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Arrive in Krakow. Transfer to the hotel. Check in and lunch. Afternoon guided tour of Krakow, that includes Wawell Hill and the Royal Cathedral, which holds the relics of St. Stanislaw. This was the seat of Cardinal Karol Wojtila before he became Pope John Paul II. Walk through Old Town, one of the finest in Europe. Visit Pope’s window and 14th century Mariacki Church (St. Mary’s), where Mass will be celebrated. In the evening dinner in a local restaurant with live folklore music.
Depart by coach for Czestochowa, one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the Christian world. An icon known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is the focus of the pilgrims’ journey here. Our Lady of Czestochowa has been proclaimed “Queen of Poland”, and has been 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. Lunch. Return to Krakow.
WIELICZKA SALT MINES, ŁAGIEWNIKI
Today we visit Wieliczka, a world and 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 is sometimes celebrated. Lunch in an underground restaurant. Afternoon visit to the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, located on the southern outskirts of Krakow. Here Sister Faustina lived, and is buried. We celebrate Mass here.
After breakfast, we visit the former Nazi Concentration Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Afterwards we drive to Wadowice, birthplace of John Paul II. We visit his former parish church and home. Mass will be celebrated here. Continue to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, a centre of pilgrimage in Poland second only to Czestochowa. See the Bernardine church and the Via Dolorosa which was built by the Zebrzdowski family in the early 17th century, following a version of the three crosses on their estate, followed by miraculous occurrences. Return to Krakow.
Today we drive to the town of Zakopane, Poland’s most famous mountain resort. 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 a nearby old cemetery with a number of fine wooden tombs. Continue to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Zakopane, as well as the Jaszcurowka Chapel, possibly the greatest architectural achievement of Witiewicz. Mass will be celebrated here. Return to Krakow.
Morning free. Later airport transfer and departure.
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