piątek, 22 kwietnia 2016

1050 years of Christianity in Poland

In 966, most probably on Easter Saturday, 14th April, the Duke of the Polan tribe, Mesko I became part of the Christian world.
A year earlier he married a Czech princess Dobrava, or Doubravka who persuaded him to adopt the Religion.
This act opened the road to the Western Avangarde for the Slav Duke and his new state.

The historians are in  two minds as to the actual place of the ceremony: it was either on a little island on Lednickie Lake, where the relics of the Duke's palace and a small chapel with christening pools were excavated in 1960s, or in Poznań on the Warta River, an early medieval settlement some 40 km away.

For this reason, we visited both sites and also Gniezno where in early medieval times, the first capital of the Polish state and church was established.

The figures of Dobrava and Mesko in their excavated palace


The view at the residential part of the palatium


In front, there was the chapel



The Bell named Dobrava& Mesko, set up on the 1050 anniversary of the big event.




Poznań - the cathedral



The Golden Chapel behind the Main Altar. In here the tomb of Duke Mesko, with a wreath placed a day earlier by the President of Poland.

In the Cathedral's crypts there are relics of the first chapel and christening pools. 



Next to the Cathedral there is an archeological museum showing the relics of a 10 c. rampart surrounding the early medieval settlement. The wall was up to 12 m tall, and 4 m thick.





The relics form the time of Mesko's baptism under our feet





The actual findings showing the manner the wooden sticks were arranged to form the defensive wall.



Gniezno - the first Metropolis and the Primate's cathedral.





In the central part the reliquary of St. Adalbert with his relics inside is presented. St Adalbert came from Prague to christen the pagans. He stayed in Gniezno and then went eastward heading for the Prusians. Having baptised Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea, he continued to Pomezania where he was killed by the Prussian pagans - in Truso, nowadays Święty Gaj:  http://medieval-europe-paris-2007.univ-paris1.fr/L.Slupecki.pdf .
His body was bought by the son of Mesko I, Bolek for as much gold as the body weighed. St. Adalbert is the Saint Patron of Poland.




The portal over the 12 c. bronze door displaying scenes from the life of St. Adalbert


The plaque mentioning five Polish kings crowned in this cathedral.

Next to the cathedral, there is the Archdiocese Treasury exhibiting many most beautiful and precious items. Among them a collection of funeral portraits the Polish nobility used to have made to be placed on their coffins. 


Nobility coat of arms embroidered on the bishop's attire


Coats of arms of noblemen


Early medieval figure of St. Mary

Fragment of a medieval altar. 

Gniezno, the Cathedral



The official logo of the Anniversary


czwartek, 3 marca 2016

Royal Korea / Królewska Korea

Korea's advanced technology punches you. It's much more developed than in Japan. Only construction styles and attitude to national heritage links the two nations, hostile otherwise due to the Japanese occupation in the not very distant past.
Technologia koreańska jest o wiele bardziej zaawansowana niż japońska, powalająca. Jedynie style budowlane i podejście do swojej spuścizny narodowej łączy te dwa państwa, zwaśnione od czasu okupacji japońskiej, nie tak bardzo dawno temu. 

In the heart of Seoul there are two big royal palaces fairly close to one another (five in all). In front of them, at prescribed times, the events of change of guards take place, making you dizzy from the bright colours worn by the soldiers.
The Deoksugung Palace is close to the Town Hall and actually among the modern city rush.
W samym centrum Seulu są dwa pałace niedaleko siebie (jest ich pięć). Przed nimi, w określonych godzinach, odbywają sie zmiany warty, zachwycające swoim stylem i odurzające kolorami szat wojów.
Pałac Deoksugung jest tuż obok ratusza, właściwie w samym środku pędzącego życia metropolii. 

The Change of Guards and exchange of keys is accompanied by very spectacular drum banging.
Zmianie warty towarzyszy głośne bicie w wielki bęben.






Then the colourful historic procession appears.
Potem wychodzi kolorowy korowód historycznych strażników.










.





The palace is quite a cosy place totally surrounded by the top modern architecture.
Pałac ten jest otoczony ultra nowoczesnymi budynkami.





The characteristic motifs and shapes.
Though they are close to the Japanese palace style, a keen observer will notice that the corners of the Korean roofs are less sharply turned upwards than in China yet, a little more than in Japan :).
Charakterystyczne motywy i kształty.
Styl przypomina ten dżapoński, ale jednak jest różnica - narożniki dachu nie wywijają się tak mocno jak u chińskich sąsiadów ale też bardziej niż w Japonii :. Taki in-between 














No shoes allowed./ Zero butów






Central heating of the time / Ówczesne centralne ogrzewanie


No Asian palace is complete without a tidily kept park.
Azjatyckie założenia pałacowe nie istnieją bez pięknie utrzymanych ogrodów i parków.



The most important of the five royal sites (Korea had kings not emperors, mind you) is the Gyeongbokgung Palace  (경복궁 (태극기
It dates back to 14 c. and spreads over a vast area, combining several royal buildings into one palace complex.
Najważniejszym seulskim pałacem jest Gyeongbokgung Palace z 14 wieku (królewski - co ważne - Korea nie miała cesarzy). Cały kompleks składa się z wielu mniejszych pałaców służących do różnych celów i olbrzymiego podwórca. 

The change of guards starts outside the gate and enters the large yard inside. 
Here, the attire features blue mainly....
Zmiana warty zaczyna się przed brama wjazdową i potem przechodzi na wielki dziedziniec. 
Przy tamtym mniejszym pałacu dominowały u strażników kolory żółty z czerwonym, tu zaś wszelkie odmiany niebieskiego. 













Inside, much to walk and see.
Wewnątrz jest dużo chodzenia i oglądania.








The Main Throne / Tron Główny


and the emblem above the throne / i godło nad nim

Elaborate construction / bardzo skomplikowana konstrukcja

Typical gable / charakterystyczny układ dachu

A must in a palace  /  bez tego żaden pałac nie obejdzie się :)

Monkeyed roof :) / zmałpiały dach






a close-up of the decorative motifs / elementy dekoracyjne z bliska








Something more "European gothic" / wreszcie trochę europejskowatego gotyku :)

A little like at the Teutonic Knights' :)  / może przypominać nawet krzyżacką strukturę



Behind the palace, a pagoda towers over the nearby park
Za pałacem wznosi się nad parkiem pagoda



And the world outside the palace wall is trying to smoothly mixes history with the fast pushing XXI century.
A świat na zewnątrz pałacowego muru stara się łagodnie przejść od historii do agresywnego XXI wieku :)