Roadside post, Konin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The only preserved Romanesque stone roadside post anywhere in Central and Eastern Europe, marking the middle of the distance between Kruszwica and Kalisz - a route which, back in the 12th century, connected the seniorate provinces designated in king Bolesław the Wrymouth’s last will. One of the most important historical monuments on the Romanesque trail in Greater Poland.

History

According to the surviving inscription, the post is considered to have been erected back in 1151. Researchers believe that count palatine Piotr, who is mentioned on the post as the founder thereof, was either Piotr Dunin Włostowic from the Łabędź noble family (ca. 1080-1153), count Wszebor (Sebor) who died before 1161 and who was the palatine to the king Bolesław the Wrymouth, or Piotr Wszeborowic - count Wszebor’s son, the palatine to the duke of Mazovia, Bolesław IV the Curly. Originally, the post stood in the Castle Square (also known as the Potters’ Square) inside the Konin castle, 52 kilometres away from both Kruszwica and Kalisz. The post in Konin is frequently referred to as a milestone, even though this is most likely an inaccurate description. In reality, the post marked the middle of the distance between Kruszwica and Kalisz, which served as the road connecting the seniorate provinces of king Bolesław the Wrymouth’s successors, who obtained them under his will.

In 1828 it was moved to its present location, in the vicinity of the church of St Bartholomew, where it now stands in the former church cemetery.

Some researchers suggest that the post might have in fact been fashioned out of an even earlier, pagan sculpture which might have once served religious functions.

Description

The post was made of a hard, resilient sandstone that was quarried in the area around Brzeźno near Konin ever since the pre-Christian times (the so-called Brzeźno sandstone), allowing it to withstand erosion for centuries. It is shaped as a fusiform obelisk, standing at 252 centimetres tall. It is topped with a stylised sphere (which brings about the intuitive impression of its similarity to a human figure); the lower section consists of four distinct sections, two of which taper outward in an funnel-shaped fashion and then take the form of an inward-tapering column. The lowermost section at the bottom of the post is conical in shape. The entire post is positioned atop a hexagonal plinth. The post carries an inscription in mediaeval majuscule script, reading as follows: “On the Year 1151 of the Lord’s Incarnation // hither from Kalisz to Kruszwica leads the spot, // as marked by the formula of distance and justice, // which was made at the bequest of count palatine Piotr // who split this distance carefully in half, // so that it is never forgotten, // let every traveller carry his prayers // to our gracious Lord” (translated from Latin into Polish by Krzysztof Dunin-Wąsowicz). At this point, it is worth mentioning that the shape of the letters in this inscription was used to render the later inscription on the Gothic Revival sarcophagus of kings Mieszko I and Bolesław the Brave in the Poznań cathedral.

The historical monument is accessible to visitors.

compiled by Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 13-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Maluskiewicz Piotr, Konin i okolice, Poznań 1979, s. 40-42.
  • Maluskiewicz Piotr, Ziemia konińska. Przewodnik turystyczny, Konin 2002, s. 38-39.
  • Dunin-Wąsowicz Krzysztof, Inskrypcja konińska z roku 1151 w: Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej, r. 15, 1967, s. 85-95.
  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, red. Łęcki Włodzimierz, Poznań 2002, s. 143-146.

General information

  • Type: small architecture forms
  • Chronology: 1151 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna , Konin
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district Konin, commune Konin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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