Thursday, July 14, 2011

The monument to Prince Jozef Poniatowski in Leipzig

This is another story connected with the Battle of Leipzig that I happened to know while stay in Leipzig.
A modest monument dedicated to Prince Jozef Poniatowski (1763 – 1813) who was a Polish leader, general, minister of war, army chief, and a Marshal of France located in a picturesque park in the central part of Leipzig.
As a reward for his brilliant services, on October 16 during the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon made Poniatowski a Marshal of France. He heroically defended Leipzig, losing half his corps in the fighting. In the general confusion, the French blew up the bridge before Poniatowski's corps could reach it. Contesting every step with the overwhelming forces of his pursuers, Prince Józef refused to surrender, and covered with wounds plunged into the river. There he died.
The first Monument of Prince Jozef Poniatowski in Leipzig was unveiled in 1834, but in 1939 it was destroyed by Germans who just came to power. In 1970 it was reconstructed by Polish architects. A part of the old monument was integrated into a new one.
On attached pictures you can see the portrait of the Marshal Poniatowski, the first monument, and the modern one.