St. Norbert's Convent in Krakow's Zwierzyniec
Since the 12th century the
Premonstratensian Sisters of St. Norbert's order have lived in a fortified convent on a rock
formed by oyster shells upon the Vistula (Wisla) and
Rudawa rivers, just half an hourís walk from
the Wawel Royal Castle. Till the 16th
century also the Premonstratensian monks
inhabited an adjacent monastery. The vast complex
of buildings, courtyards and fortifications
together with the church of St. Augustine's and
St. John the Baptist's got its present Baroque
shape in the early 17th century. Its classicist
interiors date back to the 18th century.
Rich in History and Legend
nuns of St. Norbertís - called
Norbertanki in Polish and historically also 'Panny
Zwierzynieckie' - once
ruled over vast and
rich estates just west of the town, which gave
them special place in the city's history. The nunnery and
its often turbulent past inspired many
legends. One of them says the monasteryís old
bell that Tartar medieval invaders sank in the
Vistula river resurfaces every year on St.
Johnís night, June 24, and its sorrowful toll
is heard till the midnight.
St. Norbers Convent in Krakow
historic complex of convent and church buildings is situated
on the riverbank in Krakow's Zwierzyniec district, at 88
Kosciuszki street, some two kilometers west of the central Old
Town. Visitors may enter the church through the 13th-century fine
Romanesque portal in a porch under the tower. Also accessible is
the outer courtyard.
a minute's walk away, across the street and slightly elevated
are two other historic churches. An octagonal wooden chapel of St.
Margaret's dates back to 1690. The
Romanesque stone church of The Saviour (Kosciol Najswietszego
Salwatora) opposite it was built in the 12th century.
Every Easter Monday the festivities of the Emaus
ancient fair go on next to the convent of St. Norbert. And later in
June, on the octave of the Corpus Christi Day,
the traditional colorful and jolly procession of
the Lajkonik mock horseman starts here.
Krakow's traditional Emaus
festival takes place next
to the St. Norbert's convent on
Krakow numerous churches are
architectural gems, art hoards, and spiritual
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.
Basilica of the
Immense Gothic church, the city of
Krakow's principal temple since the 13th century,
boasts the world's greatest
Gothic sculpture among its many excellent
works of art. Huge stained-glass widows of the
chancel date from the 14th century.
Polandís second holiest shrine at the
site of St. Stanislavís 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
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in
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.