Artistic events within the Youth Festival will also take place outside of Krakow. The artistic program is prepared in 22 locations in the area of pilgrim accommodation. Listed below are the places where the Youth Festival will take place.
The full program of Youth Festival events outside of Krakow is available for download in a PDF file at the bottom of the page
Bochnia is the oldest city in Małopolska; it received its municipal charter about four years ahead of Krakow. This is because of the discovery of rock salt deposits in the area in 1248. Bochnia Salt Mine is the oldest continuously operating mining plant in Europe. Proof of the important role Bochnia salt mine once played is in the fact that Krakow Saltworks, which included the younger nearby mine in Wieliczka, generated 1/3 of the revenue of the royal treasury during the reign of King Casimir the Great. Today, Bochnia Salt Mine offers tourists many attractions: a multimedia route, underground train rides, boat passages, educational activities, integration games, sliding down a 142-meter(!) slide, and others. Modern Bochnia is not only living history built on salt. There is also a Butterfly Museum – "Arthropoda" – that houses Poland's largest permanent exhibition of more than 5,000 specimens from all over the world, and a Polish art gallery, gathered in the Stanisław Fischer Museum. Among the 19 thousand exhibits are numerous memorabilia associated with the person of St. Pope John Paul II. Near the medieval market square stands the majestic St. Nicholas Basilica with the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Chapel of St. Kinga – patron saint of salt miners. Situated on seven hills (like Rome), Bochnia captivates with its greenery. Visitors to this mining town have many opportunities for active recreation. Among those worth mentioning are the historic Planty Salinarne and Uzbornia Family Park.
More information at: www.bochnia.eu
Brzesko is a municipality in the Małopolska Voivodship with over 36,000 residents. The oldest traces of human presence in the area date back 3,500 years. Brzesko was founded between 1344 and 1352 by Spycimir Leliwita, castellan of Krakow. Since 1998, the city is once again the capital of the county, an important center of industry and commerce in the region. Brzesko has had the honor of hosting many important figures: St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, whose remains rest in the church on Skałka in Krakow, was born here. Johann Evangelist Götz, founder of Okocim Brewery, visited Brzesko in 1845. Ludwik Solski – the biggest Polish actor, and Kazimierz Missona – playwright and poet, both lived in Brzesko. Andrzej Munk, a well-known film director, was a frequent visitor to the city.
More information at: www.brzesko.pl
Chełmek Municipality is located in the western part of the Małopolska Voivodship. Chełmek is famous for its shoes. For many years, the city operated one of the largest shoe factories, founded by Tomas Bata. Among the most interesting places in the Municipality of Chełmek are the eighteenth-century palace and park complex in Bobrek, historic outbuildings – laborer quarters built in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the sacred complex in Bobrek, and the historic wood granary from the seventeenth century. While visiting Chełmek, it is worth seeing the church of Our Lady Queen of Poland as well as millstones from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – relicts of the industrial history of Chełmek, once used to crush calcium carbonate in the gypsum mine. In the Paprotnik district is a monument commemorating victims of World War II, kept in a branch of the concentration camp in Auschwitz.
Approx. 150 objects in Chełmek are covered by conservation care, such as the aforementioned churches, statues, shrines, and wooden buildings. Chełmek puts a lot of effort into expanding the passions and interests of its inhabitants: their reading, artistic, and sports skills.
More information at: www.chelmek.pl
Chrzanów is a town of medieval origin, located in the southern part of Poland, in the Małopolska Voivodship, on the border of the Silesian Upland and the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Chrzanów preserved its medieval chessboard market layout, with streets leading away from the center. For many years, the city was a typical merchant town, remaining in private hands. Since the nineteenth century, the town began to take up an industrial nature due to the opening of the mine "Matylda," the creation of the first Polish locomotive factory "Fablok," and ceramics plants. Before World War II, about 50% of the inhabitants of the city were Jews. Today, the city has less than 40 thousand residents.
