Discover Krakow, Warsaw and Czestochowa with SATO Tours
Poland is a country rich in contrasts, which both enthralls and surprises the traveler.
Discover the most beautiful side of its cultural centers and immerse yourself with us in the ever-changing history of Eastern Europe. Here are the highlights that await you:
Get in touch with Chopin at the park Łazienki
Although it is common to link his name exclusively to the history of France today, the world famous composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin was born in Poland. In his hometown, Warsaw, not only the musical traces bear witness to the artist’s works. In the idyllically romantic park of Lazienki, dating from the 17th century, there is a special sculptural homage to the great composer, which is in turn one of the most important symbols of the capital.
Chopin’s imposing representation under a willow tree should have been completed in 1910 to mark the centenary of his birth. It was finally completed, conditioned by controversy and the outbreak of World War I, in the interwar period. This did not end the monument’s turbulent history. In 1940 the statue was demolished by the German occupying forces and reused as material for the production of weapons. Until 1958 a replica of the monument based on the only existing copy could not be unveiled at the original location.
Consequently, the statue of Chopin, at whose feet summer concerts are held every year, is not only a reverence to a great artist but also a silent witness to the history of Eastern Europe.
The fascination for the Black Virgin
Marian worship and deference are firmly embedded in Polish culture. In the monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, 220 km from Warsaw, we find a special representation of this spirituality; the Black Virgin, a painting of the Virgin Mary which is revered in Poland as the most sacred relic. The icon, which dates from the Byzantine era, had to be restored in 1433 after an attack by the Hussite Protestants. This did not result in any break in the aura and mysticism of the work. To this day there have been numerous stories about this painting made of linden wood.
Especially during the month of July and around the holiday of the Assumption believers traditionally make pilgrimages to Jasna Gora. In the church of her monastery during mass she is venerated every year in different artistic coatings. Even Pope John Paul II visited the Black Virgin in 1979. This icon, however has been receiving visits from pilgrims from all over the world long before our time.
Whether they are believers or not, the Black Virgin fascinates all visitors with her mystical aura and makes the stay in the second largest city in the Silesia region an unforgettable experience.
In search of historical footprints in Wawel
On the Krakow hill of Wawel stands the former residence of the Polish kings, one of the most impressive monuments in the history of Poland. This palatial complex has a special appeal because it has undergone successive expansions since its first construction at the height of the Middle Ages to become the imposing building of our day. Consequently, the architectural heritage to be discovered in this enclave is very varied. No one is surprised that the Wawel belongs, like Kraków’s Old Town, to the Unesco List of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
One of the most important parts of the Wawel is the Sigismund’s chapel with its gold copper veneer roof. It has a reputation for being the most beautiful Renaissance chapel outside Italy. Judge for yourselves, if it really is.
The long history of the palace’s 71 rooms, the adjoining cathedral, Maria’s roundabout and the dragon grotto not only give rise to arguments regarding architecture. To understand what the Wawel really meant for the Polish royal dynasty, a professional companion with relevant historical knowledge is necessary.
To finish the visit you will be captivated by the austere royal garden measuring 300 m2 with its Renaissance style, which guarantees amazement and will probably allow you to mentally plan the next trip to Poland.
Do you feel like getting to know Eastern Europe more closely?
Our leisure programs take you not only to the mentioned places, but also to many other places steeped in history. Marvel at the cultural diversity of Eastern Europe accompanied by our experienced guides and enjoy the comfort of accommodation in category 4 and 5 star hotels.