*** FORTIFIED BENEDICTINE ABBEY IN TYNIEC ***

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TYNIEC

fortified Benedictine abbey

BENEDICTINE ABBEY IN TYNIEC, VIEW FROM THE WEST

HISTORY OF THE ABBEY

DESCRIPTION OF THE MONASTERY

SIGHTSEEING


A

c­cord­ing to the tra­di­tion, the Bene­dic­tine Abbey in Ty­niec near Cra­cow was found­ed in 1044 by Ka­zi­mierz Od­no­wi­ciel (Casimir the Re­stor­er, d. 1058), son of the Pol­ish king Miesz­ko II (d. 1034) and Princess Ri­che­za of Lor­raine (d. 1063). This date is giv­en by the Pol­ish me­dieval chron­i­cler Jan Dłu­gosz, but we do not know where he took his knowl­edge from, hence the dis­pute among his­to­ri­ans o­ver the au­then­tic­i­ty of this mes­sage. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the foun­da­tion act of Ty­niec did not sur­vive. There­fore, some his­to­ri­ans tend to the­o­rize that bring­ing the monks to Ty­niec was the ini­tia­tive of Bo­le­sław Śmia­ły (Bo­le­sław the Bold, d. 1082) and was re­lat­ed to his coro­na­tion on the Cra­cow throne. It is like­ly that the mys­tery sur­round­ing the ori­gins of the Ty­niec Abbey and its founder will re­main un­re­solved for­ev­er, hence per­haps the the­sis point­ing to Ca­si­mir the Re­stor­er as the ini­tia­tor of the foun­da­tion, and to Bo­le­sław the Bold as its fi­nal ex­ecu­tor, is gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty.



TYNIEC MONASTERY SEEN FROM BEHIND THE VISTULA RIVER


It is al­so de­bat­able who in fact was the first ab­bot of Ty­niec. Ac­cord­ing to (un­cer­tain) back­ground in­for­ma­tion, he was Aron, a monk from Cluny, lat­er bish­op of Cra­cow and arch­bish­op, which sug­gests his re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for the restora­tion of the Church in­sti­tu­tions af­ter in­va­sion of Bo­hemi­an prince Bre­tis­laus and the pa­gan re­ac­tion, which in the 1130s severe­ly hit the ex­is­tence of Catholic Church in the Pol­ish lands. Mak­ing Ty­niec the seat of such a high-rank­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal au­thor­i­ty con­firmed the sta­tus that the monastery had re­ceived dur­ing the times of con­sol­i­da­tion of the Piast pow­er. There are, how­ev­er, some in­di­ca­tions that the name of the first ab­bot of Ty­niec was giv­en to An­cho­ras of Lün­den­burg, as­so­ci­at­ed with Bo­le­sław the Bold, whose hy­po­thet­i­cal grave was found in the base­ment of the mo­na­ste­ry church of St. Pe­ter and Paul. Thus, as in the case of the founder of the abbey, al­so in the mat­ter of the first ab­bot there is no con­sen­sus among his­to­ri­ans and polemics on this top­ic will prob­a­bly con­tin­ue.


SOUTH EAST VIEW OF THE ABBEY


THE LEGEND OF TYNIEC ORIGINS

Based on frag­ments of the 13th-cen­tu­ry Life of St. Sta­ni­slaus, a half-his­tor­i­cal, half-leg­endary sto­ry about the foun­da­tion of the monastery in Ty­niec has de­vel­oped o­ver the cen­turies. Ac­cord­ing to the (very free) in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Life of... young Ca­si­mir (the Re­stor­er) was to stay, at will of his moth­er Ri­che­za, in the fa­mous Bene­dic­tine abbey in Cluny, where he made re­li­gious vows and be­came a monk. There the news of his fa­ther Miesz­ko's death reached him, as well as the or­der to re­turn to Poland and take the throne. As the young prince, who was al­ready a monk, could not for­mal­ly re­turn to the sec­u­lar state, an­oth­er mis­sion was sent to Rome, which ob­tained a pa­pal dis­pen­sa­tion un­der the con­di­tion that he found­ed a monastery. So Ca­si­mir took twelve monks un­der the lead­er­ship of Aron, and af­ter ar­riv­ing in Cra­cow around 1044, he found­ed the abbey and abun­dant­ly sup­plied it.

"His­to­ry" ini­ti­at­ed by the au­thor of the Life of..., Win­cen­ty from Kiel­ce, and lat­er au­tho­rized by, among oth­ers, Jan Dłu­gosz and the first au­thor of the mono­graph of Ty­niec, Fa­ther Sta­ni­sław Szczy­giel­ski, for many gen­er­a­tions was con­sid­ered true and in­dis­putable. The monks of Ty­niec so iden­ti­fied with its con­tent that they called them­selves monks of Cluny, and for a time even wore the habit of the Cluny cut. The be­lief that the abbey in Ty­niec was found­ed by the monks of Cluny was widespread in the past, so it should not be sur­pris­ing that in the 18th cen­tu­ry Ty­niec was ad­mit­ted to the con­gre­ga­tion bring­ing to­geth­er all re­li­gious cen­ters un­der the lead­er­ship of this largest mo­na­ste­ry in Eu­rope.


PROBABLY THE ONLY KNOWN PICTURE OF TYNIEC CASTLE (CRENELATED BUILDINGS ON THE LEFT)
IT IS PART OF THE ENGRAVING WITH THE IMAGE OF ARON HOLDING A MODEL OF THE ABBEY IN HIS HAND


BENEDICTINE ORDER

The founder of the or­der was St. Be­ne­dict of Nur­sia (d. 547), con­sid­ered the pa­tron saint of all Eu­rope and the spir­i­tu­al fa­ther of all West­ern civ­i­liza­tion monks. At the age of 20, Be­ne­dict chose the life of a her­mit, gain­ing many dis­ci­ples and fol­low­ers o­ver time. In 529, on the site of a for­mer pa­gan sanc­tu­ary, he found­ed on Mon­te Cas­si­no the old­est Catholic or­der in West­ern Eu­rope, whose mot­to was and re­mains to this day:

Pray and work (Ora et lab­o­ra)
and the keynote:
Or­der and Peace (Or­do et pax).

The Bene­dic­tine Or­der strong­ly cul­ti­vates pover­ty - ac­cord­ing to the doc­trine, tem­po­ral goods are worth­less be­cause the re­al trea­sure is in heav­en. Monks vow sta­bil­i­ty (sta­bil­i­tas), monas­tic moral­i­ty (con­ver­sa­tio mo­rum) and obe­di­ence (oboe­di­en­tia) to the Rule - a set of laws and as­cetic guide­lines per­son­al­ly draft­ed by St. Be­ne­dict. Be­ne­dic­tine monks are en­gaged in sci­en­tif­ic, re­treat and pas­toral work, among oth­ers, un­der the guid­ance of monks from Ty­niec a trans­la­tion of the Bible called the Bible of the Mil­len­ni­um was made. They are al­so known for their pas­sion and knowl­edge of the sub­ject mat­ter in herbal­ism and her­bol­o­gy. Their cus­tom of cul­ti­vat­ing medic­i­nal herbs in the monastery gar­dens has re­sult­ed in a num­ber of herbal mix­tures that are pop­u­lar and ef­fec­tive to­day, in­clud­ing Bene­dic­tine herbal liqueur based on a se­cret recipe of the or­der. The monks al­so pro­duce (al­though more and more of­ten they on­ly put their own sign on it) oth­er food prod­ucts made ac­cord­ing to old, mo­nas­tic recipes.

Bene­dictines usu­al­ly wear a black hood­ed habit (hence they are some­times called black monks) and a black scapu­lar. As­sem­blies of monks, called abbeys, are ju­ris­dic­tion­al­ly in­de­pen­dent of any high­er re­li­gious au­thor­i­ty, al­though they may join to­geth­er to form con­gre­ga­tions. The Be­ne­dictines were prob­a­bly the first monks who set­tled on Pol­ish ter­ri­to­ry. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of this or­der was the Bo­hemi­an mis­sion­ary Św. Woj­ciech (St. Adal­bert), so their doc­u­ment­ed pres­ence dates back to the last decade of the first mil­len­ni­um, al­though they may have ar­rived here al­ready dur­ing the reign of Miesz­ko I in the first pe­ri­od of Chris­tian­iza­tion (965). In Poland, Be­ne­dic­tine monas­ter­ies op­er­ate in Ty­niec, Bi­sku­pów and Lu­biń. In the past there were al­so abbeys in Mo­gil­no (now the Ca­puchin mo­na­ste­ry), Płock (now the Dio­ce­san Mu­se­um), Sie­cie­chów-Opact­wo (now the pres­bytery) and on Ły­sa Gó­ra in Świę­to­krzy­skie Moun­tains (now the monastery of the Oblate Mis­sion­ar­ies).


