Chapel of Our Lady

Top choice in The Kraków−Częstochowa Upland

The oldest part of the Paulite Monastery of Jasna Góra contains the revered Black Madonna. The picture is unveiled to soaring music and prayer at 6am and 1.30pm (2pm Saturday and Sunday) and covered again at noon and 9.20pm (1pm and 9.20pm Saturday and Sunday). Be sure to note the walls displaying votive offerings brought by pilgrims. Adjoining the chapel is the impressive basilica (bazylika). Its present shape dates to the 17th century and the interior has opulent baroque furnishings.

On the northern side of the chapel, paintings in the Knights’ Hall (Sala Rycerska) depict key events from the monastery’s history; there’s also an exact copy of the Black Madonna. Upstairs, the Golghota Gallery contains a series of unique paintings by celebrated local painter and cartoonist Jerzy Duda Gracz (1941–2004), whose evocative works are indicative of the monastery’s ability to preserve its historical heritage while maintaining modern relevance. Note that many pilgrims traverse the circumference of the chapel on their knees.