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 the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.

In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.

In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.

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Founded: c. 1044
Category: Religious sites in Poland

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michał D (20 months ago)
Beautiful, paceful place. Good food. Great hospitality
Marcin Mięsiak (20 months ago)
Middle ages Benedictine Abbey. Local beer and ice cream to buy in cafe. Beautiful view for Vistula valley .
Martin Bruegge (21 months ago)
Great location and beautiful building outside of Krakow. You can take a bike tour from the heart of Krakow directly to Tyniec. There are guided tours of the monastery. Once done there is a shop and a really nice coffee place. In the summer you can sit outside and enjoy the view on Vistula river. In case of coming by car parking is available on the street or close to the river.
Peter Smith (2 years ago)
Unique architecture and location. Has meeting places, shop restaurant and a hotel. Fantastic view.
Lloyd De Jongh (2 years ago)
I've been 3 times, this is a truly magical experience. I had the privilege of hearing the chants sung by monks at the abbey during a mass, and was led on a tour by an enthusiastic guide who took the time to show us around and explain the history and purpose of the abbey. Both are fascinating stories. The building is old and full of nooks and crannies, it has character and makes for great photographs. It was bitterly cold when I was there, so next time I go it will be during summer - but then it will most likely be crowded. (Update: This place is gorgeous during spring. See if you can visit the garden, which is incredibly lush and scenic). Stop at the restaurant for a meal, they were first class. It's a little crypt under ground with massive walls and the best Polish food by far. The shop where the monks sell goods they make is filled with a great selection, I still have soaps from this trip in my bathroom. It's well worth the short drive from Krakow, and you can spend at least half a day there, though I intend to stay overnight and attend a mass again. I've really grown to love the character of Poland and the Polish people, this monastery is a highlight of any visit to the area.
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