The Shrines of Poland

Day 1

Arrival in Warszawa. Our guide greets the group at the airport. Private coach transfer to the hotel. Dinner, overnight stay in Warszawa.

Day 2

After breakfast we go to Niepokalanow, known as the Fortress of Our Lady, to see the Franciscan Monastery founded in 1927 by St. Maximilian Kolbe , who very soon turned this place into one of the largest Catholic monasteries in Europe. Here we visit Basilica, the Museum of St. M. Kolbe. Then, we attend Holy Mass. Return to Warszawa. After lunch break we start thesightseeing of Warszawa. We take a walk around the Old Town (UNESCO) to see all its highlights: the Royal Route, Royal Castle and the most famous monument – the Sigismund’s Column, St. John’s Cathedral and the picturesque Main Square with the monument of Mermaid – symbol of Warszawa. We drive around the city centre admiring all the landmarks of the capital, among them the well known Palace of Technology and Science (a ‚compulsive’ gift from Stalin). We also visit the beautiful Lazienki (Baths) Park with the famous statue of Fryderyk Chopin and the 18th century Palace on the Water, the suburban residence of the last king of Poland. Return to the hotel, dinner, overnight stay in Warszawa.

Day 3

After breakfast we set off for Wroclaw, the capital of Silesia region, beautifully located on the Odra River. After arrival we enjoy the sightseeing of Wroclaw. During our walking tour we admire Ostrów Tumski Island with the Gothic cathedral and the Episcopal Palace, Old Town area with numerous medieval churches and baroque tenement houses, the Main Square with the impressive 14th c. Town Hall. We also stop at the University, famous for its splendid baroque Aula Leopoldina. Dinner, overnight stay.

Day 4

After breakfast we head to Wambierzyce, where the Shrine of the Holy Virgin is. This place is very often called Jerusalem of Silesia region. Here we visit the magnificent baroque Basilica and the unique Calvary with 74 chapels. We enjoy the Holy Mass. We also see the famous Nativity Scene with 800 figures made here in the 19th century. Afterwards we go to Bardo Śląskie to see the miraculous figure of St. Mary kept in the local Basilica. We also visit the magnificent Cistercian Abbey in Henryków. The complex of the monastery is one of the best examples of the baroque art. Here we learn about the role of the Cisterican order in the Polish culture. After the visit we depart for Kraków.

Day 5

After breakfast we walk around the Old Town of Krakow (UNESCO) discovering all the highlights of the former capital of the Polish Kingdom: Wawel Hill with its magnificent Royal Castle and the Cathedral;the Main Market Square (the biggest medieval square in Europe), splendid St. Mary’s Basilica, the Royal Way with its numerous churches and old tenement houses. After lunch break we visit Lagiewniki, the world-famous Shrine of the Divine Mercy, the burial place of St. Sister Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of God’s Mercy, who died here in 1938. Here we have the Holy Mass. We come back to the centre of Krakow to enjoyafternoon at leisure (optional tour to the Salt Mine in Wieliczka). Dinner and overnight stay in Krakow.

Day 6

After breakfast we go to Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, where the miraculous painting of Our Lady, known as Black Madonna, is kept. We visit the complex of the monastery: the Holy Chapel with the Black Madonna Icon, the magnificent baroque Basilica, treasury, and the museum, old fortifications with the beautiful Way of the Cross. After the visit we depart forAuschwitz-Birkenau Museum (UNESCO). We visit the Auschwitz camp: the Block of Death (no 11) where St. Maximilian Kolbe died, the crematorium and the gas chamber. Then we move to Birkenau, the largest extermination camp built by the Nazis during World War II to see the Gate of Death and the wooden barracks. We also stop in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (UNESCO), the second biggest pilgrimage centre of the Marian devotion in Poland. Considered one of the most unique monuments of culture and religiousness, it was built in the 17th-18th c. as the symbolic imitation of Jerusalem. Arrival in Krakow, overnight stay.

Day 7

Breakfast. Departure for the airport.