During the past winter holiday I paid a visit to Darłowo – off season a little bit sleepy and stripped of the plastic summer glitter. But – vibrating with its own, personal and almost tourists – free life. On the square I met Stanisław Dulewicz monument, first mayor of a town after the WWII. Natural height, it melts into the crowd. It’s quite a small monument. There are a lot of small monuments in our beautiful country.
Not everyone is are equally successful. A lot of famous ones are immortalized as monuments of people occupying benches. Maybe – according to current trends regarding city space discussions – I wouldn’t call it “benching”. But one must state that small monuments on Polish streets are very popular and mostly enjoyed however not very often they cause an aesthetic ecstasy (I would even say – quite rarely). But, wonders never cease, they cause liking, will of joint sitting on a bench, taking photo of something which reminds of someone who was famous.
On promenade of Ustka which is of a shape of film tape, sat Irena Kwiatkowska, beloved by Poles Working Women of Czterdziestolatek series, casted in bronze. During cold days somebody tenderly tucks her in a scarf, sometimes one may see beads and other jewellery. Irena used to visit Ustka, she liked sitting on benches and watching seashore. On an aforementioned bench there is a space for two more persons which is taken advantage of by tourists and patients. Photo with the Working Woman in not less attractive though than photo with siren of Ustka which is exposed on Ustka’s pier showing her breast (after all: legend says that who holds siren’s breast ……).
And dwarfs? Small monuments tourists in Wrocław can’t live without? Small, hidden; one must crouch to take photo with them. In addition to – they happen to have controversial appearance but who demands a good appearance from a dwarf? Recently those dwarfs determine the tourists’ route of sightseeing around the Wrocław Market Square and cause an upturn in the economy of souvenirs shops. I brought myself a map with localization of those creatures and magnet and wristband in a colour of crazy green.
And a famous Piotrkowska Street in Łódź. Here one may find an never ending festival of small monuments named officially – Gallery of Great Citizens of Łódź. On the bench there sits Julian Tuwim, on a trunk – Władysław Reymont, on a chair by a piano with wings – Artur Rubinstein, by the round table – Izrael Poznański together with Karol Scheiber and Henryk Grohman. Procession is closed by Stefan Jaracz.
Officially Gallery of Great Citizens of Łódź does not include a small monument of Miś Uszatek spreading his charm near the entrance to Tourist Information Office. It doesn’t matter though, it’s a common knowledge that Miś Uszatek was born in Se-Ma-For film studio and is a born citizen of Łódź. Just as Filemon the Cat together with its friend – Bonifacy.
Here one must mention benches commemorating Jan Karski. There is a series thereof. One may find them in six places: in Warsaw (near the POLIN Museum), in Łódź (Ocalali Park), in Kielce (Sienkiewicza Street) and abroad – in Washington, New York, Tel – Aviv. Photos of these benches one may find here.
And what is your attitude to all – pervasive monuments and benches. To you sit thereon? Do you take pictures?