February 10th 1920: Poland’s Wedding to the Sea

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‘Poland’s Wedding to the Sea’ by Wojciech Kossak

On this day in 1920 the first of the ceremonies marrying Poland to the sea took place in Puck, commemorating the restoration of Poland’s access to the Baltic Sea. They had lost access in 1793 due to the Second Partition of Poland, in which Russia, Prussia and Austria divided Poland amongst themselves. After the First World War Poland once again became an independent nation state and this was celebrated with a wedding. General Józef Haller led the festivities; a flag was dipped in the sea and Haller threw a ring into the water. Since 1920 other weddings have occurred, including many in 1945, which are essentially a renewal of vows.

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The site of the 1920 wedding

 

“In the name of the Holy Republic of Poland, I, General Jozef Haller, am taking control of this ancient Slavic Baltic Sea shore”