Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Pulpit is a raised stand for preachers in a Christian church. The origin of the word is the Latin pulpitum; the traditional pulpit is raised well above the surrounding floor for audibility and visibility, accessed by steps, with sides coming to about waist height. From the late medieval period onwards, pulpits have had a canopy known as the sounding board or abat-voix above and sometimes behind the speaker in wood. Though sometimes decorated, this is not purely decorative, but can have a useful acoustic effect in projecting the preacher's voice to the congregation below. Most pulpits have one or more book-stands for the preacher to rest his or her bible, notes or texts upon; the pulpit is reserved for clergy. This is mandated in the regulations of the Roman Catholic church, several others. In Welsh Nonconformism, this was felt appropriate, in some chapels a second pulpit was built opposite the main one for lay exhortations and other speeches. Many churches have a second, smaller stand called the lectern, which can be used by lay persons, is used for all the readings and ordinary announcements.
The traditional Catholic location of the pulpit to the side of the chancel or nave has been retained by Anglicans and some Protestant denominations, while in Presbyterian and Evangelical churches the pulpit has replaced the altar at the centre. Equivalent platforms for speakers are the bema of Ancient Greece and Jewish synagogues, the minbar of Islamic mosques. From the pulpit is used synecdochically for something, said with official church authority. In many Reformed and Evangelical Protestant denominations, the pulpit is at the centre of the front of the church, while in the Catholic and Anglican traditions the pulpit is placed to one side and the altar or communion table is in the centre. In many Christian churches, there are two speakers' stands at the front of the church; the one on the left is called the pulpit. Since the Gospel lesson is read from the pulpit, the pulpit side of the church is sometimes called the gospel side. In both Catholic and Protestant churches the pulpit may be located closer to the main congregation in the nave, either on the nave side of the crossing, or at the side of the nave some way down.
This is the case in large churches, to ensure the preacher can be heard by all the congregation. Fixed seating for the congregation came late in the history of church architecture, so the preacher being behind some of the congregation was less of an issue than later. Fixed seating facing forward in the nave and modern electric amplification has tended to reduce the use of pulpits in the middle of the nave. Outdoor pulpits attached to the exterior of the church, or at a preaching cross, are found in several denominations. If attached to the outside wall of a church, these may be entered from a doorway in the wall, or by steps outside; the other speaker's stand on the right, is known as the lectern. The word lectern comes from the Latin word "lectus" past participle of legere, meaning "to read", because the lectern functions as a reading stand, it is used by lay people to read the scripture lessons, to lead the congregation in prayer, to make announcements. Because the epistle lesson is read from the lectern, the lectern side of the church is sometimes called the epistle side.
In other churches, the lectern, from which the Epistle is read, is located to the congregation's left and the pulpit, from which the sermon is delivered, is located on the right. Though unusual, movable pulpits with wheels were found in English churches, they were either wheeled into place for each service where they would be used or, as at the hospital church in Shrewsbury, rotated to different positions in the church quarterly in the year, to allow all parts of the congregation a chance to have the best sound. A portable outside pulpit of wood and canvas was used by John Wesley, a 19th century Anglican vicar devised a folding iron pulpit for using outdoors; the Ancient Greek bema means both'platform' and'step', was used for a variety of secular raised speaking platforms in ancient Greece and Rome, from those times to today for the central raised platform in Jewish synagogues. Modern synagogue bimahs are similar in form to centrally-placed pulpits in Evangelical churches; the use of a bema carried over from Judaism into early Christian church architecture.
It was a raised platform large, with a lectern and seats for the clergy, from which lessons from the Scriptures were read and the sermon was delivered. In Western Christianity the bema developed over time into the chancel; the next development was the ambo, from a Greek word meaning an elevation. This was a raised platform from which the Epistle and Gospel would be read, was an option to be used as a preacher's platform for homilies, though there were others. Saint John Chrysostom is recorded as preaching from the ambo, but this was uncommon at this date. In cathedrals early bishops seem to have preached from their chair in the apse, echoing the position of magistrates in the secular basilicas whose general form most large early churches adopted. There were two ambos, one to each side, one used more as a platform on which the choir sang.
