Calvary Sanctuary in Kalwaria
In 1600 Polandís first Calvary sanctuary
was established in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, a town
in the Carpathian Foothills 33 km southwest from Krakow, to provide
pilgrims with a substitute of Jerusalem lost to
the Muslim Turks and thus unavailable. With its
42 churches and chapels of all shapes and sizes
in addition to the central basilica and the
Franciscan monastery, the vast complex of
buildings scattered among woods on the slopes of
the 527-meter-high Zar mountain grew to be the biggest
such compound in Europe. It is also Polandís
second most important historic destination for pilgrims.
Over ages the pilgrimage to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
influenced millions of Poles. And one frequent
pilgrim proved very specialĖPope John Paul II, born in nearby
has entered the
sanctuary in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska in its list of
the World Heritage sites.
santuary's places of interest
The 17th-century Baroque church of the
Angelic Mother of Godís adjoins the Franciscan
monastery of the same age. Their most worshiped
place is the chapel with Our Lady of Kalwaria
miraculous picture, followed by the chapel of St.
Anthony of Padua. It is the starting point of
several overlapping pilgrimage circuits, the
Passion Path in the first place, laid out in
hilly woodland from one Baroque chapel to
another. Each of the 42 tiny churches is
different and represents a Jerusalem site
prominent in the New Testament and/or the
Christian tradition, be it the Virgin Maryís
Cottage or Herodís Place, while hills and
streams bear such names as Zion, Golgotha, and
Mount of Olives.
traditions and famous festivals
to the Kalwaria sanctuary best exemplify Polish
grassroots Catholicism. Pilgrims usually come in
large groups to pray and contemplate together.
And the Good Friday feasts, when the famous
traditional lifelike Passion plays are enacted in
the scenery of the sanctuary, draw huge crowds
every year. Another feast brings in faithful
multitudes on August 15, the Assumption day.
of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
The Calvary sanctuary, immensely popular with
pilgrims from the outset, soon gave rise to the
town of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska that has also been
famous for its cabinetmakers since the mid 18th century.
Nowadays some 1,500 artisans manufacture
classy furniture, customized and largely
hand-made, in the town of 4,500 or so. Every July
they exhibit their skill at month-long furniture
Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa
is the holiest place of Poland and one of the
worldís most important destinations for
of Divine Mercy
Humble nunís 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.
Polandís second holiest shrine at the
site of St. Stanislavís 1079 martyrdom.
Splendid Baroque church and fine monastery
modeled on a Renaissance castle.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Krakow and the Malopolska Province
Old Town historic district
Calvary sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
Our Lady of Kalwaria is one of Poland's
the proximity of Krakow
Krakow is Poland's tourist mecca, and
also a gateway to many other must-see sites in
Poland's famed mountain resort
resort of Rabka, Poland
of Krakow map
Poland's prime tourist attraction and a
must in Central Europe boasts numerous
world-class monuments, charming vistas,
delightful atmosphere, and the best restaurants.
the footsteps of Pope John Paul II