Wambierzyce is a small village at the foot of Gory Stolowe Mountains. It is located around 100 km from Wroclaw and 25 km from Klodzko. Buses from Nowa Ruda, Klodzko and Polanica Zdroj run here.
This location has been a pilgrim’s destination since the Middle Ages. This when the blind Jan of Raszew regained his sight in the 13th century, thanks to the statuette of the Blessed Virgin, located in the hollow of a large lime tree. At present, a magnificent church built in the 18th century is situated here. It has a characteristic, impressive facade in the Italian Baroque style, and is illuminated during celebrations, by a garland of 1390 light bulbs. Monumental stairs of 56 steps lead to the entrance. Altars with numerous pictures and votive offerings are placed in the gallery going round the oval nave. In one of them, in place of the legendary lime tree, there is a stone altar, baptismal font and a candlestick. The holy of holies is located in the chancel. It is a small statuette of Our Lady of Wambierzyce, only 28 centimetres tall, and called The Wambierzyce Queen of Families. It comes from the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries, and in 1980 it was crowned by Pope John Paul II.
In the 18th century, the owners of Wambierzyce rebuilt this place in imitation of Jerusalem, giving it a similar layout, with a small town square situated in the centre, and gates erected over the streets. The brook flowing through the village was named Cedron. The neighbouring hills were also given the Biblical names such as Zion, Golgotha and Tabor. Therefore, Wambierzyce is frequently called the ‘Silesian Jerusalem’. The architecture and landscaping with 30 Calvary Chapels and the symbolic places of the Old and New Testament are the attraction of this place. The wooden, polychromed statues in the chapels come from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the oldest and largest nativities is situated in Wambierzyce. This movable construction was built at the end of the 19th century by the local locksmith and clockmaker – Longinus Wittig. Out of the nativity’s 800 statuettes, 300 statues move thanks to clockwork mechanism. They not only exhibit religious scenes but also pictures of the life of Silesia’s inhabitants. The staging of a Passion play around Easter time is a tradition of Wambierzyce.
Road 5 (8, E67), Road 8 (E67), Road 388; 108,3 km
Open to visitors
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Wambierzyce the Queen of Families (Sanktuarium Matki Bozej Wambierzyckiej Krolowej Rodzin w Wambierzycach), Plac NMP 11,
tel +48 74 8719170; +48 74 8719195, fax. +48 74 8719196
The Mechanical Nativity (Ruchoma Szopka) – between May and the end of September – open Tuesday to Sunday, between 9.00 a.m. and 5.45 p.m. (except for Mondays). Between October and April, the crib is open between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m., tel. 074 87 19 197 (during the open hours)
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