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Poland - Ecclesiastical organization

14. Evidence of Ecclesiastical Organization and Institutions

14A. Appearance of (arch)bishoprics 

In Pomerania: in Wolin 1140.

Controversial:

PRIMARY SOURCES
Papsturkunden 896-1046. ed. H. Zimmermann, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, philosophisch-historische Klasse, Denkschriften 174, 177 & 198 Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission III (Wien 1984-1989), 3 vols.

Kronika Thietmara [Thietmar's Chronicle], tekst łaciński i polski, tłum, wstęp i komentarz, ed. & transl. M. Z. Jedlicki (Poznań 1953), transl. D. A. Warner as Ottonian Germany: the Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg (Manchester 2001).

SECONDARY REFERENCES
Abraham, W., Organizacja Kościoła w Polsce do połowy XII w. (Poznań 1890).

Labuda, G., Studia nad początkami państwa polskiego Vol. II (Poznań 1988).

Weiss A., Biskupstwa bezpośrednio zależne od Rzymu w średniowiecznej Europie (Lublin 1992).

14B. Appearance of ecclesiastical boundaries

Since 1000.

14C. Appearance of monasteries

C. 1001 Bolesław Chrobry built in Międzyrzecz(?) in Great Poland a monastery for two Benedictines sent from Italy by Otto III and joined in Poland by two more brothers (Bruno of Querfurt). The wooden monastery was burned and the monks murdered in 1003. The same source mentioned nuns present at the princely court c. 1001. They probably had their nunnery somewhere in Greater Poland.

The oldest monasteries of known location were built for the Benedictines in Tyniec (c. 1044), Mogilno (c. 1050), Lubiń (c. 1076). The supposedly 10th century monastery in Trzemeszno appears to have been a much later construction (see below). Thus the legend of the account of the visit by St Wojciech-Adalbert in 997 is to be seen as late propaganda used by the monks in their challenge for priority over other cloisters.

The next wave of monastery foundations came with the expansion of the Cistercians who, at the same time, arrived in Hungary, Bohemia and Poland: Jedrzejow (1149), Łekno (1153), Sulejow (1177), Wąchock (1179), Koprzywnica (1185), Mogiła (1222) and Szczyrzyc (1239). Foundations of their monasteries were based not only on land benefices but, also, on donations of existing villages. Soon they started active financial activities (Żabinski 2003).

The Dominicans built their seats in Poland soon after they crossed the Alps: Kraków (1222 - cf. Kozłowska 1926), Sandomierz (1226), Wrocław (1226), Gdańsk (1227), Kamień Pomorski (1228), Płock (1237), Elbląg (1238).

Before the mid-13th century the Franciscans built their first convent in 1241 in Wrocław.

Archaeology

So far, there is no archaeological evidence for the two earliest Benedictine monasteries mentioned by Bruno of Querfurt. However, there is a suggestion that there was yet one more monastery founded also c. 1000 A. D.. Archaeologists who in 1954-56 discovered under the Romanesque collegiate church in Leczyca (consecrated in 1161) foundations of some older building identified it with the abbatia sancta marie in castello lancice that is mentioned in 1136. Thus, they claim that that abbey must have been founded c. 1000 A. D. (Nadolski et al. 1960; recently Poklewski-Kozieł 2002). Studies of the supposedly 10th-century Benedictine monastery in Trzemeszno in Greater Poland to verify the original archaeological interpretation (Jozefowiczowna 1978) concluded against it (Chudziakowa 2001).

PRIMARY SOURCES
Bruno z Kwerfurtu, Żywot Pięciu Braci Męczenników, in Piśmiennictwo czasów Bolesława Chrobrego, transl. K. Abgarowicz (Warszawa 1966), pp. 157-246.

SECONDARY REFERENCES
Chudziakowa, J., The Romanesque churches of Mogilno, Trzemeszno and Strzelno (Torun 2001).

Jozefowiczowna, K., Trzemeszno, Klaszto sw. Wojciecha w dwu pierwszych wiekach istnienia (Warszawa 1978).

Nadolski, A., Abramowicz, A., Poklewski, A. & Kąsinowski, A., Łęczyckie opactwo Panny Marii w świetle badań z lat 1954-1956 (Łódź 1960).