ILLUSTRATION OF THE ABBEY FROM THE NORTHEAST, 2ND HALF OF THE XVIII CENTURY

T

he monastery was built on a hill just above the bank of the Vis­tu­la Riv­er, on the site of an old­er stronghold that had be­longed to the Starż-To­pór fam­i­ly, who were ex­pelled from here or re­ceived oth­er prop­er­ties in ex­change. The abbey was lo­cat­ed with­in the ad­min­is­tra­tive bor­ders of the bish­opric of Cra­cow, and its lo­ca­tion was of great strate­gic and eco­nom­ic val­ue. Al­so, the riv­er cross­ing lo­cat­ed at the foot of the hill was of great im­por­tance not on­ly for com­mu­ni­ca­tion but al­so for econ­o­my and trea­sury. Ini­tial­ly the hill was dom­i­nat­ed by wood­en build­ings, but in the sec­ond half of the 11th cen­tu­ry the first stone con­struc­tions were erect­ed, in­clud­ing three-nave Ro­ma­nesque basil­i­ca, the mod­est frag­ments of which have sur­vived to the pre­sent day. Un­til the con­se­cra­tion of the monastery church (which took place in 1124), the monks were abun­dant­ly sup­port­ed by Ju­dith Ma­ria (d. 1105) - daugh­ter of the king of Ger­many and wife of pol­ish duke Wła­dy­sław Her­man, as well as by the duke of Ma­ło­pol­s­ka Bo­le­sław Krzy­wo­usty (d. 1138). Gen­er­ous do­na­tions of the rulers laid a sol­id foun­da­tion for the fu­ture eco­nom­ic pow­er of the abbey and made it pos­si­ble to in­crease the num­ber of mem­bers of the con­vent. Eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment was al­so stim­u­lat­ed by the right to ex­ploit, col­lect and sell a cer­tain amount of salt.


Ini­tial­ly high in­come that the abbey earned from ex­ploita­tion of salt lodes was strong­ly re­duced by the or­di­nance es­tab­lished in 1368 by Ca­si­mir the Great, which lim­it­ed pre­vi­ous priv­i­leges to use the salt mines in Wie­licz­ka. The salt lodes in the prop­er­ties be­long­ing to the abbey were al­so slow­ly be­ing de­plet­ed. Fi­nal­ly, the priv­i­lege of Si­gis­mund the Old from 1509 es­tab­lished the amount of salt re­ceived by Ty­niec as three bar­rels of coarse salt and three quarts of fine salt tak­en four times a year. The ab­bot was al­lowed to trade this salt, but the pro­ceeds were to be used to mod­ern­ize and main­tain the de­fen­sive walls of the abbey.


ROAD LEADING TO THE ABBEY, ON THE LEFT WE CAN SEE THE MONASTERY WALLS, ON THE RIGHT XVIII-CENTURY LIME TREES

I

n the first half of the 13th cen­tu­ry the monastery was sur­round­ed by a stone wall with cylin­dri­cal tow­ers. How­ev­er, this proved to be in­suf­fi­cient in con­fronta­tion with the Ta­tars, who in­vad­ed the abbey in 1259, robbed and de­stroyed it. Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tion, the monks es­caped from the Ta­tars to Hun­gary, from where they re­turned with­out their lead­er named Bo­le­bor, who died in the mean­time. The monastery for­ti­fi­ca­tions al­so proved too weak against the troops of Ger­lach de Cul­pen, the broth­er-in-law of the bish­op Jan Mu­ska­ta, who in 1306, af­ter a short siege, cap­tured the hill and then plun­dered both church­es stand­ing on it. These bad ex­pe­ri­ences caused that still in the first half of the XIV cen­tu­ry the abbey was re­for­ti­fied and gar­risoned. At the en­trance to the monastery, in the place of the lat­er ab­bot's house, a for­ti­fied cas­tle was erect­ed, prob­a­bly on a tri­an­gu­lar plan, with one tow­er sit­u­at­ed on the side of the Vis­tu­la es­carp­ment. In the part not pro­tect­ed by the cas­tle and mo­na­stery build­ings, the abbey was sur­round­ed by thick walls equipped with a crenel­la­tion and shoot­ing gal­leries. At least un­til the end of the 15th cen­tu­ry Ty­niec func­tioned as a roy­al bor­der fort­ress and a check­point con­trol­ling the road lead­ing from Bo­he­mia to Cra­cow, the cap­i­tal of Poland. Lat­er, when the na­tion­al bor­ders were shift­ed, it lost its strate­gic im­por­tance, but a per­ma­nent mil­i­tary staff stayed here un­til the 17th cen­tu­ry.



COURTYARD OF THE ABBOT'S RESIDENCE, AND EARLIER THE CASTLE IN TYNIEC


Bene­dic­tine work: monotonous, te­dious work, re­quir­ing pa­tience and ac­cu­ra­cy...

Pre­sum­ably, as ear­ly as the 11th cen­tu­ry, the Tyniec scrip­to­ri­um func­tioned as a chancery where pro­pri­etary doc­u­ments were is­sued to se­cure the mo­na­stery prop­er­ty and to man­age the monastery es­tate. At the turn of the 14th and 15th cen­turies a work­shop was al­ready func­tion­ing here, where books were tran­scribed, in­clud­ing litur­gi­cal and choir books. They were paint­ed and dec­o­rat­ed on the spot. Among oth­ers, in 1466 a codex with the Jew­ish War by Joseph Flav­ius was writ­ten in Ty­niec - this work was com­mis­sioned by Ab­bot Ma­ciej and tran­scribed by the monk Mi­ko­łaj - the or­gan­ist. It is pos­si­ble that the Cra­cow Pon­tif­i­cal - a litur­gi­cal book con­tain­ing prayers, rules and rit­u­als per­formed by bish­ops and ab­bots - was al­so edit­ed here. How­ev­er, there is no men­tion of the ex­is­tence of book­bind­ing work­shop at the abbey in Ty­niec. There­fore, prob­a­bly the monks out­sourced the bind­ing of their works.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, mak­ing a copy of me­dieval book, though te­dious and monotonous, was done ef­fi­cient­ly and took an ex­pe­ri­enced scribe no more than a few weeks.


FRAGMENT OF JOSEPH FLAVIUS' WORK MADE IN TYNIEC MONASTERY (1466)

TYNIECKI SCRIPTORIUM (RECONSTRUCTION)

I

n the his­to­ry of the abbey the 14th cen­tu­ry is con­sid­ered a very tur­bu­lent, even cri­sis pe­ri­od. The growth of the mo­na­stery's wealth was ham­pered by fre­quent armed con­flicts, while ad­min­is­tra­tive dif­fi­cul­ties meant that sec­u­lar staff grew in num­ber, which had to be main­tained and paid. Al­though the ab­bot of Ty­niec be­longed to the rich­est feu­dals of Less­er Poland (he even lent mon­ey to the king), some­times he al­so fell in­to pover­ty, and was even forced to pawn his pon­tif­i­cal. The rea­sons for this sit­u­a­tion can be found both in the mis­man­age­ment, re­lax­ation of dis­ci­pline, afore­men­tioned wars, the cost­ly law­suits (o­ver land) and ex­ces­sive fis­cal­ism of the pa­pa­cy. Ca­si­mir the Great al­so con­tribut­ed to rel­a­tive im­pov­er­ish­ment of the or­der, be­cause dur­ing the Rus­sian War (1340-48) he par­tial­ly sec­u­lar­ized the abbey prop­er­ty for the ben­e­fit of the bo­yars - rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the rul­ing class in Rus. De­spite the con­fis­ca­tion of some vil­lages and towns re­la­tions be­tween ab­bot Jan (d. af­ter 1382) and the ruler re­mained good. The ab­bot of Ty­niec was the con­fes­sor of king Ca­si­mir, and dur­ing the Rus­sian War, with­out con­sent of the chap­ter, gave him the sil­ver and valu­ables worth 2000 grzy­w­nas, for which the lat­ter gen­er­ous­ly grant­ed him eco­nom­ic and ju­di­cial priv­i­leges. The reign of Ca­si­mir the Great is al­so as­so­ci­at­ed with an in­ter­est­ing sto­ry, which, how­ev­er, doesn't bring glo­ry to the abbey. In 1356, on the king's or­der, ab­bot Jan gave his bless­ing to the bigamist mar­riage of Ca­si­mir (who al­ready had a wife) and the daugh­ter of the al­der­man of Prague - Kri­sti­na Ro­kiča­na (d. af­ter 1365). The ab­bot of Ty­niec ap­peared in pon­tif­i­cal robes so that the Czech wom­an would think that the bless­ing was giv­en by the bish­op him­self!



