Pelplin Cathedral (Basilica of the Holy Assumption)
Poland, Starogard Gdanski

The history of the Cathedral began in 1276, when the first Cistercians settled in the village of Pelplin, granted the order by the Prince of Gdansk and Pomeranian Avenger II. The first religious building that was built by the Cistercians in Pelplin was the one-nave Chapel of the Body of Christ, consecrated in 1418. At the end of the XIII century, construction began on the main church of the Cistercian monastery - the Basilica of the Holy Assumption, which is often called the Cathedral of the Cistercians. The work was fully completed only in 1557, but the consecration of the temple took place earlier - March 8, 1472. Three-nave Basilica is made in the Gothic style, its transept has a length of 84 meters, a width of 30 meters and a height of 26 meters. The northern portal at the beginning of the 15th century was richly decorated with statues of angels and saints. In the XVII-XVIII centuries, the interior of the cathedral was supplemented with luxurious altars, the main altar was created in the early Baroque style, decorated with sculptures and paintings by German Khan, in its lower zone is a repository for relics. The stands of the temple in the late Gothic style are decorated with openwork carvings, the chair is decorated in the Baroque style, at its base is a sculpture of Samson, tearing apart the mouth of a lion. In the southern part of the transept, a large organ is installed. In the XIX century, the interior of the Basilica underwent some changes, the choir was placed above the entrance, frescoes and stained-glass windows in the neo-Gothic style appeared. About 550 years passed from the moment of settlement in Pelpiln and until the secularization and dissolution of the Order of the Cistercians in 1821. In 1824 the Pelplin diocese was created, and Pelplin became the residence of the bishop. On January 18, 1965, Pope Paul VI assigned the dignity of the Cathedral to the Basilica of the Cistercians. Every year in September, the Cistercian festival is held in Pelplin, during which visitors are introduced to the history of the richest monastic order in medieval Europe, knightly tournaments, fairs, costume processions, concerts and competitions are held, local craftsmen demonstrate their skills.

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