Poklewski-Koziełł, T., 'Kosciół Łęczycki, czyli budowle romańskie w Tumie. Blaski i cienie u początku Tysiąclecia' in B. Solarski & M. Stęczkowska (eds), Pokłosie Zjazdu Gnieźnieńskiego. O początkach kościoła w Łęczycy (Łęczyca 2002), pp. 18-28.

Żabinski, G., 'Mogiła - a case study of the credit activity of a Cistercian monastery in the Medieval diocese of Cracow' in Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU Vol. 9 (2003), pp. 93-126.

14D. Appearance of parishes

In laws: since 1215; in reality: 12th century.

14E. Appearance of cathedral chapters

11th -12th centuries.

15. Evidence of Building The Church

15A. Main architectural tasks: 

Archaeology

Today we know in Poland of 201 remnants of pre-Romanesque and Romanesque buildings. Most of these are parish churches erected in the 13th century. These are often well preserved and still in use. Only 80 stone constructions can be located in the 10th-12th centuries and most of them survive only as ruins discovered under later walls.

1) Royal chapels

We know of three chapels, all small round buildings attached directly to the royal residences (palatia) discovered in Ostrów Lednicki, Giecz (both in Wielkopolska) and in Przemyśl (south-eastern Poland) - see the description under §12C. They were built in the late 10th - early 11th century.

2) Cathedrals

3) Other basilicas

A pleasant surprise rewarded excavations at the stronghold of Kaldus in the Culm Land (cf. Chudziak 1999; 2000). The construction, which began sometime in the first half of the 11th century, was never completed, but the project was very ambitious. The basilica, over thirty metres long, divided into three naves and terminated with three apses, can be compared only with the above-mentioned diocesan cathedrals built in Gniezno and Poznań. This caused the excavator to suggest that it was planned as the future centre of a new bishopric intended for overseeing the reinforcement of Christianity in Pomerania (Chudziak 2000: 130).

4) Stone churches

See §15B, and cf. detailed guide in Świechowski 2000.

5) Wooden churches

There are not many traces of early wooden ecclesiastic architecture in Poland. A reason for this might be overlooking of their remains by early excavators eager to uncover much more 'interesting' stone constructions. However, there are some wooden buildings identified. The growing awareness of the possible wooden phase in Polish ecclesiastic architecture may lead to some new discoveries (Świechowski 2003: 137). This trend will be reinforced by knowledge of West-European churches that in their first phases were quite often built of timber (cf. Ahrens 2001). PRIMARY SOURCES
Galli Anonymi cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum [Gallus Anonymous, Chronicle of Polish Princes and Rulers], ed. C. Maleczyński, MPH n. p. Vol. II (Cracoviae 1952).

Kronika Thietmara [Thietmar's Chronicle], tekst łaciński i polski, tłum, wstęp i komentarz, ed. & transl. M. Z. Jedlicki (Poznań 1953), transl. D. A. Warner as Ottonian Germany: the Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg (Manchester 2001).

SECONDARY SOURCES
Ahrens, C., Die frühen Holzkirchen Europas (Stuttgart 2001).

Baranowski, T., 'Gród w Kaliszu - badania, odkrycia, interpretacje', in Kalisz wczesnośredniowieczny (Kalisz 1998), pp. 39-64.

Chudziak, W., 'The early Romanesque building from Kałdus, Voivodship of Toruń - Chronology and function', Questiones Medii Ćvii novae Vol. 4 (1999), pp. 197-209.

Chudziak, W., 'Problem chrystianizacji Ziemi Chełmińskiej w świetle źródeł archeologicznych' in S. Moździoch (ed.), Cłowiek, sacrum, środowisko. Miejsca kultu we wczesnym średniowieczu (Wrocław 2000), pp. 127-135.

Gieysztor, A., La porte de bronze á Gniezno. Document de l'histoire de Pologne au XIIe sičcle (Roma 1959).

Kalinowski, L., 'Badania architektoniczno-wykopaliskowe w Tyńcu, 1961-1965' in Folia Historiae Artium, Vol. 6/7 (1971), pp. 5-14.

Pianowski, Z. (2001a), 'Początki zespołu architektury sakralnej na Wawelu. Stan badań i interpretacjid o roku 2000', in Początki chrześcijaństwa w Małopolsce, Dzieje Podkarpacia Vol. 5 (Krosno 2001).

Pianowski, Z. (2001b), 'Spuren des ältesten Heiligtums(?) unter der Kathedrale auf der Burg Wawel in Kraków', in Colloquia medićvalia Pragensia II. Boleslav II: der tschekische Staat um das Jahr 1000 (Praha 2001).

Radwański K., 'Budowle drewniane odkryte pod poziomami romańskimi kościoła św. Wojciecha w Krakówie' in Materiały Archeologiczne Vol. 11 (1970), pp. 7-23.

Radwański, K., Kraków przedlokacyjny. Rozwój przestrzenny (Kraków 1975).

Świechowski, Z., Architektura romanska w Polsce (Warszawa 2000).

Świechowski, Z., 'Najdawniejsz architektura murowana w Polsce - jak dawna?' in Z. Woźniak & J. Gancarski (eds), Polonia Minor medii ćvi. Studia ofiarowane Panu Profesorowi Andrzejowi Żakiemu w osiemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin (Kraków 2003), pp. 133-163.

Trawkowski, S., 'Geneza regionu kaliskiego', in A. Gieysztor & K. Dąbrowski (eds.), Osiemnaście wieków Kalisza. Studia i materiały do dziejów miasta Kalisza i regionu kaliskiego Vol. III (Kalisz 1962).

15B. Where churches are built 

As elsewhere, the first churches were built in the main political centres of the Christianized state. It took well over one-and-a-half centuries until stone churches appeared in smaller settlement centres. As a comparison, one may refer to the neighbouring Bohemia where the supreme prince was baptized before 885 but the first parochial churches only appeared in the 11th century (Fiala 1967: 140f).

In the first phase the rulers furnished their main centres with manifestations of power expressed in stone structures. Therefore, they appeared earliest of all in the central strongholds of Giecz, Gniezno, Poznań and Ostrów Lednicki. There as early as the second half of the 10th century a series of both residential and ecclesiastic buildings were erected. Elsewhere building in stone seems to start later, despite the different opinions of those who want to see the Wawel Hill in Kraków as the oldest centre of Christianity and the first place in Poland where stone churches would have been built (recently Świechowski 2003: 141). Both parties must find some compromise, because 'patriotic' quests for priority have no solid support in the facts. Thus, the alleged effectiveness of the first Polish ruler in erecting stone architecture seems incredible. Still less credible is the concept that Mieszko I had started building churches already before he converted in 966 (Żurowska 1993: 230). Meanwhile, there is not a scratch of any material evidence for the presence of churches on the Wawel Hill before the late 10th century. This contradiction, as well as many other controversies, may be solved with the application of modern AMS accelerator technology that makes possible relatively precise dating of mortar (e.g. Wyrwa 2002).

It is true that as early as the 11th century Wawel 'suddenly' attracted rich Christian 'investors' who located there around ten temples and other stone buildings of various shapes, sizes and functions. "It was undoubtedly the largest concentration of monumental sacral architecture ...in the whole contemporary East-Central Europe" (Żaki 1994: 64). On the other hand, Greater Poland also boasts a large collection of very early churches that are simply spread over a larger area.

SECONDARY REFERENCES
Fiala Z., 'Die Organisation der Kirche im Přemyslidenstatt des 10-13 Jahrhundert', in Siedlung un Verfassung Böhmens in der Frühzeit (Wiesbaden 1967).

Świechowski, Z., 'Najdawniejsz architektura murowana w Polsce - jak dawna?' in Z. Woźniak & J. Gancarski (eds), Polonia Minor medii ćvi. Studia ofiarowane Panu Profesorowi Andrzejowi Żakiemu w osiemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin (Kraków 2003), pp. 133-163.

Wyrwa, A., 'O mozliwosciach datowania zapraw metoda 14C w obiektach architektonicznych' in Wielkopolski Biuletyn Konserwatorski Vol. 1 (2002), pp. 169-181.

Żaki, A., 'Kraków wislanski, czeski i wczesnopiastowski' in Chrystianizacja Polski poludniowej (Kraków 1994), pp. 41-71.