IN THE GATE LEADING TO THE COURTYARD OF TYNIEC MONASTERY

D

e­struc­tion of the church­es in Ty­niec by Bish­op Muska­ta's troops caused the need to re­build the abbey. And al­though ma­jor trans­for­ma­tions of its ar­chi­tec­ture did not oc­cur un­til the next cen­tu­ry, his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences from 1376 men­tion the chap­ter house, which was prob­a­bly built with the mon­ey ob­tained from the sale of a cer­tain es­tate near Tar­nów (1364). Pre­served relics in the clois­ter al­low us to as­sume that a new Goth­ic style ap­peared in Ty­niec at that time, and that brick was al­so wide­ly used in con­struc­tion. Fun­da­men­tal changes, how­ev­er, came on­ly at the time of ab­bot Ma­ciej from Ska­wi­na (d. 1477), about whom it was writ­ten that he found Ty­niec wood­en and left it brick-built. On his ini­tia­tive, the Goth­ic basil­i­ca was built with a choir for monks, twice big­ger than the ear­li­er Ro­ma­nesque church. The new tem­ple was con­se­crat­ed in 1463, and cer­tain­ly its grandeur was im­pres­sive, since a writ­er who wit­nessed those events called it a beau­ti­ful jew­el in the home­land. The church con­struc­tion was ac­com­pa­nied by mod­ern­iza­tion of the monastery part, where - prob­a­bly al­ready un­der ab­bot An­drzej Oż­ga (d. 1487) - vault­ed gal­leries were built. It was al­so dur­ing Oż­ga's time that the first prints ap­peared in the monastery li­brary.



GOTHIC CLOISTERS SURROUNDING THE MEDIEVAL MONASTERY COURTYARD

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n con­trast to the 14th cen­tu­ry, the next two cen­turies are con­sid­ered the hap­pi­est in the abbey's his­to­ry, as ev­i­denced by the pre­vi­ous­ly de­scribed in­vest­ment in new church and ex­pan­sion of the monastery com­plex. Thanks to the fa­vor of sub­se­quent rulers and prop­er re­la­tions with the Church au­thor­i­ties, the Or­der grew rich­er and stronger. The mag­ni­tude of Ty­niec es­tate at that time has been de­scribed in a rev­enue book of Jan Dłu­gosz, which list­ed five towns be­long­ing to Be­ne­dic­tines (Ska­wi­na, Tu­chów, Brzo­stek, Ko­ła­czy­ce and Opa­to­wiec) and 86 vil­lages, al­though there were prob­a­bly more of them, since Ty­niec was com­mon­ly re­ferred to as the abbey of a hun­dred vil­lages. Ty­niec was then the wealth­i­est monastery in Poland, which was con­firmed by in­ven­to­ries car­ried out on the ini­tia­tive of bish­op Pi­otr To­mic­ki in the 1530s. Ac­cord­ing to da­ta of that time, the an­nu­al in­come of the abbey amount­ed to 1081 grzy­w­nas. For com­par­i­son: the Holy Sepul­chre of Mie­chów earned 761 grzy­w­nas, and the Be­ne­dic­tines of Ły­sa Gó­ra earned a "pal­try" 380 grzy­w­nas. The im­pres­sive in­come of Ty­niec Be­ne­dic­tines was re­flect­ed in the po­si­tion of their ab­bot, who was re­gard­ed as one of the rich­est men in Lit­tle Poland dur­ing late Mid­dle Ages and the Re­nais­sance pe­ri­od. This wealth was achieved with the help of sec­u­lar peo­ple led by the starost and as­sis­tant starost as well as with the use of a whole army of crafts­men and peas­ants. The sit­u­a­tion of peas­ants in Ty­niec es­tate was very dif­fi­cult; serf­dom and per­son­al slav­ery de­vel­oped, and is­sues of so-called so­cial jus­tice were ba­si­cal­ly nonex­is­tent.




CHURCH AND MONASTERY COURTYARD IN THE EARLY MORNING AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT


The abbey was man­aged by an ab­bot elect­ed by the monks (in the sev­en­teenth and eigh­teenth cen­turies this func­tion was grant­ed by the king - of­ten against the con­gre­ga­tion). The deputy ab­bot was a pri­or. They were as­sist­ed by a sub-pri­or or provost, a cu­ra­tor who guard­ed the monas­tic rule, and a key-keep­er (stew­ard), who was re­spon­si­ble for the ab­bot's econ­o­my. Since 2015, the head of the Ty­niec Or­der is Fr. Szy­mon Hi­ży­cki OSB, who on the day of his in­tro­duc­tion to of­fice was the young­est ab­bot in the post-war his­to­ry of Ty­niec (35 years old).

The num­ber of monks in Ty­niec var­ied de­pend­ing on the times in which the mo­na­stery func­tioned. Ac­cord­ing to Mi­ko­łaj Na­zon's re­la­tion (1418), at the be­gin­ning of the fif­teenth cen­tu­ry there were as many as six­ty monks in Ty­niec, al­though a few years lat­er this num­ber dropped to twen­ty, and in 1452 there were on­ly six­teen of them. In gen­er­al, it can be as­sumed that be­tween twen­ty and twen­ty-some­thing monks resid­ed per­ma­nent­ly in Ty­niec at the end of the Mid­dle Ages and the be­gin­ning of the mod­ern era. The mo­na­ste­ry was al­so home to con­vert broth­ers, de­prived of the op­por­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate ful­ly in spir­i­tu­al life, "sec­ond class" monks, who were used for heav­ier eco­nom­ic work. Some­times they were helped by peo­ple from out­side the monastery, the so-called "fa­mil­iares".


THE CHURCH OF SAINTS PIOTR AND PAWEŁ FROM PERSPECTIVE NORMALLY INACCESSIBLE TO TOURISTS

W

hen in 1457 king Kaz­imierz Jagiel­lończyk (Ca­si­mir Ja­giel­lon) re­deemed the Duchy of Oświę­cim and the Duchy of Za­tor, Ty­­niec lost its mil­i­tary im­por­tance as a stronghold guard­ing the west­ern bor­der of the coun­try. When men­tion­ing this ruler, it is al­so worth not­ing the stay of the roy­al sons, who in 1467 took refuge here from the plague in Cra­cow. With the loss of its strate­gic mil­i­tary role, the Ty­niec cas­tle was aban­doned and part­ly fell in­to ne­glect, which is sur­pris­ing as the abbey at that time was fa­mous for its wealth. It was not un­til the sec­ond half of the 16th cen­tu­ry that ab­bot Jan Łow­czow­ski (d. 1568) and lat­er ab­bot Hie­ro­nim Krzy­ża­now­ski (d. 1573) ren­o­vat­ed the build­ing and adapt­ed it to their seat, hence­forth called Opa­tów­ka. The cre­ation of new res­i­dence caused a great change in the so­cial life of the or­der, be­cause its su­pe­ri­or no longer lived among his fel­lows in a rel­a­tive­ly small, mod­est­ly fur­nished cell, but had at his dis­pos­al much larg­er, rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed space. With time, this sit­u­a­tion led to iso­la­tion of Ty­niec dig­ni­taries and to de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of re­la­tions be­tween them and the rest of com­mu­ni­ty, es­pe­cial­ly af­ter ar­rival of the so-called ab­bots-ko­men­da­ta­riusz. Mean­while, things were still go­ing well in Ty­niec, and cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion were flour­ish­ing. Ab­bot Jan Łow­czow­ski will­ing­ly host­ed pro­fes­sors from Cra­cow, fund­ed stud­ies for his monks, en­cour­aged the cre­ation of lit­er­ary works, and es­tab­lished at the mo­na­ste­ry (or one of his pre­de­ces­sors) a sec­ondary school gath­er­ing no­ble youth from the Ty­niec re­gion. His suc­ces­sor, Hie­ro­nim Krzy­ża­now­ski, be­sides fin­ish­ing Opa­tów­ka, al­so erect­ed new re­fec­to­ry, ini­ti­at­ing a con­struc­tion cam­paign that o­ver the next few decades changed the ap­pear­ance of the mo­na­ste­ry and erased the Ro­manesque fea­tures of its ar­chi­tec­ture.



