Sacred places in Poland

One might observe over two hundred sacred places in this country. Eighty percent of them are sanctuaries possessing miraculous images of Saint Mary. There are pilgrimage centres that are known worldwide (Jasna Góra in Częstochowa) and several ones of country importance. Places of regular pilgrimages are also calvarias – complexes of churches and chapels designed in such a way that they resemble stations of Way of the Cross.

Jasna Góra is called “the spiritual capital of Poland”. Its miraculous painting of Black Madonna attracts yearly millions of pilgrims, going there on foot for several days for several hundred kilometres. They achieve Jasna Góra on the 15th of August, on the day of Assumption of Mary. However, it is not the biggest sacred place in Poland. This “title” belongs to Licheń, which is capable of maintaining thirty thousands of people. This basilica organises such events as organ concerts or conventions of village hostesses’ circles. The oldest Polish sanctuary is located in Górka Klasztorna, where in 1079 a shepherd has seen the Blessed Virgin. One might also find the only Sacred Stairs in Poland (located in Sośnica) or nine-centimetres-high statue of Mary in Gidle. Tourists also often go on pilgrimages to the calvarias. The most popular one is Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (present on the UNESCO List). Others may be found in Kalwaria Pacławska or on the St. Anne’s Hill. During the Passion Week mysteries of Passion are held there.

Members of the Orthodox Church have their place of cult in Grabarka, where every year on the 19th of July they put crosses near their temple on the Holy Hill. Moreover, Jews are going to the graves of tzadiks Elimelech and Dawid Biderman in Leżajsk and Lelów. Furthermore, also Muslims celebrate their feast – during Kurban Bayram they sacrifice cattle near the mosque in the town of Bohoniki.

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Written by: Przemek

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