The Project "Lublin 2.0 – the interactive reconstruction of Lublin's history"

The Project "Lublin 2.0 – the interactive reconstruction of Lublin's history"

The aim of the project "Lublin 2.0 – the interactive reconstruction of the Lublin's history" was to create 4 virtual models of Lublin, showing the territorial development of the city and its architecture in the 14th, 16th and 18th century and in the 1930s.

The project is carried out as a part of the greater programme of  the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre, connected with the arrangements concerning the celebration of  the 700th anniversary of  the Magdeburg Law being granted to Lublin. The first stage of the project, completed in 2011, was the creation of a virtual model of the part of Lublin embracing the time of the interwar period ( The experience gained during the creation of the model of the city was used in the next stage of the project, with its aim to create 4 virtual models of the city of Lublin in order to visualize the city in various phases of its development:
1) Lublin in the 14th century (1360s)
2) Lublin in the 16th century (the end of the 16th century)
3) Lublin in the 18th century (mid 18th century)
4) Lublin in the 1930s.

The 3D models of individual objects as well as visualizations of archaeological artefacts from excavations carried out in the area of Lublin are closely connected with the models of the city. The aim of the "Lublin 2.0  project– the interactive reconstruction of Lublin's history" is also to create the guidebooks of Lublin which use the “augumented reality”.

The city models as well as individual 3D objects were used in the project as tools to popularize many diverse aspects of the Lublin’s cultural heritage. They make up a multidimensional description of the city throughout the centuries, because they are completed with information from the Centre’s websites: Leksykon. Lublin and Multimedia Library.

The 3D models of the city are available under:

The project is financially supported from the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The authors and consultants of the models:
The author of the models’ idea: Tomasz Pietrasiewicz
Scientific consultation: prof. Andrzej Rozwałka, dr Rafał Niedźwiadek, dr Kamil Nieścioruk, mgr Hubert Mącik, mgr Jacek Studziński.

Artistic idea and city models creation: Robert Miedziocha, Wojciech Miedziocha.
3D models: Łukasz Góras, Grzegorz Mituła, Diana Sim, Jarosław Sim.
Research and the preparation of materials, markers: Anna Kończanin, Anna Wójtowicz, Ewa Wacińska, Piotr Celiński, Anna Fedak.

Videoguides: Anna Wójtowicz.
Webmastering, 3D engines: Kamil Pręciuk.
Cooperation: Krzysztof Janus, Maria Kowalczyk, Łukasz Linca, Emil Majuk, Ewelina Majuk, Anita Wawrzyszuk, Justyna Wójcik, Magdalena Zabłocka, Joanna Zętar.

Technological co-ordination: Łukasz Kowalski.
Project co-ordination: Tadeusz Przystojecki.


Lublin in the 14th century

The first model shows Lublin in the 1360s when Poland was ruled by Casimir III the Great (Kazimierz Wielki). The Magdeburg rights were granted to Lublin in 1317 by Ladislaus I the Short (Wladyslaw Lokietek). At that time, the city was poorly fortified and, apart from a fortified brick tower (donjon) and a church, it was composed almost exclusively of buildings made of earth and wood. After a devastating Tatar invasion in 1341, king Casimir acknowledged the importance of this border city and organised the enlargement of the city’s battlements and the castle. By the 1360s, the town and the castle were already surrounded by a wall made of stone and brick. The residential buildings, predominantly single-storeyed, were made of wood. Since there is no iconography documenting that period, the reconstruction is based on the hypotheses of archaeologists, art historians, geographers and historians as well as analogies with other cities. A significant factor in the study of the original location of the city’s area is the arrangement of streets and building plots in the Old Town preserved and visible until now. Such an analysis was carried out by Marek Stasiak who drew a map of the Old City and part of the Krakowskie Przedmiescie suburb at the time when the Magdeburg rights were granted to Lublin in the 13th and 14th century.

Lublin in the 16th century

The model shows Lublin at the height of its power and wealth – at the end of the 16th century. Despite the Great Fire, which completely destroyed the Gothic buildings in 1575, the city was rebuilt with a fresh impetus within a few years. At that time, thanks to the Italian artists who lived here, the city’s architecture was strongly influenced by the Lublin Renaissance, a style characteristic of the city and the Lublin region. In the years 1568-1569 Lublin became the venue for the negotiations of the representatives of Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian nobility. Presided over by Polish king Sigismund Augustus, the negotiations led to the signing of the Union of Lublin, whereby a single State, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was created. In 1578, the Crown Tribunal whose sessions were held in Lublin (the other venue being Piotrków). At the end of the 16th century Lublin was a modern and progressive city where different cultures and religions coexisted. The city developed dynamically as it became the centre of the powerful state of the Jagiellonian dynasty – free from external dangers and stimulated by growing trade and crafts. The image of Lublin from that period is shown on a copperplate engraving by Hogenberg and Braun. Despite numerous simplifications and evident modifications, this image is the main iconographic source on which the model is based. There is another, little known and little explored source for the study of Lublin’s architecture from before the Great Fire: the mural in the Lubomelski House (Kamienica Lubomelskich) in the Market Square (Rynek 8) shows a Gothic city in the first half of the 16th century. This painting has also proved helpful in the analysis of some architectural details for the model of the city. This model shows Lublin rebuilt after the Great Fire – the reconstruction was largely based on the previously existing buildings.



