Celebrity Park: Where to see Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe AND John Lennon?

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London may have Madame Tussauds with its queues and pricey entry fees, but Kielce in Poland has Aleja Slaw, the public park lined with sculptures of the stars.

Sometimes translated as Celebrity Alley, the series of famous people immortalised here was commissioned by Kielce council via a range of local artists. The heads are an unusual mix, with famous Poles alongside seemingly random western musicians and actors, such as John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe.

We’ve picked around 30 here for your browsing pleasure, but there are plenty more to see when you visit Kielce.

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Joseph Conrad

The extremely influential author of Heart of Darkness, famously the basis of Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now, was Polish-born but spent most of his life in England.

Joseph Conrad. © Adam Zulawski
Joseph Conrad. © Adam Zulawski

Andy Warhol

The biggest name in Pop Art had Lemko roots, connecting him with the Carpathian region that begins at the southern end of Poland.

Andy Warhol looks down Aleja Slaw. © Adam Zulawski
Andy Warhol looks down Aleja Slaw. © Adam Zulawski

Tamara Lempicka

This Polish woman was the most iconic artist associated with the Art Deco movement, and Lempicka’s paintings grace galleries and museums around the world. Young Lady with Gloves, shown here, encapsulates her famous style:

Young Lady with Gloves (1930) by Tamara de Lempicka. Photo by Esther Westerveld
Young Lady with Gloves (1930) by Tamara de Lempicka. Photo by Esther Westerveld
Tamara Lempicka. © Adam Zulawski
Tamara Lempicka. © Adam Zulawski

Charlie Chaplin

The slapstick humour of Charlie Chaplin was obviously very popular in Poland as well as the rest of the world.

Charlie Chaplin. © Adam Zulawski
Charlie Chaplin. © Adam Zulawski

Marc Chagall

The Belorussian-French-Russian modernist artist was famous for stained glass windows as well as paintings, with his windows on display in churches in France, Germany, Israel, Switzerland and the UK.

These windows can be found in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims.

Vidriera de Marc Chagall. Notre Dame, Reims. Photo by Carmen Escobar Carrio
Vidriera de Marc Chagall. Notre Dame, Reims. Photo by Carmen Escobar Carrio
Marc Chagall. © Adam Zulawski
Marc Chagall. © Adam Zulawski

Big in the 60s and 70s, Niemen was an influential and supremely groovy Polish singer with an absolute belter of a voice and glorious facial hair:

Czeslaw Niemen. © Adam Zulawski
Czeslaw Niemen. © Adam Zulawski

Salvador Dali

The Aleja Slaw depiction of Dali seems to have captured his penchant for drama and surrealism.

Salvador Dali. © Adam Zulawski
Salvador Dali. © Adam Zulawski

Dmitri Shostakovich

One of the great Russian composers of the 20th century. His works line the background of half the films you’ve seen:

Dmitri Shostakovich. © Adam Zulawski
Dmitri Shostakovich. © Adam Zulawski

Stanislaw Witkiewicz

Little known outside his native Poland, Witkiewicz was one of the country’s most famous painters:

Self-portrait with Mrs. Maryla Grosmanowa (1927) by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. Photo by KUUNSTKUULTUR
Self-portrait with Mrs. Maryla Grosmanowa (1927) by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. Photo by KUUNSTKUULTUR
Stanislaw Witkiewicz. © Adam Zulawski
Stanislaw Witkiewicz. © Adam Zulawski

Edith Piaf

Piaf was probably the most famous French singer of all time:

Edith Piaf. © Adam Zulawski
Edith Piaf. © Adam Zulawski

Franz Kafka

The Prague-born novelist whose famous depictions of nightmarish bureaucracy in novels such as The Trial make him the go-to author for anybody sick of modern life.

Franz Kafka. © Adam Zulawski
Franz Kafka. © Adam Zulawski

Zbigniew Cybulski

Commonly thought of as Poland’s counterpart to James Dean, Cybulski was a gifted actor who tragically fell under a train in Wroclaw station when he was just 39 years old.

Here’s a clip of him dancing at a really odd ball in the 1965 film Salto:

Zbigniew Cybulski. © Adam Zulawski
Zbigniew Cybulski. © Adam Zulawski

George Gershwin

Gershwin was the composer who best captured what New York felt like at the start of the 20th century:

George Gershwin. © Adam Zulawski
George Gershwin. © Adam Zulawski

Ingmar Bergman

The Swedish film director was famous for moody existentialist think-pieces.

