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

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

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

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.