The patron of Chrzanów is St. Nicholas, bishop. The city has its own coat of arms, flag, and also a bugle call that is played every day from the roof of the magistrate of Chrzanów. Within Chrzanów are three direct exits to the A4 motorway (E40), thanks to which the city has fast road connection with Krakow (40 km) and Katowice (30 km).
More information at: www.chrzanow.pl
Dobczyce, located approximately 30km from Krakow, is a place where history, culture, and recreation meet. The main attraction is the castle hill with the ruins of the castle from the mid- thirteenth century, open-air museum, and historic church that surround the restored city walls. The rich history gives it a fantastic atmosphere, which is only reinforced by the view of Lake Dobczyce. At the foot of the hill is the city center, where special attention should be paid to the parish church, where the most important monument is a fifteenth-century pieta.
In the center is a goat figure, characteristic of Dobczyce, reminiscent of a story of the town, associated with grazing goats. Today, Dobczyce is famous for its traditional ice cream and walks along the crest of the dam! Interesting sights, attractive walking trails, remarkable landscape, and the peace and harmony that prevail here are a unique opportunity for an active holiday in the picturesque Raba River valley.
More information at: www.dobczyce.pl
The Gdów pedigree reaches as far back as prehistoric times. Archaeological finds from the Palaeolithic and Mesozoic eras, as well as from the Bronze Age, offer a glimpse into the very early settlement of these lands. It is worth visiting the village of Hucisko in Gdów, known for the home of Tadeusz Kantor – founder of the Polish avant-garde theater CRICOT, Kantorówka – with its original 14-meter concrete sculpture called Kantor's chair, and the parish church of the Shrine of Our Lady of Gdów (which, according to legend, was founded by King Władysław of Varna in thanksgiving for saving his life), whose interior is decorated in baroque and rococo styles. In Niegowic – one of the oldest parishes in Galicia, built on the initiative of Fr. Karol Wojtyła, you can also view the confessional where the future Pope confessed and a replica of his tomb in the Vatican. In front of the church is the only monument in the world of vicar Karol Wojtyła. Found in the Regional Chamber of Remembrance are, among other things, keepsakes associated with the visit of vicar Karol Wojtyła to Gdów. In Pierzchów, the biggest attraction is the mound of General J. H. Dąbrowski, who was born in this village in 1755. The mound is 7 meters high and is crowned with a half-meter obelisk. The municipality of Gdów is also a very attractive place for tourists who enjoy an active lifestyle. Raba River, around which there are numerous hiking trails and bike paths, is a picturesque place, perfect for summer relaxation.
More information at: www.gdow.pl /www.ckgdow.pl
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a small town lying in a beautiful, hilly area just 10 km from Wadowice. It is famous for its well-developed craftsmanship – local carpenters are known and respected throughout all over Poland and even Europe. Since the seventeenth century, Kalwaria has been a very important place of devotion to which pilgrims from all parts of the world belong, and their number now reaches up to two million per year. Pilgrims especially visit the Paths of Jesus and the Paths of Our Lady – also called the Polish Jerusalem. It is a complex of more than 40 religious buildings lying on the picturesque slopes of the Beskids, connected with the life and passion of Christ and His Mother. The Paths, along with the Shrine of Our Lady of the Angels have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999.
Pilgrims also pray before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Kalwaria, famous for its graces for hundreds of years. As a child, Pope John Paul II offered his hardships to the heart of Mary before this image. On numerous occasions while visiting Kalwaria, he mentioned that his priestly vocation was shaped there. As Pope, he visited the sanctuary twice. This picturesque place, outside the huge tourist values, hides a deep spiritual mystery, which anyone who becomes a Pilgrim of Kalwaria finds.
More information at: www.kalwaria-zebrzydowska.pl
Kazimierza Wielka is located in the south-eastern part of Niecka Nidziańska, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. The city has a multidirectional spatial layout with its center located in a valley, where a group of ponds comes together. During World War II, Kazimierza Wielka was the seat of the Kazimiersko-Proszowicki Partisan Republic 1944. There are monuments in the city, such as: the parish church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross from 1633, a Fortified Tower from 1888 that currently houses the Muzeum Ziemi Kazimierskiej (The Kazimierza Museum), the neo-Renaissance Lacon Palace from the second half of the nineteenth century and the headquarters of a sugar refinery, also from the nineteenth century, Piwnice Dworu (Manor Cellars) from the eighteenth century and Park Dworski (Manor Park) from the eighteenth century, converted into Park Miejski (City Park). For many years, the municipality had an agricultural character, associated with agricultural and food processing and the operations of the Łubna Sugar Refinery. Currently, thermal springs discovered in Cudzynowice are leading to new trends in development. From a farming municipality, we can become a recreational-spa municipality. Another advantage of Kazimierza are sports facilities, located throughout the city, eg. a full-sized sports hall, indoor swimming pool, two “Orlik” playing fields, municipal stadium, tennis courts and a swimming area over a water reservoir that is guarded during vacation time. Kazimierza Wielka is a municipality open to people and new investments, and the creation of a municipal health resort is currently our biggest challenge.
Krzeszowice Municipality is the largest municipality in the district of Krakow. A large part of the municipality lies in the Jurassic Landscape Parks – three parks and three nature reserves are found here. Krzeszowice boasts many attractive tourist areas and is covered in tourist trails – hiking, biking, and educational, and Nordic walking.
There are several dozen historical monuments in the municipality, among which the most visited are the ruins of Tenczyn Castle in Rudno, the Monastery of Discalced Carmelites in Czerna, the wooden church in Paczółtowice, and Potocki Palace in Krzeszowice. The municipal center – the city of Krzeszowice – is known for its healing sulfate-calcium-magnesium-sulfur mineral waters, which have been used to treat various diseases since the seventeenth century. Located in the municipality, in Paczółtowice, is the largest complex of golf courses in southern Poland. One can also take advantage of a shooting range and horse stable. Hiking along the trails, you can enjoy nature, learn the history of Polish coal mining, and get to know the ancient history that is imprinted in the stones sought by amateur mineral collectors and professional mineralogists, for whom this is the most attractive geological area in the country.
More information at: www.krzeszowice.pl
Libiąż Municipality is located in the western part of Małopolska, in southern Poland, between two large agglomerations: Krakow and Katowice, not far from Auschwitz. Libiąż is famous not only for its mining traditions, but also for its green, attractive recreational areas and sub-regional sporting events. In Libiąż, you can visit the neo-gothic Church of the Transfiguration (from the beginning of the twentieth century). For those who value peace and nature, Libiąż offers a rich green city parkland. It is worth paying a visit to, among other places, Park Młodości, where there is a statue of St. John Paul II, and a unique arrangement of lights creates an amazing atmosphere at night. Equally impressive is Skwer Skarbnika, named after the legendary underground spirit and protector of miners. Libiąż owes its unusual appearance to the hills, all of which offer an interesting panorama of the south of Poland and local ponds Szyjki and Ziajki, which are great attractions for anglers and tourists.
More information at: www.libiaz.pl
The city of Mszana Dolna is located 60 km south of Krakow, among picturesque hills. Surrounded by the peaks of the Island Beskids and Gorce Mountains is the capital of Zagórzany – an ethnic group of the highlands that has created its own unique folklore. Around Mszana Dolna is the base of the Island Beskids, rich in summits with steep slopes and flattened tops, separated by river valleys and low passes. South of Mszana Dolna is the Gorce mountain range. The great natural wealth of these areas are the woods and the remnants of the Carpathian forest protected by Gorce National Park. "Papal Routes" are marked in the Gorce Mountains and in the Island Beskids. The mountain routes, marked by plaques, run along the traditional trails that Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, once wandered. A railway line built in the nineteenth century runs through the area from Kasina Wielka – the highest-placed station in Poland. This station served as the set of many films, including Schindler's List. In the summer, retro public steam locomotives with antique cars run from Chabówka to Kasina Wielka.
