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Tyniec Castle

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Brief History of the Castle in Tyniec.

Tyniec Abbey is one of the oldest monasteries in Poland and is still in use today as a monastery as well as a resting place for members of the church in Krakow. The development of the abbey first started here in the first half of the eleventh century. In 1044 Casimir the Restorer, founded the abbey on the site of a previous castle, sitting on a cliff, right on the banks of the Vistula river. In the second half of the eleventh century, the additional building of brick residential buildings along with a Romanesque basilica was conducted, which fragments of have survived to this very day. In 1260, during the Tartar invasion, the monastery was substantially damaged, despite its strategic location along with the existing stone, fortifications. After reconstruction, the abbey was further fortified and permanently manned with guards. On the site, there was erected a defensive castle, which served as a frontier stronghold until the fifteenth century. At that time, the entire complex of buildings had  thick walls surrounding them, which from the inside had a special walkway for guards and a number of loopholes. Subsequent shifting of the borders have made the strategic importance of the stronghold in Tyniec drop considerably.

Through the centuries, in which architectural changes were made to the abbey, in accordance with the prevailing trends in art, the most important element of worship that remains in Tyniec is the Romanesque basilica, which eventually acquired a Baroque decor. During the Swedish "deluge" in the seventeenth century, the abbey was devastated. The monastery was, however, restored relatively quickly, and enjoyed great wealth and peace, until the time of the partitions. The abbey twice repulsed the attacks of the Russians in 1771 and 1772. After the first partition, the abbey went into the hands of the Austrian authorities, and the monastery ceased to act as a stronghold or for storage of equipment. In 1831, a fire destroyed the buildings in Tyniec, as a result of which they were abandoned, and the whole complex of buildings fell into disrepair.

For over one hundred years the abbey and the lands remained uninhabited until 1939, just before World War II, when 11 monks from Belgium, where the abbot was the father Charles van Oost, took over the abbey. Shortly after the war began, work aimed at the reconstruction of the neglected buildings and conservation of the historical elements started. Currently, the Benedictine abbey, mainly functions as a role of a pilgrimage site, but also operates a museum, and the beautiful location of the monastery and the breathtaking views of the Vistula River attract numerous visitors.

The Tyniec Benedictine Cultural Institute provides a number of interesting events from the world of culture, music, art and spirituality, which take place on the lands of the Abbey in Tyniec. There is also a permanent exhibition in the abbey museum. The basement and ground floor of the building present a number of exhibits related to the history of the abbey. Additionally, you can view an interactive presentation about the history of the abbey and of Benedictine monasteries in Tyniec. There is also a film, "A Day in the life of a monk," in which we hear from the daily host of the Tyniec monastery.


Opening hours:

  • Open everyday: 10.00 – 18.00

Ticket prices for 2011:

  • Permanent exhibition – 5zł
  • Temporary exhibition "as a feather carried by the wind .. World of Hildegard of the Bingen."
  • Normal Tickets – 6zł
  • Reduced Tickets – 3zł
  • Guided tours of the abbey (start on the hour) – 6zł
  • Monday – Friday 9.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00
  • Saturday 9.00-14.00, 16.00-17.00
  • Sunday10.00, 12.00-17.00
  • Combined ticket (visiting the museum and the abbey) – 9zł
  • Family ticket (includes museum & visiting the abbey) – 25zł
  • Children up to the age of 6 have free admission.


For groups or for a guide in a foreign language, please call the following number tel. (+12 688 54 50, +12 688 54 52)


Opactwo Benedyktynów w Tyńcu

ul. Benedyktyńska 37

30-398 Kraków

tel. (+12) 688 54 50

www.tyniec.benedyktyni.pl – the official site for the Abbey in Tyniec Benedynktynów

www.benedyktyni.eu – page with information about events organized in Tyniec monastery




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