Being the first “ideal” socialist city in Poland, Nowa Huta was meant to remain atheist. However, its dwellers soon placed a cross on the site of a planned church. As the authorities were afraid to remove it, they brought special forces from all of southern Poland. Their fears proved to be justified as the protest in defence of the cross on 27 April 1960 turned into regular street fights.
After the end of Stalinist regime in 1956 and the subsequent political thaw, the communist authorities agreed to build a church. Less than two years later, however, once the construction work had already begun, the permit was withdrawn. The decision was made that the church would be replaced by a school. This caused serious strife between the authorities and the local community.
During the riots and fights with the militia and special forces of the police, the cross was defended by over 4000 people. The defence of the cross lasted for four days and achieved its intended result: the cross remained in place. As the wooden cross was deteriorating it was replaced by an iron one and relocated to the present location. At the previous site there is now a momorial tablet.
The original wooden cross was relocated and replaced by an iron one, and the place where the cross originally stood is now a location for a monument which commemorates the historic events. The 5-metre-high monument was erected there in 2007.