Whenever you see the grim reaper depicted in black and white these days, it’s usually a nod to Bergman:

Ingmar Bergman.  © Adam Zulawski
Ingmar Bergman. © Adam Zulawski

James Joyce

Irish novelist, famous for changing literature forever through his word-melding, moral-offending and subconscious-tickling novels Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake.

James Joyce. © Adam Zulawski
James Joyce. © Adam Zulawski

Igor Stravinsky

An extremely influential Russian composer, Stravinsky’s most famous work was probably 1913’s The Rite of Spring:

Igor Stravinsky.  © Adam Zulawski
Igor Stravinsky. © Adam Zulawski

Xawery Dunikowski

Dunikowski was an important Polish sculptor who was also an Auschwitz survivor, a subject that would proliferate throughout his post-war output.

Dunikowski's 1918 statue The Soul Escaping the Body is on display in the garden of the Krolikarnia in Warsaw. © Adam Zulawski
Dunikowski’s 1918 statue The Soul Escaping the Body is on display in the garden of the Krolikarnia in Warsaw. © Adam Zulawski
Xawery Dunikowski. © Adam Zulawski
Xawery Dunikowski. © Adam Zulawski

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was possibly the greatest guitarist of all time, so obviously they needed a statue of him in Kielce.

Jimi Hendrix. © Adam Zulawski
Jimi Hendrix. © Adam Zulawski

Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski

Baczynski was a Polish Jew who died during the Jewish Uprising in Warsaw in 1944.

He was only 23 years old but his poetry had already become remarkably influential, capturing what life was like under occupation while still retaining passion and hope.

You can read some translations of his works here.

Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski. © Adam Zulawski
Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski. © Adam Zulawski

Marcel Proust

Proust was arguably the most significant French writer at the turn of the 20th century with his epic seven-part work In Search of Lost Time leaving his competition in awe.

Marcel Proust. © Adam Zulawski
Marcel Proust. © Adam Zulawski

Sergei Prokofiev

In compositions such as Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev made some supremely catchy classical music – not a phrase you can apply to most musicians.

Among the Russian composer’s many famous works, Dance of the Knights is our favourite:

Sergei Prokofiev. © Adam Zulawski
Sergei Prokofiev. © Adam Zulawski

Marilyn Monroe

The world’s most famous blonde bombshell is now a bronze bombshell in Kielce.

Marilyn Monroe. © Adam Zulawski
Marilyn Monroe. © Adam Zulawski

Krzysztof Kieslowski

Kieslowski was a multi-award-winning director who made films in both French and Polish.

The Three Colours trilogy is his best-known work:

Krzysztof Kieslowski. © Adam Zulawski
Krzysztof Kieslowski. © Adam Zulawski

Mikhail Bulgakov

The Russian author of The Master and Margarita  had created one of the best satires on life under communism, still beloved my many today and often turned into theatrical spectacles.

Mikhail Bulgakov. © Adam Zulawski
Mikhail Bulgakov. © Adam Zulawski

Pablo Picasso

We’re not sure what Picasso would make of the sculpture of him here in Kielce.

Pablo Picasso. © Adam Zulawski
Pablo Picasso. © Adam Zulawski

Stanislaw Lem

The science-fiction writer’s most famous work is Solaris, but all of Lem’s books have affected all later writers who deal in the fantastic.

Even the blockbuster videogame series Sim City found its initial ideas in one of his short stories, The Seventh Sally.

Stanislaw Lem. © Adam Zulawski
Stanislaw Lem. © Adam Zulawski

Krzysztof Penderecki

Classical composer Penderecki is one of the only residents on Aleja Slaw that is still alive today in 2014.

His works feature in many films such as The Shining, The Exorcist and Shutter Island. We guarantee you have heard the spine-shivering Polymorphia before:

Krzysztof Penderecki. © Adam Zulawski
Krzysztof Penderecki. © Adam Zulawski

Thomas Mann

The German novelist’s most famous books were Death in Venice and Dr Faustus. Mann won the Nobel prize for literature in 1929 for Buddenbrooks.

Thomas Mann. © Adam Zulawski
Thomas Mann. © Adam Zulawski

Wladyslaw Hasior

Hasior was a Polish sculptor and set designer known for his bizarre creations. There is a museum dedicated to him in the popular mountain resort of Zakopane

Wladyslaw Hasior. © Adam Zulawski
Wladyslaw Hasior. © Adam Zulawski

John Lennon

The only Beatle the Kielce authorities saw fit to recreate as a sculpture. Nobody tell Paul.

John Lennon. © Adam Zulawski
John Lennon. © Adam Zulawski

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Celebrity Park: Where to see Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe AND John Lennon? was last modified: June 17th, 2015 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3400 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!