Day 3 started with an exciting exploration of Wieliczka Salt Mine, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ending the morning with hearty lunch of polish food and pizza.
Next, we took about 1 hour drive to Wadowice, the city best known for being the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Wadowice is located about 50 km southwest of Krakow, situated on the Skawa river that is confluence of Vistula in the eastern part of Silesian Foothills.
Pope John Paul II, born as Karol Jozef Wojtyla (18 May 1920 to 2 April 2005) is a polish Pope that served in the sovereign of the Vatican City from 1978 to 2005. He is also known as Saint John Paul the Great by some Catholics.
As it is only a half day tour, we spend the afternoon exploring the town square of Wadowice where a Parochial church of the Virgin Mary’s Offertory minor basilica of the 15th century and the museum of the Holy Father Family Home of Pope John Paul II are located.
We started with the exploration of Minor Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Started off as a wooden church back in the 15th century, the church was rebuild in the 18th century following a fire that resulted in the present nave. The side chapels and sacristy were then built in the 19th century. The facade and tower were then rebuild to their present form towards the end of the century.
Minor Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Karol Wojtyla made his first Holy Communion in May 1929. He then received the sacrament of confirmation at the hands of Archbishop Adam Sapieha in 1938. Father Karol Wojtyla celebrated his first mass here on November 10, 1946.
Our guide cum driver, patiently and proudly brought us around the church showing us….
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, the main altar with a miraculous image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, crowned by Pope John Paul II in the Wadowice market square on June 16, 1999.
The Chapel of the Holy Family with its baptismal font and papal blessings for the renewal of baptismal promises is where Karol Wojtyla was baptised on June 20, 1920.
The Chapel of the Crucifixion contain the relics of Saints Padre Pio, Father Maximilian Kolbe and Simon of Lipnica exhibited on the altar.
The Chapel of the Saint John Paul II contain the altar stone that holds the drop of blood of the Saint Pope John Paul II. On the vault is an illustration of the last of his 14 papal encyclicals.
Indeed a beautiful church worth exploring with pillars with six altars that includes St. Anthony, St. Francis, St. Joseph and Divine Mercy.
We took a short rest while exploring the Wadowice Market Square. Interestingly, the square had tiles that named the countries that Pope John Paul II had visited during his time as Pope.
Next is the exploration of Holy Father Family Home of Pope John Paul II. We had made pre-arrangement booking for the English tour that afternoon that bring us around the museum whom was originally the home of the Karol Wojtyła and family.
The tour brought us around Holy Father Family Home of Pope John Paul II, the family home and the birthplace of Karol Józef Wojtyła, whom later was elected as Pope John Paul II and then canonised after his death.
Holy Father Family Home of Pope John Paul II, contain the objects that belong to the Wojtyla family and is also a museum that commemorates the Wojtyla’s life and his work in Poland until his move to Vatican in 1978.
We were brought around on the ground floor, starting with the history and the life of Wojtyla in Poland.
Next, we were then brought up 1 level where we see the family home of the Wojtyla’s family. This is the place where Wojtyla’s family rented two rooms with a kitchen in 1919. Karol Wojtyla was also born in this apartment.
After his mother’s death on April 13, 1929, Karol and his father only occupied the one smaller room and the kitchen. They lived in this house until 1938 when his father moved to Krakow.
Next, we were then brought to see the life and commemorates of Wohtyla and his life as Pope John Paul II.
Keen to read more about the life of Pope John Paul II? Read all about him HERE
Our exploration of Wadowice ended with an afternoon tea in one of Karol Wojtyla favourite place for the famous Cream Cake. A must stop and try! Perfectly paired with a glass of cold coffee… sinful I know but it is a MUST TRY after all!
A perfect ending to the memorable exploration before we head for the 1 hour drive back to Krakow.