The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Guidebook to Lublin - the Union of Lublin route

On 1 July, 1569, the act of Union of Lublin was confirmed by oath in Lublin. As a result, Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania fused into one country - Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, often called also the “Commonwealth of Both Nations”, ruled by a single monarch. Since then, foreign policy, and monetary systems became unified, while administration, treasuries, armies and judicatures remained separate. The Commonwealth covered an area of over 800 thousand square kilometers and existed until the partitions of Poland took place.

Map of the route

Lublin castle

The Lublin castle was the seat and the royal quarters for the Jagiellons during their travels between Cracow and Vilnius. Throughout the course of proceedings of the Polish-Lithuanian Sejm (parliament), king Sigismund Augustus was meeting with deputies at the castle. In January, February and then in June of 1569, castle halls were the venue of proceedings that led to signing of the act of Union of Lublin on the 1st of July. The act was also confirmed by oath at the castle. After the ceremony, king Sigismund Augustus rode on horseback from the castle to the Dominican church, to attend the solemn singing of Te Deum Laudamus. The act of the Union itself is kept in the Central Archives of Historical Reports (Polish: Archiwum Akt Dawnych) in Warsaw. Collection of the Lublin Museum, however, contains, among others, the Union of Lublin - painting by Jan Matejko, which is exhibited in the Gallery of Polish Paintings.

 

 

 

 

Holy Trinity Chapel

In the chapel, after the act of the Union of Lublin had been confirmed by oath, thanksgiving mass was said, attended by king Sigismund Augustus and his court. Earlier, services in the intention of fruitful proceedings were being said in the chapel. One of the walls still bears a latin inscription, made probably by a witness of those ceremonies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Po Farze Square (former parish church square)

The church of St. Michael, which was formerly located on today’s Po Farze Square, was the place, where, during the union sejm proceedings, Polish and Lithuanian deputies, along with the townsmen of Lublin, booked masses in intention of positive outcome of proceedings of the sejm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lubomelski family's apartment house

The apartment house that once belonged to Lubomelski family, is situated on no. 8 parcel, on the Old Town Market Square. Frescos depicting Lublin at the time of the Union of Lublin proceedings, are preserved in one of the rooms. Moreover, in the cellar of the house, called the “Under Fortune Cellar” (Pol. "Piwnica pod Fortuną"), one finds secular-themed wall paintings that once decorated the interior of the wine shop that was located there.

 

>>>read more about the Old Town Market Square in Lublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominican church and monastery

It was in the Dominican church, where the solemn Te Deum Laudamus was sung, as a thanksgiving for bringing the proceedings to a positive final. Tradition has it that the crucifix kept in the refectory is the one on which the union was sworn. According to one of the accounts describing the events related to the union proceedings, the act of confirmation by oath took place in the monastery, therefore one of the halls is called the Union of Lublin Hall. Moreover, in the monastery, above the entrance to the patio, there is a bas-relief, depicting two figures that symbolize Poland and Lithuania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Bernardine church and monastery

Deputies who attended the union sejm and signatories of the act stayed in this monastery that once belonged to Bernardines. After the act had been signed, solemn thanksgiving service was said in the church, attended by the king.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Litewski Square (Lithuanian Square)

The name of the square originates from the campsite of the Lithuanian nobility, who came to Lublin in order to attend the proceedings of the union sejm. The monument to the Union of Lublin is situated on the square, in place of the original one, founded in the 16th century, on the initiative of king Sigismund Augustus and later destroyed by the tsarist authorities. The present monument was erected in 1826, on Stanisław Staszic’s initiative. The obelisk bears a bas-relief designed by Paweł Maliński, depicting personifications of the Union.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The city in which the union of Lublin was concluded, was situated on the commercial routes junction, halfway between two Jagiellonian capitals - Cracow and Vilnius. This is why the most famous fairs in the whole Republic could not have been taking place anywhere else. Four times a year, merchants came to Lublin from afar. Before the union, buildings in Lublin had been mostly wooden - up until the fire in 1575, after which more buildings in the Renaissance style appeared in the city. Citizens were walking on wooden pavements which ran along unpaved streets and in the very centre of the Old Town, the town hall was located, instead of the Royal Tribunal. Certain suburbs, along with Podzamcze, were already mostly Jewish districts, however, their Jewish inhabitants were not the Hasids - those came to Lublin together with the Seer in the late 18th century. Does the actual image of Lublin in 1569 correspond with our vision of it as a Renaissance city?
 
 
 
 Translated into English by Jarosław Kobyłko