Washington February 22, 2022
Here’s The Story Behind The Massive Fremont Troll In Washington
If you’ve spent any time in Seattle since 1990, you’ve heard of—and probably seen—the infamous Fremont Troll. And of course, seeing a giant troll under a bridge really isn’t anything out of the ordinary considering that’s where trolls are rumored to live.
But the Fremont Troll is, in fact, quite special. It is nationally known, locally loved, and has quite a history. This is its story.
The Fremont Troll is located in Seattle's eclectic Fremont neighborhood, which is a very fitting spot for such a structure.
The cement troll sits under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge, otherwise known as the Aurora Bridge.
The troll is 18 feet tall and was created from concrete, steel rebar, and wire.
If you look closely, you'll see that it's clutching a Volkswagen Beetle with a California license plate. It looks as if the troll reached up and swiped it from the bridge above.
It all started in 1989, when the city asked the Fremont Arts Council to launch an art competition to help improve the area under the bridge.
That year, a team led by sculptor Steve Badanes won the competition. Steve was inspired by the folktale Three Billy Goat’s Gruff, which features a fearsome and hideous troll that lives under a bridge. Steve created the troll along with fellow artists Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead.
The troll's Volkswagen Beetle was once a vessel for a time capsule full of Elvis Presley memorabilia.
Unfortunately, the time capsule was stolen when the troll was vandalized.
In 2005, the portion of Aurora Avenue North under the bridge that runs downhill from the Troll to North 34th Street was renamed "Troll Avenue" in honor of the sculpture.
There's also an abundance of Fremont Troll memorabilia, such as Chia Pets, smaller replicas, and even a song in its honor. The song is called "The Fremont Troll" and was released by Chicago rock band Majungas in 2016.
Does hearing the troll's story make you see it a little differently?
If you've never seen this beauty in person, check it out the next time you're in the area.
Have you ever seen the Fremont Troll in person?
Address: Fremont Troll, N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA