A Trip through Krakow’s Churches and Sanctuaries

| July 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Krakow attracts huge numbers of pilgrims every year, which is not surprising given the number of variety of Church buildings and orders here. Major figures in the church, including saints and Popes, have walked the streets of Krakow since the Middle Ages. Krakow’s amazing churches and other holy sites have had a massive influence on the spirituality of countless people. Here’s a short guide to the some of the most important sacred sites in the city.

If Rome wasn’t Rome, Krakow would be Rome”

There’s no way to describe all of Krakow’s churches and monasteries in less than a few hundred pages so let us keep our focus on just a handful of the most well-known. It’s hard to imagine any trip to Krakow that doesn’t include a visit to the Wawel Cathedral and St. Mary’s Church. The historic, artistic and, most importantly, religious significance of these two incredible sites cannot be overstated. The same applies to the Franciscian Basilica, situated just opposite the Bishop’s Palace and the famous “Pope’s window”. It was here that a young Karol Woytyla, later known as Pope John Paul II, came to pray and meditate in beneath the stunning stained glass works by Stanislaw Wyspianski.

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Exceptional, almost mystic beauty also awaits visitors to two Baroque churches – St. Anne’s Church and the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the oldest Baroque structure in the city. The old Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz also contains two of Krakow’s most unique gothic churches, both consecrated in the 14th century – the Church of St. Catherine and the Corpus Christi church. The incredible gothic architecture and detailed ornamentation inside create the atmosphere for prayer and reflection. The two churches are must minutes apart but visitors will want to spend more time than they expected when they discover the size and richness of their interiors.

Quiet contemplation – Krakow’s monasteries with a Krakow Guide

Krakow’s monasteries draw visitors from all over the world. They come not only for the opportunity to have a look inside a little-known world, but also for chance to learn about their history and the art that they house. Our guide to Krakow’s holy sites wouldn’t be complete without a mention of a few of them. The most well-known is the Benedictine Abbey at Tyniec, which is also the oldest monastery in Poland. It also has a very interesting museum with a fascinating collection of artefacts and archaeological relics from the site of the monastery. Another place worth the visit is the Camaldolese Hermit Monastery in Bielany. Women are only allowed to enter on twelve days throughout the year here as part of the strict rules that regulate the lives of these monks. This small religious order has just a few members left around the world and their lives are particularly demanding and require intense faith. A meeting with them can be an inspirational event for any pilgrim. The Cysterian Abbey in Mogila is also among the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Krakow and is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Vistula river.

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Krakow Tours – Three Sanctuaries

Another holy site situated on the river is the Sanctuary of the Martyrdom of St. Stanislaw (known locally as “Skalka”), a place of exceptional historical significance. Chronicles from the 11th century tell us that it was there, in the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Michael, that the Archbishop of Krakow, St. Stanislaw, was murdered by the king’s men. Relics associated with St. Stanislaw are kept in the Wawel Cathedral but Skalka is the main site associated with his followers. Today, an amazing Baroque church complex along with a monastery occupies the site. A crypt was added in the 19th century as the final resting place of a number of famous and accomplished Poles from the arts.

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Recently, pilgrims have made sites associated with two figures part of their Krakow itenerary – St. Sister Faustina and St. John Paul II. Both of them have sanctuaries dedicated to them in Lagiewniki, in the southern part of Krakow. The Divine Mercy Sanctuary now a major attraction for pilgrims and contributes to the promotion of the cult of Divine Mercy, to which John Paul II also belonged. The nearby sanctuary dedicated to John Paul II is not only a place of worship with relics of the Polish Pope but also for remembering his life. Seeing this places with a Krakow guide can help you to uncover their beauty and experience all they have to offer. learn more about these destinations and many others at http://guide-krakow.com/krakow-sanctuaries/.

Category: Europe

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