Poland: Piotr Zuchowski
Article by Piotr Zuchowski, Secretary of State, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Poland:
One of the most valuable masterpieces of the Polish culture available through Europeana is the St. Florian Psalter dated at the turn of the 14th and 15th century.
A manuscript of priceless value for the history of Polish culture and the Polish language, is the first surviving translation of the psalms into Polish and the oldest relic of the Polish language that has survived in full. The Psalter was probably prepared for Queen Jadwiga d’Anjou.
Each verse is repeated three times: the Latin text is followed by its Polish and then German equivalent that makes it and excellent example of intercultural dialog . The verses opening each language version are marked by colour initials (the Polish verses by blue ones).
The first, earlier and richer part of the codex includes presentations of fantastic animals and figures referring to astrological and religious symbols.
From 1637 the codex was kept in the library of the abbey of canons regular in Sankt-Florian in Austria. In 1931 The Psalter was purchased by the Polish government and handed over to the National Library. Evacuated to Canada in September 1939, it returned to the National Library twenty years later. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Polish governement, librarians and European community it is available for everybody!