilevers and trusses, the image of a troll overwhelmingly won the public vote. Construction of the sculpture was completed in 1990, but it gained more fame after featuring in the popular teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

The troll is an 18-foot (5-meter) high ferroconcrete sculpture that seems to grow out of the ground. Look for details like a wrecked vehicle that the troll has plucked from the road above, crushed beneath one of his hands. A long beard and shaggy hair runs down to the ground past his sad mouth and single, shining eye.

Climb up the giant arms of the troll onto his head. The durable building materials means that this is one piece of art that encourages touching and clambering. Although painting on the sculpture is seriously frowned upon, the troll is occasionally decorated with clothing and chalk drawings.

Visit the sculpture on October 31 each year to join in with Troll-o-ween, when locals don costumes inspired by the ugly creature. Attendees at the event meet beneath the bridge before going on a walk through Fremont to some of the neighborhood’s other attractions. In the past, the site has also served as a venue for theatrical performances during Shakespeare on the Troll.

The Fremont Troll is hidden beneath the north side of the Aurora Bridge, just down the road from the Statue of Lenin. Parking is available on the surrounding streets, while there are several bus stops under 5 minutes’ away on foot.