Monuments in Warsaw
5 Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. (on the Royal Route)
Much mystery surrounds his life; his role as a national cultural icon meaning that much of the seamier side of his life has been covered up, including his involvement in strange cults and alleged womanising. To this day, even his birthplace remains a hot source of argument. Some say Nowogródek (Lithuania), others say the nearby Zaosie. A champion of freedom, he died during a cholera outbreak in Turkey, 1855, while recruiting a Polish legion to fight the Russians in the Crimea. Originally buried in Paris, Mickiewicz's body now lies in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków.
His defining masterpiece, Pan Tadeusz, is a beautifully written epic portraying Polish society in the 19th century. His statue dominates Krakowskie Przedmieście St., and traces of bullet holes dating from II World War are still visible on the monument.
Charles de Gaulle Charles
De Gaulle Roundabout (close to Warsaw Stock Exchange)
Piłsudski Sq. (in front of the Tomb of Unknown Soldier)
Podwale St., (at the Old Town)
A huge monument honouring Jan Kiliński, a Warsaw cobbler who became the unlikely hero of the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising. Despite being wounded twice, Kiliński and his troop of peasants captured the Russian Ambassador's Warsaw residence; an action that ultimately led to his imprisonment in St. Petersburg. Said to embody the Polish virtues of bravery and patriotism, his statue was erected in 1936 and originally located on pl. Krasińskich. In reprisal for an attack on the Copernicus Monument, Nazi troops hid Kiliński inside the vaults of the National Museum. Within days, boy scouts had daubed the museum with the graffiti ‘People of Warsaw! I am here, Jan Kiliński.’ After the war the cobbler was returned to his rightful place, before being finally relocated to ul. Podwale in 1959.
Old Town Squere
52 Dluga St.
After the successful Allied landings in Italy in September 1943 a route was needed from the Allied position north of Naples to Rome, and the only way through was via the Liri Valley. Blocking the valley was a mass of German-occupied hills around the town of Cassino. Involving British, US, French, North African, New Zealand, Ghurkha and Polish troops, fierce battles raged against the Germans on a slow and brutal advance towards the monastery, whose eventual capture would give the Allied forces the access they needed to open the road to Rome. At a cost of over 25,000 lives including the deaths by heavy allied bombing on February 15th of a number of Italian civilians who were taking refuge in the monastery, the final battle ended on the morning of May 18th when a reconnaissance group of soldiers from the Polish 12th Podolian Uhlans Regiment finally reached what was by then an empty and completely devastated monastery. T
he Battle of Monte Cassino paved the way for the Allied advance on Rome, which fell on June 4th, 1944, two days before the Normandy invasion, and is one of Poland’s proudest military achievements. On May 18th, 1999, exactly 55 years after the event, an 8.5-metre monument designed by the Polish sculptor Gustaw Zemła was unveiled in a small park by just north of the Archaeological Museum. Resembling the outline of Italy with a number of eerie, battle-related elements built into it, the monument also features a pair of wings, supposedly representing Nike and the Polish Hussars.
Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. (close to the Warsaw University)
Although astronomers who propagated his ideas were burnt at the stake and the Catholic church placed De Revolutionibus on its list of banned books (as late as 1835), there was no turning back progress. The modern cosmological view - that our galaxy is one of billions in a vast universe - is this man's legacy.
The statue itself was built in 1830 and has seen its fair share of adventure. During II World War the Nazi's placed a bronze plaque insinuating that the great man was - a German. In 1942, a boy scout called Alek Dawidowski, ducked the guards and removed the plaque. Boiling with fury, the Nazis removed the statue, hid it in Silesia and dynamited a few other surrounding monuments for good measure. The statue was recovered in the years following the war, while Dawidowski has entered Polish folklore as a result of his bravery.
Intersection of Bonifraterska, Andersa and Muranowska
Dating from 1995, and designed by Maksymilian Biskupski, this monument remembers the victims of Soviet aggression and all those deported to the wastes of Siberia.
The only surviving part of the destroyed Saxon Palace. The palace was constructed during the 17th century though the tomb was not added to the complex until 1925. Eerily, the tomb was the only part of the structure to survive being dynamited by the Nazis. The ashes of unknown soldiers from II World War have been fittingly added.
More information: http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/city/warsaw.html