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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 2, 2010
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Wawel Castle Marks Historic Battle
July 2, 2010   
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A special exhibition is on show at the Wawel Royal Castle in Cracow to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald in 1410.

The royal residence atop Wawel hill in Cracow, a former capital of the Kingdom of Poland, has for centuries been the venue for commemorating consecutive anniversaries of the Battle of Grunwald. Flags which King Władysław II Jagiełło captured during the battle were put on display in Cracow cathedral and on July 15, the date of the battle, a procession used to start from Wawel to mark the victory of the Polish army over the Teutonic Order.

On the battle’s 600th anniversary this year, the central part of the exhibition— entitled “A Magnificent Victory” (Na znak ¶wietnego zwycięstwa)—will feature battle trophies which King Jagiełło sent to the most important churches in Poland of the time. On show will be flags from the battle of Grunwald, reconstructed using descriptions by medieval chronicler Jan Długosz.

On display will also be a huge panoramic picture painted by Zygmunt Rozwadowski and Tadeusz Popiel for the 500th anniversary commemorations in Cracow in 1910. The picture comes from the History Museum in Lviv, Ukraine. After the Ukrainians approved the project, Polish experts undertook the task of bringing the painting to Poland and commissioned a team of restorers from the Royal Castle and National Museum in Cracow to renovate the painting.

Restoration work has also been completed on the Reliquary Crucifix, a masterpiece of Gothic goldsmithing and one of the most valuable trophies of the war against the Teutonic Order. The crucifix, said to contain remnants of the True Cross, was made at a goldsmith’s shop on the Rhine around 1340. Since 1410, it has been kept in the vault of the Cathedral Basilica in Sandomierz in southern Poland.
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