Giecz village was once one of the main centres of Polish statehood in the early Middle Ages, alongside Poznań and Gniezno. In the early 9th century, a small keep was built on a mound on a peninsula on the Giecz lake; fortified with a stockade and earthworks. Since 940 it was one of the key strongholds of the early Piast dynasty. In 1038 during a war with Bohemia, the place was seized by Bretislaus I, who sacked the nearby settlement and sold its inhabitants into slavery. The place quickly recovered and by the 13th century was a centre of administration, trade and commerce in the Greater Poland region. At about that time, the settlement received a town charter and became the seat of a castellany. However, in 1331, it was burnt to the ground, never to recover.
After 1945, archaeologists discovered the remnants of a mediaeval pallatium, a pre-Romanesque rotunda, stone walls, a 13th-century palace and several sites of primitive iron-ore working.
Currently, Giecz is the site of ongoing excavations. There are two habitation phases being excavated at the same location. The first is a cemetery dated to the 10-11th century. The second, located just beneath the cemetery, is an earlier settlement. Features of this settlement include open earthen structures, hearths, storage pits, and rich culture layers.References:
Stavanger Cathedral is Norway's oldest cathedral. Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.