Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (1798 to 1855) was a prominent poet, dramatist, essayist, political activist, publicist and translator. He is commonly considered the greatest poet in Polish literature.
Mickiewicz bust before unveiling
Mickiewicz is known chiefly for the poetic drama Dziady (Forefathers' Eve) and the national epic poem Pan Tadeusz, the last great epic of Polish-Lithuanian noble culture.
He was active in keeping Polish nationalism alive during Austrian, Prussian and Russian rule. The Mickiewicz bust has been replicated from the original bust's plaster mold.
The Polish Cultural Garden was dedicated on October 28th, 1934 and is located on the corner of St. Clair and East Blvd. in Cleveland. Starting in 1996, Ben Stefanski and his family began the restoration of the Polish Cultrual Garden with the restored bust of Copernicus. The Mickiewicz restoration completes the original busts that existed in the Polish Garden. As you will hear in the videos below, there are exciting plans for the Polish Cultural Garden including a life size statue of Pope John Paul II in the fountain in the center of the Garden.
Polish Cultural Garden delegate Gary Kotlarsic served as Master of Cermonies for the event which began with the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Poland by Ashley Budzilo and Alina Stepien of PIAST, the Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA).
Ashley Budzilo and Alina Stepien of PIAST
Singing the national anthems
Dr Sean Martin, Gary Kotlarsic and Irene Morrow Singing the anthems
Garden delegate Gary Kotlarsic spoke about the original dedication of the Chopin Garden in 1934 which became the Polish Cultural Garden.
Polish Cultural Garden delegate Ben Stefanski spoke about future plans for the Garden - including the life size statue of Pope John Paul II - and thanked many of those who made the restorations possible.
Ben Stefanski and Gary Kotlarsic
Cleveland Slavic Village Councilman Anthony Brancatelli spoke at the rededication of the Mickiewicz bust and told of the importance of the Polish community and all of the gardens in the Cultural Garden family.
Councilman Anthony Brancatelli
Gary Kotlarsic, Ben Stefanski, Irene Morrow, Councilman Anthony Brancatelli and Dr. Sean Martin unveiled the newly renovated and rededicated monument to Adam Mickiewicz.
Dr. Sean Martin from the Western Reserve Historical Society gave a brief history of the Polish Cultural Garden.
Dr. Sean Martin from the Western Reserve Historical Society
Dr Martin, Gary Kotlarsic and Irene Morrow
Dr. Martin then spoke more in depth about the life and times of the great Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz.
Dr. Sean Martin
Rev. Jozef Bozek, Associate Pastor of the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, spoke in Polish at the rededication.
Rev. Jozef Bozek, Associate Pastor of the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus
The performances by PIAST began with a reading of selections from Pan Tadeusz from Mickiewicz. Agnieszka Kotlarsic is the PIAST choreographer and Gosia Kacki is the PIAST instructor.
Asia Sychla recited the poem 'O Lithuania, my country.'
Next, Ashley Budzillo sang from Laura and Filon by F. Karpinski while other ladies from PIAST danced.
Then Alina Stepien recited the poem 'Bigos' from the epic poem Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz. It features a poetic description of bigos eaten by members of the aristocratic szlachta returning from hunting.
Then Asia Sychla recited the 'Hunting from Pan Tadeusz. Antek Prochoroft accompanied on the French horn
The grand finale was a performance of The Polonaise by the PIAST group.
Enjoy these other images from the Rededication Ceremony.
PIAST group in front of Copernicus
Roy Norton and Irene Morrow
Michael Klymiuk Wieczerski
Ben Stefanski and Councilman Tony Brancatelli
Polish Garden crowd
Gary Kotlarsic and kids with Councilman Tony Brancatelli
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