POMPA FUNEBRIS differed from the usual procession in terms of its timing and it could last weeks, months or even years. The deceased symbolically said goodbye to the main towns in his possessions. They organised a solemn entrance, erecting triumphal arches as in ancient Rome, uttered many panegyrics and held memorial services in churches. The processions were attended by numerous relatives, representatives of the highest authorities, clergy and town craft workshops. The ceremonies involved mourners and mime actors representing various scenes from the lives of the deceased.
International exhibition project Castrum Doloris. The Nesvizh court funeral ceremony
The exposition in the corridor and in the rooms adjacent to the Chapel tells us about the 18th-century ceremonial funeral culture. Only emperors and princes were honored in the European cultural tradition with such funeral ceremonies.
At that time, the burials of the Radziwill family members were distinguished with their splendor, archetypical content depth and required the participation of architects, composers, eloquent priests and engravers who depicted the events. The internationally known term for that type of funeral ceremonies is POMPA FUNEBRIS (the Latin for funeral procession), meaning a solemn farewell to the deceased summing up the results of his/her work for the benefit of the country, the clan and the family.
The atmosphere of the funeral procession is presented in the corridor. The narthex exposition is the first ever presentation of the signs and artifacts of this complex ceremony. The unique artifacts were discovered in sarcophagi during the study of the Radziwill Princely family's mausoleum in the Corpus Christi Church. In 2016–2017, an international commission of expert worked there. The Nesvizh church crypt is one of the most significant and valuable Princely and Imperial tombs in Europe. It is a cultural monument of world-class status.
This project is funded by the European Union under the International exhibition project The Dukes Radziwills' heritage preservation and adaptation for tourism in Kedainiai and Niasvizh European Neighbourhood Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus Programme
News about project (ENI-LLB-1-109) The Dukes Radziwills' heritage preservation and adaptation for tourism in Kedainiai and Niasvizh: