Welcome to Częstochowa!
Częstochowa is one of the largest pilgrimage destinations in the Christian world, famous for the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, also known as the “Black Madonna” icon, housed in the Pauline Monastery at Jasna Góra. 4.5 million people from over 80 countries on all continents descend upon the city every year to breathe in – even if only for a while – the unique atmosphere of the world-renowned sanctuary and treasure trove of the greatest Polish national relics.
The history of Częstochowa dates back to the 13th century. The city was created as a result of the union between the town of Stara Częstochowa on the Warta River and Częstochówka, located near the Jasna Góra Monastery, and is today home to a quarter million inhabitants. It is also an important business, science and cultural hub.
Besides its valuable monuments, the city also accommodates modern, well-developed infrastructure and vital social and business facilities. It is also a robust academic centre, boasting eight higher education centres offering courses in various fields to around thirty thousand students.
Visitors to Częstochowa are welcome to visit not only the Jasna Góra Monastery with the Black Madonna icon, Our Lady Chapel and Jasna Góra Basilica, the Treasury, the Jasna Góra Tower, the National Memory Chapel, the Knights’ Room, the 600th Anniversary Museum, St. Roch’s Bastion and the Jasna Góra Calvary painted by Jerzy Duda-Gracz, but also to admire other remarkable landmarks, museums and galleries. The city has a lot to offer to enthusiasts of both high-brow and alternative culture, as well as to history buffs and fans of religious and lay art: painting, sculpture and music, theatre, monuments of technology and even… astronomy!
Throughout the year, the historic Town Hall and the other venues of the Częstochowa Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery on the iconic Holy Virgin Mary Avenue (Aleja Najświętszej Maryi Panny), the Zachęta Gallery, the “Gaude Mater” Culture Promotion Centre and private galleries feature various permanent and temporary exhibitions. The precious Lusatian culture graveyard in the Archaeological Reserve, a collection of memorabilia of the brilliant poet Halina Poświatowska, a replica iron ore mine, match factory and railway museums, the city’s Judaica with one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Poland, collections of works by Tadeusz Kantor, Zdzisław Beksiński and other outstanding artists – these are only some of the elements of Częstochowa’s broad range of attractions, which also include open-air events, competitions, reviews and festivals which never fail to become real crowd-pullers. The Gaude Mater International Festival of Sacred Music, the most famous Harvest Festival in Poland, the Bronisław Huberman Violin Festival, the International Miniature Biennale, Hot Jazz Spring, Festival Reggae On, Festival of Alternative Culture Frytka Off or the Cultural Night, are some of the city’s flagship cultural events.
Częstochowa, located in a picturesque part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Jurassic Upland, also draws the crowds with its unique landscape. Thanks to the surrounding Jurassic hills, nature reserves, rocks and cave complexes, tourists visiting Częstochowa and the surrounding area can practice various sports, as well as engage in other leisure pursuits. Those seeking active recreation will be delighted by the region’s hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, cycling and horse-racing routes, canoeing opportunities, climbing schools, a beautifully located golf course and a modern off-road track.
The assets of Częstochowa and the surrounding area are well worth exploring. Częstochowa is a city immersed in Polish and European tradition, often referred to – due to the Jasna Góra Monastery – as the “spiritual capital of Poland”. At the same time, it is a city of dialogue between many cultures, open to the world and welcoming to tourists.
Częstochowa invites you!