The Collegiate church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum is a Romanesque church constructed out of granite blocks. It was built between the years 1140 and 1161.
Apart from religious functions, the collegiate church could also serve as a refugee for the local population. In 1241 it resisted the invasion of the Tatars, but in 1293 Lithuanians under the leadership of Witenes managed to get it. Part of the population was taken captive, and the rest were cut down or burned in church. Several years later, in 1306 Łęczyca was invaded by the Teutonic Knights, who returned here again in 1331.
For several decades the collegiate church was ruined. During its subsequent rebuilding, some of its former romanesque features were partially obliterated. Among other, after the fire in 1473, on the occasion of the completion of reconstruction in 1487, preserved to this day, gothic pointed arcades and pillars of bricks and grion vaults in the aisles appeared. In 1569, a renaissance porch with frescoes was built in front of the main entrance.
In 1705 Łęczyca was invaded by the Swedes, who also destroyed the collegiate. In the years 1765-1785 the church was rebuilt in classicist style. In 1818 Tsar Aleksander I Romanov ordered the dissolution of the Łęczyca Chapter and the collegiate church lost its rank. From that point until 1915, it remained a parish church. During the Battle of Bzura in 1939 it was partially destroyed and burned. In 1947 the postwar reconstruction of the church was started with the restoration of romanesque appearance.
The church was built using the opus emplectum technique. It has the form of an aisled basilica with galleries, a twin-tower west facade, and two apses (west and east). Round turrets at the east were added during reconstruction after World War II. The church resembles the Wawel Cathedral founded by Władysław I Herman. The main (north) portal is sculpted and dates back to the first half of 12th century. The crucifix inside the church was designed in 1943 by Józef Gosławski.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.