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.

Lublin of Jagiello 1385–1434 ENGLISH VERSION

The appearance of a new dynasty on the Polish throne has singnificantly influenced the history and development of Lublin. It was during the Jagiellonian reigns that the city begin to flourish and grow.
The union between Poland and Lithuania signed in 1385 was a great chance for Lublin; it was the first time that the city witnessed an event of international significance.

 

Important datesDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

1386 – prenuptial agrement between Jadwiga and Jagiello
1389 – erection of the town hall
1392 – the staple right and the privilege to organise 16-day-long fairs granted to the city of Lublin
1401 – the municipal seal "Sigillum Civitatis Lubliniensis"
1405 – abolition of customs tariffs for merchants of Lublin
1421 – reception of Czech deputies at the Lublin castle

Important subjectsDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Erection of the church of Virgin Mary, the Triumphant, as a votive offering for the Grünwald victory
Frescos at the Holy Trinity Chapel – Lublin's most valuable relic

Prenuptial agreementDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Lublin played a significant part in the negotiations over the marriage of Jadwiga of Anjou to the Lithuanian pagan ruler Jagiello (Lithuanian Jogaila). In April 1383 Jagiello and Skirgiello – still Lithuanian dukes at that time – granted a favorable privilege of trading with Lithuania to our beloved inhabitants of Lublin.
On 14th August 1385 the union of Krewo was signed. It is wrongly considered the proper union act – the agreement was decisive, but only preliminary. On 11th January 1386 in Vawkavysk, Polish deputies signed a document announcing Jagiełło the king and lord of the Crown. It also confirmed his future marriage to Jadwiga.
On 2nd February 1386 Polish nobility and knights gathered in Lublin and proclaimed Jagiello, at the time on his way to Cracow, the guardian of the Kingdom of Poland.
The Lublin region, being a boarderland territory till the union, had been a subject to continious raids of Yotvingians, Ruthenians and Lithuanians. When Jagiello became the king, Lublin's geographical situation changed – it was now situated in the centre of a huge Polish-Lithuanian state. Due to its location, Lublin quickly rised to the position of one of the most economically prominent cities of the newly created state and also a place where Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian merchants could meet. Apart from all the possibilities of discovering new grounds for trade, the other major advantage was the peaceful atmosphere the region gained, which had been previously hard to achieve for a boarderland town. This in turn resulted with intensified settlement and rise of trade. The beneficial geographical location between three economically and culturally different regions of Poland, Lithuania and Ruthenia was noticeable already in 14th century, but it was not until 15th and 16th centuries that the city sprang into full economic swing. Lublin was gradually turning into one of the first in Poland and famous in Europe mercantile centres.

Lublin of "Jogajlo"Direct link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

In 1386 Wladyslaw Jagiello, having crossed the Polish boarder, reached the city of Lublin and was announced the king by the nobility. The marriage of the founders of the new dynasty took place in Cracow, 18th February 1386, and the coronation of the baptised, catholic ruler, on March 4th.

Undoubtedly, bearing in mind that it was Lublin were he was first recognised and welcomed as a Polish king, Wladyslaw Jagiello lavished numerous favours upon the city. In 1392 Lublin was granted the staple right, which required the merchants to stay in Lublin for eight days to unload their goods and display them for sale. Only after that they were allowed to continue their journey. In reality this served the merchants of Lublin as a perfect chance to purchase as many goods as they wished for retail; merchants from Turkey and Wallachia also used the storage days in Lublin for their adavantage, as it was from here and not Lviv that they preffered to head West; it was also of use for those of Silesian, Moravian and Czech origin. Due to the staple right, Lublin experienced a considerable influx of Italians, Germans, Hungarians, the French, Swedes and Armenians. For both foreign and Polish merchants "Lublin was situated in the halfway and thus provided a more convenient place to meet than Lviv".

The staple right was complemented by other privileges granted the same year: Lublin could organise 16-day-long fairs; these were to start eight days before and finish eight days after Pentecost.

Later, in 1405, Jagiello, just like his predecessors, abolished all the customs tariffs imposed on goods of the Lublin merchants travelling around the country. The customs tariffs were the major form of state taxation of merchants; the abolition meant huge profits for the latter. The abolition was mandatory not only in Poland, but also within the boarders of the Lithuanian-Ruthenian territories; thus the privileges, much more modest before, were considerably broadened; the importance of the abolishon also lied in the fact of its permanent, and not the traditional, temporary status.

The votive offeringDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

After the victory of Grunwald in 1410, Wladyslaw Jagiello founded church of Virgin Mary, the Triumphant and a neighbouring convent, both built between 1412 and 1426. The latter was to become home to the first, in the city and in the country, members of the Congregation of St. Bridget of Sweden. The temple was erected in memoriam of the Grunwald victory, most probably with the hands of the Teutonic prisoners of war.

The town hallDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

During Jagiello's reign, the position of Lublin changed radically. The city became fortified; it had already had a city council before, but now its position gained great importance. Since 1401 it started using its own municipal seal.
The city had also a new masonry town hall founded by the king, mentioned in 1419 for the first time as the headquarters of the city council. Before, the meetings had taken place in privite houses. Most probably the town hall was erected between 1408 and 1419; it was situated in the town square as the main municipal building, was two-storey high, had a tower and two presentable rooms. The merchants' and butchers' stalls were situated in the neighbourhood.

 

The frescoes at the Holy Trinity ChapelDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The relatively small and modest in its architectural form building of the castle chapel was decorated with the Russo-Bizantine frescoes in 1418 by the order of Jagiello. The murals, of incredibly high artistic value and rich iconography are unique to this part of Europe and remain one of Lublin's most treasured possessions.

Lublin of JagiellonianDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Lublin's location made it convenient enought for subsequent Jagiellonian rulers to deal with matters of international importance at the Lublin Castle. It was here where Wladyslaw Jagiello in 1421 welcomed the Chech deputies who offered him the Czech crown after the dethroned German branch of the Luxembourg dynasty.
Situated in the centre, halfway between Cracow and Vilnus, the two capitals of the Commonwealth, at the crossroads of international trading routes leading from North to South and from East to West, the city of Lublin and the Lublin region undoubtedly played a considerable role in Jagiellonian monarchy. The young bourgeoisie skillfully took full advantage of the city's location and throughout the whole 15th century steadily increased its wealth due to the Black Sea trade.

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