Pomnik Chwała Saperom - zdjęcie (skan) pochodzi z albumu "Warszawa" wyd. "Sport i turystyka" 1981

Glory to the Sappers – monument to the heroes of post-war Warsaw

Glory to the Sappers, also known as the Sappers’ Monument, is a three-part composition located in the Solec district of Warsaw, in the park named after Marshal E. Rydz-Śmigły. Unveiled in 1975, the monument commemorates the sappers operating in the capital just after its liberation in January 1945.

After the fall of the Uprising and the end of the war, Warsaw was a sea of ruins full of dangerous traps left here by German troops. In order to be able to start rebuilding the capital, the sappers did a tremendous amount of heroic work. They cleared not only hectares of rubble of mines, but also the surviving buildings, which very often were also mined and posed a danger. For this sacrifice and for making it possible to rebuild the city, the citizens of Warsaw decided to erect a monument in their honour.

Monument to the Glory of the Sappers – photo (scan) comes from the album “Warsaw” published by “Sport and Tourism” 1981

The monument was erected on the Landing Plate, built in 1952, located near the bank of the Vistula River in the Czerniaków area. It was designed by Stanislaw Kulon in collaboration with Eugeniusz Kozak. The winning concept was selected through a competition announced by the Association of Polish Artists and Designers and the municipal and military authorities. The monument was unveiled on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, on 8 May 1975. The ceremony was presided over by the then Minister of National Defence, General Wojciech Jaruzelski. The monument was cast in the Marcel Nowotko Mechanical Works (today PZL-Wola) in Warsaw. Some of the work was also done by the Wrocław River Shipyard.

Chwała Saperom
“8 May 1975 – unveiling of the monument Glory to the Sappers – photo (scan) comes from the weekly Stolica no. 20 (1432) 18.05.1975

The monument consists of three parts. The first is a monument made of steel symbolising a mine explosion. It was depicted by six 17-metre high pylons arranged in a circle. In the centre, on a low granite pedestal, is a two-and-a-half-metre bronze cast figure of a sapper disarming a mine. The pylons bear 18 bronze bas-reliefs describing the hard work of the sappers during the reconstruction of the country and the capital, including demining and the reconstruction of bridges. Next to the monument is a plaque with the inscription:

‘Free Warsaw will never forget those who, with their toil and blood, were the first to start the work of rebuilding it’ (from the order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army No. 39 of 14 March 1945).

Plaques with the names of the fallen sappers were placed next to it.

Chwała Saperom
List of the fallen. Photo by Adrian Grycuk, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons

Another part of the monument is a 2 by 7 metre bas-relief bronze plaque placed in the subway under the Wisłostrada, commemorating the landing of soldiers of the Third Division of the Polish First Army, rushing to the aid of Warsaw, which was overwhelmed by the uprising. The final piece is a six-and-a-half-metre-high sculpture placed in the Vistula, depicting three soldiers driving a post into the river bed, which is to be the pillar of the new bridge. It is located at the entrance to the Czerniaków harbour. On the nearby Vistula Flotilla Boulevard is the Landing Plate, installed in 1951, which also commemorates the famous landing of Polish soldiers.

16 April was established by the Order of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army No. 105 of 4 April 1946 as the Day of the Sapper.

Source: polska-zbrojna.pl, warszawa.fandom.com

Read also: Monuments | History | Sculpture | Warsaw | Interesting facts

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