19th March 2015 – Warsaw, Poland
By the bank of the Vistula river, spring had Slowly started to peek with its beautiful eyes. The camera lenses will come and go. But, Old town will remain the abode of Copernicus, wise.
Spring seems to be here already. Or at least, the spring tourists are here already.
I think I found this the hard way, when I stepped out for a walk into Poland’s old town today. There were throngs of tour-groups walking everywhere in the middle of Poland’s historic city centre. And amidst them all, I was the lone wolf, walking around alone with my camera in hand.
There are many points of interest in the old town, way too much to cover in one day. But I was looking for the famous Copernicus monument. Nicolaus Copernicus is probably the most famous Pole ever, and he has a fitting commemoration statue for him in the middle of old town.
Bang in front of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the monument was designed by Bertel Thorvaldson, and carries a little bit of torment in its history. At first, the Polish clergy didn’t honour it because Copernicus was preaching something the church would not sanction at that time and even considered sacrilegious, that the sun was the centre of the universe. How dare he!
And during World war II, the monument became the centre of a power struggle between the Nazis and the Polish underground. There were edits done on the plaque, and the statue was even removed. It was almost melted down by the Germans, but thankfully the war was soon over. And in 2007, a new square was added to the statue with the planets shown surrounding it in Copernicus original illustration of the planetary location.
That’s too much of teaching and history for the day. I am now going to try some Polish pierogi and the famous Polish capacity for drinking vodka.