Before burial, Chopin’s heart was removed and preserved in alcohol, and transferred to his native Poland. Today, the heart is built into a pillar of the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.
On this day one of the greatest piano composers in world history – Frédéric Chopin – was born in the Polish village of Wola Żelazowa.
Interestingly, his father was not a Pole but a Frenchman, Nicolas Chopin, who moved to Poland at the age of 16 and worked as a tutor of aristocratic children. The father married a Polish woman named Justyna Krzyżanowska. Their son Frédéric Chopin was such an emotional child that he supposedly wept when his mother played the piano.
Chopin was a musical prodigy like the little Mozart. Already at the age of seven, he gave piano concerts and composed polonaises. At 11, he performed in front of the Russian Emperor Alexander I (victor over Napoleon). At the age of 21 Chopin moved to Paris and never again had the good fortune to return to his homeland. He had a lot of romantic relationships, but the most famous is the one with the writer and feminist George Sand (a married baroness Dudevant), who was six years older than him and already had two children. She left her husband Baron Dudevant and lived with Chopin for a while, along with her children.
Frédéric Chopin was sickly ever since childhood and his state increasingly deteriorated. He reportedly suffered from tuberculosis, but probably also from other chronic diseases. George Sand had to take increasing care of him and called him his “third child”. He died at the age of only 39. Before the burial, his heart was removed and preserved in alcohol, and transferred to his native Poland. Today, the heart is built into a pillar of the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. If the heart would be taken out and analyzed, it might be possible to detect all of the illnesses that the artist suffered. The rest of Chopin’s body was buried in Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery.