Holy Cross Monastery  

Holy Cross Abbey is one of the most important pilgrimage places in Poland. It is also an important point for many tourists. Its history is included in the stylistically diverse buildings preserved since the foundation: Romanesque wall of the first church, gothic cloister, baroque church and Olesnicki chapel. The location of the monastery is extraordinary – on the top of one of the highest mounts of Holy Cross Mountains. One can get more information about the history and rich ecosystem in the Natural History Museum of the Holy Cross National Park which is situated in the old north-western wing of the monastery.

The Holy Cross Abbey was the first sanctuary in Poland. To this day it remains an important place of worship and an exceptional historic architectural complex. For centuries it was a witness to important events in the history of the country that influenced its architecture. In the proximity of the monastery there are objects of historic value. One may find many remains of furnaces used previously for iron smelting. Consequently the Museum to Former Metallurgy in the Holy Cross Area was opened in Nowa Slupia. A Cultural and Archaeological Centre was also established as a result of the rich prehistoric settlement in the area. These lands witnessed the national liberation struggles of the 19th century. The death of Prince Adam Czartoryski in 1861 was honoured by the celebration of a solemn Mass and the installation of a stone mound, the remains of which can be seen in the eastern part of the clearing. The stone figure of a pilgrim at the foot of Bald Mountain is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the region. It is often said to be St. Emeric.

The monastery is situated in the Holy Cross National Park in a managed nature reserve.  Here can be found unique geological forms (boulder fields) and flora (larches, firs). The exhibition at the Natural History Museum shows the richness of the local nature. One can see the history of Holy Cross Mountains, forest ecosystems and uniqueness of their nature. The coat of arms of the Holy Cross Abbey (a double cross) was placed as a component of the coat of arms of the Holy Cross province to underline the significance of the monastery in the history of the region.