Gdansk – Old Suburb

OLD SUB TOWN

South of the Main Town, behind the busy Podwale Przedmiejskie street, under which there is an unpleasant underpass, there is another district of old Gdańsk, known as the Old Suburb.

From a distance it is marked by the towers of the churches of St.. Peter and Paul and the Holy Trinity. Stare Przedmieście is not situated on the Royal Route, therefore it is often overlooked by tourists – wrongly, because it is home to the National Museum, old towers, Little Armory, as well as several places in the atmosphere of Krakow's Kazimierz, perfect for shooting. However, noteworthy objects are the remains of the 17th-century amphibious fortifications with the amazing Stone Lock. You need to spend approx. 2 hours.

True to the name, The Old Suburb is really old – it was first mentioned in 1361 r. Right behind the church of St.. Piotr and Paweł, Lastadia Street stretches towards the Motława River, that is, the waterfront, which already in the 14th century. functioned as a complex of shipyards. In the first half of the 15th century. Old Suburb was settled by the Franciscans, whose efforts created a great monastery and a beautiful Church of the Holy Trinity with the Chapel of St.. Anna.

Holy Trinity Church and St.. Anna

The Holy Trinity Church is the first great church visible on the right from the windows of trains entering Gdańsk from the south. The western facade of the building (1503-1514) from Okopowa Street it is decorated with a gothic triple gable, that is, a set of pinnacles and openwork ornaments, reminiscent of Gaudi's fabulous style. The exterior of this 15th-century temple is a feast for the eye – there is something remarkable on every side of the building; viewed from the street, she is probably more attractive than on the inside. The decorative roof of the chapel of St.. Anny tries to imitate the line of the church's crown with the rhythm of her pinnacles. From the north, stuck like a hub to a tree, a small, half-timbered pulpit house from the 17th century is attached to the brick wall. similar to a long enclosed balcony, which is accessed via steep stairs from Święta Trójcy Street. The church service used to live here, today the rooms are used by priests. The interior of the three-nave church is also entered from Święta Trójcy Street – it is very spacious and bright. The pieces of equipment placed on the walls seem inconspicuous and random.

The church with adjacent buildings – chapel, a gallery house and a monastery – the Franciscans erected, who settled in the Old Suburb in 1419 r. W 1556 r. reform movements led to the collapse of the religious congregation, and the Holy Trinity, like many Gdańsk churches, stayed in the 16th century. taken over by Protestants. The phenomenon of the spread of Lutheranism had a turbulent and interesting course in Gdańsk.

In years 1558-1806 there was an Academic Gymnasium in the church's monastery. W XIX w. the entire monastery complex served temporarily as military barracks and only in 1848 r. a museum was established here, and the church returned to its sacred function. The buildings were not spared by World War II, as evidenced by the renovations that are still ongoing today, especially in the presbytery and around the chapel of St.. Anna.

Temple decor

Inside, the chancel attracts the most attention, representing in years 1422-1481 an independent church of the Lord's Supper, which the Franciscans extended to the shape of the present temple. In the closure of the presbytery, at a height of several meters above the ground hangs a gothic crucifix from 1482 r., crowned at the ends of the arms with the symbols of the four evangelists. A cross several meters high against the background of a huge wall seems small and inconspicuous. Two wings from various gothic altars are placed under the cross.

An interesting element of the church's furnishings are the monks' stalls placed in the presbytery, equipped with properly carved armrests and camouflaged supports to support the seats of praying monks (you can try these "facilities").

The epitaph of the Marquis d'Orii is visible in the northern aisle, and below, under the floor, the awning itself rests. Anyway, the church is filled with interesting epitaphs – one can get an impression, that some parts of the walls or the floor were built exclusively of tombstones. At the end of the south aisle there is a door to the chapel of St.. Anna, which was built in 1480 r. as requested by King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk for the use of the Polish inhabitants of Gdańsk. It is worth paying attention to the altar painting from the 17th century. titled The Prodigal Son and a baroque pulpit.

Church of St.. Peter and Paul

A short street leads to it from Świętej Trójcy Street. Males. The 15th-century church of St.. Piotr and Paweł towers over the houses of Żabi Kruk. The massive gray tower with stepped gables attracts attention (the only ones in Gdańsk). Only the northern aisle is used for religious purposes – the rest, due to renovation, is separated with a makeshift wall and for this reason the temple is the narrowest church in the city.

LUTERANISM IN GDAŃSK

Religious novelties from Western Europe were brought by sailors calling at the port near Motława. They were talking about Martin Luther's speech, they were also the first to become his supporters. Luteranizm, sown on the ground of a society demanding religious reform, it quickly gained importance. In Gdańsk churches more and more Catholic priests are preaching new interpretations of the Gospel. The courage and innovation of the Reformation movement is born among the people, workmen, seamen and poor merchants hopes for a change in the urban system: they expect the privileges and power of the Catholic patriciate to be limited, while dreaming of benefits for yourself. The new religion divides the inhabitants of Gdańsk, becoming a pretext for social unrest. At first, they are just verbal skirmishes, later deeds – often bloody. They are wounded and killed, looted churches, rushing orders. Controlled by neophytical zeal, the masses choose new spiritual and secular authorities, which decide many things in the city. More and more townspeople, especially the rich, adopts a new religion. They do it out of conviction, conformism, and sometimes out of fear. The Protestant majority is averse to Catholicism and the old order. It is hard to predict today, what would be, if that "Gdańsk revolution” with 1525 r. continued as intended by the inspirers. However, in 1526 r. King Zygmunt I came to the city and personally participated in suppressing the rebellion. A great investigation has begun, as a result of which it was beheaded at the Artus Court 13 riot leaders. The king formally restores Catholicism. However, several years later, during the less restrictive policy of Zygmunt August, Gdańsk becomes predominantly Lutheran, which distances him from the royal court and the Catholic nobility of the Republic of Poland.

OTHER RELIGIOUS NEWS – MENNONICI

It was a socio-religious movement derived from Anabaptism, originated in Zurich. Later it spread to the Netherlands and northwest Germany. The first leader of the movement was the former Catholic priest Mermo Simmons, Luther's follower. The Mennonites were pacifists against military and state service, they recognized only two sacraments: baptism (adolescents above 14 years) and the Eucharist. Mennonites were both persecuted by the Catholic Church, and by Protestants, because they were seen not only as pacifists. but also as anarchists. Admittedly, they adhere to the view of the separation of Church and State, but on the other hand, they are in favor of submission to state laws, In search of favorable conditions, they scattered all over Europe and emigrated to America. In Gdańsk in the years 1818-1819 Mennonites built a church at ul. Mennonitów 2 (in the vicinity of ul. Home Army), in which from 1957 r. there is a Congregation of the United Evangelical Church.

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