Martin of Troppau
Archbishop of Gniezno (Gnesen)
1230/1240 - 12 May 1278

A brief biography.

Martin of Troppau was born between 1230-1240 in Troppau/Opava, Czech Republic. His family name was Strebski, and, being by birth a native of Troppau (Oppavia), he is also known as Martinus Oppaviensis.

He entered the Dominican Order at Prague, and, as the Bohemian priories of the Dominicans belonged to the Polish province of the order, he was usually known as Martinus Polanus. He went to Rome, was appointed papal chaplain and penitentiary by Clement IV (1265-8), and retained this position under the succeeding popes. He was ordained Bishop in Viterbo on 21 Mai 1278.
Nicholas III (1219/1220 Pope 25.11.1277-22.08.1280) appointed him Archbishop of Gniezno (Gnesen) on 22 June 1278.

Shortly afterwards Martin set out on his journey to Poland, but fell so seriously ill on the way, that he was compelled to stop at Bologna. He died at this city in the same year,12 June 1278, and found interment there.

He knew  as chronicler the collection  of the Dominican Jean de Mailly, preserved as the 'Metzer Chronik'. He recorded this manuscript with his own additions in his 'Chronicon summorum Pontificum - Imperatorumque', translated in five languages. The first edition appeared during the pontificate of Clement IV (1265-1268); the second recension extends to the death of this Pope, and the third to 1277.
'Chronicle' contains little true history, but chiefly a mass of fables and popular legends. He admits, for example, into his third edition the fable of Pope Joan, and the appointment of the seven electors by Otto III. 

Catholic Encyclopedia


The first church in Gniezno (973) was rebuilt  by Bishop Jaroslaw Skotnicki in 1342. Destroyed by fire in 1760, the cathedral was rebuilt by Ephraim Schroeger.
On the main altar, the shrine of Archbishop Saint Wojciech (Saint Adalbert, O.S.B., 956-23.04.997), by the goldsmith Piet van der Rennen from Gdansk in 1662.

Poland 1960, Mi 1188, Sc 947.



Lion knocker from bronze gate of the cathedral in Gniezno, 12th century.

Poland 1973, Mi 2261, Sc 1985.





Millennium of the foundation of the Christianity in Poland by the baptism of King Mieszko I in 966. He built the first church in Gniezno in 973. Also the cathedral in Wroclaw, Saint Wojciech (St. Adalbert) and the cathedral in Gniezno, where Martin of Troppau was appointed  Archbishop (1278). In this cathedral the tomb of Saint Adalbert.

Vatican City 1966, Mi 503, Sc 434.


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