CHOPIN’S POLAND CHOPIN’S POLAND

Płock

Płock Płock

Płock was the first city on the itinerary of Chopin's planned trip to Gdańsk in 1827. Although the city did not lie exactly along the route of the trip, Fryderyk visited it for the sake of the historical buildings there. It may be assumed that Ksawery Zboiński of Kowalewo showed Chopin the historical centre of the city.

In Płock, Chopin doubtless visited the mediaeval castle walls, with their two towers, and the cathedral, beautifully situated on a hill over the Vistula, with its royal chapel, in which was placed, in 1825, the sarcophagus containing the remains of two rulers of Poland, Ladislaus Herman and Boleslaus III the Wry-mouthed, designed by Zygmunt Vogel. He may also have been interested in the historical bell tower, the Benedictine monastery, the Dominican church and also Płock post office, in which he expected to pick up a letter from his family.

The basilica cathedral, erected in the years 1126-41 by Bishop Aleksander of Malonne, rebuilt during the Renaissance (1531-34) and restored in neo-Romanesque style around the turn of 1902-03, is a valuable treasure of Polish architecture. Standing in the cathedral vestibule is a copy of the famous Romanesque Płock Door, made for the basilica c.1154 in Magdeburg. In front of the cathedral are the walls of the former Benedictine monastery and the remnants of the castle built by King Casimir III the Great-two gothic towers: the Clock Tower (thirteenth-fourteenth century, fulfilling the function of the cathedral bell tower) and the Noble Tower (fifteenth century).

Chopin may also have visited the new Płock town hall, built in the years 1824-27 to a design by Jakub Kubicki. This was recently modernised, at the same time as the Market Square was rebuilt. The town hall has served as the seat of the city's administration since its construction.

Also characteristic of the landscape of the charming Vistula Valley city of Płock is the neogothic monastery of the Old Catholic Mariavite Church, erected in the early twentieth century.

 


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