Żurowska, K. (ed.), Ostrów Lednicki (Kraków 1993).

15C. First royal church

We do not know.

15D. Architectural analysis

When discussing the influences that shaped the oldest Polish stone architecture, we should distinguish two levels. At the more general one we can see an overwhelming tendency to build simple round churches or, rather, chapels with one or more apses. This is a model well known from almost all parts of Europe (but not north of Denmark) where they were usually built during the missionary phase of Christianization when the Church was only beginning to construct a stable organization. Thus, they could have been a kind of "programmatic church" that fulfilled multiple functions as focal points of the new religion (Rodzinska-Chorazy 1994: 148).

On the level of particular characteristics of various buildings, there has been a long discussion about where the early architectural influences came from. There is still no agreement on this among the art historians and archaeologists. At first there was a rather general agreement that the main inspirations came from the Carolingian-Ottonian zone and, of course, from neighbouring Bohemia. Later some Byzantine and/or south-Slavic elements were discovered (e.g. Hawrot 1959; Żurowska 1983: 164). Italian connections have also been suggested (e.g. Nogieć-Czepielowa 1974). Anyway, looking for "southern inspirations" (Rodzinska-Chorazy 1994: 149ff) has quickly become the main tendency in studies of Polish pre-Romanesque architecture.

Some of the inspirations came quite naturally from Bohemia, which is obvious when looking at the parallels to the four-apsed rotunda of SS Felix & Adaukt, well-preserved under Wawel royal castle (e.g. Pianowski 1994: 118; Swiechowski 2000: 17ff; 2003: figs. at pp. 139-143). Similarly, the so-called rotunda B with its two apses placed symmetrically opposite each other has close parallels beyond the Carpathian Mountains (Rodzinska-Chorazy 1994: 149; Swiechowski 2003: 141). The same geographical perspective is also suggested (Swiechowski 2003: 146, 149) for two simple rotundas discovered in Lekno and in Gniezno in Lesser Poland and both dated to c. 1000 (Janiak 2002; Wyrwa 1992).

Today, early Polish architecture is viewed as a result of a combination of various influences even if Imperial Italo-German traditions were dominant. "The very characteristic trait that differentiates Polish buildings from those that are usually used for comparisons is the parallel presence of elements belonging to various artistic milieux" (Swiechowski 2000: 33).

SECONDARY REFERENCES
Hawrot, J., 'Kraków wczesnosredniowieczny', Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki Vol. 4 (1959), pp. 125-169.

Nogieć-Czepielowa, E., 'XXXX' in Folia Historiae Artium Vol. 10 (1974), pp. 5-36.

Pianowski, Z., 'Najstarsze koscioly na Wawelu' in Chrystianizacja Polski Poludniowej (Kraków 1994), pp. 99-119.

Rodzinska-Chorazy, T., 'Architektura kamienna jako zrodlo do najwczesniejszych dziejow Polski' in Chrystianizacja Polski Poludniowej (Kraków 1994), pp. 145-151.

Świechowski, Z., Architektura romanska w Polsce (Warszawa 2000).

Świechowski, Z., 'Najdawniejsz architektura murowana w Polsce - jak dawna?' in Z. Woźniak & J. Gancarski (eds), Polonia Minor medii ćvi. Studia ofiarowane Panu Profesorowi Andrzejowi Żakiemu w osiemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin (Kraków 2003), pp. 133-163.

Wyrwa, A., 'Rotunda leknenska w swietle dotychczasowych badan na tle architektury wczesnopiastowskiej w Polsce' in Kronika Wielkopolska Vol. 3/62 (1992), pp. 48-64.

Żurowska, K., 'Studia nad architekturą wczesnopiastowską' in Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego. Prace z Historii Sztuki No. 17 (1983), pp.

15E. Bishoprics

15F. Immigrant/native clergy

15G. Church hierarchy

15H. Missions from the newly-converted countries

16. Evidence of Ecclesiastical and Non-Eccesiastical Administrative System

16A. Their coincidence

Bishoprics founded in 1000 in main centres of the Piast state (in 12th century called sedes regni principales ‑ capitals).

16B. If relevant, territorialization

© Stanisław Rosik and Przemysław Urbańczyk