Kwidzyn it a tourist pearl of Poland. Not the only one, however, very beautiful. The biggest tourist attraction? The cathedral in Kwidzyn and the chapter castle connected with the cathedral. An unusual combination depicting the history of the region. Bloody and painful. Beautiful, full of glory and contradictions. Wicked and yet inspiring. Then. Now.
The times that left amazing monuments in Poland
Fire and sword. The title of the captivating prose of H. Sienkiewicz perfectly illustrates the beginnings of the Teutonic Order in Warmia and Mazury. Yes I know. This title, the deserved author, assigned to other fights. To other swords and to another fire. There were many such periods in various parts of the world. Well. For me, this statement perfectly reflects what happened in these lands during the times of the Order. So what? Converting the Gentiles. And with the expanding territory of the Order, the number of defensive facilities increased. Often small watchtowers but also full-fledged castles and sometimes even giants of the period. Malbork is the crowning achievement of defense thought (but also solutions that made life easier for people at that time, e.g. the sewage system). And Kwidzyn? It is one of a kind.
I know that in the Middle Ages (but also later), sacred buildings were built in such a way as to maximize a person’s littleness (towards God through a huge church or cathedral). Nevertheless, despite this knowledge (that is, preparation), I felt small. The volume of the Cathedral, its circumference, height, details enhancing the impression of grandeur are amazing. But the interior of the Cathedral in Kwidzyn is even more impressive.
With the feeling of limiting the space horizontally, the distance to the ceiling is intimidating. And the vault is beautiful. In his asceticism. I was in monumental buildings where on the vault you could admire hundreds of frescoes depicting vivid, colorful and engaging stories from the lives of saints. We have the opposite in the Kwidzyn Cathedral. Simplicity. White and bricks. But did it make me spend less time staring at the ceiling? No.
By the way, I have something like this that I often take pictures of vaults. Not aisles, altars, exhibitions, paintings, figures. I take photos of vaults and floors. It is possible that I am more fascinated by the technical thought of that period, which is more visible in such details.
Summarizing my impressions from the Cathedral in Kwidzyn: whatever I wrote, what words I would not use – they will not approximate what you can feel there. You just have to go there. Just like you have to go to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Because no photos and no descriptions will reflect this impression standing in front of and walking in. There is a reason I recalled this a beautiful Italian monument. Explain in a moment why.
Castle in Kwidzyn
It is so connected with the Kwidzyn Cathedral that at first glance it is difficult to separate these two objects. They are like Siamese twins. Someone who goes to Kwidzyn with the thought to see the castle will see it together with the huge cathedral. Anyone who goes to see the cathedral in Kwidzyn will also see it along with the huge fortification. What am I going to? You have to go to Kwidzyn with the thought that we have two joined objects. Then we will see both, we will appreciate both in our own way – we will taste both.
To make it easier, I will suggest how to facilitate the attempt to separate the castle from the cathedral: you have to stand in front of the „gdanisko”. What is this? It is a powerful sanitary and defense tower. The largest in the Teutonic state and, moreover, its connection by a porch with a castle is the largest in the world (or so it says Wikipedia). And if anyone has doubts about the information given, it is enough to stand in front of the arcades on which the porch is supported. They are gigantic.
So „gdanisko” + castle and then the castle + cathedral.
The rich history of Kwidzyn – two castles
- 1233 – foundation of the stronghold by the Teutonic Order (on the site of the destroyed Pomesanian stronghold)
- 1285 – elevation to the rank of the local church to the rank of a cathedral (the cathedral itself was rebuilt and strengthened in a later period).
- An old castle built by the Teutonic Order and demolished. The materials were used to build a new (chapter house) castle and other buildings
- End of the 13th century – Chapter castle (i.e. the one we can see today) – initially built as an independent facility. Over time, it was connected with the Cathedral in Kwidzyn.
- Bishop’s castle (yes, there were two castles at the same time!) – unfortunately completely destroyed in 1520
- The occupation by Poland, by Sweden, by Russia – this is just a fragment of the historical turmoil in which Kwidzyń was a participant. This city has a very interesting history.
- The following have survived to the present day: the Cathedral, the Castle, fragments of the city walls, fragments of the old town (tenement houses) and many other buildings (1800 – 1900).
Kwidzyn is a tourist pearl of Poland
Why do I think so? Do you remember the cathedral in Florence that I mentioned? I just think that if the whole complex (the Cathedral in Kwidzyn and the capitular castle) were moved and put it on the site of this besieged Florentine tourist attraction, nothing would change. Florence would still be popular. Hundreds of thousands of tourists would still run every year to admire, sigh and take pictures. And there would also be queues to various parts of the monument. To the cathedral, to the castle, to „gdanisko”, to the museum (website Museum in Kwidzyn).
So the question is? How to make Kwidzyn such a Polish Florence? Bold question? Poland is not a poor relative of Western countries in terms of interesting and stunning monuments. You just need a plan that combines our advantages and a plan to eliminate our disadvantages (this unfortunate money). And finally – Wałbrzych. I love this city. I love the authorities of this city. For changes, for speed. For the direction. Wałbrzych 10 years ago and Wałbrzych now?
Martin Luther King – „I have a dream”
Cathedral in Kwidzyn – map
Errata: Well, I didn’t know I could be classified based on one error, but:
Sorry for using the name Kwidzyń. For my greater misfortune, the title has already been corrected (and as we know, the title and a short excerpt goes to the world as a twit, post on Fb, etc., etc.). Well. has become. Why did this happen?
(name Kwidzyń) „It is also commonly used by newcomers from central Poland. This is a misnomer that should be avoided – adds Dr. Iwicki „(Kwidzyn or Kwidzyń?)
Thoughts on the windmill – an explanation
Blog moved from another side (ThiDoIn). I do not have the strength or time to rummage in photos and set new ones without a watermark. Nevertheless, I announce that both photos and videos, and even more so, the word written on it travel blog they are all mine.
I feel that I have found the ultimate haven for this part of my life that I would like to describe. Thoughts on the windmill it’s a good name to reflect my life. Some chaos and inconsistency. Fortunately, sometimes in my life I will find time to see something interesting tourist attraction and sometimes (but less often than i would like to) describe it on this travel blog. At the same time I run the page on which I am placing movie review (but also i I rate series). I invite you! (link).