The Lublin fairs held in the fifteenth and sixteenth century were some of the major international commercial events in Poland and Europe. The fairs attracted merchants from all corners of our country as well as from some of the remotest parts of Europe and the world. Lublin was an important centre of trade in Hungarian wine, grain and oxen brought from the territory of Ukraine and Volhynia.
The growth of commerce was accompanied by a growing number of artisan workshops and merchant stores, including outdoor vendors’ stands, butchers’ stalls [macellum], flourmills and blacksmith shops. All that contributed to a rapid economic growth of Lublin and the entire region.
In the period of their greatest development and international reach, the Lublin fairs provided a meeting place for merchants from many far-flung places, although Lublin's primary buisness partners were Lviv, Brest-Litovsk, Lutsk and Volodymyr Volynsky, situated within the territory of Lithuania then and Ukraine and Belarus today.
Lublin was located at the intersection of trade routes going from Hungary to Lithuania, from Western Europe to Ruthenia, and from the Hanseatic ports to Turkey. Today, just like several centuries ago, Lublin becomes an important meeting place of the East and the West. Being the largest city along the eastern border of the EU, Lublin is “the European Union’s Gateway to the East”.
Restoring cooperation with our partners in Ukraine and Belarus is a significant task. It is also an excellent opportunity to promote Eastern European culture in the European Union on the one hand and to promote Poland and the European Union in Ukraine and Belarus on the other. The Jagiellonian Fair in Lublin seeks to combine the tradition of those historical fairs with contemporary cultural and commercial exchange. This event will feature presentations of handcrafted articles, the achievements of commercial companies engaged in cross-border business and NGOs working for cross-border development.
Cultural and artistic events will be accompanied by the promotion of the region’s tourist attractions. More than three hundred exhibitors from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries will participate. The programme also includes artistic and educational events aimed at popularising history, including a knight's tournament featuring teams from Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania as well as a presentation of various historical rituals.
The Fair is also a meeting place of various cultures. We are going to invite Ukrainian and Belarusian artists cultivating the tradition of historical fairs, artists engaged in folk and traditional art (music, theatre, visual arts, etc.) as well as street artists. The Jagiellonian Fair in Lublin is to become a manifestation of diversity originating from our common past, a presentation of artists representing various fields of art and all kinds of artistic and creative expression. The Jagiellonian Fair is intended to become the most important cultural and tourist attraction of Lublin and the Lublin Region, attracting several dozens, or even hundreds of thousands of visitors. Our ambition is for Lublin to be a centre of regional and cross-border cultural, tourist and economic exchange.
We also believe that the Fair will strengthen the ties between the towns of the Lublin Region as well as between Lublin, Lviv, Lutsk and Brest. It will help us rediscover the common heritage of the East and West which can become the foundation for building a united Europe.