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Bronze Doors of Gniezno Cathedral, Poland, c.1175AD.
Life and Martyrdom of St. Adalbert (Wojciech)

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Gniezno Doors (ĄDrzwi GnieznienskieĒ) are a unique masterpiece of Romanesque art in Europe. The historical piece of art, decorated with bas-reliefs, presents the story of St. Adalbertís life.
The famous doors are at the entrance to Gniezno Cathedral, where a number of important events in the history of Poland took place. The Cathedral holds the remains of St. Adalbert and the first Polish kings were crowned here.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The sequence starts from the bottom of the left door, going upwards, then to the right door going down. Adalbert is the centre of all scenes.

1) Adalbertís birth and baptism, in two scenes
2) As a sick child Adalbert is saved by being placed on an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary
3) Adalbertís parents place him in the monastery at Magdeburg at his request
4) Adalbert prays before a shrine (with knocker)
5) Emperor Otto II gives Adalbert his bishop's crozier, at Verona
6) Adalbert expels a demon from a possessed man
7) Adalbert has a vision of Christ telling him to save Christians from slavery by the Jewish traders
8) Adalbert pleads with the Duke of Bohemia for the release of Christians slaves by their Jewish masters
9) The accident of the wine pitcher - when Adalbert dropped one it did not break

10) Adalbert lands in Gdansk by ship (top of right door)
11) Adalbert makes conversions in Prussia
12) Adalbert preaches
13) Adalbert says Mass on the morning of his death, with hostile Prussians on the right
14) Adalbert is martyred by two men, while his companions watch
15) Adalbertís body is exposed in the open, with his severed head on a stake; an eagle guards it (with knocker)
16) Adalbertís remains are bought by the Polish ruler from the Prussians, for their weight in gold
17) Adalbertís remains are taken back to Gniezno
18) Adalbertís remains are buried in Gniezno Cathedral



See also Prussian Tribesmen in Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300 by Ian Heath
Judas Maccabeus portrayed as a Polish knight in the Plock Bible, second quarter of the 12th century
An early medieval shield from Szczecin, Poland, 12th century.
Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers






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