Daily Archives: March 5, 2013

UNESCO World Heritage Site #203: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park

Posted by on March 5, 2013

UNESCO World Heritage Site #203: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site #203: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park

From the World Heritage inscription:

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is an exceptional cultural monument in which the natural landscape was used as the setting for a symbolic representation in the form of chapels and avenues of the events of the Passion of Christ. The result is a cultural landscape of great beauty and spiritual quality in which natural and man-made elements combine in a harmonious manner. The Counter Reformation in the late 16th century led to a flowering in the creation of Calvaries in Europe. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is an outstanding example of this type of large-scale landscape design, which incorporates natural beauty with spiritual objectives and the principles of Baroque park design.

The official name of this site is: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park. I think that just might be the longest name of any World Heritage site on Earth.

That aside, is the one of the more questionable world heritage sites I’ve visited. I don’t really think that the architecture is that much different than you will see in hundreds of other churches around Europe. I’m also not sure that a glorified stations of the cross is really worth of world heritage status.

Nonetheless, this is a popular pilgrimage site for Polish people and there is quite a bit both inside and outside the main cathedral devoted to the visits of Pope John Paul II, both as a boy, a bishop and pope. You can see a statue of him in the photo above.

I went in early March, but I got the strong impression that the site is much busier in the summer. There were very few people there when I visited, yet there parking spaces for large coach buses, a restaurant and large bookstore. Almost nothing here was in English, which indicates that the site is primarily of interest to Poles.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Tuesday Travel Update – Wrapping up in Poland

Posted by on March 5, 2013

Frank Sinatra is alive and well in Poland

The last week in Poland has been a whirlwind. Just 2 weeks ago I had no idea I’d even be coming here. Now I’m leaving tomorrow having visited both Warsaw and Krakow and 6 of Poland’s 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

I was pleasantly surprised with Poland. I enjoyed the food, I enjoyed the people I met and it is much more affordable than the rest of Western Europe. The fact that they aren’t in the Euro zone probably has a lot to do with that.

I am positive I’ll be returning to Poland someday.
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