Poland holds a special place in the hearts of Cold War Catholics, so I was thrilled to be able to spend a week attending a conference in Warsaw. It really is a lovely city–at least the old town and university area I was staying in. The monuments and churches, the outdoor restaurants and street performers, the beautiful girls revealingly attired for the summer heat–everything comes together to make a pleasant atmosphere. Did I mention the girls? Well, that’s not what I’m going to be talking about. I want to talk about the monuments, because I think some of you will get a kick out of it. I didn’t have a camera, so I’m going to grab pictures off of Google Commons. I saw this stuff, though, so I can assure you that it’s really there.
Here’s a statue of King Sigismund III mounted on a column in Castle Square. I don’t have anything in particular to say about this king, but doesn’t that statue kick ass? I want more monuments of kings holding crosses and swords!
Here’s Copernicus, a lovely site to see each morning on my way to hob-nob with hundreds of other astronomers. Right across from this statue is the church I attended, which I later learned houses Chopin’s heart.
When I read about this, I knew I’d have to go see it just to tell you guys I was there. That’s King Sobieski, “Slayer of the Ottomans. Savior of Vienna” as the image description says. Check out the larger image so you can see the serene and aloof look on his face as he rides over those Turkish bastards. War monuments have a different style over there. Living in America, I’ve seen lots of Civil War and World War I monuments. They are always spare and somber, with some sort of plaque asking us to remember our poor soldiers who gave their lives for their country. That’s nice, I guess. In ages past, though, people didn’t build statues to remember how their boys got killed by the enemy; they built statues to remember how much ass their warriors kicked. So here we’ve got Sobieski not making great sacrifices, but pulverizing the Ottoman without breaking a sweat. Hell yeah!
There is one statue of an American in Warsaw. That’s right–it’s Ronald Reagan. I know, I know, Reagan wasn’t actually a good guy or a real conservative. Still, the Poles are remembering him for being an anti-communist, and it warms my heart to think of someone getting a statue for that. Plus, just think what a slap in the face it must be to the university students when they walk by this. Bwah ha ha ha ha!!
Another thing I saw a lot of: statues of a mermaid brandishing a sword and shield–from the city’s coat of arms, apparently.