Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument, Kraków

Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument, Wawel Castle, Kraków

Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument in Kraków (Polish: Pomnik Tadeusza Kościuszki w Krakowie), is one of the best known bronze monuments in Poland. It is the work of artists: Leonard Marconi, professor of Lviv University born in Warsaw, and his son in law, sculptor Antoni Popiel. The equestrian bronze statue of KościuszkoPolish and American hero of independenceis located along the west side entrance to the Wawel Castle in the Old Town.[1][2]

Wawel architectural complex with location of the Kościuszko statue (red) atop the solid bastion of Władysław IV (north)

The statue was cast in 1900 thanks to the efforts of newly formed Tadeusz Kościuszko Society, soon after Marconi's death. The Austrian government during the time of imperial partitions of Poland refused to issue the permit for its placement. It was erected no less than twenty years later in 1920-24 once the Polish state reestablished its independence following World War I.[3] The statue was destroyed by the Germans in 1940 during the Nazi German occupation of Poland. Its current replica, erected in 1960, is a gift to the City of Kraków from the people of Dresden, Germany. Its duplicate was also erected in Detroit, Michigan in 1978, as a gift from the people of Kraków, in celebration of the United States Bicentennial.[4]

In Kościuszko's times, the Polish state had been twice partitioned by its neighbors: Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Prussia by early 1793.[5] In 1794, Kościuszko initiated an insurrection in the Kraków's Main Square which, in spite of his victorious Battle of Racławice against numerically superior Russian army, resulted in a tragic third and final partition of Poland.[6] Kraków became part of the Austrian province of Galicia for over a century. Prior to leading the 1794 Uprising, Kościuszko had fought in the American Revolutionary War as a Colonel in the Continental Army. In 1783, in recognition of his service, he had been brevetted by the Continental Congress to the rank of Brigadier General and granted citizenship of the United States. Tadeusz Kościuszko died in Switzerland on October 15, 1817. His body was first buried in a crypt of a Jesuit church in Solothurn, from where he was moved a year later to the St. Leonard's Crypt at the Wawel Cathedral, next to where his monument now stands.[7]


  1. Rick Steves, Cameron Hewitt, Rick Steves' Best of Eastern Europe 2007 by Avalon
  2. Ellen Creager, Worth trumpeting. All’s well in Krakow, a city that dazzles with its storied past, understated present The San Diego Union  Tribune, September 7, 2008
  3. Tadeusz Kosciuszko Monuments at State University of New York at Buffalo
  4. Zacharias, Pat, The Monuments of Detroit, September 5, 1999. Detroit News
  5. Dorota Wasik, Cracow University of Economics, International Programs Office: "A short long history of Cracow", see: "The Polish struggle for freedom". Retrieved 2007-05-12.
  6. (Polish) Grzegorz Reszka, based on:T. Cegielski, K. Zielińska: "Historia. Dzieje nowożytne", J. A. Gierowski: "Historia Polski 1764–1864", Lubicz-Pachoński: "Kościuszko na ziemi krakowskiej", A. Radziwiłł, W. Roszkowski: :Historia 1789–1871:, W. Malski: "Amerykańska wojna pułkownika Kościuszki". "Insurekcja kościuszkowska 1764–1798". Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  7. (Polish) Department Wychowania i Promocji Obronnosci MON, (Polish Ministry of National Defence), "Uroczystości 260 rocznicy urodzin Tadeusza Kościuszki"

Media related to Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument in Kraków at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 50°03′18″N 19°56′06″E / 50.05500°N 19.93500°E / 50.05500; 19.93500

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