The term chapel refers to a Christian place of prayer and worship, attached to a larger nonreligious institution or, considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, palace, funeral home, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Chapel has referred to independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church; until the Protestant Reformation, a chapel denoted a place of worship, either at a secondary location, not the main responsibility of the local parish priest, or that belonged to a person or institution. The earliest Christian places of worship are now referred to as chapels, as they were not dedicated buildings but rather a dedicated chamber within a building. Most larger churches had one or more secondary altars, which if they occupied a distinct space, would be called a chapel.
In Russian Orthodox tradition, the chapels were built underneath city gates, where most people could visit them. The most famous example is the Iberian Chapel. Although chapels refer to Christian places of worship, they are commonly found in Jewish synagogues and do not denote a specific denomination. In England—where the Church of England is established by law—non-denominational or inter-faith chapels in such institutions may nonetheless be consecrated by the local Anglican bishop. Non-denominational chapels are encountered as part of a non-religious institution such as a hospital, university or prison. Many military installations have chapels for the use of military personnel under the leadership of a military chaplain; the earliest Christian places of worship were not dedicated buildings but rather a dedicated chamber within a building, such as a room in an individual's home. Here one or two people could pray without being part of a communion/congregation. People who like to use chapels may find it peaceful and relaxing to be away from the stress of life, without other people moving around them.
The word, like the associated word, chaplain, is derived from Latin. More the word "chapel" is derived from a relic of Saint Martin of Tours: traditional stories about Martin relate that while he was still a soldier, he cut his military cloak in half to give part to a beggar in need; the other half he wore over his shoulders as a "small cape". The beggar, the stories claim, was Christ in disguise, Martin experienced a conversion of heart, becoming first a monk abbot bishop; this cape came into the possession of the Frankish kings, they kept the relic with them as they did battle. The tent which kept the cape was called the capella and the priests who said daily Mass in the tent were known as the capellani. From these words, via Old French, we get the names "chapel" and "chaplain"; the word appears in the Irish language in the Middle Ages, as Welsh people came with the Norman and Old English invaders to the island of Ireland. While the traditional Irish word for church was eaglais, a new word, séipéal, came into usage.
In British history, "chapel" or "meeting house", was the standard designation for church buildings belonging to independent or Nonconformist religious societies and their members. It was a word associated with the pre-eminence of independent religious practice in rural regions of England and Wales, the northern industrial towns of the late 18th and 19th centuries, centres of population close to but outside the City of London; as a result, "chapel" is sometimes used as an adjective in the UK to describe the members of such churches. A proprietary chapel is one that belonged to a private person. In the 19th century they were common being built to cope with urbanisation, they were set up by evangelical philanthropists with a vision of spreading Christianity in cities whose needs could no longer be met by the parishes. Some functioned more with a wealthy person building a chapel so they could invite their favorite preachers, they are anomalies in the English ecclesiastical law, having no parish area, but being able to have an Anglican clergyman licensed there.
Many Anglican Churches were Proprietary Chapels. Over the years they have been converted into normal Parishes. While the usage of the word "chapel" is not limited to Christian terminology, it is most found in that context. Nonetheless, the word's meaning can vary by denomination, non-denominational chapels can be found in many hospitals and the United Nations headquarters. Chapels can be found for worship in Judaism; the word "chapel" is in common usage in the United Kingdom, in Wales, for Nonconformist places of worship. In the UK, due to the rise in Nonconformist chapels during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, by the time of the 1851 census, more people attended the independent chapels than attended the state religion's Anglican churches. In Roman Catholic Church canon law, a chapel, technically called an "oratory", is a building or part thereof dedicated to the celebration of services the Mass, not a parish church; this may be a private chapel, for the use of one person or a select group.
