Nierozpoznani – Poznań, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Poznań, Poland

Nierozpoznani

A cluster of headless, armless sculptures looms within a popular Polish park. 

An army of headless bodies awaits those who wander through this historic Polish park. Gathered in the middle of the green space and looking as through they’re about to overtake the city, they’re a surprising sight to stumble upon.

Nierozpoznani (Unrecognized) is a cluster of 112 headless, armless statues; a tangle of torsos attached to enormous legs all stepping in different directions. Tainted red with rust, their color matches that of the red-dirt walkway they seem to strut atop.

The limbs loom over the middle area of the park, making for an eerie, horror-movie like scene on foggy days when clouds of mist cloak the grounds. You can walk among the statues, which is the best way to appreciate their impressive size. They add an unsettling vibe to a park that tends to be a popular picnic spot among locals during the warmer, sunnier months.

Artist Magdalena Abakanowicz erected the iron bodies in 2002 in celebration of the 750th anniversary of Poznań’s founding. She was one of Poland’s most prominent modern artists, and has unveiled her work around the world.

The headless statues are her largest pieces of public art. Symbolically, they raise questions of where the city is coming from and where it’s headed and were the artist’s way of confronting a certain sense of lingering fear. 

Know Before You Go

Entering the park is free. You can park on Za Cytadelą street or walk from the city center.