Long Market in Gdańsk
In this place, which looks more like a square than a street, breathing fully breastfeeding, perhaps due to the nearby Motława River, maybe that's why, that Długi Targ is much wider than other streets of the old town. Inherent street props are stalls with leather and wooden jewelry and easels with paintings, because artists and painters are among the most faithful visitors of this open-air salon.
It stands at the Long Market, in front of the Neptune Fountain, right behind the town hall, The Artus Court is now the seat of the Museum of the City of Gdańsk (Long Market 43, tel.3014359, 3463358, open Tue-Sat. in hours. 10.00-18.00, nd. 11.00-16.00; w nd. free admission). The building's appearance is dominated by three large windows, an elaborate portal and a Renaissance attic. Constant traffic on the Long Market, the water droplets splashing around the fountain and the sun illuminating the windows make it impossible, that the venerable monument is alive to the fullest.
The Artus Court was built in the 14th century. as the seat of merchant brotherhoods. W XV w. burned twice. It has gained more or less today's look thanks to the alterations and renovations over the years 1477-1481 i 1616-1617. The portal above the door of the building is decorated with two portrait medallions with images of Sigismund III Vasa and Władysław IV. In the middle of the façade, statues of ancient leaders were placed on brackets: African Scipio, Temistoklesa, Camillus and Jude Maccabee. The top is crowned with an attic, in two niches between pilasters, allegories of Strength and Justice were placed, and at the very top – na dachu – statue of Fortune, for centuries a city favorable. Next to the wide stairs leading to the terrace in front of the entrance, guarded by two stone lions, there is a locked door to the Artus basement, with an expressive figure of naked Mercury. It is here in the 17th century. the famous Rathskeller winery was located.
The name of the manor comes from the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Similar Artus Courts, gathering supporters of chivalrous qualities, you were also in England and other countries of Western Europe, and also in Riga, Toruń, Elbląg and Królewiec. The hosts of the Gdańsk court were several brotherhoods sitting on separate benches. Former St.. Rajnold, st. George, Malborska, Three kings and jurors. Apart from the representatives of the patriciate and the rich bourgeoisie, all other persons were forbidden to enter the court. The meetings were intended to entertain, but business was done along the way, transactions, information was gathered. The law of regulars required good manners and tactful behavior, but were often overlooked, especially during riotous feasts, when etiquette was disregarded and fights often broke out. They were guided by the rules similar to that of Z. 1588 r.: .Who drinks it, sleeps well, who sleeps well and a lot, this one does not sin, this rally. who drinks it, wejdzie do Królestwa Niebieskiego’. Sumptuous parties were organized at the Artus Court on the occasion of the ceremony, and with the advent of the 17th century. more and more often it was visited by painters and booksellers viewing the paintings and book novelties presented there for sale.
Banquets and meetings organized by the host take place in the great hall of the court – City Hall. In itself only 1993 r. hosted here – which is confirmed by the photo exhibition in the vestibule – Guntera Grassa, Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen of Denmark. The great hall has a palm-stellar vault, supported by four slender columns. Streams of sunlight stream through the large south-facing windows, and through the northern windows the huge mass of the NMR church peers inside. Five models of sailing ships hang from the ceiling, looking beautiful, intricate and precisely made toys; the one on the left from the entrance has more than 500 years. There are council benches along the walls – massive, with high carved cuffs – some of them even have the names of the people sitting on them. Above the benches, like a baroque comic book, there is a series of small pictures with biblical scenes, Above are paintings and pieces of armor. Also belong to the original equipment: a tin bar at the north wall, fragment of the choir and some of the preserved frescoes. However, the most attention is drawn to the perfectly reconstructed stove, occupying the north-eastern corner of the hall. Its impressive height is almost 11 m! It is worth paying attention to the tiles, each of which has been carved differently.