Lublin in the 18th century

In the mid-18th century Lublin was in a completely different economic, demographic and cultural situation. The city was ruined and depopulated as a result of the Cossack and Muscovite invasions (1649), followed by the Swedish and Transylvanian (Rákóczi) invasions in the years 1655-1657. The passage of troops during the northern War (1700-1721), social unrest in the first years of Stanislaw August Poniatowski’s reign (the Bar Confederation), and numerous fires breaking out mainly in the first half of the 18th century contributed to the city’s total devastation.
The collapse of the power and wealth of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth caused strong socio-cultural changes in the city. Protestants were forced to leave the city as the Counter-Reformation prevailed, whereas the Jewish population was decimated mainly due to the Cossacks’ onslaught. The deterioration of the middle class (caused by the collapse of trade and crafts) was accompanied by an increase in the importance of the nobility and Catholic clergy. Numerous disasters led to the dilapidation of many buildings in the city and the suburbs and also contributed to a drastic decline of the city’s population. Only when the king Stanislaw August Poniatowski introduced several reforms and the Committee of Good Order (Komisja Dobrego Porzadku) came into operation in the 1780s, the ruined city buildings were partially rebuilt. The main iconographic source used for the model of the 18th century city was the painting The fire of the City of Lublin in 1719, Hogenberg and Braun’s engraving from the early 17th century and the preserved fragment of Bakiewicz’s plan from the mid-17th century. The cartographic sources was Lacki’s city map from 1783 as well as subsequent maps from the 19th century.

Lublin in the 1930s

In the interwar period, Lublin developed in terms of economy and territory although its growth was hindered by the consequences of the Great Depression. Thanks to the Lublin Aircraft Factory, the city became part of the Central Industrial District established at that time. At that time, the population of Lublin numbered circa 120 000 people, one third of whom were Jews. For several centuries, the Jews had lived in the Podzamcze area as well as the suburbs of Kalinowszczyzna, Wieniawa and Piaski: here they attended synagogues, ran their shops and factories. The most numerous group of the Jewish community lived near the Castle Hill and in the area of Lubartowska and Czwartek streets. The heart of the old Jewish Quarter was Jateczna street together with the Great Synagogue and various institutions of the Jewish community. The Second World War brought the destruction of this part of the city and the annihilation of its inhabitants. The landscape and social structure of the city changed irrecoverably.
The main sources, on which the reconstruction of Lublin from the 1920s and 1930s is based, are the pictures from this period showing a bird’s eye view of the city as well as fragments of streets and unique buildings. The cartographic basis, on which the outlines have been drawn, is the city map from 1928. It shows in detail the districts and streets of Lublin – both those already existing at the time and those designed by the city planners as new residential areas.


3D architectural models and artefacts
The important element of the project is the visualization of the artefacts of material culture typical of a given period: artefacts from an archaeological excavations (ceramics, weapons, coins, stonework) as well as the objects (products made or used by the craft or industry of that time). Archaeological period pieces used in the presentation come from archaeological work carried out on the city’s territory in 2006-2011. The information about them has been received thanks to the kindness and help of the archaeologists: Rafał Niedzwiadek and Edmund Mitrus. We show places which are the most typical and interesting for the visitor, by means of placing them in archaeological and cultural context of the city’s time and space. They constitute only a small fragment of the collected materials which is given the chance to be presented to a greater number of people with the aim to popularize the knowledge about the rich history of the city and its inhabitants.

Lublin 2.0 Guides – Augmented Reality (AR)

Thanks to the implementation of the innovative, though not very popular in Poland, technology of the “Augmented Reality” we are able to transfer the multimedia  materials created by us and uploaded on the Internet, into the real space of the city. Strolling with a portable device having access to the Internet and GPS receiver – either smartphone or tablet, it would be possible to sightsee Lublin. In the guide that will be available in the Layar application there are 6 routs enabling sightseeing Lublin with the use of the “Augmented Reality” technology. These are: the monuments of Lublin, the Jewish Lublin, Lublin from the Lublin Union till the European Union, the trail of the post-industrial architecture, the trail of the route in the “Poem about the city of Lublin” by Józef Czechowicz, the trail of 3D models. Each of the trails contains several or more points. By making use of the Layar an Internaut can choose one or more trails. The aforesaid elements create the integrated system showing comprehensive knowledge about history and cultural heritage of the city in an attractive and intelligible way. The guide is available for free.

Translated by: Agnieszka Pupiec. Correction and additions: Sławomir Nowodworski