Rodzińska-Chorąży, Teresa:

Cathedrals, Bishop’s Residences and Monastic Architecture in Poland until the Division of the State in 1138

In 1000, the Congress of Gniezno, which was an important political and religious event, took place at the tomb of Saint Adalbert of Prague. One of the results of the Congress was the creation of the archbishopric in Gniezno and four bishoprics in Poznan, Wroclaw, Kraków and Kolobrzeg. Undoubtedly, the construction of cathedrals and bishop’s residences began after this act. It is possible that the Poznan basilica already under construction before 1000 was promoted to cathedral status. Both form and function of the alleged buildings on the Wawel Hill remain unclear, because some researchers hold the opinion that already before 1000 Kraków was a bishopric subordinate to the Moravian archdiocese, while others question the dating of the architectural relics to the second half of the tenth century. However, Kraków is now the only seat of the bishopric, in which, thanks to archaeological research, fragments of the walls have been revealed, which can be interpreted as the remains of the bishop’s residence. The hitherto investigated walls allow us to conclude that most of the clues for the reconstruction of its original form are provided by the research work carried out in Poznan. We can also conclude that two building situated closest to each other – the archcathedral in Gniezno and the cathedral in Poznan represented a different architectural type, reflecting syncretism of the early architecture in Poland. Already in the 11th century, “the Cathedrals of the Year 1000” were being replaced with newer buildings, and the example from Kraków shows that it was modeled on the great imperial cathedrals in the Rhineland. Until the Testament of Boleslaw III Wrymouth in 1138, which divided the country into principalities, a few monasteries were founded in the lands of the Piasts. The location of the oldest one, the hermitage of Mestris, which is known from written sources, remains enigmatic. The foundation of the Benedictine abbey in Tyniec near Kraków dates to 1044, but the church itself, undoubtedly, was erected a bit later. Both the relevant written sources and the architectural remains testify to the existence of three other Benedictine abbeys from the 11th century in Mogilno, Lubin and Tum near Leczyca. In the context of the oldest architecture in Poland, the function of the church in Giecz is most puzzling. There are some weak premises that originally it may have been erected as a monastic church, but no relevant historical records have been preserved.