Photo: Benedictus Polonus Award, Royal Castle of Warsaw. From right to left – prof. dr hab. Mariusz Ziółkowski,(the Explorers Club FI’02), the Vicechair of the Award Committee, Professor Jacek Oleksyn, Mrs Anna Kufel Dzierzgowska, Andrew Pietowski (the Explorers Club FN’08), Professor Robert Frost, Dr Elżbieta Lisowska Vicepresident of the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club. (photo Andrzej Lisowski)
Prof. Robert I. Frost, a prominent British historian, an author of a number of books on Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and professor Jacek Oleksyn, a dendrologist and climatologist won the Benedict the Pole Award 2019.
Benedict the Pole Awards are presented annually to two recipients, for outstanding explorations and research on land, sea, and in space. The award is named after a Franciscan friar Benedict the Pole, who accompanied an Italian friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpine from 1245 to 1247, on his diplomatic mission as a papal legate to the court of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Papal emissaries travelled to the empire’s capital in Karakorum and had produced the first known to Europeans detailed accounts of Asia, 50 years before the travels of Marco Polo were famously written down.
The Award Committee constituted of the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club, City Council of Łęczyca, Łęczyca Starostwo (District Authority) Office and Warsaw Scientific Society.
The laureates of the Fifth Edition include professor Robert I. Frost, a prominent British historian, an author of a number of books on Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and professor Jacek Oleksyn, a dendrologist and climatologist. The Committee also gave two special mention awards to two explorers and travelers: to Anna Kufel-Dzierzgowska, a doyenne of Polish travelers (who first travelled abroad in 1964, and who in total has made 93 expeditions to more than 30 countries) and to Mateusz Waligóra, an explorer who has made the first ever solo crossing of the Gobi desert.
The Fifth Ceremony of Benedict the Pole Awards took place in the Concert Hall of the Royal Castle in Warsaw on 15th of May 2019. The Ceremony was organized under the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda and the Awards were funded by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The next, 6th Ceremony of Benedict the Pole Awards will take place on June 3rd, 2020 in Cracow in the Colegium Maius Hall of the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in Central Europe (founded in 1364 AD).