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History of Poland, Part I

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Last week started posting builds from my newest project - History of Poland.

First part of the project will cover events and will include characters from Xth to early XVIth century. It will tell the story of Poland entering the Christian world of medieval Europe, Polish social, economic and military development, up to the dominant role in our part of the world in XVIth century, which is being called Golden Age in Polish history. We will stop at the beginning of it and I hope that Part I itself will form compact and satisfying whole.

Later will continue with more and each part will include ten scenes. ;)


Christianization of Poland, 966

History of Poland, Part I: Christianization of Poland

Mieszko I (read it "Mieshko") was ruler of Poland princedom. He decided to accept christianity as a state religion and be baptised in 966. He abandoned pagan believes and married Bohemian princess Dobrawa. This conversion was a political move, not a spiritual need of Mieszko but it introduced Poland to Christiandom and decrease the likelihood of attacks from Christian states in west and south. It was also important that christianization took place through Bohemian state, not Germany.

Chrisitanization is first historically proven event in Polish history. With Christianity came Latin culture and literacy. Incoming clergy helped education and diplomacy to florish in Poland, that placed it firmly in the sphere of Western European culture, tradition and politics.


Congress of Gniezno, 1000

History of Poland, Part I: Congress of Gniezno

We continue our journey through ages and stop in year 1000 when Congress of Gniezno happened. At that time, ruler of Poland was prince Boleslaw Chrobry (Boleslaw the Brave), son of Mieszko I.
Emperor Otto III went on a pilgrimage to St. Adalbert's tomb in Gniezno. Bishop Adalbert of Prague was a missionary who was martyred in pagan Prussia. He is patron of Czech Republic and Poland.
Otto III gave Bolesław a replica of his Holy Lance, part of the Imperial Regalia, and Bolesław presented the Emperor with a relic - an arm of St. Adalbert in exchange. This moment is captured in my build.
Congress of Gniezno helped strengthening the position and status of Boleslaw Chrobry who was crowned as first king of Poland in 1025.
The most significant result of congress was raising of Gniezno to the rank of an archbishopric, making Polish Church independent to German.


Henry of Sandomierz in Holy Land, 1154

History of Poland, Part I: Henry of Sandomierz in Holy Land

In order to avoid "Game of Throne" level of struggle for power between his sons, duke Bolesław Krzywousty ordered the division of the state between his descendants.The supreme power over the dynasty and lands was to be kept by the eldest of the Piast. Krzywousty's will entered into force in 1138, beginning a nearly two-century-long fragmentation of the Polish realm.

One of the duke sons was Henryk of Sandomierz. He went on a crusade to the Holy Land, where he became famous for his piety and bravery during the fights with the Saracens.


I Mongol Invasion, 1241

History of Poland, Part I: Tatars Raids

The divided and weakened Polish state in the 13th century was harassed countless times by the invasions of the Tatars, who conquered Kievan Rus in 1240 and stood at the gates of Europe.
Tatar invasions were of a plundering character, which weakened Polish economy. The importance of the country on the international arena has diminished, and the process of Poland's unification has been delayed.
The trace of these events is preserved in Polish culture to this day - in the form of Krakow's Lajkonik, the interrupted melody of St. Mary's bugle call or monuments, works of art and legends of Sandomierz.


Reign of Casimir the Great, 1333-1370

History of Poland, Part I: Reing of Casimir the Great

Fragmentation of the realm lasted until 1320, when Władysław Łokietek was crowned, but it was only during the rule of his son - Casimir - that the kingdom was unified and strengthened.
In 1333, when the young prince took power, Poland was not in the best situation - John of Luxembourg claimed the right to the Polish throne, the Teutonic Knights were a threat in the north, the Czechs in the south, and individual principalities recognized various suzerains, not necessarily favorable to the new king.
Despite this, Casimir, using diplomacy or force and introducing internal reforms, was able to stay on the throne and strengthen the country.
To commemorate the king's achievements and his attitude, which enabled the development of the state on social, economic, military and cultural levels, he was given the nickname "Great".
To this day, the proverb "he found Poland made of wood and left it made of brick" is popular, symbolizing a number of changes that took place during the reign of Casimir the Great.


Founding of the Cracow Academy, 1364

History of Poland, Part I: Founding of the Cracow Academy

Thanks to the efforts of King Casimir the Great, a university was established in Krakow. It is one of the oldest universities in the world, the second in this respect in Central Europe (second to Charles University in Prague).
Liberal arts, law and medicine were taught at Cracow Academy.

Almost as old is the custom of Juwenalia - student holidays. For a certain period, the students abandoned their duties, chose their "king", and then took over the city.
Student's song "Breve regnum erigitur", describing this custom, is the oldest known secular song from Poland. The original work was written in Latin.
The custom is practiced to this day - the festival is accompanied by concerts, parties, and a juwenalia procession is organized.

The current name - Jagiellonian University (UJ), given to commemorate the contribution of the Jagiellonian Dynasty to its development, has been functioning since the 19th century.


