4 Best Sights in Czestochowa, Poland

Jasna Góra Monastery

Fodor's choice

The most famous Polish shrine to the Virgin Mary, Jasna Góra monastery is a major pilgrimage stop. Throngs of tourists and locals come to see the icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa (also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa). The monastery was founded in the late 14th century by monks from Hungary and has since been a pilgrimage destination. It's very crowded here, though all of the pilgrims come for a view of the Black Madonna, so if you aren't lining up for that, you'll have a bit more space. If you do want to see the Madonna, get in line as soon as you arrive. Jasna Góra's interior is simply stunning, dripping in gold and bedecked in ornate carvings. For kids, there are two parks with play equipment right next to Jasna Gora and just down the street are shops selling ice cream.

Buy Tickets Now

Częstochowa Museum

The neoclassical town hall, built in 1828, houses the Częstochowa Museum, which opened here in 1967 and has 10 satellite pavilions around town. The main building's permanent collection is composed of an exhibition on the history of Częstochowa, featuring photographs from 1845–1918 and the works of contemporary local painters. One of the museum's outposts is the House of Poetry, a permanent exhibition on Polish poet Halina Poświatowska, and another covers the archaeology in the region. Temporary exhibitions have included one giving the history of dental care and another on rare books.

Monument to Częstochowa Jews (Pomnik Częstochowskich Żydow)

Just off the Warta River is this small memorial, a monument to the 40,000 Jews who, beginning in September 1942, were transported from this spot (a former train station) to Treblinka concentration camp. The monument, which was unveiled in 2009, was commissioned by Holocaust survivor Sigmund Rolat and designed by survivor and sculptor Samuel Willenberg. Rolat’s father and Willenberg, who now lives in Israel, both participated in a revolt at Treblinka; as of this writing, Willenberg is the uprising's only remaining survivor. The memorial is composed of a brick wall broken in two; on one piece are railroad tracks and on the other a Star of David made from tracks. Willenberg has been quoted as saying that the rails are for those sent to Treblinka and the Star of David for those who are alive.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Museum of Coins and Medals Commemorating Pope John Paul II

A numismatist's dream come true, this museum has a collection of 1,500 coins bearing the image of Pope John Paul II. The oldest is from 1932 and the newest from 2011; the largest is 140 mm (5½ inches) in diameter and weighs a kilo and the smallest weighs just half a gram. Rare coins include one made in 1987 entirely of gold, which is just one of five ever minted—it's worth zł 200,000 (approximately US$52,700)—and another from Tahiti, minted in 1983. The museum has a small café as well as a gift shop where you can by replica coins. Guided tours are offered every hour on the hour.