Krzeszow is a village picturesquely located in the Sudety Srodkowe Mountains, in Kotlina Kamiennogorska. The domes of the monastery church can be seen from far away. The complex of the Cistercian Abbey in Krzeszow can be ranked among the most magnificent buildings of Baroque architecture in Europe. The easiest way to reach Krzeszow is via the A4 motorway, then road no. 5 or no. 3, via Bolkow to Kamienna Gora and then 7 more kilometres to Krzeszow.
In 1292, the Benedictine monastery already existing here, was taken over by the Cistercians from Henrykow. They had been invited here by Duke Bolko the I of swidnica, who endowed them lavishly. With time, thanks to numerous donations, the Cistercian estate covered almost 300 kilometres, comprised 42 villages and the towns of Chelmsko, Lubawka and Strzegom. The nearby healing springs in Cieplice also belonged to the abbey, as well as for some time, the castle in Bolkow.
The first Cistercian church was built at the end of the 12th century by Duke Bolko – the founder of the abbey - who was entombed there. His successors, Dukes Bernard and Bolko the II, were laid to rest here as well. Since the 18th century, their ashes have rested in the Mausoleum adjacent to the church. An obelisk-shaped monument of the Piasts of swidnica is situated in its central part. Whereas, the gravestones of the dukes, are placed on both sides, opposite which the Baroque statues of the duchesses are situated. Frescos painted on the Mausoleum’s ceiling depict the history of the abbey in Krzeszow.
The Cult Our Lady of Krzeszow and the miraculous, gracious painting of the Blessed Virgin are dated back to the 14th century In 1997, Pope John Paul II crowned Our Lady of Krzeszow and granted the monastery church the rank of minor basilica.
During the rule of the abbot Bernard Rosa (1660 - 1696) and his successors, the abbey became a powerful economic and cultural centre. The monastery church existing today, which was started in 1728, represents the Baroque style. The western façade is full of dynamism and has two 71 m tall towers, whose domes are topped with angels. The western facade has a characteristic system of decorations arranged in rows. This is the work of an excelled sculptor from Prague - Ferdinand Brokoff and his apprentices. The lowest ‘earthly’ row depicts the figures of saints, the middle row shows the figure of the Virgin Mary surrounded by the symbols of the Visitation and Annunciation, and the highest ‘heavenly’ part depicts the Holy Trinity. The organ from Krzeszow was built by the famous Michael Endler.
The Church of St. Joseph, the second of the abbey churches, has no towers. They collapsed during construction works carried out between 1692 and 1696 and there were no attempts to reconstruct them. The magnificent church frescoes were painted by the excellent painter of the Cistercian order – Michael Willmann. Together with his stepson Krzysztof Liszka, he painted a cycle of 50 paintings depicting the history of St. Joseph and the Holy Family on the side walls and vaults.
Viewed from the distance, the 32 chapels of the Calvary of Krzeszow, are extremely picturesque. They were placed among the hills, forests, meadows, fields and on the monastery graveyard. The Bethlehem Chapel is located 2 km away from the monastery. Midnight masses were customarily celebrated here.
In 1970 the Cistercians once again became the hosts of the monastery.
While visiting this area, it is worth going to the nearby Chelmsko slaskie, where the small, wooden Weavers Houses from the beginning of the 18th century called the Twelve Apostles are a tourist attraction.
Road 5 (8, E67), Road A4 (5, E40), Road 5, Road 367; 103,6 km
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Dom Obslugi Pielgrzyma w Krzeszowie, tel. +48 75 7423279
Urzad Gminy Kamienna Gora, al. Wojska Polskiego 10, 58-400 Kamienna Gora
tel. +48 75 744403133, fax +48 75 7442857
The Sanctuary in Krzeszow open to visitors
the summer season: between 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
the winter season: between 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.