The Warsaw Voice » Culture » Monthly - July 13, 2016
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1,050 Years of Christianity in Poland
A new exhibition at the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw takes a look back at the early days of Christianity in Poland.

This year marks 1,050 years since Poland became a Christian country after the country’s first ruler, Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty, decided to be baptized.

Joining forces with the Museum of the History of Poland, the Polish Army Museum is celebrating the anniversary with the Christianization in Poland exhibition, tracing the country’s transition from the pagan to the Christian world.

Robert Kostro, director of the Museum of the History of Poland, says the exhibition mainly aims to show what life was like in 10th-century Poland. “But there is more to what you see at the exhibition, as it also gives us a reason to ponder the origins of the Polish state and the source of our identity,” says Kostro.

The first of the exhibition’s two sections explores Slavic mythology from before Christianization. The items on show include Slavic deities in replicas of famous archeological finds, such as the Zbruch Idol recovered from the Zbruch River in 1848 and one of several woman-like statues found near the northeastern town of Bartoszyce. The other section focuses on the early days of Christian Poland, opening with an enlarged copy of The Establishment of Christianity, a painting by celebrated 19th-century Polish painter Jan Matejko. The picture is the first in Matejko’s 12-piece series entitled The History of Civilization in Poland.

Visitors to the exhibition can also take in lithographs by Girolamo Carottoni, Franciszek Smuglewicz and Rafał Radziewicz that depict scenes of Mieszko I’s baptism and pagan statues getting smashed into pieces on his order. This part of the exhibition also features pictures by Michał Bylina, Bohdan Wróblewski and Teodor Klonowski with scenes of military events and images of Polish warriors from the times of Mieszko I and his successor, King Bolesław the Brave.

Also on display are clothes worn by people who lived in Poland a millennium ago. These were recreated using old iconography and archeological finds from the 10th and 11th centuries.

Until July 31
Polish Army Museum
3 Jerozolimskie Ave.