“Glory to Sappers” Monument

Autor: Zdzisław Smoliński     

“Glory to Sappers” Monument

The “Glory to Sappers” monument was designed by the sculptor Stanisław Kulon and is made up of three parts.

The first part is the main element of the monument. It is located in the main avenue of the Edward Rydz-Śmigły Culture and Recreational Park, and is in the west end of the Wisłostrada; it was unveiled on 8 May 1975. The monument depicts a kneeling sapper with a rifle flung over his back disarming an anti-tank mine. The sapper is surrounded by six pylons symbolizing an explosion of the mine. The pylons made from steel sheeting are 17 m high, and the sapper made in bronze is 2.5 m tall. There are 18 bronze bas-reliefs on the pylons representing scenes from de-mining the country, engineering and building works and struggles with elements of nature.

The second part, located in the underground walkway from the east side of Wisłostrada, includes a 2 m x 7 m bronze bas-relief depicting soldiers of the Polish Army coming to the aid of the Warsaw Insurrectionists. A mermaid threatening the Germans with a broken sword is among the soldiers and insurrectionists, in the top left corner of the relief.

The last part, located in the current of the Vistula River, represents three sappers securing with a pile hammer a metal post into the bottom of the river as part of the bridge building foundation. The monument is 6.5 m high. The structure depicts gratitude to the soldiers, who built Warsaw’s bridges. Unfortunately, this monument was partly built with cement mortar and so the sappers are already decaying and are disintegrating. The monument is located close to a golden beach and at sunset it shines with a beautiful orange light. That phenomenon is exceptionally picturesque.

The project ‘Protecting the habitats of priority bird species of the Vistula Valley under conditions of intensive pressure of the Warsaw agglomeration’ (wislawarszawska.pl) has received a grant from the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.