Czestochowa is a very popular pilgrim place in Poland. Each year, in August, thousands of pilgrims from the whole of Poland walk towards Czestochowa to gather there on the 15th of August. But except for being the Polish Santiago de Compostela, has Czestochowa anything to offer? Check our article on things to do in Czestochowa.
Visit the Jasna Gora sanctuary
Whether you are religious or not, visiting the sanctuary in Jasna Gora is a must when you are in Czestochowa. Jasna Gora Monastery was founded in 1382 by Hungarian monks – Paulines. It was under siege several times in the medieval ages but surrendered only twice: in 1772 and 1806.
The sanctuary itself consists of the basilica, monastery, several chapels, chambers and courtyards, but not all may be accessed during the visit.
Tickets to Jasna Gora Monastery
Visiting Jasna Gora is free if you want to visit on your own. If not, you may ask for a guide (about 1,5-hour visit with a guide costs 150 PLN for up to five people or 25 PLN/person for groups bigger than 5.
Best things to do in Czestochowa – see the Black Madonna of Czestochowa
In 1384 Wladyslaw, the Duke of Opole, donated an icon of the Virgin Mary to the Monastry. Soon the monastery became a popular pilgrimage destination. The icon, depicting the Mother of God with the Christ Child, is known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa or Our Lady of Czestochowa. In 1430 the icon was almost completely destroyed but was later reconstructed and decorated in Krakow. Some damages may still be seen on the face of the Virgin Mary. The icon is believed to have saved Jasna Gora monastery during the sieges, although the painting itself had been evacuated before the siege started.
Black Madonna of Czestochowa is the most popular religious painting in Poland, and the most valuable exhibit in Jasna Gora.
Lech Walesa Nobel Prize Medal
Other valuable exhibit would be the medal from the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize received by Lech Walesa, the first democratic President of Poland, but since the Church became politically involved against Walesa, the medal is not properly exhibited.
Matches Museum in Czestochowa is a unique place. It is located in an old matches factory. It has still working production lines which are presented during the visit. Sadly this is a place that will probably cease to exist soon, so if you are in Czestochowa it’s worth checking if the museum still working. To visit the museum, you should make an appointment (0048 602 462 285). The ticket costs 20 PLN.
Park of miniatures
This is another place that will disappear soon, although it was open in 2013. It was advertised with the monument of John Paul the Second – supposed to be the biggest in Poland (yes, we love big religious monuments – check out Swiebodzin Christ). Now it is officially closed, but possible to visit. Most of the miniatures are in bad condition and covered by plants, which makes them even more horror-like.
Old Jewish cemetery
It was established at the beginning of the 19th century by the Jewish community of Czestochowa. It is the fourth largest necropolis of this type in Poland, with the number of mitzvot and graves reaching 5,000. The oldest tombstone comes from the beginning of the 19th century. Some of the tombstones still have traces of original polychromes. The local ohel of Tzadik Pinkus Mendel Justman, who died in 1920, is visited annually by Hasidim from all over the world. During World War II, the cemetery area was the place of execution of Czestochowa Jews – their remains were placed in mass graves.
Walk around the city
Czestochowa is not the most beautiful city in Poland, but there are some places worth seeing,
Franke’s House was built between 1901 and 1903. In the beginning, it belonged to Adolf Franke, a Lutheran originating from Greater Poland and also an owner of a spinning mill and textile mill. Between 1918 and 1939, Hotel ‘Victoria’ was located here. During the Second World War, it stood on the border of the Jewish ghetto, which made it the key point for those wanting to escape. After the dismantling of the ghetto, the Franke’s House hosted German hospital and army hotel, and after the war, it was the seat of the High School of Arts and a bursary.
St Mary Avenue
This is the most important street in Czestochowa, with its end leading directly to Jasna Gora. It is about 1,5 km long, and thanks to its hills, offers a great view of the Monastery.
Kohn’s House is a neo-classicist townhouse, built in 1865. Before the war, a number of enterprises were operating in the building, including Bankers, Jackowski’s Restaurant and Cafe, and Bata’s Shoe Shop and between 1909 and 1930 a cinema called “Odeon”.
Polish Bank’s Townhouse
Polish Bank’s Townhouse is an Art Nouveau townhouse, built in 1904. In the beginning, it was the seat of a local branch of the Russian State Bank. In 1927, the building was taken over by the Bank of Poland. After World War II, it became the property of the National Bank of Poland. In 1990, the building was sold to the ING Silesian Bank
Ulica 7 Kamienic (7 Townhouses Street)
This is is one of the historical streets in Częstochowa. It is 600 metres long and was constructed in the first half of the 19th century. The name derives from the seven houses which had been built at the beginning. Now, it looks a bit like a square, with lots of restaurants and some hotels. It is very close to Jasna Gora Monastery so it’s worth taking a look.
Merchant tenenent house
A historic, corner tenement house at the most important intersection in Czestochowa – St Mary Avenue and Kosciuszki Avenue. It was built during the years 1894–1907 in the neo-Gothic style, and it hosted many public institutions.
The Babel tower
This is a popular place among photographers and Instagramers, And when you see it, you’ll know why. The mural was designed by Tomasz Setowski.