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    Learn about the largest amber monument in the world – The amber altar and monstrance in St. Bridget’s Basilica in Gdańsk, Poland

    Much of the world’s amber comes from the Baltic Sea area of northern Europe. Amber is a treasure of Poland and an unusual souvenir from a holiday trip on the Polish coast. Therefore, Gdańsk is often described as the capital of amber. It is a city full of boutiques and galleries that sale amber of all shapes and sizes. Besides the Museum of Amber, it is worth visiting the St. Bridget’s Basilica and see the breathtaking amber altar and monstrance which is the largest monument made of amber in the world.

    The main altar of St. Brygida in Gdańsk made largely of amber. It was created in 2000 on the initiative of the St. Bridget’s Basilica pastor, Henryk Jankowski. The design of the altar was created by professor Stanisław Radwański. The main contractor for the amber elements is Mariusz Drapikowski. It is the largest amber object in the world, three times bigger than The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg.

    See the pictures uploaded by the visitors on the Instagram platform below.

    The semicircular altar setting is about 120 m² in size, 10 meters wide and over 12 meters high. It reaches up to the presbytery vault. The individual elements of the altar decoration (settings) are attached to a scaffolding made of steel and vertical pipes. In the center, above the tabernacle, there is a painting “Mother of God – Protector of Working People” created by Franciszek Znaniecki. It is a copy of the icon “The Black Madonna of Częstochowa”,  also known as “Our Lady of Częstochowa” and it was created as a reaction to the deaths of workers during the events of December 1970. It is decorated with a dress (400 cm long, up to 90 cm wide, almost 44 kg of raw material), designed by S. Radwański, made of white amber varieties by amber craftsmen by Mariusz Drapikowski, Alicja Pluta and Jakub Kukuryka. The heads of the Mother of God and Jesus are covered with amber crowns (funded by the presidential couple Lech and Danuta Wałęsa), which were consecrated in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. 28 rubies were embedded in these crowns, which symbolize the 28 killed victims of the events of December 1970. At a certain height above both figures there is an amber eagle with a crown, and directly below the dress there is a contour map of Poland made of various amber colors with the inscription Solidarność (English: Solidarity (Polish trade union)). Above the tabernacle, a huge monstrance 174 cm high and made of 30 kg of amber was installed. Its author is M. Drapikowski, and it was established in 2000, even before the idea of ​​building the altar.


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