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Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (Poland)

Practical information about Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

  • Countryside
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
45 minutes from Kraków by car
When to go
All year round, though especially the 15 August
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

Nicolas Landru Travel writer
117 travel articles

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is one of Poland's most important Catholic sites. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is the site of a pilgrimage park consisting of a religious sanctuary set out on a hill and including a monastery, churches and a huge reproduction of the Stations of the Cross with chapels dotted along the route: a Mannerist architectural ensemble inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

My suggestion:
Follow the twin trails of the Passion of Christ and that of Mary. The Stations of the Cross here is the largest in Poland. It extends over a distance of three and a half miles and is dotted along the route with places of worship: a genuine physical reproduction of Jerusalem, all the way from the Via Dolorosa to the hill at Golgotha.

I found Kalwaria Zebrzydowska an incredible place, in a way that few other sites are! The sheer dimensions of this religious sanctuary, which is the second most important place of pilgrimage in Poland, are impressive. Its setting amidst a landscape of verdant hills, the profusion of Baroque buildings, the mannerist organisation and layout of this "pilgrimage park": all of it combines to make Kalwaria Zebrzydowska a place of extraordinary scale and size.

The Franciscan monks who built it at the beginning of the 17th century genuinely set out to create a life-sized reproduction of Jerusalem and Christ's final journey through the holy city. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is the route to Calvary rendered larger than life! The religious buildings here – the Franciscan monastery, the churches of the Grave of Our Lady and the Crucifixion, and the various chapels located along the Stations of the Cross – all exhibit the typical splendour of the Baroque style, especially its Mannerist movement.

At Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the cult of the Virgin Mary generates incredible religious fervour. When festivals and celebrations relating to the Virgin Mary take place – primary amongst which is the Assumption on the 15 August – crowds of people head for this little town located south of Kraków. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in Polish spirituality if you happen to be here on that day.

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska