Cistercian Abbey of Mogila
monastery, eight kilometers east of the Krakow royal
has remained the heart of the Cistercian order in Poland for
nearly eight centuries. At the same time it has been a vital
religious center, crucial to the spiritual life of the whole
nation and the Krakow region in particular.
the Mogila Abbey in Krakow.
Few ancient monuments in
Poland can rival the eight-century-old Mogila Abbey for the
historical value. Yet the Cistercian monastery in Krakow, the
country’s most important, is spared from the attention of
tourists and the place stays pleasantly quiet apart from the
The Mogila Abbey is situated
in Krakow’s eastern Nowa Huta district and visitors may tour
it along with other attractions in the area, such as ancient
Kopiec Wandy mound, one of the city’s fabled barrows, and
the communist architecture of Nowa Huta.
The abbey is easily
accessible by public transport. There is a bus stop next to it
at Klasztorna street and a tramline runs near by at Jana Pawla
II avenue. Motorists may leave their vehicles on a little
parking lot alongside Klasztorna street.
The Cistercian Abbey of
Mogila, points of interest.
Apart from the core church
and monastery the abbey’s compound consists of assorted
buildings that date from various periods. The architecture
doesn’t represent clear-cut styles as subsequent alterations
have left their mark over past centuries. Most prominent
structures are the basilica, monastery around a Gothic
cloister, and the Renaissance abbot’s mansion of 1569.
Church of the Virgin Mary
Assumed to Heaven and St. Vaclav /Kosciol Najswietszej Marii
Panny Wniebowzietej i Sw. Waclawa/. The church dates back to
the 13th century. One of the first brick buildings in the
Malopolska province, it was an interesting mixture of
Romanesque and Gothic features. The baroque frontal part and
facade have been added in 1780, together with the vault of the
nave. The present church interior reveals austerity typical
for early Cistercian architecture. It is manifest in the
chancel closed with a plain wall and a pair of ‘twin’
chapels on the right. The Gothic features of the interior
include the main altarpiece of 1514 in the chancel and the
15th-century crucifix in a chapel on the left behind an iron
grille of 1650. The Renaissance art is represented by
Stanislaw Samostrzelnik’s outstanding frescos in the
right-hand transept and one of the ‘twin’ chapels as well
as the painting of circa 1530 on the forward wall of the
chancel. The rest of the decor mostly dates to the Baroque of
the 18th century. In 1970 Pope Paul VI has elevated the church
to the rank of a minor basilica.
monastery. The monastery has adjoined the Church of the
Virgin Mary Assumed to Heaven and St. Vaclav to the south
since the 13th century. The oldest parts of the present
quadrilateral structure are the 13th-century cellars of the
west wing and ground floor of the east wing. Ground floors of
the west and the south wings date back to the 14th century
together with the Gothic refectory and cloister.
Palace. The Renaissance palace of 1569 abuts the
monastery at its southeast corner. It incorporates the
15th-cenury Prior’s House. The baroque portal dates from the
History of the Cistercian
abbey in Krakow.
The Mogila Abbey was founded
in 1225 by Krakow bishop Iwo Odrowaz. It was located in the
rural area west of the city, at the fork of the Wisla and
Dlubnia rivers. In the Middle Ages the monastery was known as
Clara Tumba, ‘Clear Tomb’ in Latin, after the ancient
barrow situated less than a mile to the east. Also the Polish
name of the abbey and the adjoining village, Mogila,
translates as ‘tomb’.
The first Mogila monastery
was destroyed by Mongols in 1241. In the 17th century it was
demolished be Swedes who killed all its residents save two
Krakow Cathedral on
the Wawel Hill
Poland's impressive national shrine
dates from the 14th century and shelters plenty
of superb church art. The Sigismund Chapel is a
masterpiece of the Renaissance art and
architecture. Giant Zygmunt
bell of 1520 ranks with the world's
largest. Most Polish
kings are buried here together with the
greatest national heroes.
Poland’s second holiest shrine at the
site of St. Stanislav’s 1079 martyrdom.
Splendid Baroque church and fine monastery
modeled on a Renaissance castle.
Hilltop monastery-fortress dates
from the 11th c.
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque
hermitage complex atop the Silver Mountain hovers
Vast fortified complex on the Vistula
river is home to Krakow’s once powerful
Premonstratensian Sisters since the 12th c.
Sanctuary of the
Humble nun’s visions in the 1930s
gave rise to a world-wide spiritual movement
inside the Catholic Church, ever stronger
nowadays, with the center in her Krakow convent.
Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa
is the holiest place of Poland and one of the
world’s most important destinations for
With its 42 Baroque churches and chapels
of all shapes and sizes in addition to the
central basilica and the Franciscan monastery,
the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska sanctuary is Europe's
biggest Calvary shrine.
the footsteps of Pope John Paul II