Sigismund's Column

Coordinates: 52°14′50.31″N 21°00′48.3″E / 52.2473083°N 21.013417°E / 52.2473083; 21.013417

Sigismund's Column
Kolumna Zygmunta
Location Warsaw
Designer Clemente Molli
Material Bronze, granite
Completion date 1644
Dedicated to Sigismund III Vasa

Sigismund's Column (Polish: Kolumna Zygmunta), originally erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland and is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw.

On the Corinthian column (which used to be of red marble), 8.5 m high, a sculpture of the King, 2.75-metres high, in archaistic armour is placed.[1] Sigismund's Column now stands at 22 metres and is adorned by four eagles. The king is dressed in armor and carries a cross in one hand and wields a sword in the other.[2]

Origins and design

17th century
Construction of the Sigismund's Column, detail of the 1646 engraving by Willem Hondius.

Erected between 1643 and 1644, the column was constructed on the orders of Sigismund's son and successor, King Władysław IV Vasa. It was designed by the Italian-born architect Constantino Tencalla and the sculptor Clemente Molli, and cast by Daniel Tym.[3][4] The Zygmunt's Column was modelled on the Italian columns in front of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (erected in 1614 to designs of Carlo Maderno), and the Column of Phocas in Rome[3] (Władysław Vasa had seen both of them during his visit to Rome in 1625).

In 1681 the monument was surrounded with a wooden fence, which was later replaced with a permanent iron fence.

18th and 19th centuries

The marble column itself was renovated several times in the next few centuries, most notably in 1743, 1810, 1821 and 1828. In 1854 the monument was surrounded with a fountain featuring marble tritons sculpted by the German, August Kiss.[3]

In 1863 the column was renovated somewhat again, but still needed work, and between 1885 and 1887 it was replaced with a new column of granite.[3] Between 1927 and 1930, the monument was again renovated, and was restored to its original appearance when the fountain and the fence around it were removed.

Toppled statue, 1945
20th century

On 1 September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, the monument's column was demolished by the Germans, and its bronze statue was badly damaged.[2][3] After the war the statue was repaired, and in 1949 it was set up on a new column, made of granite from the Strzegom mine, a couple of metres from the original site.[1] The original broken pieces of the column can still be seen lying next to the Royal Castle.

The inscription

On the side of the pedestal facing the Krakowskie Przedmieście is a plaque bearing the words in finest lettering reads:[5]




18th century

20th century

See also


  1. 1 2 "Column of King Zygmunt III Vasa". eGuide / Treasures of Warsaw on-line. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  2. 1 2 "Sigismund's Column". Destination Warsaw. The Warsaw Voice. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Kolumna Zygmunta III Wazy". (in Polish). Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  4. "Kolumna Zygmunta". Warszawa za Wazów (in Polish). Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  5. "Tablice na kolumnie Zygmunta". Retrieved 29 June 2008.
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