The Cistercian Trail in Poland – what to visit

The Cistercian Trail is a unique tourist route, created at the territory of Europe and occupying the major territory of Poland, especially in the western and central part of the country. This trail connects all the Cistercian abbeys in Poland, which have been created since the 12th century as the first monasteries in the Polish land. The Cistercian Trail was established in September of 1990 in the Cistercian Abbey in Mogiła, Kraków.

The 12th and 13th centuries were the time of the most dynamic development of the Cistercian Order in Europe, and thanks to these monasteries Poland went through major cultural development and had connections to Western Europe. Today the Cistercian Trail, similarly to St. Jakub’s Trail, determines the European Cultural Trail. In the field, it is marked with a small cross with rounded arms.

Among the objects at the Cistercian Trail in Poland there are 4 active Cistercian monasteries (Mogiła, Szczyrzyc, Jędrzejów and Wąchock), two of which have been constantly active since the middle ages (Mogiła and Szczyrzyc), as well as 4 parish churches under the care of the Cistercians (Oliwa, Sulejów and Henryków).

Attractions at the Cistercian trail

  • The Cistercian abbey in Oliwa – Today, the post-Cistercian walls hold the Gdańsk Clergy Seminar with the Archdiocesan Museum, the Cathedral of Oliwa remains under the care of the Cistercians
  • The former Cistercian abbey in Pelplin – in this post-Cistercian complex you can find the Collegium Marianum Catholic High School, as well as the Higher Theological Seminary, and the post-Cistercian church is one of the most monumental religious buildings of the brick gothic in Poland
  • The former Cistern abbey in Żarnowiec – the former gothic monastery buildings, adjacent to the gothic church of the Annunciation of the Lord. They are partially available for sightseeing
  • The former Cistercian abbey in Bierzwnik – currently the monastery buildings are occupied by a Roman Catholic parish church and available for tourists
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Bukowo Morskie, the monastery didn’t survive, but there is a gothic post-Cistercian church
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Cedynia, currently there is a hotel here
  • The former Cistercian abbey in Kołbacz with a late romanesque and gothic church, the monastery buildings that are preserved today are cultural objects
  • The former Cistern monastery in Koszalin with the Holy Trinity Church (currently orthodox)
  • The former Cistern monastery in Marianowo with the church of the Immaculate Concepetion of Our Lady, the well-preserved monastery buildings serve to the parish church
  • The former Cistern monastery in Pełczyce, currently in the hands of the Agricultural Agency, the post-Cistercian church disn’t survive
  • The former Cistern monastery in Recz, it didn’t survive to current times, the local post-Cistercian monuments can be admire in the nearby gothic church of Christ the King, which was patroned by the Cisterns of Recz, as well as in the National Museum in Poznań
  • The former Cistern abbey in Szczecin – it didn’t survive to current times
  • The former Cistern monastery in Wolin – it didn’t survive to current times, but you can still see the gothic church of St. Nicholas, which was patroned by the Cisterns
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Byszewo – the only thing that survived is the post-Cistercian church of the Holy Trinity – currently the sanctuary of Our Lady of Byszewo
  • The Cistern monastery in Chełmno with the church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist – today the well-preserved post-Cistercian objects remain in the hands of the nuns of St. Wincenty a Paulo
  • The former Cistern monastery in Koronowo – currently the monastery buildings are a prison, and the post-Cistercian church is a Roman Catholic church of the Assumption f the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The former Cistern monastery in Toruń – currently you can still see the post-Cistercian church of St. Jakub – one of the headquarters of the Toruń nuns, today the object is a UNESCO monument
  • The CistercianaAbbey in Ląd with the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas – the well-preserved monastery buildings hold the headquarters of the Higher Theological Seminary of the Salesian Society
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Kaszczor – the post-Cistercian church of St. Wojciech has survived
  • The former Cistercian abbey in Łekno – this is probably the oldest abbey in the Polish land, from the 1140s, it didn’t survive to current times, but two precious copies of the Bible from the 13th and 14th century, which were once owned by local monks, are kept in the castle in Kórnik
  • The Cistercian abbey in Obra – currently the well-preserved monastery buildings hold the Higher Theological Seminary of the Oblate Missionaries, and the baroque-styled, post-Cistercian church is the parish church of St. Jakub the Higher Apostle
  • The former Cistern monastery in Ołobok – from the monastery buildings only a fragment of the wings has survived, meanwhile another thing that survived is the small, wooden, post-Cistercian church of St. John the Baptist from the 16th century and the church of St. John the Evangelist, consttructed at the frameworks of a gothic Cistercian church
  • The former Cistern monastery in Owińska – currently in the monastery buildings hold the School and Education Center for Sightless Children, the post-Cistercian church is the parish church of St. John the Baptist
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Przemęt – surviving fragments of the monastery, the post-Cistercian church of St. John the Baptist, the affiliate church of St. Andrzej and the cemetery
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Wągrowiec – in the reconstructed monastery buildings you can today find a lapidarium and an exhibit dedicated to the Łekno-Wągrowiec abbey. You can also visit the Regional Museum in Wągrowie, which is located in the former Opatówka. Another thing that survived here is is the post-monastery church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the wooden church of St. Nicholas in Tarnów Pałucki, which is patroned by Cistercians
