ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH in Gdansk, Poland

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St. Nicholas Church, 1348

May 15, 2015

While meandering  the side streets of Gdansk, I stumbled upon St. Nicholas Church.   Walking inside, I was surprised to see  so many alters and particularly  how they were lined up all in a row,  5 on each side of the outside  of the pews.

Interestingly,  when Gdansk was bombed   during WWII,  nearly 90 percent of the city was destroyed and all of the churches in the city  were reduced to a pile of rubble.   But St. Nicholas was the only church in the city  to escape any damage.

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the church organ

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Statues were everywhere in this church – even in the light fixtures.

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Interesting wall hanging – looks to me like there are more heads than bodies.

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Another fancy confessional.

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The main alter.

Thanks for reading!

ARTUS COURT IN Gdansk, Poland

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Artus Court

May 14th, 2015

In the Middle Ages, the city  provided meeting halls for the brotherhoods, wealthy  merchants  and guilds that existed at the time, which consisted of all men.   Artus Court in Gdansk  is  named after King Arthur  of the Round Table and was built in 1350, then rebuilt in  1476 after a fire and again after WWII.   Meeting Halls were common  but  this is the only original one that has  survived.  Inside are 7 giant model ships  suspended from the ceiling and  other interesting and elaborate  decorations.   A 36 foot tall  stove/ furnace from 1545  is particularly  eye-catching with its  520 tiles featuring great leaders of Europe.  All  of the tiles are original, having survived the WWII bombs.

Enjoy the walk back into time….

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The ceiling also stands out…

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1 of the 7 ships

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Very interesting  and I wish I could explain….

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3-D  mural

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Again, I have no words…..

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Beautiful ship and an interesting outfit…

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Another 3-D wall decoration

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The 36 foot furnace with  520 tiles

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close up of some of the furnace  tiles

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After seeing Artus Court,  this example of the front room  of a “typical” mansion of the day  was next door for viewing.

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Doorman at the exit.

Just a reminder – if you double click on a photo, it will enlarge it so you can better  see the  interesting  details of the decorations.  Thanks for reading!

GDANSK, POLAND – A WONDERFULLY MYSTICAL PLACE

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Gdansk’s River Front Embankment

May 14, 2015

Gdansk , Poland  was my last stop before going  home and what a breathtaking stop it was!   It sits on the Baltic Coast and is an awe-inspiring, medieval, nautical city.   Gdansk can be traced back to 997 and,  obviously, has a very long history of events.  In 1793 it became part of Poland and flash-forward to  September 1, 1939,  Hitler started WWII  when he invaded Gdansk.  The city suffered major destruction  during WWII and has been rebuilding  ever since.  Most of the reconstruction replicates Gdansk’s  ” Golden Age”  of the 16th and 17 century.

Hope you enjoy the introductory photos…….

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15 century crane, The Zurah,   was used  for loading ships, up-righting masks and picking up  ships for repair to the capacity of 4 tons.  It was originally powered by men walking inside  2 huge wooden wheels – very similar to a hamster wheel.  Today it belongs to the Maritime Museum.

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Statue of Neptune, god of the sea,  sits in Long Square.

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Samplings of the beautiful “burgher mansions” on Dlugi Targ.

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Random residential side street while strolling about.

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16th century Armory

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Enough of the buildings – also Polish is the bird  of the day – a Magpie.

steal this dog

And, look at this darling  little face – my  last thought as I walked back to the hotel  was how  could I lure this dog away from it’s owner and get it back to the US.

Stay tuned – more of Gdansk to come…

WAWEL HILL in Krakow, Poland

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You gotta love the royal  downspouts of the past.

May 12, 2015

Wawel  Hill is  a most  important  cathedral and castle complex in Krakow, Poland.   There has been a castle on this hill since Poland’s  recorded history, and according to legend, a fire-breathing dragon lived  in the caves under the hill  before that.  Wawel  Cathedral is the national church of Poland.  It also is  home to  the tombs of Poland’s most important rulers and historical figures, including the much loved  King Kazimierz of Poland’s 14th century.  Wawel  Hill is  the most visited sight in Poland.

It takes  effort and patience to try and decipher  the different buildings and add on’s  in this complex.  The white building  tucked in the middle is the original part of the cathedral and , over the centuries,  20 or so chapels have been added to an outcome of  many assorted  styles of architecture.  The castle  now holds several museums and one of the towers is available for climbing.

As a side note, the  Hindu concept of Chakra believes there are seven chakra points on earth where  a powerful energy field is concentrated.  In one  corner of the castle’s  courtyard is, supposedly,  one of those seven points.   The Wawel administration will not discuss the belief and has done it’s best discourage Chakra-seekers by blocking off   the point from the public.

It was a  wonderful day to  enjoy and marvel at the beauty  and complexity  of all  the buildings  hugging  each other like a Lego creation …..or maybe I was feeling the effects of the Chakra.

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What a surprise to see a Hot Air Balloon  also!

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Thanks for reading!

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