Monument to Adam Mickiewicz

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Rynek Główny , 31-000 Kraków

Description

The history of building this monument to the poet-prophet of the Polish nation is as long as it is turbulent.

The history of building this monument to the poet-prophet of the Polish nation is as long as it is turbulent. The idea began with a heated dispute concerning the form of the monument as well as its situation. Finally, it was only in the third round of the competition that the design by Teodor Rygier, a sculptor from Warsaw living permanently in Rome, was chosen. It was only under pressure from the public that the decision was made to place the “Mickiewicz” in the Main Square. The assembling of the monument took place on the one hundredth anniversary of the poet’s birth on 16th June 1898. The figure of the poet-prophet cast in bronze is displayed on a high plinth set on a stepped granite base. Sitting on its steps are allegorical figures representing the Homeland (from ul. Sienna), Poetry (from ul. Grodzka), Valour (from the Cloth Hall), and Learning (from ul. Floriańska).

In August 1940 the Nazis tore the monument down, yet after the war nearly all the figures were found near Hamburg. After reconstruction, the monument was unveiled anew in 1955.

Meeting at the foot of “Adaś”, as the poet is familiarly called by the people of Kraków, has become a tradition in the city. Moreover, the monument enjoys a special fame among students taking their secondary school final exams. After the school leaving party celebrated 100 days before the exam (the studniówka), they come to the Main Square to hop around “Adaś” on one leg. This usually requires five or six rounds, as their number is said to equal the mark that the exam takers are to receive in matura: their secondary school final exam, and “six” is the highest mark in the Polish educational system (corresponding to A!).

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Date: 2012-03-28 Show ticket
News author: ANNA WAŚKOWSKA
News Publisher: Redakcja MPI
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