“ A monument dedicated to the Polish Poet and Writer, Adam Mickiewicz. „
I never realised there were so many monuments in Warsaw. There seem to be hundreds dotted all over the city and some of the more important monuments are situated on the most ancient and my favourite street, Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street which is one of the arteries leading from the Stare Miasto.
The Monument to Adam Mickiewicz is a grand piece of work created by Cyprian Godebski in 1898. The plinth was actually designed and made by two different sculptor's; Jozef Pius Dziekonski and Wladyslaw Marconi. This monument really stands out as it is very tall, extremely fussy and ornate and located in its own small garden area.
Before I go on I had better tell you who Adam Mickiewicz is. He is idolised here in Warsaw and probably in the whole of Poland as he is the romantic national poet who was born in 1798 and died in 1855. He was the author of the Polish national poem Pan Tadeusz, as well as lyrics, sonnets and ballads and the renowned Forefather's Eve (Dziady) among other works.
The actually statue of Adam Mickiewicz is bronze although in different lights sometimes looks black from a distance. In winter when the snow has covered the ground the monument looks totally different than when the sun is shining ; the whole area with the fence, plinth and body seem to take on a metallic sheen.
Before the monument could be constructed permission had to be sought from the Russians. They did agree though with one condition: the monument could not be larger than the statue of Iwan Paskiewicz, the Russian field marshal who crushed the November Uprising in 1931. The bronze figure here on Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street is smaller, yet the plinth was built higher.
The monument was unveiled in 1898 to the sounds of the Prayer (Modlitwa) by Stanislaw Moniuszko, the Polish national composer, while the speech was given by the Polish national novelist, the Nobel prize-winning Henry Sienkiewicz. For once, the ceremony concluded with a peaceful demonstration.
A feature of the monument that really interests me and worthy of a mention is the hand-forged and beaten fence which was a gift from workers in Warsaw. The fence is beautifully carved in black iron with lots of fancy swirls, curls and lattices. Against the snow in winter the sight is quite stunning. In 1968 the area near the monument was the scene of student protests against the order to remove posters for the performance of Mickiewicz's Forefathers Eve (Dziady) directed by Kazimierz Dejmek. It all seems peaceful now but you never know in Poland when the next outburst will take place.
Also, the monument is surrounded by elegance as the attractive Dziekanka Dormitory is behind the monument and to the side is the Church of the Assumption and St. Virgin Joseph Seminary Church - two very interesting and well designed buildings.
It's not my favourite monument on Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street but it is very well constructed and especially in winter is very attractive. It is located about half way up the street so not far to walk when you come out of the Old Town. Worth a peep just to take some photos!
To reach the monument take a tram to the Old Town, Number 13, 23, 26 from Ratusz Arsenal.