Skalka, Krakow's Oldest Shrine.
holiest sanctuary after the Jasna Gora monastery of Czestochowa
lies mostly undisturbed by visitors a five minutes' walk down
the Vistula river from the Wawel Royal Castle which swarms with
Here, on a rocky hillock called Skalka, once stood a
rotunda church, where king Boleslav II the Bold put to death
Krakow bishop Stanislav in 1079. The king was exiled and the
late bishop worshiped as a martyr who had exposed excesses of
the tyrannical monarch. In 1253 bishop Stanislav was canonized
to become the chief patron saint of Poland. Throughout the
Middle Ages his cult was pivotal in forming both Polish nation
and the country's political culture with its tradition of the
accountability of those in power. And Poland’s kings-elects had
to come to the Skalka Sanctuary on their coronation to atone for
the sins of the predecessors.
The present splendid Baroque
church of the mid 18th century is the fourth on the site.
Nevertheless visitors can still see three dark spots of St. Stanislav's blood on the church wall. Since the 1880s some
Polish most illustrious luminaries were posthumously awarded
with ceremonial burial in its crypt that is open to the public.
The church adjoins a 17th-century Pauline monastery modeled on
a Renaissance castle.
Every year on St. Stanislav’s day, May 8,
major religious procession led by Krakow bishops gathers Polish
notables and immense crowds of the faithful when the saint’s
relics are carried from the Skalka sanctuary to the
stained-glass window depicts St. Stanislaw
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.
Paul II sanctuary
Hilltop monastery-fortress dates from the 11th century.
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque hermitage complex atop
the Silver Mountain hovers over Krakow.
St. Norbert's Convent
Vast fortified complex on the Vistula river is home to
Krakow’s once powerful Premonstratensian Sisters since the 12th
Cistercian Abbey of Mogila
Mogila Abbey dates back to
1225 and counts among Krakow's most interesting monasteries.
Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa is the holiest
place of Poland and one of the world’s most important
destinations for pilgrims.
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.
Krakow numerous churches are architectural gems, art
hoards, and spiritual hubs
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
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
In the footsteps of Pope John Paul
Roman Catholic Church