• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


  • NEWS

  • 11 August 2017

    The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London and the Polish Cultural Institute in London are supporting a series of spectacular reconstruction shows, the Winged Hussars Show. The main organiser of the event is the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.


    Jarosław Sellin, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, is the honorary patron of the project.


    The shows will take place on August 26-28, 2017 at noon and 3pm (45-minute show) at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.


    The hussars were considered to be the elite of the 17th-century Polish cavalry. They were the envy of foreign monarchs. The world’s most successful cavalry did not lose a battle for more than a hundred years, winning battles against the Moscow, Swedish, Tatar and Turkish armies and bringing glory to the Polish–Lithuanian Union. The hussars’ most well-known battle was the Battle of Vienna. On September 12, 1683, under the command of John III Sobieski, the united armies defeated the Ottoman Empire, lead by grand vizier Kara Mustafa. The battle went down in the pages of history as one of the most important battles of early modern Europe.


    Hussars’ success was down to great leadership, tactics, high morale and the physical side of the cavalry. What was most fascinating and scariest for the enemy, however, was their majestic armour, covered in leopard and bear skin, with distinctive eagle wings fixed to wooden frames on the back of the hussars’ saddles. They were thought to provide an element of psychological warfare, giving the hussars the look of being superhuman, and, in their own words, like ‘winged angels of death’ to their often superstitious enemies. The look of hussars is still fascinating today, evidenced by the developing historic reconstruction movement.


    The riders, whom we will be able to watch at the show in Leeds, belong to the Banner Hussars group, which is the biggest and most experienced hussar-reconstructing group in Poland. With its base in the Gniew Castle and the biggest stronghold in the Pomerania, the group is under the leadership of Pomeranian voivodeship marshal Mieczysław Struk, the Gniew castellan. The riders from the Banner Hussars group will show their hussar skills, their authentic costumers and distinctive armour.


    The main organiser of this event is the Royal Armouries Museum, which is the National Museum of Weaponry in Great Britain. It is the oldest museum in Great Britain and one of the oldest in the world. It has one of the largest collections of weapons worldwide.


    For 20 years now, the tournament arena of Royal Armouries in Leeds is the grounds of the prestigious knight tournament in horse racing in armour with lance – the Easter Tournament.


    The competitors fight for the title of Champion of Jubilee Horn of Queen Elizabeth II and for the title of winners of the team competition – Sword of Honour. It is the only jousting tournament in the world under the patronage of HM the Queen. 2015 was the first year that a Polish team took part in this competition. Jan Gardoń and Jarosław Struczyński won the team prize Sword of Honour. At the same time Jarosław Sturczyński won the title of Champion. In 2016 those same polish knights won the tournament again, but this time the title of Champion belonged to Mr Gardoń.


    The Winged Hussars Show will be accompanied by a photographic exposition „Husaria – the pride of the Polish armed forces” at the Tournament Gallery of Royal Armouries Museum, displaying photos of Andrzej Wiktor and Marcin Lipiński that document the actions of the hussar banner of the Pomeranian voivodeship marshal and promote the polish hussars. The museum itself has also prepared many attractions for the spectators and visitors.


    On Monday, August 28, Arkady Rzegocki, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in London, will be the honorary guest of the shows. We would also like to inform that on Sunday, August 27, at the church of Black Madonna of Częstochowa and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Leeds, a holy mass will be held at 9:30am. It will be enriched by the presence of the hussar banner from the Gniew Castle. The mass is organised by the Polish parish in Leeds and the Patriae Fidelis association. Leszek Rowicki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Manchester, will also be present.


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