CHAPEL IN THE FORMER ABBOTS' SEAT, CALLED OPATÓWKA

I

n 1593 An­drzej Brzech­wa (d. 1593) was elect­ed ab­bot. This was the last free elec­tion for this func­tion in the old Ty­niec. From then on the su­pe­ri­or of the or­der was ap­point­ed by monar­chs and most of­ten such an award was a form of roy­al priv­i­lege. It was as­so­ci­at­ed with many ben­e­fits of ma­te­ri­al na­ture, es­pe­cial­ly in times when the abbey en­joyed wealth and pros­per­i­ty. Ty­niec and its in­comes be­came pay­ment to the faith­ful ser­vants of the king; ma­te­ri­al and po­lit­i­cal rea­sons took pri­or­i­ty o­ver in­ter­ests of the mo­na­stery it­self. The first ko­men­da­tar­iusz was Mi­ko­łaj Mie­lec­ki (d. 1604), ap­point­ed to the abbey by pol­ish king Ste­fan Ba­to­ry, un­der whose (ab­bot's) rule the mo­na­stery reached the apogee of its pros­per­i­ty. How­ev­er, with the ar­rival of his suc­ces­sor, Sta­ni­sław Su­łow­ski (d. 1618), bru­tal­ly im­posed by king Zyg­munt Wa­za (Si­gis­mund Va­sa) against the will of the con­gre­ga­tion, re­la­tions be­tween the monks and their su­pe­ri­or de­te­ri­o­rat­ed to such an ex­tent that with time the ab­bot be­gan to be treat­ed as a par­a­site in the mo­nas­tic or­gan­ism. Sys­tem of gov­ern­ment called komen­da last­ed in Ty­niec for a cen­tu­ry and a half and with its es­tab­lish­ment there be­gan de­clin­ing pe­ri­od of the abbey. The "im­port­ed" ab­bots were both pri­mates and bish­ops, and one of them even ap­plied for the roy­al throne.



NEXT TO THE FORMER LIBRARY, ON THE RIGHT, A STORE WITH PRODUCTS MADE ACCORDING TO TRADITIONAL FORMULAS (AND NOT ONLY)

M

ean­while, Tyniec con­tin­ued to en­joy the pros­per­i­ty pro­vid­ed by the ben­e­fits of its vast es­tates and lands. Apart from the un­pop­u­lar Su­łow­ski, the first com­man­dants had not yet her­ald­ed the fi­nan­cial cri­sis caused by their suc­ces­sors, who paid them­selves huge sums from the monastery rev­enues. Sta­ni­sław Łu­bień­ski (d. 1640), lat­er bish­op of Płock, made a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the his­to­ry of Ty­niec by al­lo­cat­ing a large part of the abbey prof­its to re­build­ing the church and mo­na­stery premis­es. On his ini­tia­tive, in years 1618-22, the Goth­ic church was prac­ti­cal­ly de­mol­ished, and in its place a new Baroque tem­ple with side chapels was erect­ed, gen­er­ous­ly equip­ped with, among oth­ers, new stall, in which the monks sing their prayers to this day. The work be­gun by Łu­bień­ski was com­plet­ed by his suc­ces­sors: Hen­ryk Fir­lej (d. 1635), Ka­rol Fer­dy­nand Wa­za (d. 1655) and Sta­ni­sław Pstro­koń­ski (d. 1657), which is ev­i­denced by in­scrip­tions and fam­i­ly coats of arms on the por­tals and vaults in­di­cat­ing the scope of ini­tia­tives tak­en by par­tic­u­lar ab­bots. Dur­ing the reign of the last of the ab­bots men­tioned above, things be­came tur­bu­lent and even dan­ger­ous in Ty­niec. In Novem­ber 1647, Fr. Chry­zos­tom Brze­ski was killed by two in­hab­i­tants of Leń­cze vil­lage, and a year lat­er, un­known cul­prits killed an­oth­er monk, Fr. An­zelm Lu­to­mir­ski. Un­rest was fu­elled by at­tacks of rob­ber bands and raids on Ty­niec es­tates, and fi­nal­ly by as­sault on the mo­na­stery led by ab­bot Pstro­koń­ski him­self, to whom the monks re­fused to open the gates as a sign of protest against his rule in Ty­niec. The con­fu­sion and un­rest deep­ened when the Po­mera­ni­an voi­vode's troops stopped at the abbey for a longer time on their way to war with Chmiel­nic­ki's Cos­sacks. These troops en­tered Ty­niec by force on the night of De­cem­ber 26-27, 1648, and then oc­cu­pied it for sev­er­al weeks, de­priv­ing it not on­ly of live­stock and food, but al­so loot­ing the sur­round­ing vil­lages and es­tates.



XVII CENTURY WELL IN THE MONASTERY COURTYARD (BUILT WITHOUT NAILS)

W

hen Swedish in­vaders en­tered Less­er Poland in 1655, some mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion with Ab­bot Pstro­koń­ski es­caped to Hun­gary (where Pstro­koń­ski died). At that time the abbey was head­ed by the pri­or Lud­wik Zie­lo­nac­ki, who was ac­cused by his con­tem­po­raries of favour­ing the Swedes. The oc­cu­py­ing forces in­vad­ed Ty­niec many times dur­ing their two-year stay on these lands, plun­der­ing it and pro­fan­ing its sanc­ti­ties. Dur­ing this oc­cu­pa­tion, the monastery was burned, but the fire was prob­a­bly not a "sin" of the Swedes, but was caused by the army of Tran­syl­va­ni­an duke Rá­kó­czi Györ­­gy, who in 1657 in­vad­ed the south­ern ter­ri­to­ries of Poland. The task of re­build­ing dev­as­tat­ed and de­pop­u­lat­ed Ty­niec was un­der­tak­en by Ma­ciej Po­nia­tow­ski (d. 1660), and the works he start­ed were con­tin­ued by young ab­bot, prince Hie­ro­nim Au­gust Lu­bo­mir­ski (d. 1706), who was on­ly 13 years old when he took o­ver the of­fice. In 1685 Hie­ro­nim for­mal­ly trans­ferred the abbey to his 18-year-old nephew, Jó­zef Lu­bo­mir­ski (d. 1709), whose reign last­ed for a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry, and the monastery suf­fered much. The Lu­bo­mir­ski fam­i­ly line used the Ty­niec es­tate as their hered­i­tary prop­er­ty, while the de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cess­es de fac­to re­mained the do­main of Hie­ro­nim, and Jó­zef on­ly played the role of a fig­ure­head un­der the guid­ance of his un­cle and pre­de­ces­sor in the abbey.



MONASTERY COURTYARD


A SHORT DICTIONARY OF THE ABBOTS OF TYNIEC

Simply Abbot (Abbas) - superior of the order elected by the chapter. "Legiti­mate" ab­bots gov­erned Ty­niec from the 11th cen­tury until 1584 (for life), and from 1969 to the present day (during an 8-year term).

Abbot coadjutor - an abbot appointed by the king, who exercised co-government at the side of the abbot chosen by the chapter. This function was performed by Mi­ko­łaj Mie­le­cki in the years 1584-93, but in practice he didn't play any significant role in the life of congregation.

Abbot-komendatariusz - the head of the order elected by the king, almost always against the will of con­gre­gation. This function was something like a royal reward. The office was to provide finan­cial benefits, as the abbey's in­come was used pri­ma­rily by the abbot, who had free disposal of them. This post existed from 1593 to 1748 (and to some extent in 1806-10).

Claustral abbot - elected by the pope (although formally it should be done by the chapter). He managed a third of the abbey's income. There were only two clau­stral abbots: Sta­ni­sław Be­ne­dykt Bar­to­szew­ski (1743-62) and Flo­rian Amand Ja­now­ski (1762-88).

