Saturday, 13 June 2015

Castle in Lublin

During our first winter visit to Lublin we only had a few minutes to see the Lublin Castle. I decided to spend more time there this time in order to allow you to see its rare beauty. Let's leave the Old Town again by the Grodzka Brama (City Gate). The inscription says it was built in MDCCLXXXV meaning 1785.

When walking on the bridge you can see a glimpse of the modern Lublin.

The path to the Castle is wide - in the past horse carriages had to move up the hill. Nowadays it is reserved for pedestrians. Can you spot the young couple in the back? Yes, brides in their wedding gowns are often seen here, it is a popular destination for wedding photo shoots.

The castle has a shape that reminds me of the Arabic architecture in the South of Spain. Do you also have this feeling?

Inside the courtyard looks more familiar. The Lublin castle was largely re-built by king Zygmunt Stary, based on designs of famous Italian architects. This was the same king whose Italian wife Bona Sforza has influenced the current shape of Wawel, the royal castle in Kraków. I see certain similarities.

In the middle of the courtyard you will find a large fortified tower called keep, built in Romanesque style

The white element on the top is called battlement. Originally it was meant as an additional defense tool. Nowadays it is mainly a "lacy" ornament. On top of the tower there is an observation deck.

The building in the back of the courtyard is the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.

This is the main reason why I decided to take you to the Lublin Castle for the second time. Does not look impressive? Just wait a moment. First, we need to walk through the regional museum located inside the castle. We can see some religious paintings ...

... and a few military paintings.

It is possible to see what the local men used when they were going to war, both in the Middle Ages ...

... and more recently.

It is also possible to admire the patience of their wives, translated into magnificent papercuts. I cannot say if I like more this one ...

... or that one.

Finally I found it - the way to the Chapel.

The Holy Trinity Chapel was built in the fourteenth century. Władysław Jagiełło (yes, the one who defeated Teutonic Knights in Grunwald) has hired a famous local painter to decorate its walls. One thing that you need to know is that Jagiełło was a Lithuanian prince who married the heiress of the Polish throne. Until that day he was a pagan and so were all his subjects. He was baptised, together with the entire country, upon marrying Jadwiga and receiving the Polish crown. The paintings that he has commissioned are unique because they mix the Western and Orthodox style.

You can see there both scenes from the Holy Bible and some noble men.

The paintings cover not only the walls but also the pillars.

The gallery was meant to be a special place for the king himself.

Even though they are 600 years old, the paintings are in a really good shape.

The Chapel is, to my surprise, full of light. The gothic windows behind the main altar are narrow but high.

Next to the king's gallery, the windows are larger, allowing to see the inner courtyard.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tour of the Lublin Castle. I must admit that I was truely impressed by these Ruthenian paintings in the Holy Trinity Chappel - the brightness of the colours, the precision of the shapes, the amazing mix of Western style and Eastern mysticism. If I would be asked to propose a new Polish entry for the UNESCO Tentative list this would for sure be one of my first suggestions. What is your view about it?


  1. Miałam okazję wczoraj być w Lublinie, ale nie byłam na Starym Mieście. Pojechałam za to na chwilkę nad Zalew Zemborzycki :)
    Perę lat temu byłam przy zamku i na dziedzińcu, ale nie zwiedziłam środka.

  2. Podczas mojej wizyty w Lublinie zamek widziałam tylko z zewnątrz. I faktycznie, trochę kojarzy się z arabską architekturą! Jest wyjątkowy. W środku nie byłam, ale szczerze mówiąc, to jakoś nie czuję się mocno zachwycona. :) Malowidła w kaplicy są dość ładne.
    U nas w Toruniu pary młode zazwyczaj robią sobie zdjęcia na bulwarze bądź na moście drogowym. :)