Rococo, less roccoco, or "Late Baroque", is a ornamental and theatrical style of decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding and pastel colors, sculpted molding, trompe l'oeil frescoes to create the illusions of surprise and drama. It first appeared in France and Italy in the 1730s and spread to Central Europe in the 1750s and 1760s, it is described as the final expression of the Baroque movement. The Rococo style began in France in the first part of the 18th century in the reign of Louis XV as a reaction against the more formal and geometric Style Louis XIV, it was known as the style rocaille style. It soon spread to other parts of Europe northern Italy, Austria, other parts of Germany, Russia, it came to influence the other arts sculpture, furniture and glassware, painting and theatre. The word rococo was first used as a humorous variation of the word rocaille. Rocaille was a method of decoration, using pebbles and cement, used to decorate grottoes and fountains since the Renaissance.
In the late 17th and early 18th century rocaille became the term for a kind of decorative motif or ornament that appeared in the late Style Louis XIV, in the form of a seashell interlaced with acanthus leaves. In 1736 the designer and jeweler Jean Mondon published the Premier Livre de forme rocquaille et cartel, a collection of designs for ornaments of furniture and interior decoration, it was the first appearance in print of the term "rocaille" to designate the style. The carved or molded seashell motif was combined with palm leaves or twisting vines to decorate doorways, wall panels and other architectural elements; the term rococo was first used in print in 1825 to describe decoration, "out of style and old-fashioned." It was used in 1828 for decoration "which belonged to the style of the 18th century, overloaded with twisting ornaments." In 1829 the author Stendhal described rococo as "the rocaille style of the 18th century."In the 19th century, the term was used to describe architecture or music, excessively ornamental.
Since the mid-19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style, Rococo is now considered as a distinct period in the development of European art. Rococo features exuberant decoration, with an abundance of curves, counter-curves and elements modeled on nature; the exteriors of Rococo buildings are simple, while the interiors are dominated by their ornament. The style was theatrical, designed to impress and awe at first sight. Floor plans of churches were complex, featuring interlocking ovals; the style integrated painting, molded stucco, wood carving, quadratura, or illusionist ceiling paintings, which were designed to give the impression that those entering the room were looking up at the sky, where cherubs and other figures were gazing down at them. Materials used painted or left white; the intent was to create an impression of surprise and wonder on first view. Rococo was influenced by chinoiserie and was sometimes in association with Chinese figures and pagodas.
The Rocaille style, or French Rococo, appeared in Paris during the reign of Louis XV, flourished between about 1723 and 1759. The style was used in salons, a new style of room designed to impress and entertain guests; the most prominent example was the salon of the Princess in Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, designed by Germain Boffrand and Charles-Joseph Natoire. The characteristics of French Rococo included exceptional artistry in the complex frames made for mirrors and paintings, which sculpted in plaster and gilded; the furniture featured sinuous curves and vegetal designs. The leading furniture designers and craftsmen in the style included Juste-Aurele Meissonier, Charles Cressent, Nicolas Pineau; the Rocaille style lasted in France until the mid-18th century, while it became more curving and vegetal, it never achieved the extravagant exuberance of the Rococo in Bavaria and Italy. The discoveries of Roman antiquities beginning in 1738 at Herculanum and at Pompeii in 1748 turned French architecture in the direction of the more symmetrical and less flamboyant neo-classicism.
Artists in Italy Venice produced an exuberant rococo style. Venetian commodes imitated the curving lines and carved ornament of the French rocaille, but with a particular Venetian variation. Notable decorative painters included Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who painted ceilings and murals of both churches and palazzos, Giovanni Battista Crosato who painted the ballroom ceiling of the Ca Rezzonico in the quadraturo manner, giving the illusion of three dimensions. Tiepelo travelled to Germany with his son during 1752–1754, decorating the ceilings of the Würzburg Residence, one of the major landmarks of the Bavarian rococo. An earlier celebrated Venetian painter was Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, who painted several notable church ceilings; the Venetian Rococo featured exceptional glassware Murano glass, ofte
Stanisław August Poniatowski
Stanisław II Augustus, who reigned as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1764 to 1795, was the last monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He remains a controversial figure in Polish history. Recognized as a great patron of the arts and sciences and an initiator and firm supporter of progressive reforms, he is remembered as the King of the Commonwealth whose election was marred by Russian intervention, he is criticized for his failure to stand against the partitions, thus to prevent the destruction of the Polish state. Having arrived at the Russian imperial court in Saint Petersburg in 1755, he became romantically involved with the future empress Catherine the Great. With her connivance, in 1764 he was elected King of Poland. Contrary to expectations, he attempted to strengthen the ailing Commonwealth, his efforts met with external opposition from Prussia and Austria, all committed to keeping the Commonwealth weak. From within he was opposed by conservative interests, which saw reforms as threatening their traditional liberties and privileges.
