Message on a piece of paper and a coin found in a historic shrine

TVN24 News in English,
Kazimierz Dolny. Niezwykłe odkrycie podczas odnawiania krzyża. W kuli leżała pożółkła kartka i moneta (materiał z 30.12.2021)
Kazimierz Dolny. Niezwykłe odkrycie podczas odnawiania krzyża. W kuli leżała pożółkła kartka i moneta (materiał z 30.12.2021)Jerzy Kobiałka
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Jerzy KobiałkaKazimierz Dolny. Unusual finding during renovation of a small shrine

A bundle with a faded piece of paper from 1972 and a coin from that period have been found by an employee of a workshop hired to renovate a cross from a historic wayside shrine in Kazimierz Dolny. This peculiar time capsule was hidden there during previous renovation of this heritage site. Now, the city authorities have to decide whether to place the capsule in a museum, or to put it back inside an orb attached to the cross. Furthermore, an idea to create a new capsule has also emerged.

"It all began when the mayor asked the local voluntary fire service to remove a metal cross from a shrine located at 2 Szkolna Street. It was bent and there was a risk it would fall down. It turned out that the wooden fixing was rotten and so the danger was real," said Jerzy Kobiałka from Kazimierz Dolny voluntary fire service.

The firemen removed the cross and took it to the station. "Some time later, the mayor said the cross should be renovated before being reattached. I run a paint and body workshop, so I promised to take care of this task with together with my employees," Kobiałka added.

The cross will is to return to the shrine next yearJerzy Kobiałka

"Today is a sunny, hot day of May 24, 1972"

During cleaning of a metal orb attached to the cross, one of the employees discovered a foiled bundle with a faded piece of paper and a one-zloty coin from communist-Poland era.

"When we read the handwritten message, it turned out it was a time capsule of sorts. The inscription began with the following words: 'Today is a sunny, hot day of May 24, 1972'" - Jerzy Kobiałka said.

According to the message, renovation of the shrine was underway in 1972. At the time, its roof was covered with a new tin. There's also information about a scupture of Pensive Christ was dug out during the works.

"It was a very interesting finding. The sculpture was discovered by art history expert Kazimierz Parfianowicz who - just like his assistant Andrzej Serfiński who 'secure the cross from further rotting' - undersigned the message on the faded paper from 1972," said Marcin Pisula, a teacher from Kazimierz Dolny.

The piece of paper with a message and a coin were placed in the capsule in 1972Jerzy Kobiałka

The chapel dates back to 16th century

In 1972, it turned out that the shrine had been built most likely in 1588, and not in the 19th century as it had been believed until then.

"The shrine was to be built by a workshop of architect Santi Gucci, who worked at Janowiec Castle at the time. The figure of Pensive Christ most likely comes from the same period. The original sculpture was placed in the Vistula Museum, while a copy adorns the shrine," the historian said.

He added that the shrine was located next to a place where centuries ago a town gate had once stood.

"Even until the 1980s, mourners used to gather at the shrine to pray over the deceased person's coffin, before heading to the parish church for service," Pisula recalled.

The paper and the coin were placed inside the orb attached to the crossJerzy Kobiałka

No decision regarding the "time capsule"

Next year, once the cross has been renovated, it will return to the shrine. At this point, the future of the "time capsule" is yet to be determined.

"We're considering various solutions. We will probably hand it over to the Vistula Museum, or maybe put it back in the orb. We are also thinking about writing a new message regarding the current renovation and placing it in the orb. We haven't decided yet," said Deputy Mayor Bartłomiej Godlewski.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English,

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Jerzy Kobiałka

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