Siga la ruta de los Nidos de Águila hasta Czestochowa para ver a la "Virgen Negra", una pintura gótica de la Virgen en el monasterio de Jasna Góra. Al regresar a Cracovia, parará en el castillo renacentista Pieskowa Skala, que alberga el Museo Nacional de Arte Wawel.
Pieskowa Skala castle was very picturesque through beautiful countryside. The guide was very good and gave time to visit the castle and a stop for refreshments. The Black Madonna at Czestochowa was a very uplifting experience with time to pray at the church and to view the Black Madonna close up. The food at the polish restaurant was delicious a very enjoyable trip.
My wife grew up in a community of Polish Americans and the Black Madonna was an icon not only of the Catholic Church in Poland but of the church in her community as well. Many families had a picture of her in their homes. She wanted to see it in person. The tour was a day long drive and when we arrived a Mass was being conducted in the chapel where the picture was displayed. We had a small glimpse of the picture over several hundred people and through a metal grate. We waited to the end of the mass in the hopes that some of the people would leave but as the mass ended a cover was lowered over the painting. We understood that it would be open for viewing again at 2:00 in the afternoon but our tour could not wait for that. The only saving grace was that we were the only two people on the tour and our tour guide Bruno was delightful and we enjoyed talking with him on the trip up and back. If you are going to offer this tour you should understand when the painting will be visible.
Beautiful castle: worthwhile are the beautifully restored renaissance courtyard, the impressive paintings and sculptures collection insight and the friendly and experienced guide. The church of the Black Madonna is like a little Vatican en the shrine itself, beautifully restored. After the tour, the guide even went with us to Krakow on a voluntary basis to show us some hidden places on the market square. highly recommanded.
While both tour destinations were outstanding and well worth a visit if a castle visit and religious shrine are your interests, we could have done without the snarky, anti-religion attitude of Andrew the tour guide. Fortunately, most of the visit to the shrine was self-guided after a brief introduction by Andrew. He should present a neutral opinion since most people taking this tour are almost certainly going for a spiritual experience. There were several museums at the site he just pointed out the entrance to. Other guides were together with other groups in the museums, offering commentary, etc. Why not with this pricey tour?
My experience was really very good and I recommend this tour to everyone who visit Poland! Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa is very special place and Black Madonna extraordinary! Our guide Andrew Andrej? was really nice and friendly person, his information about history of Poland was really useful! Pieskowa Skala Castle was also nice with its long history and beautiful nature. This tour was the highlight of my trip. Thank you!
For anyone interested in pilgrimage sites, this is a must do. To see this incredible painting and see the beauty of the chapels, it's breathtaking. My guide recommended the covering of the painting at noon only occurs during winter and I'm so thankful he did! I thought it would be a cloth over it, but there were drums and a plaque lowered over it. FYI Pieskowa Skala Castle is closed on weekdays in the winter season, but it was still beautiful to see the national park from the outside. My guide was absolutely delightful and so informative about the area and history of the painting. I highly recommend this tour to anyone!!!