The defining crisis of his early reign was the War of the Bar Confederation that led to the First Partition of Poland. The part of his reign saw reforms wrought by the Great Sejm and the Constitution of 3 May 1791; these reforms were overthrown by the 1792 Targowica Confederation and by the Polish–Russian War of 1792, leading directly to the Second Partition of Poland, the Kościuszko Uprising and the final and Third Partition of Poland, marking the end of the Commonwealth. Stripped of all meaningful power, Poniatowski abdicated in November 1795 and spent the last years of his life a virtual captive in Saint Petersburg. Stanisław Antoni Poniatowski was born on 17 January 1732 in Wołczyn in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and now in Belarus, he was one of eight surviving children and fourth son of Princess Konstancja Czartoryska and of Count Stanisław Poniatowski, Ciołek coat of arms, Castellan of Kraków. His older brothers were Kazimierz Poniatowski, a Podkomorzy at Court, Franciszek Poniatowski, Canon of Krakow Cathedral who suffered from Epilepsy and Aleksander Poniatowski, an officer killed in the Rhineland-Palatinate during the War of the Austrian Succession.
His younger brothers were, Andrzej Poniatowski, an Austrian Feldmarschall, Michał Jerzy Poniatowski who became Primate of Poland. His two older and married sisters were Izabella Branicka. Among his nephews was Prince Józef Poniatowski, son of Andrzej, he was a great-grandson of the poet and alleged traitor, Jan Andrzej Morsztyn and through his great-grandmother, Catherine Gordon, lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga, he was related to the House of Stuart and thereby connected to the leading families of Scotland and France. The Poniatowski family had achieved high status among the Polish nobility of the time, he spent the first few years of his childhood in Gdańsk. He was temporarily kidnapped as a toddler, on the orders of Józef Potocki, Voyevoda of Kiev, as a reprisal for his father's support for King August and held for some months in Kamieniec-Podolski, he was returned to his parents in Gdańsk. He moved with his family to Warsaw, he was educated by his mother by private tutors, including Russian ambassador Herman Karl von Keyserling.
He had few friends in his teenage years and instead developed a fondness for books which continued throughout his life. He went on his first foreign trip in 1748, with elements of the Imperial Russian army as it advanced into the Rhineland to aid Maria Theresia's troops during the War of the Austrian Succession which ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; this enabled Poniatowski both to visit the city known as Aachen, to venture into the Netherlands. On his return journey he stopped in Dresden; the following year Poniatowski was apprenticed to the office of Michał Fryderyk Czartoryski, the Deputy Chancellor of Lithuania. In 1750, he travelled to Berlin where he met a British diplomat, Charles Hanbury Williams, who became his mentor and friend. In 1751, Poniatowski was elected to the Treasury Tribunal in Radom, where he served as a commissioner, he spent most of January 1752 at the Austrian court in Vienna. That year, after serving at the Radom Tribunal and meeting King Augustus III of Poland, he was elected deputy of the Sejm.
