Lubiaz – Cistercian Abbey and Monastery

Cistercian Abbey and monastery in Lubiaz is one of the largest Christian complexes of that kind in the world. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture in Silesia, Poland,  it was established in 1175. Its underground crypts house 98 mummified remains of Polish dukes, which unfortunately you would not be able to see.

 

 

The first friars arrived here in 1163. By 1207 the monastery owned 27 surrounding villages. The founder of the Abbey, Prince Boleslaw II the Tall was buried there. The wealth of the Abbey came from agriculture, orchards, bee-keeping, fishing, and wine-making. It even owned a gold mine. But its chief profits came from tolls paid on the nearby Odra River and fees collected at its bridges. The monastery’s scriptorium ( not as famous as the one from The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco ) produced many treasures of medieval literature, as well as many forgeries 😉

In the XVII century the Baroque painters and sculptors arrived in the monastery. The Abbey was rich and could afford such luxuries. Their magnificent work was on display throughout all the halls of the monastery and in the Abbey church.

Later history brought decline to the Abbey. The Cistercian order was expelled from Lubiaz in 1810 by a Prussian king.  During WWII the former buildings of the monastery were used as secret research facilities for the production of the V1 and V2 rockets using prisoners for labor. At the end of the war the soldiers of the Red Army were housed there and they practically finished the destruction of this once magnificent place.

Since 1989 the Abbey and all its buildings are undergoing renovations, but the project requires enormous sums of money. Today if you visit the place you can only see three halls that have been brought back to its former glory.

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