There are three main post-Cistercian complexes in the Pomorskie Voivodeship: in Oliwa, Pelplin and Zarnowiec. All these facilities are included in the Pomorskie Loop of the Cistercian Trail, which is one of the four loops that make up the network of the Cistercian trail in Poland, which is part of European cultural roads.
Numerous smaller objects (parish churches, chapels, shrines, mansions and farm buildings) also remind us of the former splendour and wealth of Cistercian monasteries. They determine the attractiveness of the region, which also has a huge natural, landscape and economic potential, as well as a well-developed tourist base and an extensive communication network.
Great asset of Pomorskie is its relatively well-preserved Cistercian heritage in the form of sacral architecture, monastery complexes and culture-forming initiatives undertaken around them, which give a real chance for the development of tourism. This becomes possible thanks to the presentation of the most attractive places that allow you to discover the full material and spiritual culture of each object in the context of social, cultural and geographical specificity.
The Pomorskie Cistercian Trail
The Pomorskie Cistercian Trail also includes the places where the works of the XVIIth-century artist Herman Hahn, who lived and worked with the Cistercians in Pomorkie, are located. Among the many monuments of art in the furnishings of Pomorskie post-Cistercian temples, special attention should be paid to his paintings made in the spirit of the Council of Trent, including: The Death of Mary Magdalene, The Vision of St. Bernard, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Adoration of the Shepherds (in the Cathedral Basilica in Pelplin) and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Prussian attack on the monastery in Oliwa and the plaques of the founders and benefactors of the abbey (in the Oliwa temple). The works of master Hahn and his students can also be seen in other Pomorskie churches – Puck, Jastarnia, Mechowo, Pregow or Czersk (currently work is being carried out to the catalogue all the objects available in Pomorskie).
Elements of the church furnishings
Other elements of the church furnishings are the following stalls:
- Oliwa (two-story oak stalls, twin choir stalls founded by the convent and abbots, made by lay brothers in the early XVIIth century),
- Pelplin stalls (XVth- and XVIIth-century abbey stalls, with a special iconographic richness – for example, the representation of the Holy Spirit in the form of a young man) or Koronowo (with characteristic lions at the foot).
A great peculiarity are also organs:
- a large XVIIIth-century foundation of the Oliwa convent (the instrument was modernized thanks to which it is today one of the most magnificent in the world)
- the XVIIth and XIXth-century Pelplin and Koronowo organs. Thanks to these instruments, international organ festivals are held in these places every year in the summer months.
The great legacy of the Cistercians is also all paraments (liturgical vestments, sacrificial vessels, altar equipment), whose impressive collections are kept in the Diocesan Museum in Pelplin, the Archdiocesan Museum in Gdansk, and the National Museum in Gdansk.
Despite the absence of Cistercians and Cistercian nuns in their former temple and monastery complexes, religious and cultural life is vibrant in their former residences. Annually organized on the third weekend of September Cistercian Fairs in Pelplin, and on the first weekend of July Cistercian Festivals in Koronowo; for the indulgence of St. Anna in Zarnowiec – a pilgrimage from Nadole to Lubkow by fishing boats through the Cistercian Zarnowieckie Lake.