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Altar above the altars

It is twice as big as the legendary Amber Room and more than three times as high. We are talking about the amber altar, which is located in St. Bridget's Church in Gdansk. It impresses and delights everyone who looks at it, regardless of their faith or worldview.

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Amber Altar
Amber Altar
Fot. Dominik Paszliński / gdansk.pl

To start with, it is worth mentioning the authors of the amber masterpiece. The two most important people are the designer Stanisław Radwański and the main contractor, amber artist Mariusz Drapikowski.

The construction of the altar in St. Bridget's Church was initiated by the legendary Solidarity chaplain – prelate Henryk Jankowski. The construction of the amber giant took 17 years. This is not surprising as it is not easy to obtain enough of the expensive ore. Despite this, the altar has reached impressive dimensions. It is nearly 13 meters high and has a total of 120 m2 of amber cladding surfaces – these dimensions are much larger than those of the famous, lost Amber Room (4.2 meters high and 78 m2).

The altar is full of symbols. Its focal point is the Virgin Mary – the Protector of the Workers, modelled on painting by Father Franciszek Znaniecki, who created his work under the influence of the tragic events of December 1970. Two figures can be seen on the sides of the altar – they are the patron saints of Europe: St. Brigid and St. Elizabeth. Above them, the crowned eagle, a symbol of Poland, flies up in the air.

Only a keen eye will see that the Virgin Mary's dress is made of rare white amber, while the crowns of the Virgin Mary and the Child contain 28 rubies. They commemorate 28 workers killed in December 1970.

The altar was officially unveiled in mid-December 2017. Thus, Gdansk has enriched itself with a unique object, which is a wonderful vote of the faithful, and at the same time a great attraction for both the inhabitants and tourists.