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Mini guide part 7

It is worth seeing
A mini guide to Jarosław

Having visited the abbey, we suggest a further tour around Jarosław. We shall take Zielona Street and reach Kraszewskiego Street, which currently seems to divide the city into two: the eastern and western parts. A significant part of the western side has developed at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century as a villa district. Until this day you can appreciate the houses surrounded with gardens, diverse burgher houses with eclectic façades and rich architectural details. All weary visitors of our city are welcome to take some rest in one of the two parks along Kraszewskiego Street. Apart from enjoying recreational activities in the Baśka Puzon park, you can see there the so-called "small orthodox church", which played the role of a cemetery chapel up to the beginning of the 20th century.

Further down the Kraszewskiego Street you will arrive to the main intersection with many fine residential burgher houses, in majority built at the very beginning of the 20th century. The diverse shapes of the roofs, decorative balconies, the rich external decorations, atlantes, caryatides, carved heads of poets are all elements which can be seen on similar tenement houses in Cracow or Lwów, and also, on a smaller scale, on the burgher houses in Jarosław.

Having crossed the intersection, we will stop at Jana Pawła II Street to visit the Franciscan Reformatory church and monastery hidden behind the walls and founded in 1700 by Antoni Kwolka, a citizen of Jarosław and count Franciszek Zawadzki, coat of arms Ślepowron.

Consecrated in 1716, the Holy Trinity church is nowadays a sanctuary of the Holy Cross - a one-nave baroque church adorned with seven altars. Next to the temple there is a one-storey, three-winged monastery with a cloister garth. The entire structure, typical of the Reformation building style is encircled by a wall with Stations of the Cross.

John Paul II Street leads to one of the oldest and most beautiful places of worship in Jarosław - the sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows. Originally, this was a small wooden church related to a legend of St Jacek Odrowąż and the visit of queen Jadwiga. The miraculous effigy of the Virgin Mary which appeared in 1381 on a pear-tree is inextricably linked to this church since it emerged exactly on the place where the wooden church was later to be built. In the first quarter of the 15th century, a brick-built church was erected, which soon became the centre of a strong cult devoted to the Virgin Mary.

In 1629, it was given to the Jesuits who called it their "rural" church or a church "in the fields", since they already had one place of worship in Jarosław. At the turn of the 17th-18th century the Jesuits started a massive reconstruction.

On the basis of the one-nave church framework, a wonderful tri-nave gallery basilica was erected. Thanks to this reconstruction, supervised mainly by a Cracow-based architect - Jakub Solari - we can now feast our eyes on the baroque edifice and the marvellous interior of the church. Richly decorated walls with a remarkable connection of architectonic styles, bulky cornices and massive triglyphs as well as opulent polychromes fascinate with their originality and uniqueness.

While visiting the church, we should repentantly bow down our heads before the main altar where the miraculous effigy of the Holy Virgin of Jarosław has been placed. In the lateral nave we can stop to admire the "Altar of the Holy Relics" - unique in Poland. The temple, currently bearing the title of lesser basilica under the invocation of Our Lady of Sorrows, is also inseparably connected to the miraculous source to which crowds of pilgrims have been coming already since the 15th century. The church and the adjoined three-winged and three-storey monastery are encircled by walls of an uninterrupted saw-shaped defensive line.

Krystyna Kieferling, Zofia Kostka-Bieńkowska