More information at: www.mszana-dolna.eu
Mysłowice is a city located in the center of Upper Silesia in southern Poland, with a rich history dating back to the fourteenth century. Walking the charming streets of the city, you can come across numerous traces of history, such as: famous religious buildings, Three Emperors' Corner, and the Central Museum of Firefighting, which is unique in our country. Modern Mysłowice has undergone enormous changes. Post-industrial areas have been revitalized, creating a space for the development of services. The city, once industrial and based mainly on the mining industry, has been transformed into an attractive service city for its residents. The city is known for supporting native artists and promoting the development of culture. Numerous concerts and performances by artists recognized in the region as well as across the country are held here, including the ecumenical festival "Be Like Jesus!", that hosts stars from all over the world. Residents willingly rest, taking advantage of the recreational and sporting complex Słupna Park.
More information at: www.myslowice2016.pl
Myślenice is a town located 30 kilometers south of Krakow, in the Raba River valley. The city invites admirers of historical monuments, hiking, and active leisure. The heart of Myślenice Market is surrounded by tenement houses (including Obońskich Tenement with the image of Our Lady of Myślenice on the facade). Near the Market is a parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in it the treasure of the city – the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Myślenice, a work originally belonging to Pope Sixtus V. Market located nearby is the "Greek House” Museum. Another religious landmark worth visiting is St. Jacob’s Church, surrounded by a nineteenth-century cemetery. In the vicinity of the temple, on the slopes of Plebańska Góra, is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows. For many years, the water coming from a source next to the chapel was considered to have healing properties. At Zarabie, the recreation and leisure section of Myślenice, there is a sporting hall, a running-biking path along the Raba River, and a park. The highest peaks are Mount Chełm, which you can access using the longest cable car in Poland, and Uklejna. On its slopes, history is intertwined with legend. In the Middle Ages, a tower was erected here, which guarded the royal road running from Krakow. Besides guards, robbers led by Katarzyna the Robber also sought shelter in the fortress. Today, the area is a nature reserve called "The Castle on the Raba River".
More information at: www.myslenice.pl
Pałecznica Municipality is located in the northeastern part of Małopolska Voivodship 43 km north of Krakow. It is part of Wyżyna Miechowska and Płaskowyż Proszowicki. It is a typically agricultural municipality, with great potential for tourism development. The short distance that separates it from Krakow allows one to spend pleasant time in nature surrounded by picturesque landscapes, and numerous gullies and watercourses. It is also worth mentioning the attractive monuments situated in its territory, including the church of St. James the Apostle, which is an example of medieval architecture combined with neo-Gothic elements and a baroque interior. Nearby there are also stately eighteenth- and nineteenth-century homes. Through the municipality runs the Lesser Polish Way of Saint James, referring to the 206 km medieval trade route leading from the country of the Vistula valley – from Sandomierz to Krakow. This is one of the most important Christian pilgrimage routes.
More information at: www.plecznica.pl
Proszowice is a town in the Małopolska Voivodship, located approx. 30 km east of Krakow. The town was granted municipal rights by King Casimir the Great in 1358. Proszowice was once a royal town of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom. For centuries Proszowice was the largest local center of trade and commerce. Polish kings visited here, including Władysław Jagiełło. Located in Proszowice is the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as a church. The temple was built in the thirteenth century. It was destroyed by battles at the beginning of the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth century, a brick church was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Just after World War II, a brick bell tower was built next to the church. The church complex further includes a convent. Additionally, there are several shrines, statues, and crosses, as well as the old Jewish cemetery in the city.
More information at: www.proszowice.pl
The history of Rabka dates back to the thirteenth century, when the Cistercian monastery settled here and is associated with sources of salt. The name "Rabka" was first mentioned by Jan Długosz. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the brine in Rabka was already used to treat diseases in humans and animals. In the nineteenth century, a spa opened, later specializing in treating children, and has further been evolving in connection with the Chabówka-Krakow rail. Rabka has been granted the title of "City of Children of the World" by the Chapter of the Order of the Smile, UNESCO, and the Governor of Nowy Sącz. Lack of excessive heat and bitter cold promotes climatic treatment. Natural resources in Rabka-Zdroj include mineral water. These are some of the strongest brines in Europe, which are used in bathing, drinking and inhalation treatments, including healing respiratory, cardiovascular, neuroses, and many other diseases. Also worth seeing in Rabka are: the wooden church of St. Mary Magdalene – Wladyslaw Orkan Regional Museum, train station, spa, the wooden Holy Cross Church on Piątkowa Góra, St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church, and the Rolling Stock Open-Air Museum in Chabówka.