While there his father secured for him the title of Starosta of Przemyśl. In March 1753 he travelled to Vienna, where he again met with Williams, he returned to the Netherlands, where he met many key members of that country's political and economic sphere. By late August he had arrived in Paris. In February 1754 he travelled on to England. There he was befriended by the future Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, he returned to the Commonwealth that year, however he eschewed the Sejm, as his parents wanted to keep him out of the political furore surrounding the Ostrogski family's land inheritance. The following year he received the title of Stolnik of Lithuania. Poniatowski owed his rise and influence to his family connections with the powerful Czartoryski family and their political faction, known as the Familia, with whom he had grown close, it was the Familia who sent him in 1755 to Saint Petersburg in the service of Williams, nominated British ambassador to Russia. In Saint Petersburg, Williams introduced Poniatowski to the 2
A crypt is a stone chamber beneath the floor of a church or other building. It contains coffins, sarcophagi, or religious relics. Crypts were found below the main apse of a church, such as at the Abbey of Saint-Germain en Auxerre, but were located beneath chancel and transepts as well. Churches were raised high to accommodate a crypt at the ground level, such as St Michael's Church in Hildesheim, Germany. "Crypt" developed as an alternative form of the Latin "vault" as it was carried over into Late Latin, came to refer to the ritual rooms found underneath church buildings. It served as a vault for storing important and/or sacred items. "Crypta", however, is the female form of crypto "hidden". The earliest known origin of both is in the Ancient Greek κρύπτω, the first person singular indicative of the verb "to conceal, to hide". First known in the early Christian period, in particular North Africa at Chlef and Djemila in Algeria, Byzantium at Saint John Studio in Constantinople. Where Christian churches have been built over mithraea, the mithraeum has been adapted to serve as a crypt.
The famous crypt at Old St. Peter's Basilica, developed about the year 600, as a means of affording pilgrims a view of Saint Peter's tomb, which lay, according to the Roman fashion, directly below the high altar; the tomb was made accessible through an underground passageway beneath the sanctuary, where pilgrims could enter at one stair, pass by the tomb and exit, without interrupting the clerical community's service at the altar directly above. Crypts were introduced into Frankish church building in the mid-8th century, as a feature of its Romanization, their popularity spread more in western Europe under Charlemagne. Examples from this period are most common in the early medieval West, for example in Burgundy at Dijon and Tournus. After the 10th century the early medieval requirements of a crypt faded, as church officials permitted relics to be held in the main level of the church. By the Gothic period crypts were built, however burial vaults continued to be constructed beneath churches and referred to as crypts.
In more modern terms, a crypt is most a stone chambered burial vault used to store the deceased. Crypts are found in cemeteries and under public religious buildings, such as churches or cathedrals, but are occasionally found beneath mausolea or chapels on personal estates. Wealthy or prestigious families will have a'family crypt' or'vault' in which all members of the family are interred. Many royal families, for example, have vast crypts containing the bodies of dozens of former royalty. In some localities an above ground crypt is more called a mausoleum, which refers to any elaborate building intended as a burial place, for one or any number of people. There was a trend in the 19th century of building crypts on medium to large size family estates subtly placed on the edge of the grounds or more incorporated into the cellar. After a change of owner these are blocked up and the house deeds will not allow this area to be re-developed. Catacomb Mausoleum Tumulus Ossuary Tomb Cemetery Media related to Crypt at Wikimedia Commons Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Crypt". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Theatre Square (Warsaw)
Theatre Square is a major square in the Śródmieście district of Warsaw, Poland. It spans from the Great Theatre building to the Senatorska Street; the origins of the square date back to the beginning of the 19th century, when a small square was established in 1818. From 1825 to 1832 the Great Theatre building was constructed; when the city administration was relocated to the Jabłonowski Palace, the square became a centre of city life. Various patriotic demonstrations took place there, including at the time of the January Uprising and the Revolution of 1905. Both demonstrations were bloodily crushed by Russian authorities. In September 1939 the civilian defense of the city was located in the city hall. During the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 the square witnessed heavy fighting between the Nazi German soldiers and the Armia Krajowa partisans. Most of the surrounding buildings were damaged or destroyed. After the war several buildings were renovated. In the 1990s it was rebuilt according to the original architectural plans.
Landmarks on the square include: The Great Theatre The Jabłonowski Palace The Blank Palace Saints Albert and Andrew's Church, reconstructed in 1999) Petyskusa House, rebuilt in 1950 The Warsaw Meridian Media related to Theatre Square in Warsaw at Wikimedia Commons