St. Bridget's Church was built in the mid-1300s, initially as St. Magdalene’s Chapel, on the location of the legendary appearance of the Holiest Virgin. In 1374, the funeral procession carrying the remains of the founder of the Holiest Saviour Convent, Bridget of Sweden, which was travelling from Rome to Vadstena in Sweden, made a stop in Gda?sk. The residents of Gda?sk paid great homage to the deceased, whose sarcophagus and relics were initially laid in the Marian Church and then in the chapel of penitents, where it stayed for two weeks. This event made such a great impression on the people that it gave birth to the cult St. Bridget, maintained by the Bridgettine Convent, which settled in the city in 1386.
During the years 1396-1397, the Bridgettines built the first, single-aisle, church under the calling of St. Bridget, which was expanded until the 16th Century, when the temple was consumed by fire. The beginning of the 17th Century turned out to be very laborious to the Bridgettines, as they rebuilt the aisle of the church and provided it with Renaissance interior decoration. The final form was provided to the temple and the convent during the first half of the 18th Century.
During the war operations in 1945, the church was burned down and mostly destroyed. It was not reconstructed for a long time, and the last preserved fragments of the roof truss and one of the peaks of the south aisle burned down in 1957. The temple remained in ruins until 1970, when its reconstruction was began under the initiative of parish priest Henryk Jankowski. The renovation and furnishing work lasted until 1987, when the H. Han painting of “St. Bridget’s Apotheosis” was installed in the vestry.
Due to the activity of Lech Wa??sa’s labour union and the importance of the location to Catholics during the communist regime, St. Bridget’s Church is considered as a certain sanctuary of “Solidarity” and a monument to the difficult road to freedom, which Poland had to conquer in the 20th Century. The tragic history of post-war Poland is recalled by the sculptures from the chisels of El?bieta and Rafa? Pelpli?ski and a statue presenting the martyr’s death of priest Jerzy Popie?uszko, created by Wawrzyniec Samp.
The year 2001 saw the initiation of the work on the creation of the great amber top of the main altar in the church’s presbytery. It will reach the vault and arch over the tabernacle and the altar mensa. The area of the decoration will ultimately reach 99 m2, towering over the Amber Chamber. The monumental amber altar with a height of 11 m and a width of 6 m will be in the form of a triptych with the painting of the Mother of God of the Labour World in the central part. The church currently presents the fragments of the constructed altar and the magnificent amber monstrance created by Mariusz Drapikowski.References:
I love Gdansk for its incredible history and an amazing atmosphere. In addition there are great restaurants as Szafarnia 10. We can enjoy there incredible regional cuisine and the dishes as the cheeks of cod or fillet of duck.
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.