Monasteries in Poland

Jasna Góra Monastery

The Jasna Góra Monastery is the most famous Polish shrine to the Virgin Mary and the country"s greatest place of pilgrimage – for many its spiritual capital. The image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is Jasna Góra"s most precious treasure. The site is one of Poland"s official national Histori ...
Founded: 1382 | Location: Częstochowa, Poland

Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became th ...
Founded: c. 1044 | Location: Kraków, Poland

Trzebnica Abbey

Sanctuary of St. Jadwiga, also Trzebnica Abbey, is a convent for Cistercian nuns founded in 1203. The abbey was established by the Silesian Piast duke Henry I the Bearded and his wife Saint Hedwig of Andechs, confirmed by Pope Innocent III. With Hedwig"s consent, her brother Ekbert of Andechs, then Bishop of Bamberg, chose the first nuns that occupied the convent. The first abbess was Petrussa from Kitzingen Abbey; s ...
Founded: 1203 | Location: Trzebnica, Poland

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Park

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska park is a Mannerist architectural and park landscape complex and pilgrimage park, built in the 17th century as the Counter Reformation in the late 16th century led to prosperity in the creation of Calvaries in Catholic Europe. The park was added in 1999 to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.  This extraordinary testimony of piety and culture was the first of the large-scale Calvaries built in ...
Founded: 1600 | Location: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland

Pelplin Abbey

Pelplin Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey founded in 1258 by Sambor II, Duke of Pomerania. It was a daughter house of the Cistercian Doberan Abbey. It was first sited in Pogódki (Pogutken) near Kościerzyna (Berent) and re-located in 1276 to Pelplin. By decree of the Prussian government of 5 March 1823 it was dissolved. Since 1824 the church, as Pelpin Cathedral, has been the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of P ...
Founded: 1258 | Location: Pelplin, Poland

Lubiaz Abbey

Lubiąż Abbey, also commonly known as Leubus Abbey, is a former Cistercian monastery. The abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest Christian architectural complexes in the world and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture. The abbey is situated near a ford across the Oder river, where a Benedictine monastery and church of Saint James may have been established about 1150, but had already bee ...
Founded: 1175 | Location: Lubiąż, Poland

Gora Swietej Anny

Góra Świętej Anny or St. Annaberg is the location of the Franciscan monastery with the miraculous statue of St. Anne and the imposing calvary, which is an important destination for Roman Catholic pilgrimage. It has been a strategic location important to both German and Polish nationalists, and in 1921 it was the site of the Battle of Annaberg, commemorated in the Third Reich by the construction of a Thingst ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Góra Świętej Anny, Poland

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Krzeszów is a Roman Catholic church and abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict in Krzeszów, Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Built around 1728-1735, it is a notable baroque church in Silesia, with the art of Ferdinand Brokoff (sculptor) and Michael Willmann (painter). It is also one of the shrines to the Virgin Mary, with a 13th old painting. In one of the ...
Founded: 1728-1735 | Location: Krzeszów, Poland

Mogila Abbey

Mogiła Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1222 by the Bishop of Kraków, Iwo Odrowąż. It was the largest and most impressive church in medieval Poland after Wawel Cathedral, and served as the Odrowąż family"s burial place until the 16th century. The monastic community, consisting of the 13 professed monks mandatory for an independent monastery, moved in around 1225, although th ...
Founded: 1222 | Location: Kraków, Poland

Camaldolese Hermit Monastery

The Camaldolese monastery in Bielany was established there in the first half of the 17th century, damaged in 1655 during the Polish-Swedish war and rebuilt after a fire in 1814. It consists of hermitages and the Assumption of Mary Church.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Bielany, Poland

Sulejów Abbey

Sulejów Abbey was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1176 by the duke Kazimierz II the Just. The town of Sulejów grew up round it. The most notable parts of the abbey are the Romanesque church of Saint Thomas Becket of Canterbury and Romanesque fortifications which stopped the Mongol Hordes in the 13th century. The monastery was dissolved in 1810. After many years of industrial and business use the surviving buildings are n ...
Founded: 1176 | Location: Sulejów, Poland

Jedrzejów Abbey

Jędrzejów Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey founded in 1140. The convent, under the lead of Fr. Nicholas, came to these lands in 1114 from the Morimond Abbey in Champagne. The consecration act from 1149 elevated the monastery to a rank of an abbey and king Bolesław IV the Curly gave it a foundation privilege which exempted it from ducal tributes and charges. The ceremony of consecrating the new church an ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Jędrzejów, Poland

St. Jadwiga's Basilica

St. Jadwiga"s Basilica was erected in 1723-1738.  The church hosts the Parish of the Holy Cross and St. Jadwiga and is the central element of the there founded Monastery of the Order of Saint Benedict.
Founded: 1723-1738 | Location: Legnickie Pole, Poland

Ruins of the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites

In the village Zagorz on a picturesque hill called Marymont there are the impressive ruins of the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites - one of the most interesting architectural buildings in this part of Poland shrouded in many legends. The ruins of the monastery of Fr. Discalced Carmelites from the eighteenth century. The ruins are situated on a picturesque hill on three sides surrounded by the waters of the Osława R ...
Founded: 1730 | Location: Zagórz, Poland

Camaldolese Monastery

Camaldolese monastery was built in 1747-1781 (consecrated in 1791). The monastery has an old Baroque style architecture, its interiors remain somewhat raw. Most of original equipment was damaged. The main altar is quite unique - in Rococo style. Frescos which come from the time of the monastery’s construction are very precious. There are relics of Five Martyr Brothers in the Church.
Founded: 1747-1791 | Location: Bieniszew, Poland

Szczyrzyc Abbey

Szczyrzyc Cistercian Abbey was founded in 1234. The founder of the Abbey was Theodor, the palatine of Cracow bearing Griffin, as his coat of arms. It continues to function as a monastery and is one of the Polish Shrines to the Virgin Mary.
Founded: 1234 | Location: Szczyrzyc, Poland

Kolbacz Abbey

The Kołbacz Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1173 with the original Latin name 'Mera Vallis'. The monks were invited into Pomerania by Warcisław II Świętoborzyc, a castellan of Szczecin, as part of an agreement with Valdemar I of Denmark, who had besieged Szczecin and made Warcisław his vassal. The first monks originally arrived from the Danish Esrum Abbey. The foundation was ...
Founded: 1173 | Location: Kołbacz, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.