Jan Kozietulski (1781-1821)
The bust of the victor of the charge of Samosierra stands in the Łazienki Gardens.
This member of Napoleon’s Campaigns spent his youth in Warsaw, but enjoyed his greatest successes abroad. In 1806, he was appointed the Commander of the Guard of Honour established for the reception of Napoleon. As the leader of the Squadron of Chevaux-Légers, he rode to Spain with the Emperor of the French. In 1808, in the Samosierra mountain pass, he commanded one of the most famous attacks in war history. The Polish charge of the Spanish armies opened Napoleon’s path to Madrid. The charge earned him the Knight’s Cross of Legion d’Honneur, the highest distinction awarded in France.
In 1809, he commanded another successful charge during the Battle of Wagram. It earned him the Officer’s Cross of Legion d’Honneur. In 1811, he was awarded the Polish Virtuti Military Knight’s Cross. He participated in Napoleon’s French invasion of Moscow in 1812, the ‘Battle of Nations’ of Leipzig in 1813. After his return to Poland, he joined the corps of Prince Józef Poniatowski. He died in 1821 in Warsaw.