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Kraków

Kraków

Kraków abounds in places connected with the Pope. It is particularly worth mentioning the Palace of the Archbishops in Franciszkańska Street. This is where Karol Wojtyła lived as bishop and where he stayed as a special guest during his pilgrimages to Poland as John Paul II. Standing at one of the palace windows, he conducted the famous evening conversations with young people. Before the future Pope moved to the palace in Franciszkańska Street, first as priest, then as suffragan bishop in the years 1953–67, he lived in one of Kraków’s most beautiful streets – Kanonicza.

Today the building hosts the Archdiocesan Museum of Kraków, which displays, among other things, relics and memorabilia related to John Paul II. Visitors can also see the room once occupied by the future Pope. One of the items on display in the room are Karol Wojtyła’s skis, testimony to his passion for skiing down the snow-covered mountain slopes, which he kept up even after 1978. Right above Kanonicza Street extends the castle and cathedral of Wawel. The Wawel Royal Cathedral of Sts. Stanislaus BM and Wenceslaus was the place where Karol Wojtyła celebrated his first mass (in the Romanesque vault of St. Leonard). It is also here that Wojtyła was anointed bishop and where his inauguration as the new archbishop of Kraków was held. As Pope, he visited “his” cathedral seven times. Another important place connected with Karol Wojtyła is Błonia, the district of Kraków famous for attracting crowds during papal services. Today the place where the altar used to be erected is commemorated by a massive boulder.

Retracing St. John Paul II in Kraków

 
     

Shrine of St. John Paul II in Krakow Lagiewniki, the tombstone of St. John Paul II, Wikimedia Commons

 

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