Uncovering the 17th-century frescoes, the restoration of gilding within the portal, and the reconstruction of carvings - these are just some of the results of the months-long renovation works in the House of the Abbots of Pelplin, a historical townhouse belonging to the University of Gdańsk. On November 15 this year, the academic community of the University of Gdańsk, the authorities of the City of Gdańsk, and all other institutions involved in the restoration celebrated the new gem of the Old Town. In addition, during the event, an 18th-century lantern was shown for the first time since its own restoration.
‘The University of Gdańsk is, first and foremost, a modern campus, but it is also the heritage of Gdańsk that we take pride in and want to share with the people of the region and tourists. I would like to announce today that the House of the Abbots of Pelplin, especially its vestibule, will be included in the permanent exhibition of the University of Gdańsk Museum,’ said UG Rector prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives of Gdańsk city authorities, Mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz and Deputy Mayor Monika Chabior, as well as representatives of institutions supporting the investment: Director of the Regional Financing Institution Department from the Pomerania Development Agency Rafał Mitianiec and Izabela Szutenberg-Słowikowska from BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego).
‘Our motto, Nec temere, nec timide, is also reflected here. On the one hand, as the Rector said, it is modernity and looking to the future, and on the other, our roots and care for our identity. So I am very happy about this renovation, also as a neighbour of this building,' said Mayor of Gdańsk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz.
The renovation of the façade of the House of the Abbots of Pelplin is part of a more significant investment (valued at nearly PLN 6 million) aimed at revitalising the buildings of the University of Gdańsk located at 5 Bielańska Street.
After a short speech by the Rector of UG and the Mayor of Gdańsk, the participants of the event entered the hallway of the renovated building. ‘We find ourselves in a historic building that was built around 1612, but we do not know for whom. The abbots were not the first owners. Undoubtedly, the first owners of this house were very wealthy,' said Vice-Dean for Students and Cooperation with the Social and Economic Environment of the Faculty of History dr Anna Sobecka.
The representative of the Faculty of History also explained the history of the sculptural decoration in the hallway, depicting a scene from the biblical parable of Susanna and the Elders.
During the final part of the event, UG Museum Director Marta Szaszkiewicz talked about the lantern that illuminated the interior of the House of the Abbots of Pelplin about 300 years ago. The lantern was made of iron and had many flower-like ornaments attached to it.
‘I hope that in the future, the lantern will hang in its original place,' said Marta Szaszkiewicz.