Mogiła Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1222 by the Bishop of Kraków, Iwo Odrowąż. It was the largest and most impressive church in medieval Poland after Wawel Cathedral, and served as the Odrowąż family's burial place until the 16th century.
The monastic community, consisting of the 13 professed monks mandatory for an independent monastery, moved in around 1225, although the expansion of the abbey continued for years to come. The Mogiła Abbey was confirmed by the Roman Curia through a papal bull signed by Pope Gregory IX on 9 June 1228.
In 1241 the abbey was ransacked in the course of the Mongol invasion of Poland. It was rebuilt and the abbey church was consecrated in 1266 by Bishop Jan Prandota. It was later consumed by fire in 1447. It was ravaged again in the 17th century by the invading Swedish army. The abbey was destroyed and its entire resident population was killed by the Swedes, except for two monks whose lives were spared. The structure was renovated numerous times. The Baroque façade of the monastery church was added in 1779–80, based on a design by Franz Moser.
Under the reign of Abbot Erazm Ciołek (a relative of the noted scholar, Bishop Erazm Ciołek of Płock), who was elected as abbot in 1522, the abbey was restored to its former glory, with a greatly expanded collection of rare books. He died two years after being appointed the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Kraków in 1544, and was buried in the abbey cemetery.
This abbot employed the services of the Polish Renaissance painter Stanisław Samostrzelnik, known also as Stanisław z Mogiły (c. 1490-1541), who spent his final years working at the abbey, where he died. His frescoes are featured in the right-hand transept and in one of the chapels of the monastery church, including his painting on the forward wall of the chancel from c. 1530.
The architectural complex includes the stuccoed Polish Gothic church, the Basilica of the Holy Cross, which serves as the Parish Church of St. Bartholomew the Apostle as well as the abbey church for the monks. There is also the Polish Renaissance-style abbot's palace, built around 1569, as well as the red-brick monastery, with a broad inner courtyard, outbuildings, vegetable garden, greenhouse, etc.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.