As you walk through the center of the city of Szczecin , you might notice a dark bronze bust of a man high upon a pedestal not too far from Brama Portowa , the Harbor Gate . If you don’t know where the Brama Portowa is , ask anyone in Szczecin ; they’ll know . I’m not as sure that they’ll be as familiar with the statue .
The eyes of the romantic poet Kornel Ujejski stare intently toward Brama Portowa , and thus , in a wider sense, further toward the harbor . Ujejski lived during one of the times that Poland had been partitioned . He was born in 1824 in Bremiany in what was then part of the Empire of Austria .
In 1847 Ujejski went to Paris . He attended Sorbonne lectures by another famous Polish poet , Adam Mickiewicz . Frederic Chopin was in Paris at the time , also . Ujejski participated in the Revolution of 1848 and then returned to Poland .
Ujejski is considered the last of the great romantic poets of Poland . A poem of his was set to music and became the anthem of the Polish independence movement .
The statue was unveiled in 1901 in University Square in Lviv . It was designed by Antoni Popiel . I read that it stood in Lviv for fifty years and then in 1950 the statue went to the USSR to the depot at the palace at Wilanow for six years , this according to my tour book Zrob To W Szczecinie . Wikipedia , on the other hand , says that the statue stayed in Lviv only until 1944 , when it was sent to Sczcecin .
Zrob tells the better story , I think . In 1956 Ujejski was brought to Szczecin , according to Zrob . It was quietly placed in the little park where it now hangs out .It was intentionally placed during the busy Christmas time so that people would have other things on their minds . There was no fan-fare . The local Communist newspaper did not even mention the placement of the bust because the authorities did not want to stir up any old patriotic emotions regarding Lviv , or independence .