Nominal abbot (komendatariusz) - this strange entity developed after 1741, when there was a division in the abbot's title and proper­ty. The mo­na­stery was ruled by the clau­stral abbot, who had a third of abbey's estate. The rest, that is two thirds of the pro­per­ties and the title of ko­men­da­ta­riusz, were given to dig­ni­taries not belon­ging to con­gre­gation. They didn't play any role in the life of the order.


PANORAMA OF TYNIEC AND VISTULA VALLEY, IN THE BACKGROUND YOU CAN SEE THE CAMALDOLESE MONASTERY IN BIELANY

T

he last ab­bot-komen­datar­iusz was Krzysztof Szembek (d. 1748), arch­bish­op of Gnie­zno, who didn't make a sig­nif­i­cant mark in the his­to­ry of Ty­niec, al­though he has been re­mem­bered as a man of great mer­cy. In 1743 he was re­placed by Sta­ni­sław Be­ne­dykt Bar­to­szew­ski (d. 1762) who be­gan a new chap­ter in the his­to­ry of the abbey, which from now on was no longer ful­ly a roy­al prop­er­ty grant­ed in ex­change for mer­its, but al­so a part of the con­gre­ga­tion that guar­an­teed con­tact with oth­er monas­ter­ies, mu­tu­al meet­ings, vis­i­ta­tions, in­spec­tions and help. In spite of the fact that Bar­to­szew­ski re­ceived the dig­ni­ty of ab­bot di­rect­ly from Pope Be­ne­dict XIV against the will of the con­gre­ga­tion, his reign in Ty­niec was a suc­cess­ful one. He de­vel­oped learn­ing at mo­na­stery - the con­gre­ga­tion's stu­dium com­mu­ne was lo­cat­ed here, and as a re­sult, lec­tur­ers and stu­dents from oth­er abbeys and monas­ter­ies set­tled in Ty­niec. Bar­to­szew­ski was al­so a bene­fac­tor of late Baroque mod­ern­iza­tion of the church, re­al­ized by the roy­al ar­chi­tect Fran­cesco Placi­di and his fa­ther-in-law, the mas­ter painter An­drzej Rad­wań­ski. The re­sults of their work such as black mar­ble beau­ti­ful al­tars have been pre­served un­til to­day. The mo­na­stery li­brary was al­so re­built in this pe­ri­od. How­ev­er, in or­der to give a com­plete pic­ture of those times, it should be added that in the mid­dle of the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry the abbey had a huge debt of 75 thou­sand zlo­tys and the ab­bot Bar­to­szew­ski gained a rep­u­ta­tion of an op­pres­sor of the lo­cal peas­ants.



THE CHURCH OF SAINTS PIOTR AND PAWEŁ IS VISIBLE FROM MANY KILOMETERS AWAY, HERE THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH

A

rmed con­flicts of the sec­ond half of the 18th cen­tu­ry did not spare the Abbey. Dur­ing the Bar Con­fed­er­a­tion in 1769, mil­i­tary en­gi­neers came to Ty­niec and with the help of the lo­cal peo­ple re­built the mo­na­stery in­to a fort­ress that was sup­posed to re­sist the Russ­ian army of Gen­er­al Alek­andr Su­vo­rov in­vad­ing Less­er Poland. The num­ber of Con­fed­er­ate troops de­fend­ing the abbey was al­so con­sid­er­able. It con­sist­ed of 400 in­fantry sol­diers, 40 horse­men, and 16 can­nons com­mand­ed by Woj­ciech To­ma­nie­wicz, the fu­ture Pri­or of Ty­niec. It took two years to pre­pare the mo­na­stery for its de­fense and it proved to be ef­fec­tive, be­cause start­ing from the first Russ­ian at­tack in May 1771 Ty­niec de­fend­ed it­self tena­cious­ly for a dozen or so months, and opened the gates on­ly to the Hab­s­burg army (which oc­cu­pied the hill at re­quest of con­fed­er­ates). How­ev­er, up­on en­ter­ing the strong­hold, the Aus­tri­ans found on­ly ru­ins and rub­ble, re­sulted from pro­longed Russ­ian ar­til­lery fire. All roofs were con­sumed by fire, there were al­so sig­nif­i­cant gaps in the walls. On the west­ern side, ex­posed to bom­bard­ment, dam­ages were even greater. On­ly some of in­te­ri­ors sur­vived, in­clud­ing the roc­co dec­o­ra­tion of the church, as well as the low­er floors of the mo­na­stery.



TYNIEC MONASTERY DAMAGED BY THE RUSSIANS, VIEW FROM THE SOUTH (1772)

T

he first Par­ti­tion of Poland brought Ty­niec un­der Hab­s­burg rule. Soon, on the ini­tia­tive of ab­bot Flo­ri­an Ja­now­ski (d. 1801), a re­con­struc­tion of the mo­na­stery be­gan, which in­clud­ed al­most all build­ings ex­cept for the for­mer star­osty. How­ev­er, the new au­thor­i­ties in­creas­ing­ly in­ter­fered in the life of the con­gre­ga­tion mak­ing many dif­fi­cul­ties in its in­ter­nal af­fairs. Free changes of of­fi­cers ap­proved by the Aus­tri­ans were for­bid­den, as well as ap­peals to Rome and con­tacts with the con­gre­ga­tion. The mo­na­stery be­came im­pov­er­ished due to the loss of lands and manors. In 1805 Ty­niec con­sist­ed of no more than 10-12 monks, head­ed by the pri­or An­toni Chmu­rzyń­ski. In 1806, Em­per­or Franz I ap­point­ed Fr. Ul­rich Keck of Wib­lin­gen (d. 1810) as ab­bot, which was re­lat­ed to at­tempts to Ger­man­ize the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cra­cow, where Keck was to serve as fac­ul­ty di­rec­tor. Soon, how­ev­er, Keck and his Ger­man col­lab­o­ra­tors were forced to es­cape from the armies of the War­saw Duchy, which caused great joy amongst the Pol­ish monks. Fr. Chmu­rzyń­ski con­tin­ued to rule in Ty­niec, and af­ter his death in 1812, Ig­na­cy To­ma­nie­wicz was elect­ed to suc­ceed him, as the last head of the con­gre­ga­tion be­fore its col­lapse. When the Cong­ress of Vi­en­na ap­proved new bor­der that ran along the Vis­tu­la Riv­er and rein­cor­po­rat­ed the mo­na­stery un­der Hab­s­burg rule, Em­per­or Franz abol­ished the Bene­dic­tine Abbey of Ty­niec (1816). Lat­er, for some time, the for­mer mo­na­stery was used for the new­ly es­tab­lished bish­opric. The Church of Saints Pe­ter and Paul be­came a cathe­dral, while the mo­na­stery build­ings housed...the Je­suits. The fall of the abbey was clinched by a fire, which de­stroyed the mo­na­stery roofs and tow­ers on the night of 2/3 May 1831. On­ly Opa­tów­ka and church sur­vived the fire. Oth­er build­ings were ruined and then aban­doned.



TYNIEC MONASTERY ON THE VISTULA RIVER, JAN NEPOMUCEN GŁOWACKI (BEFORE 1832)
WE CAN STILL SEE THE BAROQUE HELMETS ON THE CHURCH TOWERS, DESTROYED IN THE FIRE OF 1831

RUINED ABBEY ON NAPOLEON ORDA'S LITHOGRAPH, ALBUM WIDOKÓW, 1880


Al­though aban­doned, in 19th cen­tu­ry Ty­niec was of­ten vis­it­ed, both for tourism and sci­en­tif­ic pur­pos­es. Pro­fes­sors of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cra­cow reg­u­lar­ly came here to lec­ture among the ro­man­tic ru­ins. The for­mer monastery gar­den, or rather its re­mains, at­tract­ed botanists look­ing for Med­iter­ranean plants and medic­i­nal herbs that the abbey was fa­mous years ago. A lot of peo­ple used to come to Ty­niec dur­ing the an­nu­al fair of St. Pe­ter and Paul, or­ga­nized ev­ery year at the end of June. The ru­ined mo­na­stery, known by its con­tem­po­raries as Pust­ki (Empti­ness) has al­so re­peat­ed­ly pro­vid­ed in­spi­ra­tion for writ­ers and po­ets. It is here that Jó­zef Igna­cy Kra­szew­ski set the plot of his nov­el Broth­ers of Res­ur­rec­tion. It is al­so here, or more pre­cise­ly in the inn Pod Lu­tym Turem lo­cat­ed at the foot of the mo­na­stery, the sto­ry of the most pop­u­lar Pol­ish his­tor­i­cal nov­el Krzy­ża­cy (Teu­ton­ic Knights) by Hen­ryk Sien­kie­wicz be­gins.



