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Exhibition “Antiquities of Lutsk Castle”

Exhibition “Antiquities of Lutsk Castle”

The 10th conference “Lubart’s Readings”, which over the years has attracted many experts on Lutsk history, took place in the Lutsk State Historical and Cultural Reserve on May 22 - 23. This year’s forum was dedicated to an extraordinary event that took place in 1429 – the Congress of European Monarchs.

An exhibition “Antiquities of Lutsk Castle” opened on the first day of the conference. It was prepared by two institutions - the State Historical and Cultural Museum in Lutsk (Director - Paul Rudetskyi) and the Volyn Regional Museum (Director - Anatoliy Silyuk).

The organizers have worked together to collect and exhibit for the first time items dated from the beginning of the 14th century, which means that some of them are directly connected to the famous Congress.

A medieval collection of dishes that were used in everyday life from the 14th to 16th century, ceramic boxes and stove tiles ornamented with the emblem of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a rare pottery collection and bellows used for melting metal were presented in the exhibition.

Only here could you see the 14th century mural “Face of Christ”, unique for the art of the southwestern region of the Kyivan Rus. The mural is from the ancient Cathedral Church of St. John the Theologian, which once stood in Lutsk Castle. This year the mural became a symbol of the anniversary of the conference, so this work of an anonymous creator will be available to the public.

A treasure of Prague money discovered as a result of archaeological research in 2012 near Lutsk became a unique artifact of the 14th century at the exhibition. By the way, they say those hidden “prazhaks” are evaluated by historians as an illustration of the dramatic events of the Lutsk war in 1431.

The high importance of the conference was verified by the presentation of the oldest surviving document in Lutsk - a letter of Polish King Sigismund the Old (1524) - which foresees the possibility of transferring the Lithuanian state treasury to Lutsk in case of war.

Among items of particular interest is an ornamented 15th century weapon with the Hungarian national emblem on it. Things with these symbols could only appear in Lutsk after the visit of the retinue of German-Hungarian Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg - initiator and behind-the-scenes manipulator of the 1429 Lutsk Forum.

The real gem of the exhibition was an impressively large, decorated pot called “zernovyk”, dated from the late 14th century, discovered in the cellars of the Castle during archaeological investigations in 1983 and restored specially for the exhibition by Alexei Voytyuk (Rivne). As a witness of royal meals at the Congress of European Monarchs it immediately takes visitors back to the times of the medieval city.

Unfortunately, the Congress of European Monarchs failed to come up with important decisions that would change the public status of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. But it is still important for us because from that time Lutsk, the favorite residence of the Duke Vytautas and the South capital of the state, always appeared on European maps. As proof, a 15th century map by Nicholas Cuza, with Lutsk already appearing, was displayed in one of the halls of Lutsk Castle.

Article by Olena Biriulina

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