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Krakow's Convent of St. Norbert

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Krakow's Premonstratensian convent of St. Norbert

Saint Norbert's Convent in Krakow's Zwierzyniec district 

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 hour’s 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. 

Landmark Rich in History and Legend 

Krakow nuns of St. Norbert’s - 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 monastery’s old bell that Tartar medieval invaders sank in the Vistula river resurfaces every year on St. John’s night, June 24, and its sorrowful toll is heard till the midnight. 


Visiting St. Norbers Convent in Krakow 

The 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. 

Just 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. 

Zwierzyniec Festivals 

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 Emaus, traditional Easter festival
Krakow's traditional Emaus
festival takes place next 
to the St. Norbert's convent on Easter Monday.   

Krakow churches
Krakow numerous churches are architectural gems, art hoards, and spiritual hubs

Wawel Cathedral
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 Virgin Mary's
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.

Skalka Sanctuary
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.

Tyniec Abbey
Hilltop monastery-fortress dates from the 11th c.

Bielany Monastery
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque hermitage complex atop the Silver Mountain hovers over Krakow.

Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow
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.



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