Grunwald - greatest victory of all

When a Pole hears the name “Gunwald”, he or she will inevitably think of the sound of locking swords and the drumming of hooves. A visit to the sight of one of the biggest battles of Medieval Europe, fought between the forces of King Władysław Jagiełło and the Teutonic Knights, is an opportunity to take a look at a moment in time when history of this part of Europe changed its course.

 

Grunwald - greatest victory of allRe-enactment of the Battle of Grunwald (making every year)

fot. POT Fotopolska

Without doubt the best time to come to Grunwald is mid-July during the re-enactment of the battle. “Days of Grunwald” are filled with knights’ and archers’ tournaments, concerts, screenings, exhibitions and other countless attractions. However, the victorious battle remains the culminating point of the event. One must admit that the two thousand knights, who come for this event from all over Europe, believe in no half-measures. The scale of the event is impressive: the knights gallop, charge, strike, and naturally fall to their knightly death in great numbers. No wonder that 100 thousand spectators come to see it all every year. And no one minds knowing who wins! 

After the heat of the battle, you can calm your nerves at the Battle of Grunwald Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of medieval arms and equipment, interwoven with multimedia presentations about the battle itself and the famous Battle of Grunwald painting by the celebrated Jan Matejko. In front of the museum in the summer season, you can feast your eyes on the life size (426 x 987 cm!) embroidered version of the painting. You can also study the exact phases of the battle thanks to a diorama, while a more artistic interpretation of the event is presented in the adjoining cinema, where films about the battle are screened, including the immortal “Krzyżacy” (“The Teutonic Knights”) by Aleksander Ford. Additionally, you can also visit the Jagiełło hill, from where the king presumably commanded the battle, and the ruins of a chapel built to commemorate the event in 1411.

A visit to the Grunwald Fields is a history lesson one could only dream of. After all, how many times do we have the opportunity to learn about the turning points in history, while tasting the battle dust and listening to the clatter of armours?

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