The most recognizable Pope of our times – John Paul II – was Polish. The city of Krakow and Malopolska region are the homeland of future Pope John Paul II. He spent here most of his pre-Pope time – when he was known „only” as a Karol Wojtyła. Let’s take a quote from his pilgrimage to Poland’79:
” (…) I was born here in this land. I have spent most of my life here in Kraków (…) And it was here that I received the grace of vocation to the priesthood (…). It was here in the Wawel Chapel that I was consecrated a bishop (…)”
Route: Krakow – Czestochowa – Oswiecim – Wadowice – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Wieliczka Lagiewniki
Arrival in Krakow – one of the most visited Polish city by incoming groups – and transfer to hotel. Checking-in. Then, depending on Your arrival time, short walk around the Old Market Square or time for You to rest in a hotel. Overnight stay in Krakow.
Breakfast. We start our route from Krakow’s Archbishop Palace (Franciszkańska Street) with the well-known ‘Pope’s window’. Karol Wojtyła lived here during his episcopal ministry in Krakow, but was also a special guest, during his numerous pilgrimages to Poland as John Paul II. Next, we will visit Museum of the Archdiocese (Kanoniczna street) with reconstruction of room, where John Paul II lived as a priest, with many personal belongings of John Paul II, gifts or items that the Holy Father received during his numerous apostolic journeys. Walk to Wawel Royal Castle, and visiting Chapel of Saint Leonard, where Karol Wojtyla celebrated his first Mass. Walk to Market Square (one of the biggest in Europe), Saint Mary’s Church, dating back to year 1221 with famous, gothic Wit Stwosz altar inside. Overnight stay.
Breakfast. Departure to Czestochowa – The Jasna Gora Monastery is one of the most important sites of the worship of St. Mary and has been the heart of pilgrimage in Poland since centuries. Before dying, John Paul II sent a letter to the religious of the Shrine of Jasna Gora, in Czestochowa, and gave two gold crowns as a gift for the icon of the Black Madonna.
„I entrust our Homeland, the whole Church and myself to her maternal protection,” said the Pope in his letter, addressed to the monastery of Jasna Gora. Participation in the Mass.
After that, transfer to former nazi death camp Auschwitz – Birkenau – the only concentration camp, inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List. Extermination camp in Auschwitz is a symbol of Holocaust which existed from 1940-1945. We visit St. Maximilian Kolbe’s death cell. In 1982, Maximilian Kolbe was canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II, during his Holy Mass at the Auschwitz site. Overnight stay in hotel near Oswiecim.
Breakfast. Transfer to Wadowice – the town where Karol Wojtyla was born and raised. We visit the parish church in Wadowice where he served masses, we see the baptistery where the future Pope was baptised in 1920. Then, we take a really short walk towards the house where Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920. There are lot of Wojtyla’s family possesions, photographs and items connected with the Pope and his pontificate. After that, time to relax and taste „Pope’s Cake” – wafer-like cake with sweet cream. In the afternoon, transfer to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and visiting one of the most frequently visited pilgrimage centre. John Paul II took numerous pilgrimages there as a priest, and made a visit twice as a Pope. Accomodation in the nearby hotel. Overnight stay.
Breakfast: Transfer to Wieliczka and visit in the Salt Mine (UNESCO World Heritage List) built in the 13th century. We take a walk by „Pilgrimage Route” – blessed by Cardinal Dziwisz (a long-time private principal and friend of Pope) in 2010, where we can see the salt statue of John Paul II, blood relic of the Holy Father placed in the Chapel of St. Kinga or another Chapel devoted to him. Afternoon, transfer to Lagiewniki. Visiting the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy connected to the Saint Faustyna Kowalska. She was blessed in 1993, and canonised in 2000 by John Paul II. Overnight stay.
Breakfast. Depending on Your departure time: visiting the Cmentarz Rakowicki, where Pope’s parents and brother were buried and time to relax in Krakow or transfer to airport for your return flight.
Price in group min. 15 people: from 390 € per person
Price in group min. 40 people: from 315 € per person
Services included in price:
– 5 overnights in hotel*** in DBL room,
– 5 x breakfast,
– Signal Iduna insurance,
– english or german speaking tour leader during whole trip,
– local guides in Krakow, guide in Jasna Gora,
– entrance fees: Museum of the Archdiocese, Krakow – Wawel – Royal Apartaments and Crown Treasury and Armoury, Museum Auschwitz, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Karol Wojtyla House.
– supplement to HB – 90 €,
– supplement toFB – 165 €,
– supplement to SGL room – 150 €,
– transport: microbus for group up to 19 people: 110 € /person, bus for group up to 47 people: 85 € / person.