This hilltop monastery got its name from the segment of Jesus’ cross that was supposedly kept here. The abbey is at the top of Łysa Góra (595m) – the second-highest peak in the Świętokrzyski range after Łysica (612m). It has a fascinating history going back nearly a millennium. Most sources estimate it was built in the 11th century on an 8th- and 9th-century pagan worship site.
In more recent times, with the abolition of the Benedictine Order by the Russians in 1819, the abbey was converted into a prison. After a brief period of restoration, under Nazi Germany the buildings were reconverted into prisons. The Gestapo tortured many monks here before transporting them to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and many Soviet prisoners of war were executed and buried in mass graves near the peak. Under communism, the abbey was transferred to the national park and renovations commenced.