More information at: www.rabka.pl
The area of the municipality stretches along the Wieliczka Foothills; part of it lies near the Dobczyce Reservoir. Siepraw is located only 18 km from Krakow. For many years, the beautiful location of the municipality has attracted tourists, as well as sports enthusiasts, and those seeking peace and quiet. There are also places and attractions located in Siepraw that offer different ways of spending free time (Public Sports Complex Solar Park – football, volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball, tennis, walking paths). Siepraw enjoys a growing popularity among tourists and pilgrims owing to the devotion to blessed Aniela Salawa, who was born in Siepraw in 1881 and was later beatified by Pope John Paul II. There is a spring located in Siepraw dedicated to blessed Aniela Salawa, which is a place of pilgrimage, reverie, and rest. The calendar of cultural events includes: National Gospel Workshops (January or February), Days of Siepraw (August), and the Siepraw 5k.
More informaton at: www.siepraw.pl
Skalbmierz lies in the Kielce-Sandomierz Highland. The first mention of Skalbmierz was in 1217. The city and municipality of Skalbmierz have a rich history, beautiful sights, and the existing infrastructure gives you the opportunity to rest and relax. The real jewel of Gothic architecture is the fifteenth-century collegiate church of St. John the Baptist with elements of eleventh-century stonework. Restored in recent years, the canonical stalls are among the most beautiful in Poland. You can also visit picturesquely situated churches in Małoszów and Poplar. For those looking for peace and focus, we suggest a pilgrimage by way of the Lesser Polish Way of Saint James that runs through the community of Czarnocin towards Pałecznicy. Along the way, you can admire the prehistoric burial mounds in Kobylniki and Rosiejów. After a long day of sightseeing, you can relax by the water – enjoy the beach, play water sports, fish, or walk (around the reservoir is an approx. 1 km-long promenade). Nearby are a bike path, tennis court, playground, and sports fields.
Sucha County, called Podbabiogórze, lies on the southwestern tip of the Małopolska Voivodshp. It consists of a vast mountainous land: Beskid Żywiecki, Beskid Makowski, and Beskid Mały. The natural wealth of the region includes forests, which occupy almost 50% of the county. Natural, scenic, and cultural qualities of Podbabiogórze make it an attractive area for tourism and recreation. The county has a very well-developed network of trails – hiking, skiing, biking, and horseback riding, as well as properly prepared accommodation and catering for guests. The main tourist attraction of the county is Babia Góra (1725 meters above sea level), the highest peak in the Western Beskid Mountains, found in Babiogórski National Park. Bordering the county include the southeastern part of the Beskid Mały Landscape Park and two other nature reserves. Worth visiting are the renaissance castle in Sucha Beskidzka, called "Little Wawel," antique wooden architecture – wooden churches in Lachowice, Łętownia, and Zawoja, the "Rome" inn in Sucha Beskidzka, and two open-air regional building museums in Zawoja Markowych-Rówienkach and Siedzina. Rich traditions and folklore of these lands cultivate regional bands whose performances can be seen at numerous folk festivals organized here throughout the year.
More information at: www.sucha-beskidzka.pl
Trzebinia Municipality is situated in the western part of Lesser Poland Voivodship, halfway between Krakow and Katowice. Good transportation is ensured by an extensive road system, including the A4 highway, as well as favorable rail connections. A visit to Trzebinia town center is a good idea for a rest stop during a family bike ride. Within 800m to the north of the center, one can comfortably reach the historic Zieleniewski Manor House, surrounded by a beautiful park. The Trzebinia Cultural Center organizes numerous cultural events throughout the year. In the summer, cafe tables set up in the park’s greenery attract pedestrians. A number of other interesting places are situated within 1km of the Market Square: the Municipal Public Library that offers free internet access, a 3D cinema near “Sokół” Cultural Center and the “Balaton” reservoir – an unusual, yet popular place for swimming, set up in a flooded quarry. In the area, one can also visit places such as: The Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary in Płock, the Minor Basilica – Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, the Palace and Park Complex in Młoszowa, and Indoor swimming pool MZN.
