Whether you're a pilgrim or merely a curious traveler, pay a visit to this holy shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II, Poland's famous son. Built as a votive offering in gratitude for the sparing of his life in the wake of the assassination attempt on him in 1981, the church was completed in 1992. With beautiful architecture and a spiritual ambience, this shrine just outside of central Zakopane is an enlightening and fascinating visit.
The oldest part of the complex, the chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary, was built in 1951, with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima located inside. It was given to cardinal Stefan Wyszynski by the bishop of Fatima and placed in the chapel in 1961. On 15th of October 1961, Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II and bishop of Krakow at that time, consecrated the chapel and the statue.The church you see today was was created in gratitude for saving Karol Wojtyla's life in the unsuccessful assassination attempt on 13th of May 1981. It was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in June 1997 during his sixth pilgrimage to Poland.
Modern yet historic
Find quietness, peace, and refuge from the world, in this beautiful modern church. When you arrive, there are several green, walking paths surrounding it, with beautiful views of the Tatra mountains. The architecture, while contemporary, nevertheless references the traditional folk architecture of the region. It has delicately carved detail on its arched panels and is topped with a crown. At the front of the church, you'll find a bronze statue of the Pope, and his motto on the black wrought iron church gates. Enter the church and you'll find a beautifully ornate interior. Colorful and modern stained glass windows, filling the walls on both sides of the church, depict the career of the former Pope, including the assassination attempt on his Popemobile. The supporting beams have traditional patterns carved into the wooden beams. However, it's not built in the wooden Zakopanian style, as it has white plastered walls that emphasize its spaciousness. The altar is where Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in Zakopane. Next to the altar stands his statue. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima lies in the chapel, and enshrines the venerated statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a copy of the famous statue of Our Lady of Fatima. With its holy associations with Fatima and Pope John Paul II, the place has become a destination of many pilgrimages and is visited each year by around 300,000 people, making it a valuable cultural experience for people of any religious persuasion.
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