PL EN


2014 | 74 |
Article title

Ratusze wielkich miast Prus Królewskich w publicznych świętach władzy w XVI–XVIII wieku. Uwagi na marginesie projektu badawczego

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PL
Abstracts
PL
Town halls in large towns in Royal Prussia on public holidays in the 16th–18th century. Marginal notes on the research project(Summary) This text was written as marginal notes to a research project, the aim of which is a comprehensive reconstruction of public ceremonies in large towns of Royal Prussia from the 15th to the early 19th century. Based on literature on the subject and archival sources and old texts, the author, after undertaking an initial characterization of public ceremonies in Prussian towns, focused on the role of town halls as centres for organizing these ceremonies. The ceremonial role of town halls in the early day of their being annexed to Poland increased, as the former centres of authority – the Teutonic castles – were completely destroyed by the townspeople in the year of Prussia’s incorporation into Poland (1454), which prevented their being used as residences of the Polish kings. At the same time, the municipal councils of Gdańsk and Elbląg, despite the commitments made, failed to actually build royal residences within their walls. The issue of not erecting a royal residence in Gdańsk – the most important Prussian town – continued with varying intensity for more than 300 years until the town joined the Kingdom of Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland (1793). In such a situation, when Polish royalty visited the towns, they were accommodated in the town halls which fulfilled the role of substitute residences. However, the town halls in Gdańsk and Elbląg, due to lack of space, inadequate infrastructure and changes in the ceremonial etiquette from the second half of the 16th century, ceased to act as royal residences. From that time onwards residences were improvised for royalty and their courts in the adjacent townhouses of the patricians, which were rented out and adapted for that purpose. It was only in Toruń, that the large town hall, extended in the 17th century, performed the function of a royal residence until its destruction as a result of being bombarded by the Swedes in 1703. The town halls however retained part of their state ceremonial functions. The largest rooms, which could accommodate not only all the members of the municipal authorities but also official guests, were used as audience halls, to receive representatives of the king and ambassadors on diplomatic visits. In these rooms, as in other royal towns, galleries were established with portraits of Polish kings as well as paintings depicting the history of Poland and Prussia. Apart from highlighting the royal patronage, the symbolism of the painted decorations was also used to manifest the towns’ independence from the decisions of the Sejm (Parliament), whose competencies were questioned in Royal Prussia. The most important and well-documented ceremonies in which the town halls played a central role were those which involved paying homage to newly-crowned Polish kings. In the 17th and 18th centuries the bishops of Włocławek, who represented the king, usually received homage on behalf of the ruler, whose presence was symbolically marked by a painting of him propped up on an elevated throne. If members of the council and the rank and fi le met in the main rooms of the town hall, the remaining townspeople gathered on the market square near the town hall. From the beginning of Sigismund III Vasa’s rule, the ceremony of paying homage proceeded in a manner which remained unchanged until the end of the Early Modern period of the Polish state.
EN
Town halls in large towns in Royal Prussia on public holidays in the 16th–18th century. Marginal notes on the research project(Summary) This text was written as marginal notes to a research project, the aim of which is a comprehensive reconstruction of public ceremonies in large towns of Royal Prussia from the 15th to the early 19th century. Based on literature on the subject and archival sources and old texts, the author, after undertaking an initial characterization of public ceremonies in Prussian towns, focused on the role of town halls as centres for organizing these ceremonies. The ceremonial role of town halls in the early day of their being annexed to Poland increased, as the former centres of authority – the Teutonic castles – were completely destroyed by the townspeople in the year of Prussia’s incorporation into Poland (1454), which prevented their being used as residences of the Polish kings. At the same time, the municipal councils of Gdańsk and Elbląg, despite the commitments made, failed to actually build royal residences within their walls. The issue of not erecting a royal residence in Gdańsk – the most important Prussian town – continued with varying intensity for more than 300 years until the town joined the Kingdom of Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland (1793). In such a situation, when Polish royalty visited the towns, they were accommodated in the town halls which fulfilled the role of substitute residences. However, the town halls in Gdańsk and Elbląg, due to lack of space, inadequate infrastructure and changes in the ceremonial etiquette from the second half of the 16th century, ceased to act as royal residences. From that time onwards residences were improvised for royalty and their courts in the adjacent townhouses of the patricians, which were rented out and adapted for that purpose. It was only in Toruń, that the large town hall, extended in the 17th century, performed the function of a royal residence until its destruction as a result of being bombarded by the Swedes in 1703. The town halls however retained part of their state ceremonial functions. The largest rooms, which could accommodate not only all the members of the municipal authorities but also official guests, were used as audience halls, to receive representatives of the king and ambassadors on diplomatic visits. In these rooms, as in other royal towns, galleries were established with portraits of Polish kings as well as paintings depicting the history of Poland and Prussia. Apart from highlighting the royal patronage, the symbolism of the painted decorations was also used to manifest the towns’ independence from the decisions of the Sejm (Parliament), whose competencies were questioned in Royal Prussia. The most important and well-documented ceremonies in which the town halls played a central role were those which involved paying homage to newly-crowned Polish kings. In the 17th and 18th centuries the bishops of Włocławek, who represented the king, usually received homage on behalf of the ruler, whose presence was symbolically marked by a painting of him propped up on an elevated throne. If members of the council and the rank and fi le met in the main rooms of the town hall, the remaining townspeople gathered on the market square near the town hall. From the beginning of Sigismund III Vasa’s rule, the ceremony of paying homage proceeded in a manner which remained unchanged until the end of the Early Modern period of the Polish state.
Year
Volume
74
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Dates
published
2014
online
2014-01-01
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author
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.ojs-doi-10_12775_RDSG_2014_06
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