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Attractions in Gniezno

Gniezno's crowning glory is its cathedral. A 14th century brick-built mansion, it is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture. The silver shrine of Saint Adelbert (Swiety Wojciech), the first bishop of Prague awaits you inside. He died a martyr's death while spreading the message of Christianity among the Prussians. Polish prince, Boleslaw the Brave (Boleslaw Chrobry), decided to recover his body. He parted with gold to get back the relics. That act made Emperor Otto III come to Gniezno, and on Pope's demand, crown Boleslaw with his own crown, confirming Poland's status as a kingdom and Boleslaw's as a king. It took place in 1000 AD, during the Convention of Gniezno.

The silver shrine is the handiwork of Peter van Rennen. It was made in 1662 in Gdansk. The cathedral also houses an archive, which stores some of the oldest and rarest manuscripts in Poland. The most precious possession of the church, however, is the pair of 12th century bronze doors. Made in 1175 AD, the doors are one of the finest examples of Romanesque decorative art in Poland. They depict eighteen scenes from the life of Saint Adalbert, arranged in chronological order. A Gothic portal from the beginning of the 15th century is also worth seeing. The scene of crucifixion on its tympanum is known as 'Christ in Majesty'.

The Archdiocesan Museum (Muzeum Archidiecezji Gnieznienskiej) is another place to visit, while you are in Gniezno. The collection in this museum is reputed to be one of the biggest in the whole of Poland. A 10th century agate chalice, believed to be brought by Saint Adalbert, himself, is among the display. The Museum of the Origins of the Polish State (Muzeum Poczatków Panstwa Polskiego) is another one. It exhibits archaeological finds, architectural details and numerous documents that are linked with the creation of the Polish nation from its beginning to the end of the Piast dynasty.

Lake Jalonek greets you generously with its blue stretch after your exhaustive trek of the past.


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