About the project

General information

In December 2017, the Diocese in Pelplin concluded an agreement with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for co-financing of the project entitled: “Kociewian Cultural Centre – modernisation and adaptation of historic buildings belonging to the Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin”. The objective of the project is to protect and develop the cultural heritage of the Medieval Post-Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin.

The project falls under Measure 8.1 of Priority axis VIII – Protection of cultural heritage and development of cultural resources of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020.

Value of the project: PLN 14,685,672.75

Co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund: PLN 12,482,821.83.

More information on the Institution providing co-financing and the Programme can be found on the websites of :

Ministry of Culture and National Heritag

Intermediate Body of the Infrastructure and Environment Programme


Genesis of the project

The Medieval Post-Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin is a unique complex of monuments that should be an attractive point on the tourist map of Pomerania. Its central building, the Cathedral Basilica, is one of the most outstanding achievements of brick Gothic. It hides priceless works of Baroque sacral art, such as the paintings of eminent masters: Herman Han, Bartłomiej Strobel, Andrzej Stech, or masterpieces of woodcarving – the main altar, the largest altar in Poland, amazing pulpit and monumental front of the side organs. In addition, a unique complex of technical monuments from the 17th century is located in its attic. The Museum near the Basilica, in turn, includes
a rich collection of other treasures of art, mainly Gothic, and the only Polish copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

Pelplin is also located on several touristic trails, such as the European Gothic brick trail, the trail of Pomeranian Cistercians, the pilgrimage trail to Compostela. It is located in a very picturesque valley, among areas ideal for cycling.

Despite this potential, the number of tourists visiting Pelplin has been constantly decreasing – in 2015 it was only 13,000 people. This clearly indicates that the tourist offer is inadequate and needs to be modernised and improved.

In order to remedy this state of affairs, the Diocese prepared a coherent development strategy, consisting of a number of projects co-financed by the Ministry from the European funds, currently being implemented in the historic complex. One of the elements of this strategy is the creation of the Kociewian Cultural Centre, which would coordinate extensive activities aimed at the protection and development of cultural heritage of the Pelplin Abbey.

Project objectives

The objective of the project is to protect and develop the cultural heritage of the Medieval Post-Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin. The achievement of this objective will be supported by three partial objectives:

  1. Creation of a cultural and educational offer using resources of the Medieval Post-Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin
  2. Creation of a new institution - Kociewian Cultural Centre
  3. Improvement of the existing tourist offer of the Medieval Post-Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin

Protection of cultural heritage – renovation of historical objects

As part of the project, three buildings in the area of the former Post-Cistercian Abbey, including two historic buildings, will be thoroughly renovated: Gatehouse from the 15th century (today the seat of DTIC), the House of the Sisters from the first half of the 19th century and the former library dating back to the late 1980s. The buildings will be modernised and adapted for cultural and educational purposes, becoming the organisational and administrative part of the KCC.

The works that will cover the Gatehouse (building of the DTIC) include repairs of the roof and sheet-metal coverings, walls and ceilings, façade, electrical and sanitary installations (including adjusting toilets for the disabled).

The former House of the Sisters will be transformed into the House of the Artist – in addition to the roof and façade, the interiors will be thoroughly renovated so that they could fulfil their new function. Rooms will be separated, a new staircase will be constructed, floors and inner doors will be replaced.

The currently closed library building will house the Kociewian Centre for Education and Culture. Above all, the building requires structural reinforcement. The interiors will be completely rebuilt, a new staircase will be added, floors, inner doors and windows will be replaced, electrical and sanitary installations will be renovated.

All three buildings will be equipped with anti-breaking, anti-damage and fire fighting systems. The whole complex will be complemented by land development – 1,000 m2 of lawns, benches, rubbish bins and pots will be added.

Development of cultural resources – creation of the Kociewian Cultural Centre (KCC)

The key element of the project is the creation of the Kociewian Cultural Centre (KCK). As the operator of the organisational part of the complex, it is to become a real cultural animator in Pelplin, coordinating various elements of the tourist, cultural and educational offer and being responsible for complying with the coherent strategy of development. The main objective of its activities is to create a comprehensive tourist product for the Cistercian Abbey in Pelplin, based on the resources of the Basilica, the Museum and Archives and Gardens with their Gallery.

The Centre will offer a rich cultural and educational programme for both tourists and residents. The new offer will include: tours around the Abbey with a guide, historical workshops, educational and artistic workshops, ethnographic classes, music workshops, Book Club, quizzes on the history of the Cistercian Abbey, Pelplin and Kociewie, four permanent exhibitions.

An extremely important role of the Centre and its objects – the House of the Artist and the Kociewian Centre for Education and Culture – will be to make them accessible to local NGOs for their own cultural and educational activities.

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