13 - Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus is widely known as the creator of the heliocentric model of the solar system. Not everyone knows, however, that he was a priest, but also fulfil numerous public functions. He was, inter alia, the general administrator of the Warmia bishopric. The originator of the construction of the Copernicus monument was priest Stanisław Staszic. Father Staszic was one of the leading representatives of the Polish Enlightenment. He also founded the Polish Academy of Sciences, opposite which the pedestal of this outstanding Polish astronomer was soon erected. The author of the monument was the famous danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. It is one of Thorvaldsen’s most famous sculptures and copies are found in Chicago and Montreal. The final unveiling of the monument was made in 1830 by the writer Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. On the pedestal there is a gilded inscription „Nicolao Copernico grata patria” and its polish translation to Nicolaus Copernicus for his compatriots.

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