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.
The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.
The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.
In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.
In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.
After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.
In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.
In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.