Archaeological research of the Gothic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the island of Ostrów Tumski, Poznań

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Faculty of Archaeology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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Between 1999 and 2015 an archaeological research of the interior and the immediate vicinity of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the island of Ostrów Tumski in Poznań was con- ducted. This hall church, whose consecration took place in 1448, is part of the architecture style connected with the workshops of Master Builder Hinrich Brunsberg. Interestingly, the traceries of the study church windows correspond to similar elements from the churches in Brandenburg and Chojna (Brunsberg’s work). But the fragments of Gothic pinnacles from the gable (according to written sources) were probably built by Lorek from Kościan. Also, the tracery decoration at the western portal of the Poznań cathedral, which was discovered during the post-war renovation works, confirms the presence of a similar façade decoration of the Poznań cathedral to that in Brandenburg. What is more, a fleuron found in the church of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the island of Ostrów Tumski is analogous to the same decorative element of the town hall in Tangermünde. This suggests that the workshops associated with that master builder, most probably participated in the rebuilding of the Poznań cathedral at the turn of the century (XIV/XV) and in the designing of the St Mary’s Church, which was completed after Brunsberg’s death. The archaeological research included the cemetery that was operational from the 2 nd half of the 15 th century to the end of the 18 th century, during which time, the deceased were buried inside the church. It was also where remains of several brick tombs/crypts were discovered. The youngest burial is an ossuary found in the middle of the nave, which contains bones moved there from the cathedral in 1784-1785. The brick and stone wall enclosing the cemetery was built in 1465-1466. Originally, the church and the cemetery were situated on a small hill, the slopes of which were reinforced.




Hinrich Brunsberg, Gothic architecture, traceries, Poznań Cathedral, churchyard cemetery


Treasures of Time: Research of the Faculty of Archaeology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (2021) D. Żurkiewicz (Ed.). pp. 398-417.



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