The Artushof is closed now — it’s been under renovation for a couple of years, and there doesn’t seem to be a need to rush the project. What function it will serve in the future is debatable; some say that it will become an art gallery, while others say that it will be restored to its historical splendor. One thing is certain: the ori9inal interior, with sculpture, paintings, ship models, furniture and great stove were badly mutilated during the 1945 siege by Russian artillery and bombers. Where can the remnants be found? We think that we may have the answer, but first take a look at the building’s history.
The patricians and guild members exerted quite an influence over the city’s affairs in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the years 1476 to 1481, the Artusbrüderschaften constructed the Artushofe (or the Junkershofe, as it was once known), in the Late Gothic style. The distinguished members and their guests could live out their fantasies as King Arthur and his court. In the name of the legendary Celtic kin9, the Brotherhood enjoyed the rich times. The Court was the country club of its day; the wealthy gathered for social events, as well as to do what we are now calling “networking”. After all, the guilds were a very powerful part of the Danzigers’ lives and they defended their existence with a vengeance. The Court of the Brotherhood of St. George also built its clubhouse during that era.
As you can see from the drawin9s and photographs, the adjacent mansions changed in design through the years, unless the artists took liberties. It is probable that the etching on our cover isn’t accurate in its portrayal of the house to its right, if you compare it to other versions.
Top: Allegorical painting by Isaac van den Block of the Union of Danzig with Poland. In foreground is a symbolic scene with a Polish nobleman and a Danzig merchant in greeting.
Bottom: Late Gothic and Renaissance buildings on the Lan gmarkt. Could the building with the large bow window be the Gothic Artushof?
Danzig Report Vol. 1 - Nr. 73 - October - November - December - 1991, Page 3.
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