Sitting on the Warta River in southern Poland, Czestochowa is home to the 14th-century Jasna Gora Monastery, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world each year. The monastery is home to the Black Madonna painting, a shrine to the Virgin Mary that is credited with many miracles, including saving the monastery from an invasion by the Swedes in the 17th century.
In addition to the monastery, Czestochowa boasts numerous museums, including the Czestochowa Regional Museum and the Museum of Iron Ore Mining. The regional museum consists of several parts: the Town Hall, the Halina Poswiatowska Museum, the Gallery of 19th and 20th-Century Painting and the Archaeological Reserve of Lusatian Culture. The latter is a 2,500-year-old burial ground that also features displays about the Lusatian culture from the Bronze and early Iron Age. Not far from Czestochowa you can also find the ruins of a medieval castle in Olsztyn, a stop along the Trail of Eagles’ Nests tourist route.
Czestochowa sits in between Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw, but the nearest airport is at Katowice, from which a shuttle bus runs to Czestochowa a few times a day. The city is also accessible by bus and train from both Warsaw and Krakow, with the bus taking about three hours to each and the train taking about three and a half hours to Warsaw or two hours to Krakow. The bus terminal in Czestochowa is close to the central train station.