Archive for May, 2020

2020 Poland: Virtual Tours

2020 Wawel title

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski na Wawelu): As part of the Cracow’s Historic Centre (the Old Town), the Wawel Royal Castle was among the very first sites inscribed on the UNESCO World’s Heritage list in 1978. The castle is one of the most historically and culturally significant 2020 Wieliczkasites in Poland and the viewable online Lanckoroński Collection is one of its finests.   Virtual tour link

Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli w Wieliczce): Existing since the 13th century, the mine was placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1978 (the site extended later to include the Bochnia Salt Mine and Żupny Castle). The Wieliczka’s tourist route is about 3 km long, includes 20 chambers, located at depths from 64 to 135 meters, an underground lake and numerous statues carved in salt. Virtual tour link

Royal Castle in Warsaw (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie): Placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites along with the Old Town in 1980, it receives about 500,000 visitors a year. The castle was totally destroyed by German occupiers during the WWII and reconstructed in 1971-1984.Virtual tour link

2020 Warsaw Castle

2020 Auschwitz

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau): Placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1979, the site’s name was changed to “Auschwitz Birkenau: German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)” in 2007. The museum preserves the memory of the 1.1 million people killed in the camp during German occupation of Poland. Virtual tour link

2020 Warsaw UprisingWarsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego): Opened to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the uprising in 2004, the museum preserves its history and materials (artifacts, documents) related to the Polish Underground State. Virtual tour link

Malbork Castle (Zamek w Malborku): Placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1997, this 13-th centuryTeutonic fortress is the largest castle in the world by land area and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Virtual tour link2020 Malbork

2020 BinarowaSt. Michael Archangel’s Church in Binarowa (Kościół św. Michała Archanioła w Binarowej): Built around 1500 in Gothic style, this is one of the group of six wooden churches inscribed on UNESCO World’s Heritage list as Wooden Churches of Southern Lesser Poland. Virtual tour link

2020 ZamoscOld City of Zamość (Stare Miasto w Zamościu): Inscribed on the UNESCO World’s Heritage list in 1992, Zamość is a unique example of the late 16th century Renaissance urban designs based on the Italian theories of the ‘ideal city.’ Its Old Town has many historic buildings – including the so-called “Armenian houses” that nowadays hold collections of the Zamoyjski Museum, named by the city founders. Virtual tour link

Zamoyski Museum in Kozłówka Palace (Muzeum Zamoyskich w Kozłówce): Belonging to the Zamoyski family between 1799-1944, the palace’s splendor reached its peak in early 20th century when owners aimed to turn it into the greatest aristocratic residence in Poland. Despite falling into the hands of Soviet Red Army in 1944, most artifacts survived untouched and the level of museum’s authenticity is very rare by European standards. Interestingly, the carriage house of the palace hosts now a museum of socrealism art.  Virtual tour link2020 Kozlowka

Saturday, May 30th, 2020 Newsletter No Comments

Centennial of John Paul II’s Birth

100th Birthday

May 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Saint John Paul II. He was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first one ever from the Slavic country (born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland). Notably, Poland remained behind the Iron Curtain at the time of his birth (May 18, 1920) and election to papacy (October 18, 1978). His pontificate was the third longest in the history (26 years) and his canonization process started just one month after he died on April 2, 2005. Following the canonization on April 27, 2014, his feast day as a saint is celebrated on October 22.

Called often the “Polish Pope,” the “Millennial Pope,” the “Pope Pilgrim” or “”St. John Paul the Great,” he has a special place in the history of Poland and the world. His life mission was to fight for the dignity and respect of every human being. Viewing Polish heritage as a foundation of his openness to the diversity of people, he advocated dialogue between the followers of all religions, and campaigned against political oppression and materialistic attitues plaguing the West. The influence of his teachings still extends well beyond the usual scope of Catholic Church.

NOBODY WILL REPLACE YOU (Nie zastąpi Ciebie nikt): Winner of the competition for hymn commemorating the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birthday.

John Paul II made pastoral journeys to 129 countries, attracting huge crowds in every corner of the world he visited. As Polish Americans, we never forget his first pilgrimage to Poland (1979) for it gave rise to the emergence of “Solidarity”, liberation of the nation from the communist rule and reconstruction of the unity of Europe. We also remember his seven visits to the United States and his words directed to Polonia communites around the world:

“Poland and Polonia communities abroad: In certain respects two different yet supplementary, complementary parts of the same realm, the same soul, culture, thinking and feeling, and history, aspirations, disenchantments, victories and defeats. (…) Today I repeat yet again that Polonia is important to Poland, just as Poland is important to Polonia. Both need each other reciprocally. Both need spiritual, moral and religious renewal; a continual renewal that shapes the inner core of a person, core of the family, society, core of the nation. (Holy Mass for representatives of Catholic Polonia community, Vatican, February 26, 1989.).”

FROM 0 TO 84: Life of John Paul II in pictures
(click on the rectangle in right corner for full screen view).

Originally in Polish: “Polska i Polonia zagraniczna. Pod pewnym względem dwie różne, ale uzupełniające się, komplementarne częśći tej samej rzeczywistości, tej samej duszy, kultury, myślenia i czucia, i dziejów, aspiracji, zawodów, zwycięstw i porażek. (…) Dziś powtórzę jedno raz jeszcze, że Polonia jest ważna dla Polski, tak jak Polska jest ważna dla Polonii. Obie są sobie wzajemnie potrzebne. Obie potrzebują duchowej, moralnej, i religijnej odnowy; nieustannej odnowy, bo z niej rodzi się wewnętrzny ład człowieka, ład rodziny, społeczeństwa, ład narodu… (Msza św. dla przedstawicieli katolickich środowisk polonijnych, Watykan, 26 lutego 1989 r.)”

Friday, May 15th, 2020 Newsletter No Comments

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