Kingdom of Poland

Congress of Gniezno
Portrait of Bolesław with the replica of the Holy Lance, Jan Matejko (1838–1893) ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1000 Mar 11

Congress of Gniezno

Gniezno, Poland

One of the most important concerns of Bolesław's early reign was building up the Polish church. Bolesław cultivated Adalbert of Prague of the Slavník family, a well-connected Czech bishop in exile and missionary who was killed in 997 while on a mission in Prussia. Bolesław skillfully took advantage of his death: his martyrdom led to his elevation as patron saint of Poland and resulted in the creation of an independent Polish province of the Church with Radim Gaudentius as Archbishop of Gniezno. In the year 1000, the young Emperor Otto III came as a pilgrim to visit St. Adalbert's grave and lent his support to Bolesław during the Congress of Gniezno; the Gniezno Archdiocese and several subordinate dioceses were established on this occasion. The Polish ecclesiastical province effectively served as an essential anchor and an institution to fall back on for the Piast state, helping it to survive in the troubled centuries ahead.

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Last Updated: : Mon Jun 06 2022