We do not surprise anyone when we say that the most prominent tourist attraction of Czestochowa is mysterious and beautiful painting that you can find in Sanctuary and the Pauline Monastery – the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. When coming to Poland, you cannot miss out on the most famous sacred place in the country. Besides the Black Madonna of the image of the Mother of God brought, you can see mighty fortress and monastery. Every year millions of pilgrims arrive in Poland mainly to visit the city and Sanctuary that have played a significant role in Polish history.
Pauline monastery in Częstochowa
The church and the whole fortress were built in the fourteenth century on a bright limestone hill. It would not be possible without funds of Prince Wladyslaw Opolczyk. Although all sacral structures are bewildering, the crucial attraction is a painting showing Black Madonna of Częstochowa. The monastery has a unique history, including the defense against the Swedes in 1655 during the Swedish invasion. Currently, it is the largest monastery in Poland and one of the largest pilgrimage centers in the world.
Black Madonna – the main attraction in Pauline monastery in Częstochowa
Black Madonna is the most famous, along with Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” (Czartoryski Museum in Krakow), painting in Poland. Historically it is the Byzantine icon painted with tempera on a linden board about 122 cm and 82 cm. Madonna is dressed in a dark blue dress and a coat with a red lining. She holds a baby (Jesus Christ) dressed in a carmine dress. The child has his right hand raised in a gesture of blessing, and he holds a gospel in his left. Maria’s coat is decorated with lilies, and the baby’s dress is decorated with golden rosettes. The characteristic feature of the image is two large cuts on Maria’s right cheek and a few other, less visible. There is also a certain disproportion (which was deliberated action of a painter) between Maria’s head and the baby’s tiny head. Maria’s face shows mercy and mild sadness. Their eyes also make a tremendous impression.
The history of the Black Madonna
The origin of the icon is shrouded in mystery. The oldest written source that mentions Black Madonna is “Translacio tabule” from the first half of the 15th century. The book contains a legendary description of the picture – supposedly painted by St. Luke, the Evangelist. As the source said, emperor Constantine the Great brought the picture from Jerusalem to Constantinople, and later give it to the Russian prince Lion. Then, during the war conducted by King Louis the Great in Ruthenia, the painting somehow ended up in Belz (near Lviv) in the hands of the prince Wladyslaw. He brought it to Poland and offered it to the Paulines in Jasna Góra. The beginnings of that story, to a certain point, are fiction, but there is no doubt that history is impressive. Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz, whose accounts were mostly close to the truth, put similar facts about the painting. Ruthenian chronicles state that the image of Black Madonna arrived in Lviv in 1270 from Kyiv, and earlier from Constantinople. Then Wladyslaw, the Opole prince, took it to Poland and gave to monks in Jasna Góra.
What else can you see in Czestochowa?
The Pauline monastery is astonishing, but Czestochowa, as befits the relatively big city, has much more to offer. Unfortunately, the rest of Czestochowa is in the shadow of Jasna Gora. And although we can spend the whole day there, it is too pity that most people do not even check what other tourist attractions of the city are. It is a mistake, because the city offers, for example, characteristic architecture.
When you approach the Sanctuary, you will have to go through the Avenue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The most representative street of the city built at the beginning of the 19th century. Over the past few years, Avenue of the Blessed Virgin Mary has undergone a significant renovation, making it a beautiful landmark of the city. While being in Czestochowa, you should also visit the classicist town hall at Plac Bieganski, built in 1826 after the merger of Old and New Czestochowa. Currently, the building houses the Czestochowa Museum. There are many historic tenements in the city center, e.g., The Merchant’s Tenement House on the corner of ul. Kosciuszki. A day or weekend trip to Czestochowa cannot end without visiting the most interesting Czestochowa’s museum – Match Museum. Established in 1882 and was the first match factory in Poland. In the museum, we can, among others, admire the efficient historic technological line (the factory still produces matches) and permanent exhibition in two exhibition halls.
Black Madonna tour and Czestochowa tour
Black Madonna of Czestochowa is the painting well-known in the whole world. Unfortunately, Czestochowa is not the most popular and best-connected city in Poland, so traveling to the Pauline monastery can be a bit difficult. To avoid any problems, you can take advantage of the Black Madonna tour and Czestochowa tour organized by Cracow4You. The price €150.00 includes transport from Krakow in air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz Minibus, English-speaking drive, insurance, and guided tour. Attractive price and excellent services make many tourists choose Cracow4You when coming to Poland, so without doubts, you can also check out the offer.