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Podhale and Tatra Mountains - Churches and chapels

Church in Zakopane
Wooden architecture, both sacred and secular, is the region's true showcase, even though there are also some stone and brick pearls. The native inhabitants of the region are famous for their religiosity, which is reflected in the real treasures of construction in the form of churches and wooden chapels.

Let's start the trail of Podhale churches from Nowy Targ, because it is here that we can see the church of St Catherine, which dates back to 1346 and the wooden church of St Anna from the 15th century. Nowy Targ is an excellent base for further trips to treasures of the local architecture, e.g. the Shrine of Our Lady of Ludźmierz located 10 km to the west in Ludźmierz, where you can admire the beautiful rosary garden with the monument of Pope John Paul II. From Nowy Targ we can also head at Czorsztyn and it will be a great choice for many reasons! On the one hand, we can thus appreciate the natural values of the Pieniny Klippen Belt and of Gorce, on the other – see the treasures of Podhale religious architecture. This means primarily the wooden, Gothic church of St Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also listed on the Wooden Architecture Route along with other valuable wooden buildings in the neighbourhood: the church in Harklowa, as well as the church of the Holy Trinity and St Antony the Abbot in Łopuszna. Interestingly, it was in this latter place that Fr. prof. Józef Tischner spent his youth. It is worth visiting the Memorial Room dedicated to this personality, known as “Tischnerówka” and stop for a moment of reflection by the priest's grave at the local cemetery.

While in Zakopane, it is necessary to visit the church of Mother of God of Częstochowa with the Gąsienice family chapel and the Old Cemetery at Pęksowy Brzyzek located next to it, where almost every gravestone is a separate work of art! It is worth visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptówki, built as a form of gratitude for saving the life of John Paul II after the assault in 1981. Let's also go to Jaszczurówka, where you can admire the wooden Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus built in the Zakopane style. It was designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz, who had a huge impact on what happened in the culture and architecture of Zakopane at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. From Jaszczurówka we head north to Bukowina Tatrzańska, where the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located, and then further to Białka Tatrzańska to see the church of Sts Simon and Jude, the Apostles.

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