The exhibition is located in a restored 13th-century abbey refectory – the oldest preserved interior in Gdańsk. The exposition presents the results of many years of excavation works performed under the Dominican Square and the Market Hall, which led to the discovery of relicts of the early architecture of the Dominican abbey: the refectory, kitchen, foundations of the first church, and above all, an early-medieval settlement and cemetery, used from the 10th to 19th century.
The Romanesque Cellar
(branch of The Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk)
The appearance of these inexistent buildings, of which only the underground portions have survived until today, is shown in the form of computer animations created based on research: archaeological, architectural and sources. These animations are part of a film which describes the subsequent phases of the building of the abbey on the so-called Dominican Clump in context of the turbulent history of 13th-century Gdańsk. The exhibition presents the results of archaeological surveys and the discovered items, such as: kitchenware, crockery, items of everyday use and an assemblage of devotional items, this including medallions, crosses and rosaries.
The walkthrough of the exhibition presenting the relics of the refectory is accompanied by an audio-visual spectacle. Respective architectural details, in synch with the walking visitors, are individually lit with especially designed colourful lighting and accompanied with a comment from the lecturer. The Romanesque Cellar along with the exposition in the Market Hall presenting the foundations of the Romanesque St. Nicholas church, create a unique complex Poland-wide, presenting the oldest artefacts of stone architecture.
Additionally, at the turn of the 16th and 17th century bones of Gdańsk’s citizens had been buried here, at the close-by cemetery. The so-called ossuary is partially uncovered and made available for visitors in one of the side rooms.