Places worth seeing in Góra Kalwaria
The town hall is the most interesting representative of the classical style in Góra Kalwaria. It was raised in the years 1829-34 according to a design by Bonifacy Witkowski modified by Henryk Marconi. It burned down during the retreat of the Wehrmacht army from the town. The building was restored in 1951 and became a seat of the town and municipality authorities as well as of the Registry Office.
Opposite the town hall, there is the Baroque Church of the Exaltation of the Cross (commonly known as the Church on the Hill). It was constructed in the 2nd half of the 17th century at the junction of two main streets of the town. It was the initial station of the Way of Sorrows and was called the Pilate’s Chapel. Today, it is the central point of the Passion Play performed in the town each year (on Palm Sunday). In the church vault, the body of Bishop Stefan Wierzbowski, the founder of the town, was buried.
Another gem of Góra Kalwaria’s architecture is a former Bernardine baroque monastery complex and and the parish Church of Immaculate Conception. It was built in the years 1756-70, in a place where former parish church, destroyed by a hurricane, was located. Marshal Franciszek Bieliński, the funder of the church, whose body rests in the vault, entrusted the construction of the building to Jakub Fontana, an Italian architect.
Inside the church, one can admire the most precious sacred relic of Góra Kalwaria – the 16th century “Pietà”. It was probably brought to Poland on the order of king Zygmunt III Waza. It was granted to Góra Kalwaria as a gift from queen Eleonora – Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki’s widow.
In the garden situated at the back of the monastery, there is an 18th-century Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, with a statue of the saint known for its miracles. According to a legend, the statue was brought to Góra Kalwaria by waters of the Vistula river.
Opposite the parish church, there is an 18th-century Bishop's Palace, a former Magistrates’ Court.
Next to the Bishop’s Palace, a square with a bust of Józef Piłsudski is located. It is a reconstruction of a pre-war statue sculpted by Maria Owczarczyk. It was unveiled in June 1989.
Another monument, that is worth seeing, is a low relief presenting Adam and Eve, situated on the square at the ks. Zygmunt Sajna St. The work carved by Bronisław Krzysztof was unveiled in September 2011. It is a gift from the “Karta z Dziejów” foundation made to commemorate the presence of Jews in Polish history and culture.
The Cenacle situated in Marianki district is the best preserved piece of the town’s baroque architecture. It was built for the Congregation of Marian Fathers and became a gravesite of Father Stanisław Papczyński, the founder of the congregation. It was also a place where he started his two pilgrimages to Rome. In the recent years, the church, the design of which resembles the style typical for Podhale region, underwent a thorough renovation. It is surrounded by a park, in which one can find a contemporary Way of the Cross sculpted by Hanna Grocholska. Near the monastery, the remains of an old Way of the Cross have been highlighted. They were unearthed in the town centre some years ago.
Having a stroll around Góra Kalwaria, one should visit the former Piarist College founded in 1675 by Bishop Wierzbowski. In the 19th century, it was used as barracks by tsarist troops. For more than 170 years, it has been functioning as the biggest college in the Polish charity house. In recent years, these historic building have been thoroughly renovated.
The Jewish Gospel Hall built in 1901 is also one of the most precious monuments. In the interwar period, it was a place where only Hasids, i.e. Jews obeying the strict rules of Moses’ religion, could pray. Several years earlier, Tzadik’s estate was built next to it.
A wooden post mill in Linin is also one of the most important monuments situated in the vicinity of Góra Kalwaria. It is the last original 19th-century Warsaw mill of this kind. It was closed after the period of occupation.
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