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; she was followed by Gertrude, the daughter of Hedwig. The abbey was richly endowed with lands by Duke Henry. When Hedwig became a widow in 1238, she went to live at Trzebnica and was buried there.
Up to 1515, the abbesses were first princesses of the Piast dynasty and afterwards members of the nobility. It is said that towards the end of the thirteenth century the nuns numbered 120. The abbey also became a mausoleum of many rulers of the fragmented Silesian Piasts. In 1672 there were 32 nuns and 6 lay sisters, in 1805 there were 23 nuns and 6 lay sisters. The abbey suffered from all kinds of misfortunes both in the Middle Ages and later: from famine in 1315, 1338, 1434, and 1617, from disastrous fires in 1413, 1432, 1464, 1486, 1505, 1595, and 1782. At the Protestant Reformation, most of the nuns were Poles, as were the majority until during the eighteenth century. The abbey of Trebnitz suffered so greatly during the Thirty Years War that the nuns fled across the border on the territory of the mostly unaffected Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, as they did again in 1663 when the Turks threatened Silesia.
In 1742, in the aftermath of the First Silesian War and the Treaty of Breslau, Trebnitz found itself under the governance of Protestant Prussia and started to suffer from political discrimination. The last abbess, Dominica von Giller, died on 17 August 1810, and on 11 November 1810, the abbey was suppressed and secularized by order of King Frederick William III. The building, which was very extensive, was sold later and turned into a cloth factory. In late 19th century, the ruined abbey was bought by Knights Hospitaller and later by female order of Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo as a hospital conducted by the sisters.
The church, a basilica with pillars in the late Romanesque style, to which Baroque additions were made from 1741. It features several paintings with scenes from the life of St. Hedwig by Michael Willmann. After the secularisation of the abbey, it became the Trebnitz parish church.
The grave of St. Hedwig is located in a chapel to the right of the high altar, donated by her grandson Archbishop Ladislaus of Salzburg in 1267. The grave of Duke Henry I, her husband, is in front of the altar.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.