Warsaw 20 ºC
Contact us
Wielkopolska - land of many saints

Virgin Mary’s Sanctuary in Lichen
Lichen constantly attracts crowds of pilgrims. They rush to see the painting of the Virgin Mary, the Sorrowful Queen of Poland as well as the biggest Polish temple, probably one of the biggest sacred buildings in Europe. It has been built since 1994, and its sumptuousness is literally breathtaking. The temple, designed by Barbara Bielecka, is a five-nave transept cruciform basilica (Latin cross) with a semicircular chancel. Its façade is headed by an impressive column portico. The whole building is covered with an enormous golden dome, visible from the distance of almost twenty kilometers. It has been estimated that the church can house 7000 people

The Stone Golgotha in Lichen
The miraculous painting is placed in St Dorota’s Church (neo-Gothic architecture). The tradition has it that it was found by Tomasz Kłossowski (a soldier and ex-landowner who had lost his fortune and taken on smithery) on his way back home from the Napoleonic wars. He hung the painting on a tree and, later, it turned out that it had miraculous power. Apart from the new basilica and St Dorota’s Church, tourists can also visit the Czestochowska Virgin Mary’s Church as well as take a walk in the surrounding park and admire numerous sacred and patriotic objects, such as a stone Golgotha or the monument of pope John Paul II.

The Church in Skulsk
The cult of the Virgin Mary the Sorrowful has been present in Skulsk for a few centuries. These days though, it is experiencing its revival. The pilgrimage season starts here in early spring and lasts till late autumn. The place is most frequently visited during the September indulgence (8-15 September). The legend has it that the Bolesław Chrobry’s knights saw the Virgin Mary on an island called Kepa Skulska. The king order to erect a chapel in these boggy fields. Soon, the chapel became the destination of pilgrimages. Presently, the pilgrims visit a church that replaced the chapel in 1810. Its Gothic Pieta – a wooden sculpture, dated at approximately 1420, nested in the late Baroque altar, captures visitors’ attention.

St Josef ’s Sanctuary in Kalisz
The place has an exceptional status among Poland’s pilgrimage sites. The cult of St Josef has been present here for 400 years, and the visiting pilgrims pray in front of the miraculous painting of the Holy Family, so far the only crowned picture of St Josef. The Sanctuary is located in the Kalisz collegiate of the Virgin Mary. Its beginning date back to the 13th century, yet in the middle of the 14th century the building underwent architectural modifications which gave it a Gothic shape. The building was partially destroyed in the late 18th century, later to be restored in the late Baroque style. The plenary indulgence takes place here on 19 March, but some pilgrims also visit this place on the 29 April (the priests – ex-prisoners of Dachau concentration camp) and 1 May (International Pilgrimage of Working People).

The Baroque Church on Swieta Góra near Gostyn
The Baroque church near Głogówek, known as Swieta Góra, is modeled on the Venetian Santa Maria della Salute. Its construction was initiated in 1675 by a Philippine, priest Stanisław Grudowicz, the founder of St Phillip’s Oratorio, located nearby. The work was supervised by Jerzy Catenazzi and his son Jan and, later, by Pompeo Ferrari. The latter is known for the dome, chancel and monastery buildings. The complex was fi nished in 1728. Swieta Góra is nowadays a popular and frequently visited sanctuary. The picture of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus and a rose in her hands, painted approximately in 1540, (placed in the main altar) attracts masses of people on daily basis.

The Baroque Temple in Górka Klasztorna
The place has a long history, written down by the Bernardines as late as in the 17th century. According to their chronicles, in 1079 the place witnessed the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, the Virgin Mary’s Sanctuary in Górka Klasztorna commemorates the appearance. Adjoining to the Baroque temple of the Virgin Mary the Immaculately Conceived are two wings of the Monastery of the Missionaries of the Holy Family. The missionaries have been looking after the sanctuary since 1923. The church has Baroque-Rococo interior decorations. In the churchyard there is a well from which pilgrims draw water which, ostensibly, gives good health.

The Way of the Cross in Ujście
The foundations were laid in 1893. Yet, 17 years had passed until the 14 chapels of the Way of the Cross (and some adjacent objects) stood on the steep slopes of the post-glacial stream valley of the Notec. Soon, Kalwaria became widely known in Wielkopolska. The faithful used to treat it as the destination of pilgrimages. During the World War II, the German military forces destroyed it. At the beginning of June 1976, overnight, 14 Stations of the Way of the Cross (decorated with sculptures) made by Jerzy Sobocinski replaced the destroyed chapels, in spite of the lack of permission from the authorities. The decision granting the restoration of the former Kalwaria was passed in 1997. The place hosts the greatest number of pilgrims on the first Sunday of July, the time of plenary indulgence.

The Collegiate in Szamotuły
A magnificent painting of the Kazanska Virgin Mary, the replica of the Russian icon presenting Virgin Mary the Consolation for the Tormented, has been the object of worship in Szamotuły Gothic collegiate for almost four centuries now. It was brought to Szamotuły by Aleksander Wolff, the then holder of the local castle. He placed it in the castle’s chapel. The icon would probably have stayed there for good if the Virgin Mary hadn’t shed bloody tears - the heartbreaking event happened on 24 April, 1665 and it was witnessed by eight people, including Wolff . A special committee appointed by the Poznan Curia classified it as a miracle and decided to move the icon to the collegiate.

Thus, the Virgin Mary of Consolation is the target of pilgrimages all year round, most of them in the period between March and September. The last Sunday of August ends the week of Virgin Mary’s glorification, celebrated here in exceptional dedication.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our address

Polish National Tourist Office
980 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 1550
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel