Friday, July 04, 2008


As our ' spiritual ' trip destination we chose a famous sanctuary, CZESTOCHOWA. For all the Poles, the catholics of the world and any non-religious but with average culture, it is an equally known place as Fatima or Lourdes. The majestic monastery and the basilic reminded Victor of Vatican. In fact, it is a ' small Vatican'!
We are in Silesia. Katowice, with its coal mines is near, Krakow, Wrocalaw and our Brzeg are all connected by the railways. We used those constantly impoving Polish trains to get around.

The basilic tower looks over the city. Czestochowa' s monastery is built upon a hill and surrounded by defense walls.
Victor, a real argentinean macho, cannot miss an opportunity to ' chamuyar' a pretty statue.

Chestochowas monastery complex is like a small town- you enter passing the diffence walls and you are in a different world.

The genuine Queen of this world is BLACK MADONNA ( Czarna Madonna). It's miraculous story carries on till nowdays.

Every year the yard around the monastery gets filled up to the brims with the pilgrims travelling by foot from different places of Poland! The big point is to arrive before the Black Madonna icon on the 15th of July, even though the whole month of July brings millions of people to this sanctuary.

We did it all ( it was ment to be a spiritual trip as well as touristic): we attended the covering off the icon and even the wholy mess for the tourists, held by an Irish prist, we went to the treasury and up to the tower. Even though Czestochowa is not a beautiful city apart from its symbol and mail attraction- Jasna Gora with the monastery, the view was quite impressive! We could see as far as the rock formations Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska. I think Victor could see even Buenos Aires. In his mind' s eyes...

The main street of Czestochowa is the one triumphaly leading to Jasna Gora ( Fair Hill) with the monastery and the basilic. It's called Avenue of the Virgin Mary, how else?

The monastery' s size and mysterious yards are wanderfully visible from above. It was great to be accompanied by our friend and guide Ewa, who works in Czestochowa and knows the monastery's secret places by heart.

The monastery, like a Vatican, is protected and separated by the rest of the city by the dense green belt and the defence wall. A walk around the defense wall was another thing we did, listening to Ewa's story about the failure of the Swedish attact on this city.

Even now, absolutely out of season and our of the weekend, Jasna Gora was full of people and we could hear plenty of languages spoken.

The person who could not fail to be there is Karol Woltyla, the pope Jan Paweł II. He was born in Wadowice, near Krakow, and visited Częstochowa on numerous ocasions, brining symbolic gifts to Black Madonna, one of them is white belt stained by his blood after the failed attempt on his life, or a golden rose.

Another ritual in Częstochowa is going town to Santa Barbara' s church to the holly well and getting miraculous water. So we did. The church itself is a severe looking roman tower.

To have our spiritual day complete we were invited for some relaxation and meditation in the Salt Grotte. The salts from three different seas made the ground, walls and the ceiling. Stalactyte hanging over us, the soft music of the sea and the seaguls' s calls make us fly away to another realms, breathing in all the healthy jode and other microelements...

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