Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland:
often called the “Polish Jerusalem”
The story of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska:
This one of Poland’s oldest pilgrimage sites and is located in a picturesque setting between two mountain ranges, Southeast of Krakow. The shrine began humbly in 1601, when a squire from Krakow built a small shrine here to resemble the scene of the crucifixion. In the passage of just one year it had become so popular that the local clergy consecrated the site and then later the local Bishop entrusted the site to the Franciscan order known as the Berardines in Poland.
The shrine grew in popularity and other chapels were built, with each one resembling a church in the Holy Land. Today there are over 40 such chapels and a magnificent Basilica.
It is the destination for thousands of pilgrims each year. The father of Pope John Paul II was a tour guide here and Karol Wotjyla visited here often as a young boy traveling from his nearby home town of Wadowice. It was considered his favorite Shrine and he continued to visit here as a Priest, Bishop, Archbishop and Pope. In 1987 he offered the Golden Rose as he was praying before the image of Our Lady of Kalwaria.
One of things the Shrine is most noted for its’ Passion Play which begins on Palm Sunday and then continues on Wednesday, Maunday Thursday, and Good Friday.
For pilgrim groups traveling with their own priest, arrangements can be made to celebrate Mass. For independent travelers you can attend Mass according to the following schedule:
Sundays and holidays:
6 a.m., 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m, 3 p.m, 5 p.m, 7 p.m.
Weekdays: 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 am., 9 a.m., 12 a.m., 5 p.m.*, 7 p.m.
* Mass at 5 p.m. from Nov 1 until Palm Sunday
There is a pilgrim house, restaurant and gift shop here as well.
The Shrine is about 25 miles south of Krakow. You can reach the shrine by train from Krakow in about one hour. This train makes a stop in Wadowice, birthplace of Saint John Paul II, so you can easily combine the two.
Address: Bernardyńska, 34-130 Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland
GPS coordinates: 49° 51′ 36.7668” N, 19° 40′ 17.6880” E
Tel: +48 (033) 876-63-04
e-mail: [email protected]