The King Wladyslaw Jagiello’s Monument in Central Park

The King Wladyslaw Jagiello’s Monument in Central Park ,  larger-than-life bronze equestrian statue attracts the attention of many passers-by.  A monument of the Polish King has been featured in the heart of New York City since 1945.
This imposing statue was originally featured at the entrance to the Polish pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair of Flushing Meadows, Queens.
Covering 1,216 acres  New York World's Fair   was erected on what was an ash-dump. The theme, "Building the World of Tomorrow" echoed in virtually every corner of the Fair.  The 1939 New York World's Fair opened on May 30, 1939 which was the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington in New York City, the nation's first capitol. 

Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons.
Polish exhibit
 Second Polish Republic prepared some 200 tons of various works of art for the fair. In mid-February 1939, all items  left port of Gdynia  on February 28.  Among most important items were: a royal carpet of King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk, seven paintings presenting important events of Polish history,  ancient Polish weaponry ,   folk costumes, house furniture from different regions of Poland and examples of Polish inventions. 
At the entrance to the Polish exhibit stood a replica of a monument of the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania,  Wladislaw II Jagiello .

Battle of Grunwald
The original was prepared by  the Polish sculptor  Stanisław K. Ostrowski  and stood in Poland’s capital, Warsaw.  The monument appears to represent an event that took place before the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The Battle of Grunwald was one of the largest battles fought in Medieval Europe.  Between 26,000 and 56,000 soldiers took part in the battle.
The 26th Grand Master of Teutonic Knights, whose army was about to clash with a coalition of Polish, Lithuanian, and Ruthenian forces, sent two messengers to King Jagiełło. They delivered two swords. King Jagiełło accepted the gift and the challenge.

The swords   were later placed in Poland’s Royal Treasury at Wawel Castle in Cracow and were subsequently carried in front of Polish kings during their coronations as symbols of their power. Unfortunately, in 1853, the swords were confiscated by Russian troops and never found again.


On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion. After heavy shelling and bombing, Warsaw surrendered to the Germans on September 27, 1939.


When the  New York World's Fair   closed  most of the items from the Polish Pavilion  were sold by the Polish Government in exile in London to the Polish Museum of America and shipped to Chicago. The only one  was made for a monument of the Polish-Lithuanian King Jagiełło to which Mayor Fiorello La Guardia took such a liking that he helped spearhead a campaign to have it installed in Central Park.  The statue was installed in 1945.    The author of the  monument  Stanisław K. Ostrowski   emigrated to New York and  died in 1947.