Saturday, 11 August 2012

First stop – Gniezno!

Our holidays started with a two-night-stop in Gniezno. A place that I’ve visited so many times that I’d never ever be able to count. Both my parents come from there. Both my grandmothers used to live there. One of them still does. And that’s exactly where we stayed – at my grandmum’s. Artur got a chance to spend some time with his great grandmother and we got a chance to show him some parts of Gniezno.

Just a few words about Gniezno for those of you who know nothing or very little of it. And it’s an important town in Poland’s history, especially in the early medieval history.

Gniezno was Poland’s first capital city (it’s being questioned sometimes, but that’s what we’re taught and what we believe). There’s a legend saying how it even became a place of settlement and where its name and emblem come from. Here it goes (as recalled and beautifully retold by me):

Many moons ago three brothers – Lech, Czech and Rus – were wandering around the place searching for a place for their people to settle. Suddenly they saw a hill with an old oak and an eagle at the top of it. Lech said: ‘That’s it! That’s the kind of place I’ve been looking for! It’s here that my people are going to settle down. This wild eagle will be the emblem of my people and around this oak I will build my stronghold. Because of the eagle nest (in Polish gniazdo) I will call this place Gniezdno (nowadays called Gniezno).’ And he did as he said. The other two brothers kept on going. One of them, Czech, went to the south to find the Czech Lands. The second one, Rus, went to the east to create Rus (region).

Ok, so now you know where Gniezno, and the country built around it, come from. That white eagle is not only the emblem of Gniezno. A white eagle with a gold crown is also the emblem of Poland.

Here are some modern photos of Gniezno. And next time you’ll be able to learn about Gniezno’s role in Polish early medieval history. Can’t wait, right? ;)


 That's the eagle mentioned in the legend - the emblem of Gniezno
 There were emblems of various cities in the market square...
 ... including the one of Gdansk.

 That's my son and my grandmother.
 And that's a lamp that Artur was totally fascinated with! It changed colours so he wanted nothing more in the evenings that this lamp to be switched on in the colour-changing mode. Oh, and it was my son who took this picture.

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