THE MONASTERY IN THE EARLY YEARS OF 20TH CENTURY

T

he abbey re­mained un­in­hab­it­ed for o­ver 100 years. In 1920, this is how Ste­fan Że­rom­ski saw and de­scribed it: An­cient, brood­ing ru­ins of Ty­niec! To mod­ern man in­com­pre­hen­si­ble, erect­ed on ash­es o­ver a hun­dret­fold old­er than your­self; in time be­com­ing stead­fast through mis­ery and ne­glect, no more can your stones can be de­stroyed. Emp­ty win­dow holes, as blind eyes, gaze va­cant­ly be­low, past white rock to the fast flow­ing riv­er be­neath... On 29 May 1939 Arch­bish­op Adam Sa­pie­ha hand­ed o­ver the for­mer monastery grounds - the church, monastery and gar­den - to Bene­dic­tine monks from St An­drew's Abbey in Ze­ven­ker­ken, Bel­gium. Nine of them, led by Fr. Ka­rol van Oost (d. 1986), ar­rived here in the last days of Ju­ly 1939, a month be­fore the Ger­man ag­gres­sion against Poland. Af­ter the out­break of war Ty­niec didn't in­ter­est the Nazis too much, be­cause as a ru­in it couldn't com­pare with oth­er Cra­cow monas­ter­ies, thanks to which it suf­fered rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle. Its im­por­tance for Ger­mans in­creased at the end of 1944, when near the for­mer abbey a pon­toon bridge was be­ing built o­ver Vis­tu­la riv­er. Then Ger­man of­fi­cers came to Ty­niec, in­form­ing that it would be de­mol­ished in a few days, in or­der to erect bas­tions against So­vi­ets in its place. For­tu­nate­ly, the rapid march of the So­vi­et army made im­pos­si­ble to re­al­ize this plan, al­though the shelling of the hill by Rus­sian ar­tillery de­stroyed the church tow­ers and Opatówka. Re­con­struc­tion of the mo­na­stery be­gan as ear­ly as 1947, but dif­fi­cult con­di­tions of the post-war re­al­i­ty meant that it was not com­plet­ed un­til the be­gin­ning of 21st cen­tu­ry. The fi­nal stage of these works was re­build­ing of the for­mer li­brary - for­mer­ly known as the Great Ru­in - which be­gan in the mid-1990s and was com­plet­ed in 2008.



VIEW FROM THE SOUTH ILLUSTRATING HOW THE RUINS LOOKED-LIKE IN 1925


SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF THE ABBEY BEFORE AND AFTER RECONSTRUCTION OF THE LIBRARY


HISTORY OF THE ABBEY

DESCRIPTION OF THE MONASTERY

SIGHTSEEING


T

he monastery was erect­ed on a lime­stone rock, which abrupt­ly breaks off from the west­ern side and falls to­wards Vis­tu­la riv­er. The orig­i­nal Ro­ma­nesque abbey dif­fered con­sid­er­ably in ap­pear­ance and size from the con­tem­po­rary lay­out, which has been shaped as a re­sult of many build­ing ini­tia­tives. Only few traces of the Piast era have been pre­served in Ty­niec, al­though those that have sur­vived, re­mind us of its cen­turies-long his­to­ry. We can find there foun­da­tions of the first mo­na­stery church, its south­ern wall with a Ro­ma­nesque por­tal and re­mains of the so called trea­sury from the 12th cen­tu­ry. To­day, this pic­turesque­ly sit­u­at­ed com­plex in­cludes two ex­ter­nal court­yards sur­round­ed by stone and brick walls of the church, mo­na­stery and Opa­tów­ka. It is closed by de­fen­sive walls sev­er­al hun­dred me­ters long.




CONTEMPORARY PLAN AND MODEL OF THE ABBEY, BLACK COLOR INDICATES ROMANESQUE WALLS:
1. CHURCH COURTYARD, 2. MONASTERY COURTYARD, 3. OPATÓWKA, 4. CHURCH OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL,
5. GOTHIC MONASTERY WITH CLOISTERS, 6. CLOISTER, 7. LATE GOTHIC MONASTERY, 8. FARM COURTYARD,
9. SOUTHERN WING (FORMER LIBRARY), 10. WESTERN WALL, 11. RUINS OF STAROSTWO, 12. WELL

R

es­i­den­tial part of the monastery con­sists of the Goth­ic north­east­ern sec­tion (clois­ters), the late Goth­ic south­east­ern sec­tion, and the Baroque south wing, for­mer­ly hous­ing the li­brary. First brick con­struc­tions were erect­ed here at the turn of the 11th and 12th cen­turies, when a stone build­ing about 9x20 me­ters in size stood in the south­ern part of the mo­na­stery court­yard. Its ground floor prob­a­bly housed a re­fec­to­ry, and the first floor - a dor­mi­to­ry. At that time the oth­er build­ings were of wood­en con­struc­tion, ex­cept per­haps a kitchen and uniden­ti­fied hous­es in the east­ern part. Orig­i­nal­ly, the mo­na­stery for­ti­fi­ca­tions were al­so made of wood. This changed af­ter the tar­tar in­va­sion in the sec­ond half of the 13th cen­tu­ry, when the abbey was sur­round­ed by a sand­stone wall with a thick­ness of 1.5 me­ters. Then, the mo­na­stery court­yard was trans­formed in­to a clois­ter with wood­en gal­leries, the ar­cades of which served as buri­al places. They were sur­round­ed by wood­en build­ings, al­though the west­ern wing (kitchen, gate­house) and the south­ern wing (re­fec­to­ry) were al­ready ful­ly ma­soned. At the end of the 13th cen­tu­ry the mo­na­stery of Ty­niec formed a reg­u­lar plan sim­i­lar to a square with sides of about 40 me­ters.



RECONSTRUCTION OF ROMANESQUE ABBEY IN TYNIEC ACCORDING TO ADOLF SZYSZKO-BOHUSZ:
ABOVE WE SEE THE MONASTERY IN THE XII CENTURY, BELOW THE PROBABLE LAYOUT OF THE ABBEY AFTER 1270

I

n the turn of the 14th and 15th cen­turies Goth­ic ar­chi­tec­ture be­gan to dom­i­nate. It was par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cen­trat­ed around the vault­ed clois­ters built us­ing Ro­manesque walls. The pa­tio and clois­ters are sur­round­ed by three wings hous­ing the most im­por­tant cham­bers. The largest room in the east­ern part is chap­ter­house, where the chap­ter (mo­na­stery coun­cil) met and where the most im­por­tant doc­u­ments were signed. The rite of ad­mis­sion of men to novi­tiate was al­so per­formed here, as well as fu­ner­al cer­e­monies of de­ceased monks, whose bod­ies were placed in a crypt un­der the floor. The for­mer en­trance to crypt was lo­cat­ed in the clois­ter in front of the chap­ter­house, which can be iden­ti­fied by an 18th cen­tu­ry plaque with a skull and poignant in­scrip­tion. Ad­ja­cent to the chap­ter­house is a room called the trea­sury, where sa­cred ves­sels, books and relics were prob­a­bly kept be­fore the Baroque sac­risty of the church was built.



MONASTERY CHAPTERHOUSE WITH COFFIN BENCHES

AT THE ENTRANCE TO CRYPT

T

he south­ern wing was oc­cu­pied by re­fec­to­ry, called win­ter re­fec­to­ry since the 16th cen­tu­ry. Above it, the monks' liv­ing quar­ters were placed as well as the ab­bot's cham­ber. This part of mo­na­stery was de­mol­ished af­ter the fire of 1831 and re­built in the 1980s for use as a sac­risty. In the north­ern part, the mo­na­stery cor­ri­dor is di­rect­ly ad­ja­cent to south­ern wall of the church of St. Pe­ter and Paulwła. This wall is a rel­ic of the Ro­ma­nesque tem­ple, and was used in the 15th cen­tu­ry to sup­port Goth­ic vault­ing of the clois­ters. Dat­ing from the time of first ab­bots is Ro­ma­nesque por­tal, for­mer­ly serv­ing as one of two pas­sages through which the monks went to pray. The pre­sent con­di­tion and ap­pear­ance of the mo­na­stery clois­ters is re­sult of res­tora­tion work car­ried out in the 1970s and 1980s. Ear­li­er, but al­ready af­ter liq­ui­da­tion of the abbey, this space fell in­to great deg­ra­da­tion be­ing used as dwel­lings and store­rooms. For some time, crops were al­so stored here, and part of the cor­ri­dor was used as a cow­shed.



