Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Krakow Pilgrimage- Day Eight- Outside the Old Town

Today was a more leisurely day. I spent it doing a ton of walking beyond the Old Town. By my map estimate I walked at least 12 miles. After going to Mass at St. Mary's I stopped at Cafe Camelot once again for breakfast. After that I poked around town checking out some of the bookstores. I did find a good book on the history of Krakow. Most of the bookstores here have a limited selection of books in English. The Bona bookstore near Wawel probably has the most in English for history books. I also found the one theology book they had at the Dominican Monastery on Aquinas from a Polish publishing company. Very cool!

Click below to read more!

After hitting the bookstores I ventured out towards the Norbertine Monastery. On the way I stopped to check out if the boat runs to Tyniec, which it appears it does at 10:30AM each day. I plan to hit that tomorrow. I went over to the Norbertine Monastery but everything was closed. I took some pictures though the grilled door of the church that was accessed from the front. After, I spotted two small churches on the hill across the street from it in a neighborhood. The Chapel of St. Margaret is a wooden church built in the late 1600's, originally used as a cemetery chapel. It is rarely open so the only pictures I took were from the outside. Across the street from it was the charming little Church of the Holy Savior. It was also closed. Archaeologists have dated this church site as early as the 10th century. Some claim its the oldest church site in Poland. Of course what you see now is not the original, which burnt down and was rebuilt several times since.

Nortberine monastery complex. 

Chapel of St. Margaret

Church of the Holy Saviour

The neighborhood looked interesting so I walked further up the hill. The road kept going up a long hill and it looked like it led up to a park so I continued. I passed a large cemetery, the second one I have seen here in Krakow. It seems that the Polish come and visit their dead loved ones quite often since there are always flowers and votive candles lit at the graves. There are in fact flower and votive shops right next to the cemetery. I also passed over what looked to be best described as tiny houses. These well kept lawns were dotted with little houses. I saw people out tending to the yards. On the way back I got some closer pictures. 

I soon realized that I had run into the huge mound that overlooks the city built in the 1800's to commemorate soldiers. The sign says the mound was made with dirt from various battlefields. After a long walk up a large hill I reached the top where there is a fortress building that surrounds the mound. I paid my 14 Zloty and entered. Not being one for heights when there are no rails, I found the winding trail that goes up around the outside of the mound to be a little sketchy. I followed a German family up the mound who were also moving slowly hugging the side of the hill on the way up! We all got a good laugh out of it. From the top however was a great view, aside from the hazy day.

Local neighborhood. 

Going into the park up the hill

Tiny hovel houses? 

Up the hill!

The Mound

Small chapel

Clinging to the side on the way up!

No rails...

At the top!

As I headed down the Mound, which was not as bad as going up, I decided to check out those little houses on my way back. I got some closer pictures. They are not really short, but very small and it looks like people live in them. I wonder if this is like economy little house living? They have well kept yards and seem to be in a fence enclosed community. I continued on down and over the Vistula taking pictures along the way and praying the Rosary. I passed by JPII's house that he lived in between 1938 and 1945. By the time I returned it was time for dinner. It was nice seeing some of the other parts of Krakow today. Tomorrow I hope to bring you Tyniec Abby!

Tiny house living?

Norbertine Monastery from the other side of the Vistula

Along the south side of the Vistula
Looking back at the Mound

The House of John Paul II between 1938 and 1945
Neighborhood near JPII house. 

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