Special Interest Tour
Due to its numerous religion centres of a great scale, Poland happens to be chosen as a regular destination for pilgrims worldwide. What is undoubtedly most identified with the Polish Catholicism today is the legacy of Polish-born Saint Pope John Paul II. His role in bringing down the communism in Central and Eastern Europe by being a spiritual inspiration for the people against the destructive political system has been generally recognised and appreciated.
The first Pope’s pilgrimage to Poland in 1979 and its powerful impact on the society was an impulse for democratic changes in Central Europe, which directly resulted in the fall of the Soviet Union as well as German reunification. Moreover, the Polish church can be also proud of other significant figures such as Saint Faustina Kowalska who initiated the world-famous cult of Divine Mercy. Interestingly, the wide offer of pilgrimage possibilities within Poland can be extended by adding Polish neighbouring countries to the itinerary program, with special focus on Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Republic or Germany as supplementary destinations. This way, pilgrims can experience different aspects of Christianity: Roman Catholicism in Poland, Ukrainian Orthodox religion, or German Protestantism. All those elements make Poland and the area of Central Europe an original and desirable pilgrimage destination.
The tour starts in Czestochowa, the principal centre of religious traditions to which millions of pilgrims from all over the world come every year to pray before the miraculous picture of Black Madonna - Our Lady of Czestochowa. Jasna Gora sanctuary has been a spiritual hub for six centuries. The Monastery has been in operation since it was founded in 1382. Monastery treasury contains priceless works of art and heirlooms. Departure for Wadowice. Guided sightseeing of the Saint JP II museum and basilica. Departure for Zakopane, including visit of Our Lady of Fatima Church - the sanctuary built as a thanksgiving for the miraculous saving of Saint Pope John Paul II from the bullets of his assassinator. Zakopane is an excellent staging area for trekking in the Tatra Mountains along the numerous trails which lead to mountain lakes, valleys, waterfalls and caves. The most beautiful panorama of the Tatras is seen from the Gubalowka hill, easily accessible by cable car. Zakopane has preserved its regional wooden architecture and highlanders’ customs, cuisine and handicraft which are characteristic of the whole Podhale region.
Departure for Cracow. Except regular city tour of Cracow we will visit Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. Guided visit of the Benedictine Monastery famous for the miraculous icon of Madonna. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the internationally famous 16th century complex of 42 chapels, hidden in a beautiful forest. For ages it has been a destination for many pilgrims from Poland and all over the world.
Continue for Lagiewniki. Guided visit to the Lagiewniki Divine Mercy Monastery famous for the picture – Jesus, I trust in you. Very dynamic expansion of worship of the Divine Mercy was launched by the beatification of Sister Faustina (18th of April 1993) and her canonization (30th of April 2000), and also thanks to pilgrimages of Saint Pope John Paul II to Lagiewniki (1997 and 2002). In this place the Pope solemnly entrusted the world to the Divine Mercy. Continue for Nowa Huta. Guided visit to the Arka Church in Nowa Huta – the symbol of Catholic resistance against communist regime. On the way back to Warsaw, it is essential to visit Auschwitz Museum. Guided museum visit on arrival including the site of St Maximilian Kolbe’s death. It was the biggest concentration camp in Poland formed by the Nazis in 1940. The place known as the “death factory”. Here about 3 million prisoners were exterminated. Continue to Warsaw. The last evening could be even more attractive by participating in the private Chopin piano recital in one of Warsaw’s historic places such as the Palace on the Water in the Lazienki Park.