CHURCHES IN AND AROUND KRAKÓW

The Catholic faith is a ma­jor part of the cul­ture of Poland. The beloved Pope John Paul II stud­ied and as­cended the pa­pal hi­er­ar­chy in Kraków. Here are five im­por­tant churches you should try to see on a visit here:

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ST. MARY’S BASIL­ICA

is a beau­ti­fully adorned Gothic style church in the Main Mar­ket Square, a stun­ning ex­am­ple of the ar­chi­tec­tural style of the city. It is known as the home of the largest wooden Gothic al­tar­piece in the world and beau­ti­ful stained glass win­dows.

SANC­TU­ARY OF DI­VINE MERCY

has a mod­ern style basil­ica as well as an older, sim­ple chapel where the mirac­u­lous im­age of the Mer­ci­ful Je­sus can be found. Be­low it is a white mar­ble cof­fin, the rest­ing place of Saint Faustina Kowal­ska, the “Apos­tle of Di­vine Mercy.”

WAWEL CATHE­DRAL

is one of the most his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant churches in the area—the site of over 30 coro­na­tions; the rest­ing place of most of the Pol­ish rulers and na­tional he­roes; and an ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­am­ple of Re­nais­sance and Baroque ar­chi­tec­tural styles.

JASNA GóRA MONASTERY IN CZESTOCHOWA

is a fa­mous pil­grim­age site known for the icon of the Black Madonna, which is said to have mirac­u­lous heal­ing pow­ers. It may be vis­ited on a day trip from Kraków.

ST. KINGA’S CHAPEL IN THE WIELICZKA SALT MINES

of­ten called “the Un­der­ground Salt Cathe­dral of Poland,” is a unique and daz­zling work of art, crys­tal-like chan­de­liers made of rock salt light the im­pres­sive hall, filled with stat­ues and art works carved also en­tirely of rock salt. The site was listed as one of the orig­i­nal UN­ESCO World Her­itage Sites.

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