The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre in Lublin is a local government cultural institution. 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 in Lublin is a local government cultural institution. 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 Renaissance Route

   

Lublin RenaissanceDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The period between the 16th and the 17th century was a crucial time for Lublin. The great fire of 1575 left the city in urgent need of rebuilding, while the counter-reformation movements led to an influx of Italian masons. Reconstructed and restored sacral buildings were given a set of common architectural features: a slender shape, single nave, chancel narrower than the nave and ending in a semicircular apse, façade without towers, stucco-decorated barrel vault with lunettes, decorative gable, strapwork and plastered walls. This distinct consistent architectural style of sacral buildings erected in the Lublin Region in the first half of the 17th century was first recognised in scientific literature by Władysław Tatarkiewicz. The term “Lublin Renaissance” was disseminated in art history in the mid-20th century.

Church of the Holy Spirit in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The church of the Holy Spirit was rebuilt in the Lublin Renaissance style in the years 1602–1608 according to a design by Jan Cangerle.

A chancel with a semicircular apse was added to this single nave building. The church has two chapels – one founded by the Lublin councillor Stanisław Licheński in the first half of the 17th century and the other founded by Stefan Czarniecki in the second part of the 17th century. The chancel and the chapels are decorated with stucco ornaments.


Numerous epitaphs can be found in the church-porch, among them a plaque commemorating the founder of the church – Anna Daniłłowiczowa nėe Denhoff. The building adjoining the church from the western side, which used to be a hospital church, was reconstructed in the 19th century.

 

 

 

 

Church of the Conversion of St. Paul in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The church and the convent for the Bernadine order were founded by local burghers and built in the years 1473–1495. The reconstruction of the church, based on a design by Rudolf Negroni and Jakub Balin which took place in the first half of the 17th century, had a powerful influence on the formation of the Lublin Renaissance. The church became an exemplar for other buildings erected in Lublin City and the region.


The vault of the church is decorated with stuccos – artistic ornaments in the shape of strips and geometric figures filled with motifs of hearts, rosettes and stars. The eastern side of the church features a characteristic gable covered with strapwork resembling ornamental metalwork inspired by Netherlandish art. Inside there is a Renaissance tombstone of Andrzej Osmólski (from the beginning of the 17th century) and the epitaph of Wojciech Oczko – the court medical doctor of Polish kings (from the end of the 16th century). The church enshrines the holy relics of St. Valentine and St. Anthony – the patron saint of Lublin. In 1569 the church was the place where the thanksgiving service after the signing of the Polish-Lithuanian Union was held.

 

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady of Victory in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The church was built in the years 1412–1426 for the Birgittine order as a votive offering of King Ladislaus Jagiello for the victory in the battle of Grunwald predicted by St. Birgitta.


In the first half of the 17th century the chancel was roofed with a barrel vault with lunettes and covered with Lublin Renaissance stuccos shaped like ribs and medallions decorated with figural and vegetal motifs. The stucco ornaments were also made in the southern wing of the convent.


Neo-Gothic altars and the pulpit date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The 17th-century stalls feature paintings depicting the life of St. Birgitta. During the restoration of the church in the years 2009–2012, the remains of a chapel that had existed on the site before the erection of the church were exposed and now they can be seen under a glass floor. Tourists can visit the crypts and the church tower. The attic of the church is decorated with 15th-century Gothic polychromes.

 

Church of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The construction of the convent of the Carmelite order with the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady began in 1646 but was soon abandoned. It was not until 1721 that the church was finished according to a design by G. Spazzio and F.A. Mayer, the court architects of Elżbieta Sieniawska.


The church is based on a Greek cross plan but not oriented. It has a typical Lublin Renaissance façade without towers but with vertical and horizontal divisions and pinnacles on both sides. The interior of the church features a Baroque high altar, two side altars of St. Joseph and St. Vincent, built in 1720 by the renowned Warsaw sculptor Bernatowicz, two 18th-century pulpits and 17th-century Flemish cordovans which decorate the church walls. Situated north of the church, the Carmelite convent was converted into a military hospital in 1809. Currently the whole building is used by the public clinical hospital.

 

 

St. Joseph’s Church in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The church was built in the first half of the 17th century according to a design by Jakub Tremanzel. It is a small, oriented, three-storey church with one nave and a barrel vault with lunettes decorated with stuccos characteristic of the Lublin Renaissance style.


Neo-Renaissance attics on the bell tower and the church-porch, designed by Stefan Szyller, were added in the beginning of the 20th century. At the same time the arcade niches of the upper floor were embellished with sgraffiti wall decor depicting various saints painted by the Lublin artist Władysław Barwicki. The 18th-century paintings at the main altar present St. Joseph – the patron saint of the church, and St. Casimir the Prince. Next to the choir there are two paintings dating from the 17th century which depict the scenes o f transverberation of St. Teresa and scourging of the Christ.

 

 

 

St. Nicholas’ Church in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The church was built in the first half of the 16th century on an escarpment towering over the Czechówka river valley. Owing to the rector of the parish, Priest W. Turobojski, it was rebuilt in the Lublin Renaissance style in the first half of the 17th century. The nave and chancel were roofed with a barrel vault decorated with stuccos, which was built by the Lublin mason Piotr Traversi. The classicist façade, church turret, church-porch and the bell tower were added at the end of the 19th century.