MONASTERY COURTYARD AND RUINED CLOISTERS (WITHOUT THE SOUTHERN PART, WHICH WAS DEMOLISHED), CA. 1910

NORTHERN WALL OF THE CLOISTERS WITH A XI-CENTURY PORTAL

T

he south-east­ern part of the monastery was built at the ear­li­est in the 15th cen­tu­ry. At that time, a new wing was erected, where sec­ond re­fec­to­ry, called sum­mer re­fec­to­ry, was placed on the first floor. The so-called recre­ation cham­ber was ad­ja­cent to it. The build­ing al­so had large hall­way with stairs lead­ing to the first floor, to rep­re­sen­ta­tive cham­ber sit­u­at­ed in the south-east­ern cor­ner. To­day, this part of the mo­na­stery serves as a res­i­den­tial space for the monks and is not open to the pub­lic. It is ad­joined by long south­ern wing, prob­a­bly erect­ed in the 15th cen­tu­ry on the ba­sis of pre­vi­ous­ly ex­ist­ing de­fen­sive wall. The build­ing was thor­ough­ly mod­ern­ized in the 18th cen­tu­ry for the needs of li­brary. This part of the mo­na­stery was hit by light­ning on the night of May 2/3, 1831, caus­ing a fire that spread to the oth­er build­ings. The li­brary, de­stroyed by flames, was soon aban­doned, and in time it be­came known as the Great Ru­in. From among all the build­ings of the abbey, the south wing had to wait the longest for full re­con­struc­tion - it was opened on­ly in 2008.




SOUTHERN WING DURING AND AFTER RECONSTRUCTION

F

rom the very be­gin­ning of abbey's ex­is­tence, the dom­i­nant part of its struc­ture was the mo­na­stery church, which shared its south­ern wall with north­ern wing of the clois­ter. There were three tem­ples in se­quence: Ro­ma­nesque, Goth­ic and Baroque. The old­est Ro­ma­nesque church, built in the 2nd half of the 11th cen­tu­ry, was a stone, three-nave basil­i­ca 24 me­tres long and 12 me­tres wide. It was closed on the east­ern side by three semi­cir­cu­lar aps­es, while the west­ern façade was flat and had one or two tow­ers. In­te­ri­or of the church was di­vid­ed by pil­lars in­to three naves, cov­ered with a wood­en ceil­ing. Its floor was made of plas­ter, re­placed in the 13th cen­tu­ry by glazed tiles dec­o­rat­ed with flo­ral and ge­o­met­ric mo­tifs. The main en­trance to the church prob­a­bly led from the west­ern (tow­er) side. The sec­ond en­trance, pre­served to this day as a semi­cir­cu­lar por­tal, was placed in the south­ern wall of the tem­ple. It was used pri­mar­i­ly by monks go­ing to pray.



HYPOTHETICAL DESIGN OF ROMANESQUE CHURCH, RECONSTRUCTION BY J. SMÓLSKI

REMAINS OF THE ROMANESQUE CHURCH FLOOR, MUSEUM EXHIBITION

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n the sec­ond half of the 15th cen­tu­ry, Ro­ma­nesque church was de­mol­ished and a Goth­ic church was erect­ed in its place, the floor plan of which al­most dou­bled. New church had three naves of equal height and a chan­cel built on the plan of rect­an­gle. Its dom­i­nant fea­ture was a square tow­er, sit­u­at­ed in the north-west­ern cor­ner, at the junc­tion with Opa­tów­ka. The church func­tioned in this shape for about 150 years. At the be­gin­ning of 17th cen­tu­ry the church was thor­ough­ly re­built. Side naves were par­tial­ly re­placed with three pairs of chapels. The Goth­ic, sharp-arched vaults were al­so de­mol­ished to be re­placed by Baroque bar­rel vaults. Fur­nish­ings of the tem­ple be­came Baroque, in­clud­ing the stalls made of lin­den wood and char­ac­ter­is­tic black mar­ble decor. Af­ter de­struc­tion caused by the Rus­sians in 1772, west­ern façade of the church was re­built in a new, late Baroque style (the tow­ers re­ceived char­ac­ter­is­tic slen­der hel­mets). The pre­sent flat­tened tent hel­mets were made dur­ing ren­o­va­tion of the church af­ter fire of 1831.



CHANCEL OF THE CHURCH IN TYNIEC WITH LINDEN STALLS FOR MONKS


Dur­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions car­ried out in the 1960s un­der the floor of the Church of Saints Pe­ter and Paul, re­mains of a grave with hu­man bones were dis­cov­ered in west­ern part of the nave. The grave was prob­a­bly cov­ered with a plas­ter floor in the sec­ond half of 12th cen­tu­ry and then - pos­si­bly in the fol­low­ing cen­tu­ry - emp­tied. Ac­cord­ing to many his­to­ri­ans, it may be the buri­al place of Pol­ish king Bo­le­sław Śmia­ły, the al­leged founder of Ty­niec Abbey. This ruler sen­tenced to death bish­op Sta­ni­sław, who was in con­flict with him. This de­ci­sion caused a re­volt of the knights, which forced the king to leave for Hun­gary, where he died. Bo­le­sław's re­mains were brought to Poland some time af­ter his death and cer­tain­ly - con­trary to tra­di­tion - were not placed in the roy­al cas­tle at Wa­wel. There­fore, the monastery in Ty­niec seems to be the nat­u­ral rest­ing place for the king-as­sas­sin.

At sim­i­lar time, un­der the floor of the church chan­cel, frag­ments of Ro­ma­nesque tem­ple were un­cov­ered with graves of 26 ab­bots of Ty­niec, dat­ing from the 11th to the 13th cen­tu­ry. In one of the graves a unique 11th cen­tu­ry gold­en trav­el chal­ice with an en­graved cross was found. The chal­ice from Ty­niec is one of on­ly two such ves­sels pre­served world­wide.


FRONT ELEVATION OF THE CHURCH, ON THE RIGHT - GOTHIC PART OF THE MONASTERY

E

n­trance to the court­yard leads from north­east­ern side through two gates lo­cat­ed in the so-called Opa­tów­ka. The old­est doc­u­ments de­fine this part of the mo­na­stery hill as the cas­tle, and its pre­sent lay­out is pre­sum­ably re­sult of the 15th cen­tu­ry Goth­ic ex­pan­sion of the abbey. The shape of Opa­tów­ka looks like the num­ber sev­en. Its ends were con­nect­ed by wall that formed a closed area, which could be eas­i­ly cov­ered by fire from both wings of the build­ing. Ini­tial­ly a mil­i­tary gar­ri­son was sta­tioned in the cas­tle. In the sec­ond half of the 16th cen­tu­ry, it un­der­went ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion work to adapt for new seat of the ab­bots of Ty­niec. Win­dows were en­larged, new stair­cas­es were built, and the whole build­ing re­ceived a splen­did and el­e­gant dec­o­ra­tion. It is worth men­tion­ing that Opa­tów­ka sur­vived the fire of the mo­na­stery in 1831 and lat­er was used, among oth­ers, as the seat of forestry de­part­ment. This is al­so where Be­ne­dictines lived af­ter their re­turn to Ty­niec in 1939.



OPATÓWKA, VIEW FROM THE CHURCH COURTYARD

N

ear Opatówka there was a build­ing called sta­rost­wo, prob­a­bly erect­ed in the 16th cen­tu­ry for the needs of sec­u­lar ad­min­is­tra­tion of the mo­na­stery man­aged by fore­man. It was a two-sto­ry mansion with a farm sec­tion on the ground floor and a res­i­den­tial and rep­re­sen­ta­tive part on the first floor. Sta­ro­stwo was con­nect­ed with Opa­tów­ka by wood­en gallery, un­der which, among oth­ers, a kitchen and a bak­ery func­tioned. Russian bomb­ing destroyed it in 1772, and as the on­ly one of the build­ings on the mo­na­stery hill, it has nev­er been re­built. On­ly a frag­ment of its ex­ter­nal wall is left, which sep­a­rates the abbey from rocky cliff de­scend­ing to­wards Vis­tu­la riverbed. The walls sur­round­ing abbey from the north, east and south have al­so sur­vived, but vast ma­jor­i­ty of these for­ti­fi­ca­tions were erect­ed not ear­li­er than in the 18th cen­tu­ry and on­ly the low­er parts may be of me­dieval ori­gin. The wall in its east­ern and south­ern part en­cir­cles the mo­na­stery gar­dens, which were es­tab­lished in this place at the end of the 18th cen­tu­ry on the site of lev­eled earth for­ti­fi­ca­tions.



