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Arrive in Krakow and transfer to the hotel. Check in and lunch.
Afternoon guided tour of Krakow, that includes the Wawel Castle and the Royal Cathedral, which holds the relics of St. Stanislaw. This was the seat of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla before he became Pope John Paul II and here, at the altar of St. Leonard’s Crypt he said his first Mass.
Walk through Old Town, one of the finest in Europe, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Visit to Bishop’s Palace, St Peter’s and Paul’s Church, Jagiellonian University and the Main Market Square with the Cloth Hall and 14th century St. Mary’s Church, where Mass will be celebrated. In the evening dinner in a local restaurant with live folklore music.
Depart by coach to Czestochowa, one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the Christian world. An icon known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is the destination of the pilgrims’ journey here. The Lady of Czestochowa has been proclaimed “Queen of Poland”, and is the symbol of Polish national and religious freedom. We visit the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, where Holy Mass will be celebrated. Afterwards there will be time for private devotions.
Return to Krakow.
Dinner at the hotel.
AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU, WIELICZKA SALT MINE
After breakfast visit to the former German Nazi Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau (UNESCO Heritage Site). This is a symbol of human hate and genocide in Nazi Germany. The camp operated during the 1940- 1945 was the largest in the Third Reich. In this camp were killed about 1.5 million people. Most of the victims were Jews.
Afternoon visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine (UNESCO Heritage Site), where we visit the unique salt mine, which contains a labyrinth of underground tunnels all shaped by hand and cut out from the salt. There are altars and chapels, including the highlight, the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, where Mass will be celebrated.
Return to Krakow. Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, we drive to Wadowice, the birthplace of John Paul II. We visit his former parish church and the Pope’s family home, which houses a museum dedicated to his life. Coffee break and the opportunity to taste the famous cream cakes, the Pope’s favourite.
Afterwards we drive to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, where a Bernardine Shrine (UNESCO object) can be admired. Cross Road called “Polish Golgotha.” Kalwaria’s Pathways are unique in terms of architectural collection of churches, chapels and statues, where during Holy Week is reconstructed the Passion of Christ. Kalwaria is next to Czestochowa, the most important shrine and pilgrimage center in Poland.
Return to Krakow. On the way back stop in Lagiewniki visiting Sanctuary of Saint John Paul II to pray to His relics and nearby Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki (where Sister Faustina lived and is buried), both located on the southern outskirts of Krakow.
Dinner at the hotel.
Today we drive to the town of Zakopane, Poland’s most famous mountain resort and the highest situated town in Poland. Drive through the remarkable village of Chocholow – the geatest example of a wooden village (where most of the wood houses were built in the 19th century), visiting a local wood sculpturer’s workshop and a shepherd, who makes a famous cheese called oscypek.
We follow the Krupowki street to reach the large stone, neo-Romanesque parish church and a much smaller old parish church, a rustic wooden construction dating from 1847 with its charming folk decorations inside and a nearby old cemetery Peksowe Brzysko with a number of fine wooden tombs. Continue to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Zakopane, as well as the Jaszczurowka Chapel, possibly the greatest architectural achievement of Witkiewicz. Mass will be celebrated here. Trip by a cable car to Gubalowka (summit with a beautiful panorama of the Tatra Mountains). Dinner at a local inn (karczma) with folk music.
Return to Krakow.
Morning free. Later airport transfer and departure.
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