Niepokalanow is a Franciscan monastery-sanctuary, located in the village of Paprotnia. The monastery, covering the surface of 28 hectares, is located approximately 42 kilometers to the west from Warsaw.
The Niepokalanow monastery was established in August 1927 and it was the activity place of St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe. At the beginning, the religious state covered a small surface, but it grew over time along with its activity. On December 8th 1927, during the celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Monastery was sacrificed by provincial Korneli Czupryk.
Before the outbreak of World War II, there were 760 monks living in the monastery.
During the war, the monastery was a shelter for soldiers injured during the September Campaign. Between 1939 and 1940, there were about 1500 Jews living in the Monastery. They were relocated from the Wielkopolskie region and taken care of by the monks.
The warfare didn’t miss the citizens of the monastery. Maksymilian Kolbe was arrested in february 1941 along with 4 other monks. He died in the Auschwitz concentration camp 6 months later.
After the war, the monastery quickly resumed its publishing activity. In July 1945, the „Rycerz Niepokalanej” magazine was revived. Apart from that, numerous books dedicated to Maksymilian Kolbe.
But in may 1949, the communistic government stole the machines and equipment of Niepokalanow, which stopped the further development of the publishing house.
Only some of the prewar buildings survived to present day. Tourist should especially notice the so-called „old wooden chapel”. It was built in the autumn of 1927 and is considered the cradle fo the monastery. For many years after the war, the chapel served as the monument room. But in December 1997, its original function was revived.