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Jasna Gora Monastery, Poland

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Jasna Gora Monastery, Home of Poland's Black Madonna
Jasna Gora Monastery

Jasna Gora Monastery

Kerry Kubilius, licensed to About.com
Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa is home to Poland's Black Madonna, the country's most important religious icon.

History of the Monastery

The monastery was founded in the 14th century by Pauline monks from Hungary. As pilgrims came to the monastery and donations to it grew, the monastery expanded. After word spread of miracles ascribed to the Black Madonna, the number of devout increased and the monastery's fame spread. Jasna Gora, meaning “Bright Hill,” developed itself into a complex that could handle many thousands of pilgrims and hosted visiting popes, including Pope John Paul II.

Bell Tower of Jasna Gora

Jasna Gora's bell tower, over 106 meters in height, can be seen by those approaching the monastery and acts as a point of reference in Czestochowa. Previously damaged by fire, the newest part of the bell tower dates to the last century, but older sections of the tower are from the early 1700s. A clock tells the time on each of the four sides of the bell tower and the spire bears the symbol of the Virgin and of the Pauline order of monks who founded the monastery.

Jasna Gora Monastery Complex

The grounds of Jasna Gora are well kempt and tidy, and old and new architecture mingles to give it special character. Jasna Gora occupies enough territory to include a parkland that surrounds the monastery.

Jasna Gora Monastery is included on some organized tours of Poland, and if seeing this important religious site is important to you, you may want to look for such tours when you schedule your visit to Poland. If you'd rather go it alone, you can reach the city of Czestochowa by train. Or, if you are renting a car and want to explore Poland at leisure, the Czestochowa can be reached by car.

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