Łysa Góra archaeological reserve, Nowa Słupia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Łysa Góra archaeological reserve

Nowa Słupia

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One of the few mountains in the area, next to Góra Dobrzeszowska, Góra Zamczysko in Widełki, Gródek Leśny near Przysucha and, perhaps, Góra Grodowa in Tumlin, considered an early medieval site of pagan worship.

Location and description

Święty Krzyż is the second highest mountain of the Łysogóry (593m), the highest range of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. The stone embankments have the shape of an elongated ellipse and run below the edge of the slope surrounding the plateau area on top of the mountain. Around the middle of this area, there is a mock summit (rock outcrop), on which the monastery sits today; the summit divides the area into two parts: the west part with an unfinished embankment and the east part with a gentle slope, entirely encircled with the stone structure.

History

According to Jerzy and Eligia Gąssowski, the stone embankments in the east part of the Łysa Góra summit were built between the 8th century and the mid-10th century; their west part was raised later. It seem that the construction was never completed. The first mention of the existence of the gord comes from the Galicia-Volyn Chronicle of the 13th century and the Wielkopolska Chronicle dated the 2nd half of the 14th century. A pagan cult center is confirmed by Jan Długosz and the anonymous author of Powieść rzeczy istey (about the foundation of the Holy Cross monastery) of the 1st half of the 16th century. Also, the Rev. Jan Wiśniewski speaks of the legend of the local sanctuary. In the 2nd quarter of the 12th century, a Benedictine monastery of the Holy Trinity was built here, also named the Holy Cross (Święty Krzyż) due to the relics of the Holy Cross deposited there. It was converted in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1789, the church of the Holy Trinity hurch was erected and consecrated in 1809. In 1819, the monastery buildings were taken over by the State Treasury of the Congress Kingdom of Poland. From 1864, the complex housed a prison which closed no earlier than in 1939. In 1936 the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were brought to the site and took over part of the monastery. During WW2, Germans used the complex as an extermination camp for Soviet POWs. In 1961 the ex-prison facility was transferred to the Świętokrzyski National Park.

Condition and results of archaeological research

As part of a broader research programme covering the area of ​​Łysa Góra between 1957 and 1962, Jerzy Gąssowski drilled through the embankment in four locations and performed three excavations in the neighbouring meadows. In the years 1979-82 Eligia Gąssowska carried out verification works which uncovered a transverse embankment, closing the east part. The preserved embankments were about 1-2 m high (in places up to 3 m), and their base was about 6-12 m. The core was made of quartzite blocks collected in boulder fields, mixed with finer stones; in the east part, it was additionally covered by smaller chips and debris from outside. The complex was accessible by the main east entrance, located in the most representative spot where the embankment rises above a steep cliff, leading to a levelled and empty space; there was also a smaller entrance on the south side near a water spring. It led to a three-step, exposed slope of the transverse embankment with stone blocks intended for a special purpose. The west part of the embankment is located north and west of the present road; it did not form a closed loop. Probably, it was not finished. The area reveals no traces of residential or farm buildings, or hearths. It should be noted that the interpretation of the purpose and the dating of the embankments is still debatable. Some see it as a refuge for the local population (Marek Derwich), others a centre of worship from the time of the Przeworsk culture linked to the iron smelting activity carried out at the foot of the Łysogóry between the 2nd and 4th century AD (Szymon Orzechowski).

The site is accessible to visitors.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 23.10.2014.

Bibliography

  • Informator Archeologiczny, 1979, s. 193-194.
  • Derwich M., Benedyktyński klasztor św. Krzyża na Łysej Górze w średniowieczu, Warszawa-Wrocław 1992, s. 173-180.
  • Derwich M., Legendarne i rzeczywiste dzieje zamku łysogórskiego, [w:] Z dziejów opactwa świętokrzyskiego. Materiały z konferencji naukowej Kielce, 1 czerwca 2006 r., Kielce 2007, s. 15-18.
  • Gąssowscy E. i J., Łysa Góra we wczesnym średniowieczu, Wrocław 1970.
  • Gąssowska E., Uwagi o chronologii i funkcji Łysej Góry, „Rocznik Muzeum Świętokrzyskiego” 1975, t. 9, s. 87-111.
  • Gąssowska E., Badania weryfikacyjne przestrzeni międzywałowej ośrodka kultowego na Łyścu w latach 1979-1982, [w:] Bracha K., Hadamik Cz. (red.) Sacrum pogańskie - sacrum chrześcijańskie. Kontynuacja miejsc kultu we wczesnośredniowiecznej Europie środkowej, Warszawa 2010, s. 117-127.
  • Gąssowski J., Ślady ośrodka kultowego na Łysej Górze, „Acta Archaeologica Carpathica” 1959, t. 1, s. 297-299.
  • Gąssowski J., Ośrodek kultu pogańskiego na Łysej Górze, [w:] Strug K. (red.), Religia pogańskich Słowian, Kielce 1968, s. 47-60.
  • Gąssowski J., Badania archeologiczne w obrębie ośrodka kultowego na szczycie Łyśca [w:] Bracha K., Hadamik Cz. (red.) Sacrum pogańskie - sacrum chrześcijańskie. Kontynuacja miejsc kultu we wczesnośredniowiecznej Europie środkowej, Warszawa 2010, s. 109-115.
  • Orzechowski Sz., Łysa Góra i jej miejsce e złożonym kompleksie osadniczym świętokrzyskiego okręgu hutniczego - zagadnienie kultowego w starożytności [w:] ks. Olszewski D., Gryz R. (red.) Klasztor na Świętym Krzyżu w polskiej kulturze narodowej, Kielce 2000, s. 31-48.
  • Orzechowski Sz., Ośrodek kultowy na Łysej Górze w świetle badań nad osadnictwem kultury przeworskiej w Górach Świętokrzyskich [w:] Bracha K., Hadamik Cz. (red.) Sacrum pogańskie - sacrum chrześcijańskie. Kontynuacja miejsc kultu we wczesnośredniowiecznej Europie środkowej, Warszawa 2010, s. 83-104.
  • Słupecki L.P., Problem istnienia pogańskiego ośrodka kultowego na Łyścu, [w:] ks. Olszewski D., Gryz R. (red.) Klasztor na Świętym Krzyżu w polskiej kulturze narodowej, Kielce 2000, s. 17-29.

General information

  • Type: Place of worship
  • Chronology: VIII - poł. X w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowa Słupia
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district kielecki, commune Nowa Słupia
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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