The infamous Nazi death camp, on the outskirts of Oświęcim, is a compelling memorial to man’s inhumanity. The camp has been preserved as a memorial, and the prison blocks that survive have been turned into a museum charting the history of the camp and of persecution in wartime Poland. After visiting the Museum, you will be driven to Wadowice and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, places associated with the life and work of the Pope John Paul II.
Above the entrance to Auschwitz are inscribed the words “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free”). The camp has been preserved as a memorial, and the prison blocks that survive have been turned into a museum charting the history of the camp and of persecution in wartime Poland. In all, between 900,000 and 1.5 million Jews and others were murdered in the extermination camps here. No visitor can leave unmoved.
After visiting the Museum, you will be driven to Wadowice and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska.
Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II in 1978, was born in Wadowice on 18 May 1920. His childhood home has been turned into the Museum of the Holy Father John Paul II, with objects relating to his early life. He was christened in the late Baroque Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary (Kościół Ofiarowania NMP), near the Market Square.
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska looks and feels like a footnote to its main attraction: a Baroque hilltop monastery whose miracle-working image of theVirgin has long been a focus for pilgrims. The charm of the place is considerably enhanced by the presence of a walkable Calvary route linking various chapels, which winds its way from the monastery across the neighbouring hills. Whetheryoure spiritually inclined or simply want a nature hike, Kalwaria is a deeply rewarding place.