King Jagiello Monument

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The King Jagiello Monument is an equestrian monument of king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Władysław II Jagiełło, located in Central Park, New York City. Raised on its grand plinth it is one of the most prominently-sited and impressive of twenty-nine sculptures located in Central Park. The monument is sited overlooking the east end of the Turtle Pond, across from Belvedere Castle and just south-east from the Great Lawn.[1] To the northeast is Cleopatra's Needle and beyond, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

History

File:The Wladyslaw Jagiello monument in NYC 9.jpg
The monument and path by the pond
File:Krasicki Jozef Kazimierz, MY. Nr 18, 1993.12.15.jpg
Kazimierz Krasicki, 1993, in front of the Jagiełło Monument that he unveiled in 1945; photo: Zofia Przerwa-Tetmajer

The bronze monument was created for the Polish 1939 New York World's Fair pavilion by the Polish sculptor Stanisław K. Ostrowski (1879-1947). It stood at the Fair's entrance at Queens' Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.[2][3] Ostrowski's name is engraved in the front lower right-hand corner.

The monument commemorates the medieval Battle of Grunwald, where Polish and Lithuanian knights supported by Ruthenian, Czech, and Tatar knights defeated the Teutonic Order. POLAND is inscribed on both sides of the plinth. This bronze monument was made for the Polish 1939 New York World's Fair pavilion.[4] The statue at the World's Fair was a replica of a King Jagiello memorial in Warsaw that was converted into bullets for World War II by the Germans after they entered and occupied the capital of Poland.[5]

King Władysław II Jagiello is shown seated on a horse holding two crossed swords over his head as a symbol of defiance and of the union of Polish-Lithuanian forces. Known as the Grunwald Swords, they were the invitation to battle offered to the king and his ally Vytautas the Great in an ironic gesture by Ulrich von Jungingen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

As a result of the German invasion of Poland that marked the beginning of the Second World War, the personnel and equipment of the Polish World's Fair pavilion was forced to remain in the United States. Unlike much of the rest of the pavilion which was sold to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, the monument stayed in New York, thanks in part to mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia publicly lobbying to keep the statue.[6] The statue was presented to the City of New York by the King Jagiello Monument Committee, with support from the Polish government in exile in July 1945, when it was permanently placed in Central Park with the cooperation of the last consul of the Second Polish Republic or pre-communist Poland in New York, count Józef Kazimierz Krasicki[7] and unveiled by him.[8]

Parks Chief Consulting Architect Aymar Embury II (1880–1966) designed the granite pedestal. POLAND is inscribed on both sides of the plinth.

The monument was conserved in 1986 by the Central Park Conservancy.[2]

King Jagiello

The monument represents the triumph of Władysław II Jagiello, who was one of the most famous kings in the histories of Poland and Lithuania, and the creator of the dynastic union of Poland and Lithuania, at the medieval Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Polish and Lithuanian forces, supported by a coalition of Ruthenian, Czech and Tatar allies soundly defeated the Teutonic Order, which had the support of the finest knights of the primarily German, Dutch and English camp.

See also

References

  1. "King Jagiello Monument". Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Central Park: King Jagiello Monument". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Government Zone (Zone 1) Poland". 1939nyworldsfair.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Government Zone (Zone 1) Poland". 1939nyworldsfair.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. McDannald, Alexander Hopkins (1948). Yearbook of the Encyclopedia Americana. Americana. p. 498. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "La Guardia Pays Tribute to Poland". The New York Times. October 12, 1939. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Daniec, Jadwiga Irena (1982). "In the Footsteps of Stanislaw K. Ostrowski, 1879-1947". The Polish Review. 27 (1/2): 77–91. Retrieved July 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Zosia Przerwa Tetmajer, Władysław Jagiełło w Centralnym Parku Nowego Yorku (sic), "MY: Biuletyn", nr 15 (rok 51), 15 grudnia 1993, p. 6.

External links

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