Artus Court

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 11 kwietnia 2017 r.

Artus Court, the most splendid parlour of old Gdansk and boasting one of the most beautiful interiors in Europe indicates its association with the Arthurian legend in its name. Its patron, King Arthur is a mythical figure, not only a prominent character in Anglo-Saxon culture, but of the entire tradition of medieval European chivalry.

Among the personages portrayed as sculptures on the façade there are two Romans: Scipio the African, the commander - conqueror of Carthaginians and Camillus – the saviour of Rome during the Gallic wars. The other two sculptures are Themistocles the Greek, the commander of the Athenian army in the Persian war and Judas Maccabaeus, the Jewish king who liberated Judea from the Seleucid rule. The two medallions on each side of the court’s portal portray the Swedish (and Polish) king Sigismund Vasa III and his son Vladyslav, the subsequent king of Poland and titular king of Sweden. However, for a long time it was generally believed that the medallions portrayed the emperor Charles V Habsburg  and his son Juan d'Austria.
One of the mercantile associations situated in Artus Court at the peak of its prosperity was called The Dutch Bench.
The interior design of the court is full of cultural references to ancient and medieval legends and myths.

Next to the main entrance there are medallions portraying the protestant reformer Martin Luther and his wife Katharina von Bora.
One of the model ships hanging at the canopy of the court represents a felucca, a sailing boat typical of the Mediterranean Sea, here shown as a Turkish galley.
Among the characters depicted on the tiles of the great tiled stove (the king of stoves – located in the north-eastern corner of the court’s hall) are probably members of the mid-16th century political elite, Charles V Habsburg  being one of them.

In the middle of the hall there once stood a statue of the king August III, Prince-elector of Saxony, which was funded by the townspeople grateful to him for the (somewhat forceful, though) introduction of long needed political and financial reforms in Gdansk. The statue was lost in the 1940s.