Poznań in the early Middle Ages

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Faculty of Archaeology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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The information contained in the oldest written sources reveals that Poznań was the seat of the Bishop of St. Peter’s Church and emphasises the military strength of the stronghold during the reign of Bolesław the Brave (Chrobry). They do not, however, provide any data about the size, fortifications, or development of the area covered by the stronghold or about the processes that transformed its buildings. As the written sources seem laconic, archaeologists must rely on the results of their research to reconstruct a picture of how the stronghold functioned. They reveal that in the second half of the 10 th century, the prince/duke possessed a stone palas in the stronghold of Poznań with a separate reception hall, chancellery office, and treasury, as well as a stone palace chapel used for private devotion. Adjacent to the palas was a wooden building that was a goldsmith’s workshop – one of the specialized work- shops that fulfilled the needs of the court. The nearby paved square was probably surrounded by other buildings serving as courtly workshops. The second section of the stronghold, adjacent to the east, contained in its centre the cathedral church and the buildings that be- longed to wealthy people associated with the ruler who performed military and administrative functions on his behalf. The third (northern) segment of the complex was probably intended for economic purposes. On the other hand, the fortified site of Zagórze was inhabited by a group of people who performed service functions for the rest of the stronghold’s inhabitants. There is no question, therefore, that Poznań was a mighty fortalice that guarded approaches to the interior of the state, a stronghold which had administrative, economic, and sacral functions that was the residence of the first Piasts and constituted the main point of support in the management of their domain.




Poznań, early Middle Ages, palace and chapel complex, residence of the first Piast dynasty rulers


Treasures of Time: Research of the Faculty of Archaeology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (2021) D. Żurkiewicz (Ed.). pp. 370-385.



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego