Problematyka naukowa, konserwatorska i ekspozycyjna ceglanej rotundy w Sieradzu
THE SCIENTIFIC, CONSERVATION AND EXHIBITION PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH THE BRICK-BUILT ROTUNDA, SIERADZ
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The rotunda that once performed the function of a stronghold chapel has been discovered in 1968 during archaeological investigations carried on area belonging to the stronghold and castle at Sieradz. It had been built within the system of fortifications constructed of timber and earth around the castle which existed here in a period from the late ninth to the la te fo u rteenth century. Since the bricks used for its erection were joined by means of lime mortar the rotunda in question may be regarded as an unique monument of( Polish architecture dating back to the mid-thirteenth century. The portion of walls exposed to daylight is ranging as high as to 3 m above the foundation level. Its nave has been erected on circular plan (with a 10 m diameter). Of architectural details the following were preserved: a stepped opening parapet, probably of a window, a vault corbel and the wood flooring. The shape of the apse is still not known. From the conservator’s viewpoint the essential problem consists in durable preserving the wall relics which should form a p a rt of th e future archaeological site. In his article the author puts forward two proposals as to possible solutions, taking into account both the preservation and exhibition standpoints. The first of the above variants suggests the full exposure of building from a pit while the other its leaving in situ together with all archaeological profiles preserved and thus revealing the stratification of both th e stronghold and castle. In both cases a light-weight construction shelter should be provided above the object under which space could also be found for reconstruction of the natural setting of rotunda as, for instance, the defensive bulwark, from the 13th century, beams forming the flooring, and s.o. For the purpose of open- air exhibition within the same archaeological site should also be used the profiles and timber constructions discovered in other pits. In th a t way could be shown the separate stages of transformation of a stronghold into a castle and a fullest possible picture history of Castle Hill at Sieradz provided with its main accent in the form of brick-built rotunda.
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