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The monument of the Source of the Vistula River

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district: Centrum
st. Olimpijska

The monument is a copy of the original Monument of the Source of the Vistula River and was opend by the president of Poland Mr. Bronisław Komorowski. After the revitalization of the Kopczyński Park the new monument was erected in the site where the monument of ‘Ślązaczka’ used to stand. The queen of the Polish rivers – the Vistula River springs in Wisła, on one of the slopes of Barania Góra.

The works on the monument started in 1936. It was planned to be opened at the end of the Feast of the Mountains – the biggest folk event of the inter-war period which took place in Wisła in 1937. The monument was supposed to represent the river which connected all the territories of our country from the mountains in the south to the sea in the north. The idea was to underline and emphasize the great come back of Silesia to the Republic of Poland. The monument was sculptured by one of the best Polish artist Professor Konstanty Laszczek (1865 – 1956). The statue itself was a figure of a beautiful, slender naiad symbolizing the Vistula River, dressed in a wet, folk costume. The fish, playing in the pool around her, splashed streams of water all over the body of the girl walking through a meadow barefoot. Both the girl and the fish were made of bronze while the pool and other architectural elements were paved with granite plates. A very ceremonial opening of the monument was held on 22 August in 1937 by the president of the Republic of Poland Professor Ignacy Mościcki.

During the Second World War the Germans decided to destroy the statue, it was to be melted. They also robbed all the installations of the fountain, fortunately the other architectural elements were left untouched. After the war several ideas were put forward on how to develop the empty space yet it was not until 1974 that the decision of the reconstruction of the monument was taken. In 1975 the town of Wisła took part in a very popular TV show Bank Miast and that was a very good time for the re-erecting of the statue. The author of the statue was a well – known folk artist from Wisła, Artur Cienciała (1914 – 1985) – a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The idea of the statue was based on the original one – it also showed a beautiful girl with a bunch of flowers in her hands but there were some differences: the girl was not as thin as the one in original version, she was wearing a full folk costume and the statue was not made of bronze but it was cast in lastrico.

During the revitalization of the Kopczyński Park the authorities of the town decided to install the pre-war monument in its original location. Since the original bronze figure had been destroyed, the new one – made by Mr. Grzegorz Łagowski - was put up in 2014. It is not a detailed copy of the original, yet it resembles the pre – war original form very much.

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