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Jasna Gora - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa

Jasna Gora - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa

The sanctuary on Jasna Gora is a monastic complex of the Pauline Fathers in Czestochowa. The order arrived there in 1382 and was given a small church on Jasna Gora hill. They placed the painting of Our Lady with the Child. The painting is supposed to have been made by Lukasz the Evangelist on a piece of wood, taken from the table at which the Holy Family sat, prayed and had its meals. Recent research show that the painting was initially a byzantine icon of the "Hodgetria" type, dated back to 6th - 9th century. In 1430 a group of thieves from Czech, Morawy and Slask broke into the church, slashed the face of the Virgin Mary, threw the painting on the ground causing its break into three pieces.

Painting is also supposed to have saved the sanctuary from the Swedes' invadion in 1655. On 18th of November 1655, an army of 3000 soldiers led by general Miller stood in front of the walls of the monastery and ordered the monks to surrender. Jasna Gora's prior father Augustyn Kordecki decided to defend the place, having just 170 soldiers, 20 noblemen and 70 monks. 40-day battle ended with a polish victory, which is attributed to divine care and intervention. The place gained its significance on the 1st of April 1656 when King Jan Kazimierz made the Lviv Vows on Jasna Gora. Another attacks and robberies of the monastery took place during the years following Poland's Partition and under the Nazi occupation, during the World War II.

The stronghold on Jasna Gora has been surrounded by a wall since 1624 and the only possible way of entrance was through the eastern gate. The construction of the wall, initiated by king Zygmunt III Waza, was started in 1620 while the fortifications were designed by king's architect Andree dell' Aqua, basing on italian and dutch designs. Monastery's tower, which makes the whole complex visible from kilometers away, was built between the year 1617 and 1622. There are 516 stairs leading up and a cross with a raven holding a loaf of bread (Pauline Fathers' coat of arms) on the top of the construction. The most significant building of the complex is the basilica, located between St. Antoni's shrine and the main courtyard. It is a remarkable example of the baroque art, built in the period between 1692 - 1695 and 1706 - 1728. The wonderful painting is located in the chapel of Our Lady of Jasna Gora. The ashes of father Augustyn Kordecki lie in the niche in one of the walls of the chapel, which is the heart of Jasna Gora, a special place for prayers and spiritual experience.

Jasna Gora - map
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