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