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10 remarkable artifacts – the witness of the history of Poland

The sacred Polish artifacts that hold the essence of Poland

Hussar / Photo: bazylek100 via wikimedia

History of Poland lasts for many centuries, but many of the priceless artifacts related to the history of this country had been lost during the wars in 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. However, the museums and other historical places still consist many remarkable items that remind about the magnificent history of people who settled the land near the Vistula River.

Most of these artifacts can be seen in local Polish museums, so when you finally visit Poland this might be an interesting tour for you to enjoy.

Szczerbiec sword

Photo: metal.beast via Wikimedia

As England has its Excalibur, Poland has Szczerbiec. The legendary sword that is exhibited at the Royal Wawel Castle in Kraków is a symbol of the Polish monarchy. It was used as a coronation sword during the ceremonies between 1320 and 1764. It is a marvelous piece of metalwork, decorated with the floral patterns and with the small shield that consists the coat of arms of Poland. The oldest legend related to the Szczerpiecis related with the King Bolesław I the Brave that is dated back to 1018.

The Sigismund Bell

Photo: Jorge Láscar via wikimedia

The Royal Sigismund Bell is also located in Kraków. It stays hung in theSigismund Tower of the Wawel Cathedral. It had been made in 1520 by Hans Behem, who created it in honor of King Sigismund I of Poland. The bell is the largest of five bells in Wawel, its weight is about 13 tons and is still in use due to the special occasions.

Uniform of Henryk Sucharski

Photo: Henryk Zieliński via wikimedia

The story about the beginning of the World War II is related to the small peninsula nearby the Gdańsk Bay which is known as Westerplatte. The man who was the leader of the troops in Westerplatted was major Henryk Sucharski. Nowadays, his uniform is located at the small museum located in the old military area, just a few meters from the place where on September 1st, 1939, the German battleship started the World War II.

The Altarpiece by Veit Stoss

Photo: Robert Breuer via wikimedia

The remarkable Gothic altarpiece had been made between 1477 and 1484 by Veit Stoss knew in Poland as Wit Stwosz. He worked on the altarpiece for the many years and due to his incredibly sophisticated talent, he created one of the most beautiful altars in entire Poland. The artifact now is the treasure of St Mary’s Basilica in Kraków, where it stays in the main part of the church, as the medieval sculptor left it. However, in 1941 it was shipped to the Third Reich and came back t Basilica around 1956.

Amber figurines

Bear figurine from Slupsk, Poland / Photo: museum-of-artifacts

Millennia ago, on the land of Poland lived people, whose life stays a mystery to the modern researchers made beautiful pieces of art made of amber. Some of them are dated back to the Mesolithic Period and had been discovered in entire Poland. They are shaped in the incredibly beautiful presentations of animals like bears, horses, etc. They are amazing messages about the favorite motifs of the people who lived even 8.000 years ago.

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa

Photo: Robert Drózd via wikimedia

Is the most famous religious painting of Poland. It is the icon of the Virgin Mary that is housed in Jasna Góa Monastery, famous religious center located in Częstochowa in Poland.The painting is famous due to the numerous recordings of miracles caused due to the prayers to the Black Madonna. It had been coronated by pope Clement XI in 1717 and stays a reason of many discussion about its supernatural powers.

 

The Gniezno Doors

Photo: Tomasz Fedor via wikimedia

The monumental pair of bronze doors decorates the entrance to the Gniezno Cathedral since circa 1175. It belongs to the cathedral located in the first historical capital city of Poland and had been decorated with eighteen scenes related to the life of St Adalbert who is known in Poland as St Wojciech. He was the iconic Bishop from Prague, who became the first saint of Poland. The doors made in memory of his death during the Christianize mission stays a significant Romanesque work.

The Rationale of Queen Jadwiga of Poland

Photo: Maksymilian Fajans via wikimedia

The rationale is called also the superhumeral. It is a liturgical vestment worn by bishops of Roman Catholic Church. In 1384 famous Queen Jadwiga of Poland, the woman who was not only a queen but also a King of Poland, created such a vestment on her own, with the support of ladies who belonged to her embroidery school. The artifact survived until now and stays one of the most protected treasures related to the 14th-century rulers.

Chronicle of Gall Anonymus

Photo: poczta-polska.pl

Nobody knows who was Gall Anonim and what was his real name. There are some suspicions, theories. However, he wrote a chronicle that became the first known book related to the history of Poland. Its title is Gesta principum Polonorum, meaning Deeds of the Princes of the Poles. It was created most probably around 1112 and 1118.

The Grunwald Swords

Photo: archiwum.rp.pl via wikimedia

In 1410, Wladysław II Jagiełlo of Poland, husband of previously mentioned Jadwiga of Poland, fought with the Teutonic Order during the Battle of Grunwald (also known as Tannenberg). According to the legend, the two swords had been given to him by Urloch von Jungingen, the Grand Master of the Order. He tried to invite Polish king to the battle because Władysław was waiting for too long to start the fights. The battle had been a huge catastrophe to the Teutonic Knights, so the swords became a symbol of the Polish power. Although they had been lost in the middle of the 19th century, they stay one of the most important artifacts that remind to Polish people about the times when they had been a powerful nation.

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