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16.10.1820/Setting the foundation
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16.10.1820/Setting the foundation

On the day after the third anniversary of Kościuszko’s death the celebration of laying foundation for the Mound was held. It was both patriotic and religious in nature. The ruling bodies of the Republic of Krakow participated in it, as well as the Wawel Chapter and the university Senate together with all the estates of Krakow and other Polish lands under occupation by the partitioning powers. The peasants brought soil from the Racławice battlefield. The speech was made by the general of Polish forces in the Duchy of Warsaw, one of the last surviving secretaries to Kościuszko, his distant relative and heir, Franciszek Maksymilian Paszkowski. In his bold speech he reminded that “there is nothing more precious than freedom and independence” and addressed the serfs “without whom nothing truly great can ever be done”. The celebration was also attended by foreigners: Italian singer Angelica Catalani, who dedicated the proceedings from her Krakow concert to the Mound, and Bertel Thorvaldsen a world renowned Danish sculptor author of the monument of Prince Józefa Poniatowski in Warsaw, among others. They (Catalani and Thorvaldsen) were the first foreigners to help build the Monument to the citizen of the world. Soon diplomatic notes, in French, where sent to the authorities in the United States, England and France, informing them about the construction of the Mound. It can be then said that the Mound’s construction was an international affair, but primarily it was the work of the Polish people.

After the mass and all the speeches ended, after the founding article was read and placed in a glass and marble container at the base, after placing memorabilia of the Uprising (e.g. cannonballs from the Raclawice fields), the construction could began. Soil brought in wheelbarrows was deposited around the fir tree trunk brought from Jaworzno forest. The tree was to designate the centre of the Mound. After the first few official wheelbarrow were deposited the gathered people began to construct the Mound. The work was progressing in a cheerful atmosphere to patriotic music and way beyond nightfall. The construction of the Mound has been under-way.

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