Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument

  Wawel Hill ,   Old Town         more than a year ago
Greeting visitors above the northern entrance to Wawel Castle is the slightly larger-than-life bronze likeness of Tadeusz Kościuszko on horseback, graciously doffing his cap to the crowds. One of the city's most popular pomniks (monuments), the hero of Polish and American freedom was created by Polish sculptor Leonard Marconi (a resident of Lwów, who also sculpted the Fredro monument on Wrocław's market square), but not cast until after the artist's death in 1900, during the city's period of Austrian occupation. As a result it waited in a Podgórze warehouse until after WWI, when independence finally returned to Kościuszko's homeland exactly 103 years after his passing. Twenty years later the Nazis took a liking to Wawel Castle, but certainly couldn't abide with having Kościuszko there and destroyed the monument in 1940. The current replica is a gift from the people of the German city of Dresden, and, after thorough examinations that it wasn't a Trojan horse, was placed near Wawel Cathedral, where the former General's remains are interred in the national pantheon. The city of Kraków gave an identical monument to the people of Detroit for some reason in 1978.

If you don't know anything about Tadeusz Kościuszko, we insist you stop your life right now and read our scholarly feature on the great man.


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