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Wadowice

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Wadowice is a relatively small town with about 20.000 inhabitants. Wadowice is situated by the River Skawa, about 50km south-east from Kraków. It became famous thanks to the Pope, John Paul II, who was born here. Wadowice is often called the “Papal” town and attracts mainly tourists who want to pilgrim to the places, which were relevant to Karol Wojtyła, the previous pope. On a “Pope’s Trail", you can visit many of the important places to John Paul such as, his family home that has been transformed into a museum, The Holly Mary’s Church, where he was baptized and of course, his favorite cafeteria, where he frequently ate cream cake. These cakes have been made famous by the Popes love for them, and you can buy them anywhere in Poland now and of course, all the bakers claim, that they were the original bakers of these cakes.

The Pope John Paul II loved mountains, and he has made many of them famous with his many short trips to the peaks of the local ranges. The tracks that he most often walked are marked today with yellow marks, which classify them as papal trails. Among them are tracks to Groń and Laskowiec Mountains.

The Papal trail in Wadowice has a total length of 4,5 km, time of walking it is from 2 to four hours. It consists of 11 places around the whole town. It is clearly signposted, which helps you to find your way and gives you additional information about the attractions that you will be passing. To get a free guidebook about the trail, you need to go to the town’s information center at Kościelna Street 4 where they will supply you with one.

This town attracts many tourists not only because of the Pope, but also because of the beautiful mountain ranges that surround it, furthermore it has a very interesting culture and historical background. The town dates back to 1430, when it was given municipal rights by Prince Kazimierz I. Unfortunately, in the same year there was a great fire that almost completely destroyed the whole town. To speed up the rebuilding of the town, the prince gave its inhabitant's special, privileged rights that helped it to come back to life. In 1920, Karol Wojtyła was born here and later became Pope. During World War II, it was occupied by Natzi forces, and its name was changed into Wadowitz. After communism ended and times moved on the town has developed, into an educational and administrative center for the region.

Location and Other Attractions in the Area

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Wadowice is located to the south west of Krakow about 50km from the city center. The easiest rout from Krakow, would be to follow the road number 52 that will take you straight to Wadowice and is signposted all the way.

Distances to Wadowice from:

Krakow:49km
Zakopane:94km
Oświęcim:34km

Other Attractions in the area:

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Sucha Beskidzka is a very attractive little tourist town. One of the most famous attractions here is the Renaissance castle, now known as "The Little Wawel" it was built from 1554 to 1580. 

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The Museum of Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau is the only concentration camp to of been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The camp is located in the town of Oświęcim. 

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Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a very important pilgrimage site in Poland, situated about 30km south-west of Kraków center. It was created as a faithful duplicate of Jerusalem. 

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The Babie Góre National park is only a small part of the Beskidy Mountain Range. The most common place to enter the park is located by the village Zajowa.. 

 

Family Home of Pope John Paul II - st. Church 7

Since 1984, the Family Home of Pope John Paul II has functioned as a museum. It includes Wojtyła flat and the adjacent room. The exhibited includes personal belongings of John Paul II, as well as photographic documentation of his life as pope and his visits back to his hometown. In connection with renovation, the museum is temporarily closed. For the time of the renovation, there is a temporary exhibition in the Catholic house (on the other side of the church, next to the house of the Pope).

Visiting Hours & Ticket Prices:

October - April Tues-Fri. 9.00 - 16.00  

May - September Tues-Fri. 9.00 - 18.00

Closed on Mondays.

  • Normal ticket: 5.00zł
  • Discount ticket: 3.00zł
  • Family ticket: 8.00zł (max. 5 persons)

Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - pl. John Paul II 1


This was the place of Baptism and First Holy Communion for Karol Wojtyla. And a place, especially beloved by the Pope, who visited Wadowice reverently and kissed the baptistery of the Church.

The church can be visited daily. Sightseeing during services is prohibited.



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