More information at: www.trzebinia.pl
Wadowice, a city with a very long history, is located only 50 km from Krakow, at the foot of the Little Beskids mountain range in the picturesque valley of the Skawa River. It is the birthplace of the greatest Pole, Saint John Paul II. During his last visit here, he said: "...Here, in this town, in Wadowice, everything began. Life began, and schooling began, and studies began, and theater began, and the priesthood began...”
You can visit the house where Karol Wojtyła was born and which has now been transformed into the Family Home Museum of John Paul II to find out more about the life story of this remarkable person. In the City Museum, one can learn about the history of the city, particularly the days when it was home to young Karol. Visit the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice and see the baptismal font at which Karol Wojtyła was baptized, as well as the chapel with the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in front of which he liked to pray as a child and as a young man. While visiting the beautiful town, you can also enjoy the nearby trekking trails that lead to the peaks of the Little Beskids mountain range. Saint John Paul II also walked these paths. On the peak of John Paul II, you will find the chapel of Our Lady Queen of the Mountains, founded by tourist-pilgrims. From here you can wander on the papal routes to the nearby Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, where the Marian shrine with its famous miraculous picture of Our Lady of Kalwaria is located.
More information at: www.wadowice.pl
Wieliczka is a town famous for its unique salt mine with underground corridors that amaze tourists from around the world. The oldest salt mine is a UNESCO national heritage site. The salt mine in Wieliczka is the only mining site in the world that has been in constant operation since the Middle Ages. After a walk through the underground corridors, one should visit the city – the second world – external, but also captivating with its beauty. Attention is drawn primarily to the nearby Żupny Castle, with the Baroque-style Morstin Family chapel. Fitting into the architectural panorama of the city is, among other things, the larch wood St. Sebastian’s Church, as well as the stately silhouette of the monastery of the Franciscan order with the church. Drawing attention to itself in the center of town is the renovated Upper Square with a three-dimensional painting on the pavement. Wieliczka is also a thriving center of sports and recreation with the "Salt City" Education and Recreation Center and the Małopolska Athletic Arena, which will host the Youth Festival during World Youth Day in 2016.
In the immediate vicinity of Wieliczka lays Campus Misericordiae (Field of Mercy), which will host two World Youth Day main events: 30 July – night vigil with youth and Pope Francis, and 31 July – final Mass at the conclusion of World Youth Day.
More information at: www.wieliczka.eu
Bibice (Gmina Zielonki)
Zielonki Municipality surrounds Krakow directly to the north. The northern parts of the district are located in Ojców National Park (Ojcowski Park Narodowy) and only 5 kilometres separate the southern border from Krakow’s Market Square. The exceptional beauty of Zielonki district is visible in three forms. The first one of them is a vast panoramic landscape, especially in the area near Krakow, as well as the hills in the southern parts covered with a variety of fields. The second is created by numerous captivating valleys and ravines with various flora and calcareous remains. The third one is natural monuments – wonderful specimens of old trees and lanes present in the whole area. This amazing region, Prądnik Valley and Dłubnia Valley, hides a lot of Polish history, including: Eagle's Nest (Orle Gniazdo), in other words the castle in Korzkiew, five forts of the Krakow stronghold, a manor in Bolen, and a manor in Owczary. A majority of the district is located in the protected landscape area of Krakow Valley Park (Park Dolinki Krakowskie), Dłubniański Landscape Park (Dłubniański Park Krajobrazowy) and Ojców National Park (Ojcowski Park Narodowy). The local community cultivates the tradition of historical outfits and students (Pucherok). Native inhabitants, very proud of the tradition and history of their land, aim to preserve its cultural heritage. These attempts have been reflected in two Museums: one located in Bibice – one of the oldest villages in the whole country – the other, in the district capital – Zielonki.
More information at: www.zielonki.pl