At the Baroque high altar dating from the second half of the 18th century stands a late-Renaissance statue of St. Nicholas – the patron saint of the church. The Rococo side altar was made for the Dominican church in Lublin in the mid-18th century in Sebastian Zeisel’s workshop in Puławy, but it was moved to St. Nicholas’ Church at the turn of the 20th century. The oldest element of the interior is a 17th-century wooden rood on a beam spanned under the chancel arch. The pulpit and the font were made at the beginning of the 20th century in Wilhelm Hess’s Lublin Scales Factory.

 

 

The Orthodox Church of Transfiguration of Christ in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Built in the first half of the 17th century, the church is an oriented single-nave temple with a chancel ending from the east in a semicircular apse. This is the only sacral building in the Lublin Renaissance style that has a tower in the façade. Both sides of the façade are decorated with parapets in the shape of half-gables.
The original Renaissance design on the barrel vault of the chancel was restored in the years 2002–2003. It features painted images of the Holy Spirit, cherubs, seraphs and archangels as well as stucco rosettes, plaques and winged cherubs’ heads. Fragments of a 17th-century polychrome depicting the crucifixion can be seen on the western wall of the nave.

The most precious element of the interior is the late-Renaissance iconostasis from the first half of the 17th century with icons dating from the 16th and the 17th century. The oldest icon was painted in the mid-16th century and depicts the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

St. Agnes’ Church in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

The church was erected in the first half of the 17th century by the Lviv Route for the Augustinian order. Partially destroyed during the Swedish invasion, it was reconstructed in the second half of the 17th century. The church is not oriented. It has three naves with a small chancel terminated in a semicircular apse, a barrel vault with lunettes and stucco ornaments adorning the ceiling, vestry and refectory. Apart from the stuccos, another characteristic of the Lublin Renaissance style is the façade facing the city.


The polychromes from 1899 covering the interior of the church were restored in the 1960s. The main altar was made from oak wood in a Baroque style. At the altar there is an 18th-century painting of St. Augustine with St. Monica and Our Lady of Solace and a painting of St. Agnes – the patron saint of the church.

 

 

 

Church of Our Lady the Help of Christians in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

This brick church situated by the Lviv Route was erected in 1635–1649 on the site of a wooden church of St. Lawrence. It has typical features of the Lublin Renaissance – one nave, orientation and a narrower chancel terminated in a semicircular apse on the eastern side. The adjacent monastery of the Franciscan order was built on oak piles at the end of the 17th century. After the Franciscans abandoned the building in 1817, it served as a storehouse and a military hospital.


In the first half of the 19th century the property was bought by Antoni Domański and used as a cloth factory, and later as a soap and candle factory. In 1927 the successive owner, Tadeusz Weisberg, a Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism, donated the monastery buildings to the Salesian order. The present structure of the church is the result of restoration work done in the first half of the 20th century, which introduced the division of the building into three storeys.

 

 

 

St. Adalbert’s Church in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

 

Designed by Rudolf Negroni, the church was built in the first half of the 17th century together with the adjacent convent building designated for St. Lazarus hospital. As a hospital church, it was located outside the city walls on the site of an old wooden chapel and an infirmary from the second half of the 16th century.


The church features all characteristics of the Lublin Renaissance – it has no towers, a single nave, a chancel slightly narrower than the nave and terminated in a semicircular apse, and a barrel vault with lunettes and stucco latticework.
Inside the church there are three late-Renaissance altars, which were originally set in the Holy Trinity Royal Chapel. At the high altar there is a 1661 painting by S. Janowicki depicting the coronation of Our Lady. The convent was often referred to as a Jewish house because in the 19th century it offered accommodation to poor Jewish people.

 

 


 

Dominican Church of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in LublinDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The church was founded by King Casimir the Great and erected in 1342 on the site of a wooden oratory of the holy cross. It was meant for the Dominican friars who settled in Lublin in the mid-13th century.


The great fire of Lublin in 1575 caused considerable damage to the church. Its restoration in the beginning of the 17th century was based on a design by Rudolf Negroni and involved a construction of a new vaulted roof and a Lublin Renaissance façade.

In the 17th and 18th centuries new chapels were added to the main building, including a richly ornamented chapel of the Firlej family with a Renaissance tomb of Mikołaj and Piotr Firlej, the chapel of the Ossoliński family with intricate stucco decorations, and the chapel of the Tyszkiewicz family with a 17th-century polychrome on the dome depicting the judgement day. The treasury of the Dominican monastery enshrines the cross used at the swearing-in of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, historical liturgical books, chasubles and monstrances. In 1967 the Dominican church was given a title of minor basilica by Pope Paul VI.

 

 

 

 

Materials from: Lubelska Regionalna Organizacja Turystyczna
Texts: Marcin Dąbrowski
Editing: Dorota Lachowska
Translation: Małgorzata Tarajko
Photos: Monika Tarajko, Sławomir Jawor, Marcin Dąbrowski