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Altar of St Mary's Church in Krakow

Запись от Про искусство размещена 28.01.2012 в 18:22

Gradually Krakow grew and spread, and in the second half of the XIII century in the city's architecture comes the Gothic style, which made it possible to erect buildings of great height. New Gothic technique brought with it a new design and the walls and floors, as well as high and large windows. So there was a beautiful building of the church of the Virgin Mary (St. Mary's Church) - the most famous Gothic cathedral in Poland. In 1223 Bishop Ivo St. Mary's Cathedral in Odrovonzhem was founded, the oldest parochial school.



church is located on the main market - the largest, beautiful and majestic area of ​​Krakow. The tallest tower St Mary's Church (height 81 m) was the highest building in town, and it was not run by the church, and municipal governments, as played the role of a guard tower. With her good look through all the neighborhood of Cracow, and when the watchman on the tower of St. Mary's blew the signal, he met with other trumpeters towers. Then the citizens hastily armed themselves and took a pre-determined location on the castle walls.

At the southern entrance to the church hang medieval iron fetters. They chained in the old days of sinners and criminals, that came out of the church of devout people could see them and publicly shamed. But such a shame doomed only grievously sinned people.

Inside the church a huge high nave (28 feet) closes the rainbow for which there is a magnificent shining golden altar of Veit Shtosa *, lit the sunlight falling through the medieval stained glass windows.

* Poles pronounce his name as "Wit Stvosh".

Feith worked Shtos above the altar twelve years (1477-1489 gg.). At the end of July 1489 Master F. Shtos surrounded by many parishioners and members of his family attended the dedication of the altar. With all reverence congratulated the sculptor, for the truly impossible, he performed with such perfection!

< div> Grateful residents of Krakow, freed him from paying all taxes and municipal taxes. Even the wealthy people were krakovyane, because the altar was built on donations from townspeople and the common people. The collected amount of 2808 florins, equal to the annual budget of Krakow.

The altar is a polyptych 11h16 meters in size and declared the best Gothic altar in Europe. It is made of gilded polihromirovannogo linden, nearly three-meter figure of the altar carved out of solid tree trunks, and trunks so thick could have only very old, 500-year-old trees. Altar itself was created just over five hundred years ago, therefore, the material of which it is made - about 1,000 years.

As they say German scientists Max and Ruth Zaydevits, during the consecration of the altar before the eyes of the faithful brought great pictures. The altar consists of a central part and four closing its wings. At the top of the altar depicts the wedding of Our Lady, with her face and Stanislaw Wojciech saints, and on the wings of the altar - twelve bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the Holy Family. When the wings of the altar opened, believers see them six scenes: the Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, the Resurrection, the Ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit. The main scene of the altar is the "Seven Joys and sorrows of Our Lady," "Death of Mary", "Assumption and Ascension of the Virgin".

During the war the Germans, who knew perfectly the artistic value Mary's altar, would immediately confiscate his and taken away to Germany. But Polish patriots have taken timely action to cover the creation of F. Shtosa in a safe place. Under the guidance of Professor K. Estreyhera they dismantled with great care on the altar of the component parts: all sculpted bas-reliefs and carvings are carefully packed and on the night of August 30 1939 loaded on a riverboat. It delivered a heavy box in Sandomierz, where they hid in the basement of the local church.

To find St. Mary's altar, the Germans did not stop nor to torture, or before the murders, and eventually they were able to detect with the help of traitors hiding. Soon boxes of the altar of the Virgin Mary was placed in the cellars of the Reichsbank in Berlin.

< div> Meanwhile, around the stolen masterpieces ignite serious passion. Some high-ranking Nazis believed that St. Mary's altar could be the ornament and pride "Fuhrer Museum" in Linz. However, other Nazi bosses too would like an altar in their collection looted works of art. In the end, Germany has prevailed idea set the altar of the Virgin Mary in Nuremberg - Feith at home Shtosa *.?

* In 1477 F. Shtos moved with his family from Nuremberg to Krakow, where he invited the Polish magistrate to create the largest in the city of St. Mary's altar in the cathedral .


< div> Nuremberg Mayor of Libel was delighted with this proposal, backed and other Nazi leaders at Nuremberg because congresses were held regularly Hitler party. After the "final victory", it was decided to establish an altar in the cathedral of St. Lawrence, and the plan was approved Adolf Hitler himself.

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In May 1940, boxes with sculptures of the altar was moved from Berlin to Nuremberg and placed in the cellars of the castle of Gdańsk. But to build and install an altar in the cathedral and it was not necessary because the city had already bombed the Anglo-American air forces. Most of the boxes was transported to another place, and the remaining in Nuremberg, to fortunately not injured.

After the defeat of fascism, as a result of a long search, the altar was found and brought back to Poland. However, some parts of it were still in such poor condition that needed to be lengthy and costly restoration. Restoration work took several years, and only in 1957, returned to the altar of St. Mary's Church, where he flaunts this day.

Text Hope Jonas




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