WESTERN WALL WITH RUIN OF STAROSTWO

IN MONASTERY GARDENS


HISTORY OF THE ABBEY

DESCRIPTION OF THE MONASTERY

SIGHTSEEING


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he Abbey in Tyniec is still an op­er­at­ing men's mo­na­stery, where spir­i­tu­al mat­ters have been skill­ful­ly com­bined with pro-tourism, ed­u­ca­tion­al and eco­nom­ic ac­tiv­i­ties. Di­vi­sion be­tween the closed clois­ter and the zone ac­ces­si­ble to lay peo­ple: in­hab­i­tants of Ty­niec, tour­ists and pil­grims, was clear­ly marked on the mo­na­stery hill. The care­ful­ly re­stored for­mer li­brary build­ing hous­es a ho­tel (some of the rooms are al­so lo­cat­ed in Opa­tów­ka). It al­so hous­es an Abbey Mu­se­um and head­quar­ters of Chro­nić Do­bro Foun­da­tion. Be­ne­dic­tine, a busi­ness unit sell­ing prod­ucts made ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tion­al monas­tic recipes, a book­store and a café with beau­ti­ful view of Vis­tu­la val­ley have al­so been op­er­at­ing in Ty­niec since re­cent­ly.



ON A TERRACE WITH A VIEW OF THE VISTULA VALLEY

OPATÓWKA, HOTEL ROOM

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r­chi­tec­ture of the monastery is dom­i­nat­ed by the tow­ers of Church of Saints Pe­ter and Paul, a three-nave basil­i­ca with Goth­ic chan­cel and Baroque nave. Its in­te­ri­or is dec­o­rat­ed in Baroque style, with a Ro­co­co main al­tar, black and gold pul­pit in the shape of a boat sail­ing on the sea, from which emerge heads of fan­tas­tic fish-mon­sters, and sev­en­teenth-cen­tu­ry lin­den stalls. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the ma­jor­i­ty of dec­o­ra­tion and equip­ment of the tem­ple and mo­na­stery li­brary were de­stroyed or dis­persed af­ter the abbey was closed down by Aus­tri­an in­vaders. These mem­o­ra­bil­ia and jew­els are now spread o­ver a num­ber of mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing an 11th cen­tu­ry sacra­men­tary which, to­geth­er with some litur­gi­cal books, be­longs to the Na­tion­al Li­brary in War­saw, or pre­cious chal­ices and mon­strances which dec­o­rate the trea­sury of Tar­nów Cathe­dral. What has been pre­served in Ty­niec, how­ev­er, are the mag­nif­i­cent Goth­ic clois­ters, the Goth­ic chap­ter house cov­ered with 18th cen­tu­ry fres­coes, Ro­man­esque cap­i­tals (as a mu­se­um ex­hi­bi­tion), and fi­nal­ly, the 17th cen­tu­ry well, which was built with­out the use of nails, that stands in the south-east­ern part of the court­yard. In­te­ri­ors of the mo­na­stery can be vis­it­ed as part of a guid­ed tour.



MAIN NAVE OF THE CHURCH AND STATUES OF SAINTS IN THE MONASTERY CLOISTERS

NORTHERN ARM OF THE CLOISTER WITH A ROMANESQUE PORTAL

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he Abbey Mu­se­um is lo­cat­ed in the south wing, built on foun­da­tions of the so-called Great Ru­in, for­mer mo­na­stery li­brary. In its gloomy cel­lars we can find a lap­i­dar­i­um of Ro­manesque mon­u­ments from the 11th-13th cen­turies. Among many ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails that re­mem­ber the be­gin­nings of the brick abbey in Ty­niec, we may see here frag­ments of columns, por­tals and cap­i­tals, rem­nants of the floor ori­gi­nating from the old­est church, as well as one of the can­tilevers carved in sand­stone with the mo­tif of a wom­an's head. They are ac­com­pa­nied by an ex­hi­bi­tion on how peo­ple lived in Ty­niec be­fore the abbey was found­ed. The arte­facts col­lect­ed here al­so come from ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions car­ried out on the mo­na­stery hill and in its im­me­di­ate vicin­i­ty. They in­clude house­hold items, parts of cloth­ing, tools and frag­ments of weapons re­flect­ing the dai­ly life of peo­ple dur­ing the times when Lusa­tian and Prze­worsk cul­tures dom­i­nat­ed in this area. In one of rooms on the first floor we can visit an ex­po­si­tion on the mo­na­stery's apothe­cary tra­di­tions and ar­cha­ic meth­ods of treat­ment, as well as tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions.




FRAGMENT OF THE MUSEUM EXHIBITION


Free ad­mis­sion to the church/ monastery court­yard (6.00-20.00) and to the Church of St. Pe­ter and Paul. To vis­it the monastery and church with a guide, you need to buy a tick­et. To vis­it the mu­se­um you need to buy a sep­a­rate tick­et.


Pho­tograph­ing in­te­ri­ors for per­son­al use doesn't re­quire spe­cial per­mis­sion or an ad­di­tion­al fee.


No an­i­mals are al­lowed on the monastery grounds.

Tyniec Abbey is per­fect­ly suit­ed for aeri­al pho­tog­ra­phy and film­ing. It looks es­pe­cial­ly at­trac­tive from the west­ern side (from be­hind the Vis­tu­la riv­er), where there is a lot of space. The abbey can be al­so pho­tographed from oth­er an­gles with­out dif­fi­cul­ty. How­ev­er, it is im­por­tant to do it re­spon­si­bly.


Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec
ul. Benedyktyńska 37, 30-398 Kraków
tel: 12 688 54 52 lub 50
e-mail: recepcja@jg.benedyktyni.com

Opening hours / Tickets


OUR OWN SOUVENIR FROM TYNIEC



GETTING THERE


T

yniec is an ad­min­is­tra­tive part of Cra­cow, from the cen­ter of which it is about 13 kilo­me­ters away. You can get here by us­ing the pub­lic trans­port bus no. 112 (stop Ty­niec). In sum­mer sea­son cruise ships and the Cra­cow Wa­ter Tram al­so run here.


Driv­ing along the south­ern by­pass of the city, turn off at Tyniec­ki Junc­tion and then fol­low the signs along Bolesława Śmi­ały Street and Benedyk­tyńs­ka Street. There is a small free park­ing area (un­der the cross) near monastery walls, to the left of Bene­dic­tine Street. A sec­ond, much larg­er park­ing lot is lo­cat­ed slight­ly low­er on the right side of the road.


Bicycles can be brought into the courtyard.




BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. M. Derwich: Rola Tyńca w rozwoju monastycyzmu benedyktyńskiego w Polsce, 1994
2. M. T. Gronowski OSB: Tyniec - opactwo benedyktynów, Tyniec Wydawnictwo Benedyktynów 2018
3. Z. Janowski: Problemy konstrukcyjne związane z odbudową biblioteki tynieckiej...", 2009
4. M. Kamińska: Aktualny stan badań i nowe koncepcje interpretacyjne romańskiego Tyńca, 2014
5. P. Sczaniecki OSB: Katalog opatów tynieckich, 1978
6. P. Sczaniecki OSB: Tyniec, Tyniec Wydawnictwo Benedyktynów


TYNIEC MONASTERY EARLY MORNING


Castles nearby:
Kraków - Wawel Royal castle, 12 km
Morawica - relics of a castle from 14th century, now a presbytery , 15 km
Wieliczka - saltmaster's castle from 14th century, 22 km
Wielka Wieś (Biały Kościół) - relics of a knight's castle from 14th century, 20 km
Zebrzydowice - Renaissance fortified manor house from 16th century, 23 km
Korzkiew - knight's castle from 14th century, 25 km




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text: 2021
photographs: 2002, 2021
© Jacek Bednarek