Sometime ago, before the world closed down due to the pan-hysteria, I had a great pleasure to participate in a wonderful lecture. In fact there were two lectures. Both in the Gdansk Town Hall.
The first part of the lecture was about and in a room called Great Christopher (Wielki Krzysztof) – I am not sure if I should translate the name. I should rather use the original name from the past. In fact nobody knows where the name comes from, and why this room. But well… So what was that room? It had been a municipal archive until 1901. As the wall are very thick there – it survived the turmoil of war. Miraculously, it was not destroyed in March 1945 (when the Red Army took Gdańsk). Until today it is a pure medieval “substance” in the form of a floor and a door from the end of the 14th century.
From the website of “Gedanopedia” we learn that (loosely translated from Polish):
“Great Krzysztof, is a room measuring 5 × 4 m, on the first, representative floor of the Town Hall, with 2 windows facing Long Street. The interior, adjacent to the south-west corner of the Great Weta Hall, is located in the shaft of the tower above the vault of the internal stairs. The room was protected by thick brick walls and a brick vault. The entrance to the room was protected by massive double doors, one of them, from the end of the 14th century, has survived to this day. Until 1902 it served as a municipal archive. Privileges, correspondence, land registers and other documents, properly arranged and segregated, were stored there. Several segments of a large archival cabinet from the 16th century have survived to this day. Valuables were also occasionally stored here. At the turn of the 16th / 17th century, some archival documents were moved to the northern rooms of the town hall. In the years 1845–1846, coins, gold and silver items hidden in 1813, including candlesticks and clocks from the Napoleonic era, were found hidden in a wooden casing of the window sill in 1845–1846. The interior has an original medieval floor. The vault and walls are decorated with a reconstructed painting decoration. Plant motifs and heraldic cartouches with the emblems of: Poland, Royal Prussia, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Gdańsk were recreated after World War II. Currently, the room serves as a museum.”
Entering this small room – is like entering another world. The walls are medieval – thick, and resistant. But the vaulted ceiling is covered with The hall’s vault is covered with paintings from 1583. They were added here to show relationship of Gdańsk and Pomerania with the Kingdom of Poland.
Last year the restoration works were completed in the room. And they were the first for at least 50 years or so. They retrieved the faded colors and shapes of the paintings. And now the room is open to public, showing both the beauty of the historical paintings as well as the mastery of the restoration works. One of the restorers said that they performed works on 73 square meters of walls, reaching the paint layers from 1583. The original colors were partially extracted, we also found traces of Gothic monochrome. It occured that the colors used were to illuminate a small room in which the most important city documents were kept. For fear of the archive resources, it was not allowed to keep fire here (tar torches), so a simple trick was used, which from today can be admired by every visitor to the Gdańsk City Hall. The rostorers say that today, the paintings look like new. They shimmer with shades of gold and emerald. You can easily distinguish between different characters and animals.
Well, and this we were told and shown during our visit in the Town Hall.
HERE you have some photos I took…