The Swiatowid Statue is one of Krakow’s biggest mysteries. No one knows who made the four-sided statue or why it was originally built, but we do know that it was first found in the Zbruch river in Ukraine and later brought to Krakow in 1851. There are many replicas of the Swiatowid Statue around the world, but the original Statue is located in the Archaeological Museum in Krakow.

History

 The Swiatowid Statue is a four-sided religious statue that was found in the Zbruch river in Ukraine in 1848. Historians believe the statue was thrown into the river after the Christianization of Ukraine because it represented a pagan god . Because of this, the people of Ukraine called it the Zbruch idol. In 1851 the statue was brought to the Archaeological Museum in Krakow because it is the only existing sculpture that is believed to depict a Slavic god.

Architecture

The Swiatowid statue is a narrow, four-sided statue that is 2.7 meters high, and has three tiers with bas-reliefs etched into them. Three faces of the bottom tier show a kneeling, bearded figure supporting the upper tiers with his hands on the fourth face there’s a small solar symbol. The smaller middle tier shows a person on each of the four sides with their arms extended.  Next to one of these people is a smaller human figure. The large top section has a large human body on each of the four sides, united under a Slavic nobleman’s hat. Three of the figures on this tier possess objects: a ring, a drinking horn, and a sword and a horse. Many people believe this statue represents the three levels of the world, the lowest being the underworld, the middle being the mortal world, and the upper being the world of the heavenly gods. Others believe that the statue represents four separate Slavic gods, not one.

The informational plaque found on the plinth of the statue
The Slavic God
Figures carved into the sides of the statue

Resources

The World’s Only Slavic Deity . (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2019, from http://www.krakow-info.com/idol.htm

The Zbruch Idol: The 9th-century monument is one of the few monuments of the pre-Christian Slavic beliefs. (2017, June 12). Retrieved May 14, 2019, from https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/03/27/the-zbruch-idol-the-9th-century-monument-is-one-of-the-few-monuments-of-the-pre-christian-slavic-beliefs/

The Zbruch Idol. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2019, fro https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/the-zbruch-idol_148606v#&gid=1&pid=3

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