Visit the largest pilgrimage center of Poland and the third most attended site of this kind in the world – Jasna Gora monastery of Czestochowa. Approach the 14th-century Paulite monastery through the three-laned avenue named after the Holiest Virgin Mary. Reach the top of 293-metre-high "Luminous Hill" and find out why its sanctuary has been incessantly attracting people of deep faith with the sacred objects placed inside its chapels, basilicas and belltowers.
With its population barely exceeding 200,000 inhabitants, Czestochowa
may not be the largest city of Poland. At the same time, this charming place
in South-central part of the country (reachable within 90 minutes of a ride from Krakow
) is one of the most popular tourist and pilgrimage choices
for its visitors. With a one-day trip to Czestochowa, you will take a chance to pay a two-hour lasting visit to the fortified Paulite monastery
, where the widely-revered icon of Black Madonna
is unveiled twice a day (at 6 am and 1:30 pm) to be admired by countless followers of the Marine cult developed there. Black Madonna is the major point of interest for the masses of pilgrims to Czestochowa. This holy painting has often been associated with St. Luke the Evangelist as its alleged author
, having been discovered anew in 385 in Jerusalem only to arrive in Czestochowa in 1384. Displayed in the oldest part of the monastery complex (the 15th-century Gothic Chapel of Our Lady
), beautifully ornamented with further-applied Baroque ornaments, Black Madonna is there to hear the prayers of Catholic believers, being left a great number of votive offerings
available to see inside the chapel. This Byzantine-style icon represents the Holy Virgin pointing at the infant Jesus she is holding to indicate him as the source of salvation. The scars on the cheek of the Holy Virgin
are said to be slashed with the swords of Bohemian robbers who looted the shrine on the Easter of 1430. The sacred image is also credited with the successful defense of the monastery against Swedish troops during the Deluge
, due to which king Jan Kazimierz
announced the Mother of God the Queen of Polish Crown
on April 1, 1656. This speaks volumes about the turbulent history of the sanctuary you will hear a lot of throughout the tour you will take.
The sanctuary of Czestochowa has been visited by organised groups of pilgrims since the Middle Ages
. Currently, some of such groups travel the distance as long as 638 kilometres to reach the holy site, with the starting point of the pilgrimage located at the Hel peninsula
. Traditionally, it is August when innumerable walking pilgrims head for Czestochowa, with August 15 (the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary) as the peak of international gatherings on the top of Luminous Mountain. Pope John Paul II
(the honorary citizen of the city) was particularly keen on paying his respects to the Holy Virgin Mary of Czestochowa, visiting the sanctuary for a number of times prior to and during his papacy
. While following his steps, you will also sightsee the impartial parts of the monastery complex, including the 106-metre belltower
(also a convenient observation point to admire the beautiful panorama of Czestochowa from), opulent Baroque Basilica
that adjoins the aforementioned chapel, Treasury
where the votive offerings to the Black Madonna have been stored since the 14th century and the 14 Stations of the Cross
surrounding the said basilica.
Interested in paying a visit to the spiritual centre of Poland – the Sanctuary of Czestochowa? Contact us for detailed assistance!