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Good and evil set in stone

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Strzelno, a small town along the Piast Trail, can lay claim to some unusual Romanesque heritage. Two Romanesque churches stand cheek by jowl on St. Wojciech Hill, the only such pairing in Poland. The small 12th-century St. Prokop Church, built from cut stones, immediately stands out. The thick walls, small windows and partitioned body composed of four regular geometric shapes leave no doubt that this is a Romanesque building. But St. Prokop Church is not the most prized building in Strzelno.

The Holy Trinity Church, which once belonged to the Norbertines, stands on the other side of the hill. Romanesque columns embellished with figures representing personifications of vices and virtues were uncovered under a layer of stucco during conservation work carried out between 1945 and 1953. Each column has 36 figures arranged in 3 strips. The virtues are on the south side and the vices on the north, in accordance with tradition. This type of presentation was typical of art during those times when literacy was the preserve of the select few. The illiterate masses were shown the truth of the faith through painting and sculpture.


 

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