Treasures of Central Europe: Poland & Prague

A 12-Day Fully Escorted Pilgrimage to Poland and the Czech Republic
With: Fr. Nicholas Ho
April 23 - May 4, 2018

Trip Itinerary:*

 

Day 1. Monday, April 23: Transatlantic flight to Warsaw, Poland

 

Day 2. Tuesday, April 24: Warsaw

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

 

Day 3. Wednesday, April 25: Warsaw

Today enjoy a day of sightseeing in Warsaw. Your first visit is to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where Father Jerzy Popieluszko was brutally murdered by militant security police in 1984. Afterwards, walk along the streets of the Old Town. Admire the Castle Square with its Royal Castle, the Old Town Market Square, and the Barbican and City Walls. Visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Warsaw’s oldest church, and the Church of St. Anna, where Pope St. John Paul II celebrated a Mass for the young people of Poland. On the way to the hotel, admire Lazienki Park with a glimpse of Imperial Poland. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner with your travel companions. (BB, WD)

 

Day 4. Thursday, April 26: Warsaw – Niepokalanow – Swinice Warckie – Czestochowa

Drive to Niepokalanow, one of the youngest Polish Sanctuaries. This Franciscan Monastery was founded in 1927 by St. Maximilian Kolbe, a martyr from the death camp in Auschwitz, and in 1980 Pope St. John Paul II gave the church the title of basilica. Visit the Niepokalanow Sanctuary and the museum of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Continue to Swinice Warckie for a visit to St. Casmir parish church where St. Faustina, who spread the devotion of the Divine Mercy, was baptized. Then to Czestochowa, home of Poland’s greatest pilgrimage shrine, Our Lady of Czestochowa – the Black Madonna. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy dinner. (BB, D)

 

Day 5. Friday, April 27: Czestochowa – Auschwitz – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Zakopane

This morning, visit Jasna Gora Monastery (“Mountain of Light”) and its Treasury, with a splendid collection of precious gifts given to the monastery throughout the years. Pope St. John Paul II frequently visited the monastery throughout his life. Afterwards, travel to Auschwitz to visit the Nazi concentration camp in which St. Maximilian Kolbe gave up his life for another man. Then, visit Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the oldest Calvary in Poland. As Pope St. John Paul II was born in Wadowice close to the Kalwaria, he often walked the Calvary paths and prayed before the Zebrzydowska Blessed Mother. Continue to Zakopane, nestled high in the Tatras Mountains, it was a favorite getaway spot for Pope St. John Paul II. (BB, D)

 

Day 6. Saturday, April 28: Zakopane

This morning, visit the Sanctuary of the Holy Virgin of Fatima, a chapel built in 1999 in gratitude for Pope John Paul II’s survival of an assassination attempt. Continue with a cable car ride up Mt. Gobuwlka for a stunning view of the Tatras Mountains and Zakopane. On your return to Zakopane, visit the Jaszczorowka Chapel, which was visited several times by young Karol Wojtyla (Pope St. John Paul II), as it lies on the walking paths where he often prayed and reflected. Then stroll down Krupowki Street, lined with restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and souvenir shops. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Zakopane. (BB, D)

 

Day 7. Sunday, April 29: Zakopane – Wadowice – Wieliczka Salt Mine – Krakow 

Leave Zakopane and head for the city of Krakow, where then Karol Wojtyla served as Archbishop prior to being elected Pope. Along the way, stop in Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope St. John Paul II, and visit the house where he was born and the local church where he was baptized and received his First Communion. Continue to Wieliczka Salt Mine, the oldest and longest salt mine in Europe. Go 54 floors underground to see the many chambers and churches cut out of rock, including the magnificent Church of St. Kinga with altar pieces, chandeliers, and sculptures made of salt. Dinner awaits at your hotel in Krakow. (BB, D)

 

Day 8. Monday, April 30: Krakow: Old Town & Lagiewniki

Visit this morning the Rock Church where St. Stanislaus, patron saint of Poland, was martyred in 1079. Afterwards, continue to Wawel Cathedral, including St. Leonard’s Crypt where Pope St. John Paul II said his first Mass. Enjoy a leisurely-paced walking tour; visit the famous St. Mary’s Altar, the largest Gothic altar in the world, and admire the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and the burghers’ houses. Afterwards, visit the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow’s district of Lagiewniki. Here the message of Christ’s Divine Mercy was passed on to St. Faustina, whose tomb lies in this Sanctuary. Tonight enjoy dinner at a typical restaurant with Polish folk dancers. (BB, D)

 

Day 9. Tuesday, May 1: Krakow – Olomouc – Prague

On the way to Prague, stop at Olomouc, the ecclesiastical and historical capital city of Moravia in the Czech Republic. Visit the monumental pilgrimage site of Our Lady of the Holy Little Hill, built in the late 17th century in the Baroque style. Then, enjoy a tour of downtown Olomouc. Arrive in Prague for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 10. Wednesday, May 2: Prague

Begin with a visit to Loreto, the extraordinary Marian pilgrimage site with the Baroque Church of the Nativity and a replica of the Holy House of Loreto in Italy, surrounded by cloisters and chapels. Afterwards, visit Prague Castle with its churches, chapels, halls, and towers from every period of its history. Inside the castle visit Prague’s Cathedral dedicated to St. Vitus, 3rd century martyr of the Christian persecutions. The remains of King St. Wenceslas, the first Czech saint, and of St. John Nepomuk, martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, are enshrined in the cathedral. Next, visit the Royal Palace, seat of Bohemian princes. Outside the palace is St. George’s Basilica with relics of martyr St. Ludmilla, grandmother and tutor of St. Wenceslas. Then, walk down the Golden Lane, named after the goldsmiths that lived there in the 17th century. After lunch on your own, pray before the miraculous Holy Infant of Prague at the Church of Our Lady Victorious. The rest of the day is free; dinner is on your own. (BB)

 

Day 11. Thursday, May 3: Prague

This morning, visit the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn, built from the mid-14th to the early 16th century. Afterwards, enjoy a guided tour through the beautiful Old Town. Visit the Old Town Square, the Town Hall with its famous Astronomical Clock. The rest of the day is free. Tonight enjoy dinner with music to say farewell to this majestic Bohemian city. Overnight in Prague. (BB, FD)

 

Day 12. Friday, May 4: Return to USA

Transfer to Prague’s airport to take your homebound flight. (BB)

 

Buffet Breakfast (BB); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)

 

 * In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.

 

For more trip information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.

 

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