The frescoes in Lublin

The frescoes in Lublin: the Orthodox presence in medieval Gothic Church

In the Polish city of Lublin you can see the unique Orthodox frescoes. They are in the chapel of Lublin castle. After long neglect and prolonged restoration of the frescoes again Shine with the splendor and delight of believers, lovers and tourists.

These murals transform the Catholic chapel of St. Trinity in the phenomenon of the European scale. The fact that she built in the Western, the Gothic style, but painted according to the canons of Orthodoxy.

The chapel is built in the middle of the XIV century Polish king Kazimierz the Great (1330-1370). This king was the great-grandson married in Poland the Princess of Turnovo dynasty Asana, but this is not the only Bulgarian “trace”. Choose the frescos – the case of Bulgarian and Russian artists. Two of them – Cyril and Yushko – wrote their names on the walls of the temple. And the name of the main artist – master Andrew, who managed the painters, carved on the dedicatory plate. This inscription tells that the painting of the chapel, ended on August 19, 1418 g (matter of days before the feast of the blessed virgin Mary), made by order and at the expense of the Polish king Wladyslaw Jagiello.

But I was looking for Bulgarian icon-painters in the Polish city of Lublin?

King Wladyslaw Jagiello, father famous in Vladislav Varnenchik, was not a pole. He was of the ruling kind the then pagan Lithuania, which at that time owned the whole of Ukraine and Belarus. His mother was a Russian Orthodox Princess Juliana. Probably from her son “contracted” love of the Orthodox art and kept it until the end of his life. In 1386 the Lithuanian Prince chosen by the Polish king and after the adoption of Catholicism and its pagan people of Krakow dates back to the Christian throne. So in Poland, has already formed a Union with the Great Lithuanian Principality, there is a lot of people from the Prince’s entourage, some of whom are Bulgarian artists. From the Royal archives it is clear that they came from Macedonia. The latter, however, is not to be understood literally. Because in that era by “Macedonia” implied all Bulgarian lands from Plovdiv to Odrin.

In short, medieval artists, adorned the chapel of Lublin castle, were Bulgarians. There is no doubt that they fled North, escaping from the Turkish invasion on the Balkans.

For that era it was not unusual. Suffice it to recall that at exactly the same time in Russian Metropolitan throne in Kiev, i.e. within the boundaries of the Lithuanian gosudarstva, was the Bulgarian, Gregory tsamblak. He headed the Russian Church during the period from 1414 to 1420, and murals, as we know, drawn in 1418 Even more, before and after Tsamblak at the head of the Russian Church were two of his compatriots – Cyprian and Gregory II. Their high priesthood allowed them to have a yard crowded with priests, monks, scholars, vsevozmozhnymi officials, etc. as well as servants, cooks, sokolnicki, the Prefecture, the grooms. Most of these courtiers were Bulgarian emigrants. These immigrants and hired for his court Vladislav Jagiello.

In addition Lublin Bulgarian court painters painted murals in the bedroom of the Royal Wawel castle in the old capital Krakow, and the Cathedral of the porva Polish capital Gniezno, and in the churches in the city of Przemysl, Willice, etc. Some of these paintings have survived until now.

With regard to the frescoes in the Lublin castle, they also have a very unusual destiny. Since the end of XVI century fortified complex gradually sinks, and the chapel of St. Trinity is used as a missionary house. In 20-ies of the XIX century the castle becomes a prison and a chapel service the guards and prisoners. The frescoes were covered with plaster and “disappear” for more than a century. After the Second world war the restoration of the citadel and the chapel was a famous Polish restorative school. We owe masterful, complete and accurate reconstruction of the Orthodox masterpieces, created for eternity by skillful artists Andrew, Cyril and jusko. In Lublin there are many historical sites, but the most valuable is undoubtedly the chapel of St. Trinity – thanks to the Bulgarian frescoes.

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