Status of the Cracow Saltworks, 1368

History of Poland, Part I: Status of the Cracow Saltworks

Due to its preservative properties, salt has historically been a desirable and expensive commodity.
The reforms introduced by Casimir the Great, covering the issues of trade, exports, taxation of salt and social welfare for miners, had a great impact on the Polish state.
According to historians, the salt mines accounted for 25% of the kingdom's total revenue at its peak.
The trade of salt mined in Wieliczka and Bochnia also contributed to the enrichment of Krakow's townspeople and the Polish nobility.

The salt mine in Wieliczka near Krakow, a pearl of engineering, art and architecture, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.


Battle of Grunwald, 1410

History of Poland, Part I: Battle of Grunwald, 1410

The battle fought by the allied Polish-Lithuanian army with the forces of the Teutonic Order is one of the largest in the history of medieval Europe
According to the chronicler - Jan Długosz - before the battle, Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen sent envoys carrying "two naked swords". With this gesture, he tried to challenge the Polish-Lithuanian command and encourage them to start the fight.
King of Poland Władysław Jagiełło was to respond to this gift with the words:
- We have plenty of swords, but I also accept these as an omen of victory, which God Himself sends to me through your hands.
The army, singing "Bogurodzica", went into battle and after a day of clashes, the forces of the Order were routed.

Unfortunately, the victory was not fully used by the Polish side - Malbork was not captured, the Teutonic Order did not cease to exist.


History of Poland, Part I: The Altarpiece by Veit Stoss, 1489

History of Poland, Part I: The Altarpiece by Veit Stoss, 1489

Sacred art in the Middle Ages was extremely prominent, also in Poland. One of its most outstanding examples is the Altarpiece by Veit Stoss located in St. Mary's Church in Kraków.
It was made in the years 1477-89 by the sculptor Veit Stoss who came from Nuremberg.
The main scene of the altar is the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. Scenes from the life of Mary and Jesus are depicted on the wings.
It is the largest altar of this type in Europe - it has dimensions of 11 x 13 meters, and the largest figures measure 2.8 meters.

The scene presents the altar only symbolically.


History of Poland, Part I: Prussian Homage, 1525


History of Poland, Part I: Prussian Homage, 1525

The Prussian homage took place in Kraków after the earlier conclusion of peace between Poland and the Teutonic Order.
As a result of this act, Teutonic Prussia was transformed into the Duchy of Prussia, becoming a fief of Poland, ending nearly three centuries of wars and tensions between states.
The last grand master of the order was Albrecht Hohenzollern, he left the order and accepted the Lutheran confession.
The king of Poland at that time was Sigismund I the Old from the Jagiellonian dynasty.

This treaty was the first interstate agreement in Europe between a Catholic and a Protestant ruler.



Will update this post with every new build. ;)


If you want to more know, go and read some articles online or maybe even better a book. I'm not a historian, I'm just a guy who wants to spread knowledge and encourage others to learn more and since I'm a LEGO builder, I do it through LEGO builds.

Hope you enjoy my MOCs. ;)

Edited by BardDandelion
added new part of the project ;)

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This is such an impressive idea and execution, that i have to "steal" the same idea for our local LUG collaboration. Hoping that you would not be angry about this. :look:

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@WickNole YES! DO IT! Let's spread historical builds everywhere. Where are you from? ;)

My LUG (Zbudujmy To!) actually made collab project called History of Poland in 2018, you my find it online. ;)

@BrickMatit Thank you very much! I'm always trying to do my best with my builds. Limited sizes allows me to focus on details. :D

@Yperio_Bricks Thanks a lot! Glad that you enjoy my builds. ;)

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That first one is lovely. Love how you filled out the doorways, the upside down use of plates/tiles on the roof, the color of the water and the chandelier.

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5 hours ago, BardDandelion said:

@WickNole YES! DO IT! Let's spread historical builds everywhere. Where are you from? ;)

EstLUG, Estonia.

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Had a similar idea some time ago, just never got around to building. :grin:


Lovely builds, historical information accompanies them very nicely. Will look forward to future chapters. Good job! :pir-thumb:

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@GeoBrick Thanks a lot! Glad that you enjoy my build. ;)
@WickNole Nice! Would be great to learn more about history of Estonia. Don't remember any mention about your country during my history classes in school but I'm sure that some interesting and important events took place there. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

@Jack Sassy Thank you! Hope you will enjoy my future builds as well. :)

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This is a great and interesting history lesson! The build is very good and fits the story.

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@A_Forest_of_Lego @Rjbricks Thank you guys! Glad that you enjoy my builds! New one in Friday! :D

@NOD Thanks for the comment! My goal was not only build something nice but also get people interested in Polish history. I guess it is not well known in other parts of the world. Happy to use my platform to spread the knowledge. Just remember - I'm not a historian, if you want to know more and better understand presented events, you should look for more information and read more by yourself. ;)

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The eagle banner and especially the back of the throne look great.

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Your streak of wonderful vignettes continues! I love the altarpiece and church window and also the brickbuild banner from the Prussian homage.

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Posted (edited)


Edited by MAB

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