Adam Mickiewicz monument – the most famous and popular monument in Krakow
The monument of Adam Mickiewicz, considered the all time best poet and historical bard in Poland, is a popular and recognizable image representing the city of Krakow. The area surrounding the statue is a common meeting point for the city’s inhabitants and also visitors to the city. If you ask around in Krakow, almost everyone will give you the precise location of the monument and even though some of them are new to the place, they will know it for sure, as it is in Krakow’s Main Square.
The history behind the monument is as interesting as the statue is recognizable. The most curious thing is the fact that Adam Mickiewicz had actually never been to Krakow. His remains had arrived to the city posthumously in 1890, 35 years after his death in Istanbul in a cholera epidemic in 1855. Meanwhile in the same year, the remains of the poet were loaded onto a ship, transported to France and buried in Paris. In 1890 the remains of the great Pole were transported to Krakow and buried in the crypt of the Wawel Cathedral.
The monument was presented and unveiled on the 16th of June, 1898, on the 100th anniversary of Mickiewicz’s birth. It remained intacted until the 17th of August, 1940, when the German occupants of Krakow demolished the statue and took the statue (in parts) to Germany. Fortunately, on the 12th of June, 1946, in the suburbs of Hamburg almost all of the parts of the statue were found and brought back to Krakow. The reconstruction of the monument took a few years and the reconstructed statue was unveiled again on the 26th of November, 1955, on the 100th anniversary of Mickiewicz’s death. Between 1962 and 1964 some of the adornments surroundings the statue were demolished, like the lanterns and the chain running around the monument. All of this had been restored by 1985 and since then we have been able to view the great monument in all its glory.
Not many people understand the meanings of the symbols on the monument. The on-top Mickiewicz is surrounded below and guarded by 4 allegorical figures: Motherland (the woman wearing a crown and her left hand held up), Poetry (the young woman with the lute and the child), Valour (the young man with the sword and shield) and Science (the old man with the book and the child).
Adam Mickiewicz monument Info
Address: Rynek Glowny, 30-962 Krakow.
Map ref: 50.061465, 19.937997
Opening hours: You can view the monument 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.
Cost: Admission within the monument and viewing is free.
Images by Mateusz Świercz for Absolute Tours