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Wieleń – here you can see the surviving church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Escape of the Sinners, currently the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Escape of the Sinners with a miraculous gothic scultpure of the Mother of God with Baby Jesus
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Bledzew – there are no surviving post-monastery buildings
  • The Cistercian monastery in Paradyż – in the monastery buildings you can find the Higher Theological Seminary of the Zielona Góra-Gorzów Diocese and the branch of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, you can also still see the post-monastery church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Marcin
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Mironice – no traces of Cistercian buildings have survived
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Zemsko – no monastery buildings have survived, only a summer residence of the abbots of Bledzew in Stary Dworek
  • The Cistercian abbey in Henryków – one of the most popular abbeys in Poland, created in the 1220s and run by Cistercian to this day, in gorgeous baroque-styled, 17th century walls you can today find the branch of the Higher Metropolitan Theological Seminary in Wrocław – since 1993 the shared novitiate of Cistercians in Poland, the Caritas rest-home of St. Jadwiga, as well as the Catholic General Education High School under the name of Blessed Edmund Bojanowski, the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joh the Baptist has the title of a Smaller Basilic, the entire complex is available for tourists
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Kamieniec Ząbkowski – in the monastery buildings, which survived to current times, you can find a division of National Archives in Wrocław and the Breeding Centre, and the post-Cistercian church is the parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Jakub the Older
  • the Cistercian monastery in Krzeszów – the surviving fragments of the abbey and thepost-Cistercian church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Gracious are currently under the care of the diocesan priests, the incredibly impressive temple with a two-tower facade, the Piast Mausoleum and a complex of chapels s one of the most outstanding works of late baroque in Poland, apart from that you can also see the post-Cistercian buildings such as the church of St Joseph, the Abbots’ Palace, the Krzeszów Calvary, and the chapel of St. Anna
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Lubiąż from the 12th century – the preserved monastery buildings along with the post-Cistercian churches of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Jakub remain under the care of the Lubiąż Foundation, which organizes renovation works here. This is the largest Cistercian abbey in Europe! The devastated, yet interesting interiors are available for tourists
  • The Cistern monastery in Trzebnica – one of the most impressive 13th century abbeys in Europe, currently the post-Cistercian holds: the Sanctuary of St. Jadwiga of Silesia, under the care of the Gathering of the SDS Salvatorians, the General Home of the Congregation of the Nuns of Mercy of St. Karol Boromeusz and a Social Welfare Home, lead by the Boromeusz sisters
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Jemielnica – the monastery buildings and the post-Cistercian church are under the care of the parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Jakub in Jemielnica
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Rudy – the beautifully renovated monastery buildings are the headquarters of the Formative-Educational Center of the Gliwice Diocese, and the post-Cistercian gothic church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is today the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Rudy
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Ludźmierz – today you can still see the post-Cistercian church – currently the famous Sanctuary of Our Lady Queen of Podhale, with the miraculous figure of the Mother of God with Baby Jesus from the 15th century
  • The Cistercian monastery in Mogiła, Kraków – Cistercians have lived in this abbey continuously since the first half of the 13th century, the monastery church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Wacław from the first half of the 13th century is one of the oldest brick buildings in Poland
  • The „Szklane Domy” monastery in Kraków – the monastery and church of Our Lady of Częstochowa and the Blessed Wincenty Kadłubek remain under the care of the Cistercians from Mogiła and the Służebniczki and Sercanki Nuns
  • The Cistercian abbey in Szczyrzyc – similarly to Mogiła, the Cistercians have lived in this abbey constantly since the first half of the 13th century, the surviving monastery and church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stanisław the Bishop are baroque-styled objects, available for tourists
  • The Cistercian abbey in Sulejów from the 12th century – after years of default, the Cistercians are currently still taking care of the abbey, the monastery with romanesque features has partially survived, as well as the romanesque church of St. Tomasz Katuaryjski, constructed almost entirely out of sandstone
  • The Cistercian abbey in Jędrzejów – one of the oldest abbeys in Poland, from the 1140s, currently it is once again the headquarters of the Cistercians, and in the monastery church, the Sanctuary fo the Blessed Wincenty Kadłubek has been established
  • The former Cistercian monastery in Koprzywnica from the 12th century – the monastery buildings and the well-preserved post-Cistercian church is currently part of the parish of St. Florian in Koprzywnica
  • The Cistercian Abbey in Wąchock from the 12th century – the monastery complex with the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Florian is currently once again under the care of the Cistercians, this is one of the most gorgeous examples of romanesque architecture in Poland.

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