The Adam Mickiewicz Monument, also called the Adam Mickiewicz Column, is situated in the centre of Lviv in the Adam Mickiewicz Square and is a historic and cultural sightseeing place of the city. The solemn opening of the column took place on October 30th, 1904 and was of great importance for a national consciousness of the Poles, living in Lviv. The idea of erecting the monument to the famous poet was brought up repeatedly by the city’s Polish Diaspora after his death, but it was realised at the end of the 19th century with creating the Adam Mickiewicz cult as a Polish genius person.
By celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of the poet, in 1898, the city authorities announced the winner of the competition for the best project of the Adam Mickiewicz Monument. The project, which won the first place, has represented the monument as a column: the poet stands with his right hand, holding out in the air, and the angel with lyre comes down to him from heaven. The column, crowned with gilded tongues of flame, is made of granite and 21 metre high.
According to the original plan of erecting the monument it should stand at the crossing of the Adam Mickiewicz Square and the Prospect of Freedom. But the city river overflew its banks at the beginning of earth building operations for laying the monument’s foundation. In this connection the city authorities made the decision to locate the monument in the middle of the Adam Mickiewicz Square near the fountain and the statue of the Mother of God, having stood there. In order to decrease the flood risk, a great number of sand was brought to the square. Since than this place has been called among the people “Lviv’s Sahara”.
The Adam Mickiewicz Column had a dominant position in the square and was an organizing link. However, the first monumental building was erected here in 1909 and a skyscraper in 1921. Nowadays these both buildings compete with the monument for the dominant position in the Adam Mickiewicz Square.