Gdańsk – Court of the Brotherhood of St George

History

Court of the Brotherhood of Saint George was built in the years 1487 – 1494 as the seat of the Kur’s Fraternity brotherhood in the Main Town in Gdańsk, which initially gathered in the Artus Court. Members of the fraternity dealt mainly with the organization of tournaments, feasts, banquets and performances in the style of knightly duels, as well as charity activities. In 1566, the roof of the building was crowned with a helmet and a figure of Saint George. In 1647, the brotherhood left the building, and its interiors were adapted to the needs of the merchant’s chamber. After the dissolution of the brotherhood in 1798, the building became the property of the city. On the ground floor was placed guardhause and a school of fine arts on the first floor. At the end of the nineteenth century, the original appearance of the building was restored, losing the changes introduced at the end of the sixteenth century. In 1945, the roof was destroyed, part of the eastern wall collapsed, and the interior was burned out. In the years 1950-1953, the building was rebuilt and adapted for the needs of the Association of Polish Architects.

Architecture

The court is one of the most exquisite examples of late gothic secular architecture referring to the Flemish architecture. It was erected on a square plan, has a compact two-story block and a basement. The walls are made of brick in a flemish bond, the roof is covered with tiles. All façades are topped with battlement and corner turrets with arrowslits. From the west and north the windows are semi-circular vaulted with profiled tracery, while on the first floor there are large rectangular windows, topped with a stone cornice. The eastern façade is accentuated with a suspended, cylindrical staircase. On the first floor there was a shooting range for archers and a room for storing archery equipment. On the second, big meeting room of the brotherhood: a place of ceremonies, theatrical performances and sumptuous feasts.

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