The Museum of Regional Traditions is located in the old residence of King Frederick William I of Prussia built in the 1720. The museum shows archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions and has a collection of old and contemporary art.
The Museum of Regional Traditions is located in the baroque Palace of the States Parliament, built in 1726–1727 at the request of the Prussian king Frederick William I. The building was designed by Gerhard Cornelius de Walrave (1692–1773), the author of the famous fortress in Kłodzko and the Szczecin fortifications. The palace served as a meeting place for the self-government of the Pomeranian Province, as well as the king's residence during his visits to Szczecin.
Above the entrance there is the coat of arms of Pomerania, and at the top of the facade - the coat of arms of the King of Prussia against the background of panoplies (crossed elements of armament) and allegorical representations of the royal virtues: Justice (with a scale and a sword) and Prudence (a figure with a mirror and a snake). This arrangement of coats of arms was not accidental, it was supposed to reflect the subordination of Pomerania to the Kingdom of Prussia. The beauty of the building is enhanced by a rusticated façade, decorative window bands and an intricate balustrade of the balcony and external stairs. The attic space is limited by the slopes of the mansard roof. In the years 1885-1888 the building was expanded (an additional wing was built then, and the existing one on the side of Staromłyńska Street - extended).
In the interwar period, the palace was rebuilt into the seat of the Pomeranian National Museum, and after the Second World War, the building was taken over by the Museum of Western Pomerania, now the National Museum in Szczecin. Its interiors mainly show monuments of Pomeranian art, incl. a portrait of Prince Philip I painted by Lucas Cranach the Younger and wonderful jewels of Pomeranian dukes from the 16th / 17th century.
1) Pomeranian Cabinet. In the mirror of coins, banknotes and seals
The exhibition is divided into three parts. In the first room there are Pomeranian seals functioning in the city space from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. These are objects that belonged primarily to the city authorities and offices as well as craft guilds. The content displayed in the fields of the seal relates to the economic, social, political and religious life of the city.
In the second exhibition space, you can learn about the history of the issue of substitute money. The outbreak of the war and the difficulties resulting from the lack of coins led to the issuance of substitute money in the form of vouchers - the so-called notifications by unauthorized local government authorities and persons running a business. In the years 1917-1920, coins also appeared in circulation.
The third room shows the role of the coin as a means of transmitting information. The exhibition reflects the history of the coin in Pomerania from the 12th to the 19th centuries. The beginning of this road is marked by the two-sided denarii of Pomeranian dukes minted in the 12th century; medieval coinage was dominated by municipal and Kamień bishops' issues; the modern period abounds in princely circulation and occasional issues, perpetuating signs that have been known for centuries. After the extinction of the Griffin dynasty in 1637, the divided principality found itself in two different currency areas. Its eastern part was closely related to the State of Brandenburg, while in the western part, the Pomeranian coinage was continued by the Swedish rulers. The last Pomeranian issues were established in 1808 in Stralsund.
In the same room there are two treasures containing Pomeranian coins: the late medieval one from Pyrzyce and the modern one from Choszczno.
2) The golden age of Pomerania. Art at the court of Pomeranian dukes in the 16th and 17th centuries
The collection of the Szczecin museum is the largest existing collection related to the patronage activity of princes from the Gryfit dynasty. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures and artistic craftsmanship. One of the most valuable objects on display is the 1541 Portrait of Philip I by Lucas Cranach the Younger. A unique monument of court culture is also the family tree of the princes of Western Pomerania, a 7-meter-long painting by Cornelius Crommeny from 1598, which depicts as many as one hundred and fifty-five people from the Griffin family. An extremely important part of the exhibition are the costumes and jewels recovered from the crypt of the Szczecin castle after the Second World War, with the famous diamond-encrusted egret (ornament of the hubcap) of Prince Francis I. The exhibition also features a portrait of Prince Francis I in the marches, borrowed from the cathedral in Merseburg, showing the prince in the same costume and with the same jewels that can be seen at the exhibition.
3) Old Silver
The exhibition presents goldsmiths from the collections of the National Museum in Szczecin. The layout of the exhibition allows you to trace the fashions and trends in European goldsmithing from the Middle Ages to the Art Nouveau. Beautiful items made of precious metals also testify to the extraordinary skills of the old masters. The oldest monument is the legendary golden ring from Pęzino (Western Pomerania) from around 1200 - with the figure of a knight and an inscription that has not been deciphered so far. The oldest works presented at the exhibition also include liturgical vessels and utensils from the area of Western Pomerania. Table silver is the largest group of items on display. Among them, the rococo terrine (i.e. a vase for serving soups) by Johann Jacob Sandrart II, dating from the 1860s, stands out.
In the "Old Silver" exhibition space, you can see "Gemma" with a profile image of King Stanisław August, which was donated to the Museum by Mrs. Marion George from Berlin.
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