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An exhibition of the Jagiellonian dynasty that is to be held in three countries has started

An international exhibition “Europa Jagellonica” was opened in the city of Kutná Hora (Czech Republic) in the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region on the 19th of May of this year. The exhibition will be presented in three cities, which are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage List as monuments: Kutná Hora, Warsaw and Postdam.

This is the first part of a continuing international project coordinated by the Humanities Centre for Eastern Central European History and Culture of the University of Leipzig (GWZO). The National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is also involved in the project. Its specialists have contributed to the development of the project conception, consulted the exhibition coordinators, provided historical, iconographic as well as photographic materials and lent exhibits. The participation of the National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in the project was coordinated by Erika Striškienė and Dalius Avižinis, while the producers of the film about the Jagiellonian heritage in Europe were assisted by Daiva Mitrulevičiūtė.

Around 1500 Central Europe was politically formed by the Jagiellonians (1386-1572), representatives of the Polish-Lithuanian ruling dynasty in whose hands was a large region stretching from the Baltic to the Adriatic and the Black Seas. Essentially, the Jagiellonians were the most powerful in this area. After the tragic events of 1526 the Jagiellonians lost their influence in Central Europe and their place was taken by the Habsburg dynasty, which reigned in Central Europe until the First World War.

The exhibition presents over 300 archaeological, historical, cultural and artistic treasures from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and other European museums and cultural heritage institutions. It is a concentrated display of the heritage of the Lithuanian origin Gediminas-Jagiellonian dynasty which dominated Central Europe 500 years ago. The heritage that was spread in different countries represents the dynasty’s political attitudes, cultural and artistic environment, diplomatic and marital relationships. The exhibition is thematically divided into several sections. The first section of the exhibition­ – “Who were the Jagiellonians?” – introduces the visitors to the origin of the Jagiellonian dynasty, its genealogy, historical development, the main residences of the rulers in Vilnius, Krakow, Prague and Budapest as well the stylistic unity of these residences and the rulers of the dynasty themselves. It is this section that presents the information about the original residence of the dynasty – the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius and the archeological treasures lent to be displayed in the exhibition by the National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (a first half of the sixteenth century hearth with the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – Vytis and Sigismund the Elder initials and the Polish heraldic symbol – the Eagle). In the second section of the exhibition – “Where did the Jagiellonians rule?”, works of fine and applied art of the highest artistic level, historical iconography, ancient illuminated literary and music manuscripts and prints, weapons and numismatic finds from the countries and historical lands that were under the Jagiellonian dynasty’s rule are exhibited. The third section of the exhibition shows the direct or indirect contribution of the Jagiellonian dynasty to the development of various fields: agriculture, international trade, religion, political thought, cultural exchanges, musical culture and humanism.

The exhibition conception is based on the international project realized in 2000-2005 by the University of Leipzig and the Humanities Centre for Eastern Central European History and Culture and funded by the German Research Foundation. The project team collaborated with nearly fifty prominent researchers from various European regions and the USA.

The exhibition will take place in three cities: in Kutná Hora from May to September of 2012; in Warsaw from 2012 to October of 2013 and in Postdam from March to June of 2013. 

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Published:: 2012-10-08 16:25 Modified: 2012-10-09 12:31
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