Objects of cultural heritage in Poland

  (Redirected from Cultural heritage (Poland))

Objects of cultural heritage in Poland (Polish: zabytki[nb 1][nb 2]) are tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.[4]

Logo to mark a zabytek, based on the Hague Convention of 1954.

The increase in public awareness in Poland of cultural heritage after the damage done during World War II, was largely the work of Jan Zachwatowicz, the Polish signer of the Venice Charter.

In light of Polish law, the "zabytek" is defined as "immovable or movable items, their parts of elements, which are a creation of man or its byproduct, and giving a testament to the past epoch or event, and whose preservation is in the social interest due to their historical, artistic or scientific nature."[5] In more general terms, "zabytek" concerns movable and immovable items, including those recognized as valuable by the state or other institutions, and in more colloquial language, those recognized as such by individuals.[3]

Classification by typeEdit

The cultural heritage is officially classified into three categories: movable heritage objects, nonmovable heritage objects, archaeological heritage objects.[5]

Nonmovable zabytekEdit

Nonmovable zabytek may be categorized as follows:[6][5]

  • buildings or other individual constructions such as public art or memorials that have significant cultural value.
  • Group of buildings that constitutes a coherent unit, regardless of individual value, such as a cultural landscape or cityscape.
  • Park of cultural importance, including natural monuments such as valuable trees, group of trees (park, forest, lane, etc.) or a boulder.

Moveable zabytekEdit

Movable cultural heritage, such as archaeological objects, bibliographic heritage, and large works of art, are catalogued in a separate National list.[7][8][5]

Archeological zabytekEdit

An archaeological zone, or any area with traces of former human intervention with remarkable cultural importance, is catalogued as a separate type.[9][5]

Classification by form of recognitionEdit

Objects are recognized as cultural heritage protected by law in four ways:[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ zabytki is plural; singular version of the word is zabytek
  2. ^ The term zabytek has no direct English equivalent. While it is on occasion translated as a (historical) monument, relic, heritage or masterpiece, it encompass a wider range of concepts associated with cultural heritage.[1][2] Kozłowska notes that the word zabytek "means diverse things in Polish: buildings, perhaps also statues and monuments (immovables); works such as paintings, smaller sculptures, religious paraphernalia, etc. (movables); or the whole body of treasures of all kinds that come down to a nation from a past; or simply something valuable that survived from the past."[3] She further notes that on many occasions, translations such as "architectural gems", "art treasures", "ancient monuments", and related ones can be appropriate, depending on context.[2]


  1. ^ Gregor Thum (8 August 2011). Uprooted: How Breslau Became Wroclaw during the Century of Expulsions. Princeton University Press. p. 452. ISBN 1-4008-3996-3.
  2. ^ a b Christian Douglas Kozłowska (1 January 1998). Difficult Words in Polish-English Translation. Wydawn. Naukowe PWN. pp. 160–164. ISBN 978-83-01-12439-7.
  3. ^ a b Christian Douglas Kozłowska (1 January 1998). Difficult Words in Polish-English Translation. Wydawn. Naukowe PWN. p. 158. ISBN 978-83-01-12439-7.
  4. ^ (in Polish) Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa: About the Institute Archived 2013-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ustawa z dnia 23 lipca 2003 r. o ochronie zabytków i opiece nad zabytkami, Dz. U. z 2003 r. Nr 162, poz. 1568
  6. ^ Definition of immoveable zabytek with lists
  7. ^ Catalogue of monuments of art in Poland
  8. ^ Definition of moveable zabytek
  9. ^ Definition of archeological zabytek

Further readingEdit