Some concerns about the Ołbin’s Portal from St. Mary Magdalene Church in Wrocław

Franciszek Hackemer



The article outlines the key research problems concerning the so-called Ołbiński Portal from the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Wrocław, originally from the Abbey in Ołbin. The portal is undoubtedly one of the most important works of Romanesque architectural sculpture in this part of Europe. Its original form, however, remains unknown – the present one is the result of the 16th century process of embedding the portal in a new place, after the suppression and demolition of the abbey. For inventory purposes, the author created a photogrammetric 3D model of the portal, which is also the basis for later considerations. The work contains the author’s analysis of the iconography and the present state of the portal, together with conclusions concerning the dating of its individual elements. On this basis, an illustration of the overall stratification of the consecutive construction phases of the portal was created. An attempt is also made to better understand the iconographic program of the work and to draw attention to unnoticed problems of interpretation, resulting mainly from the damage of the portal suffered as a result of being adapted in order to be built into the wall of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in 1546. The work draws attention to a number of research problems which have not been solved so far.

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