Swietokrzyskie is a national park in Poland’s Holy Cross Mountains. (Swietokrzyskie in English is Holy Cross). The low mountains are an extension of the geologically ancient Malopolska Uplands. Numerous prehistoric mining sites have been found here. Lysa Gora, the second highest peak, was once a place of pagan worship. According to legend, it was also a place where witches held black Sabbaths. Guests staying in budget hotels in Swietokrzyskie can hike the park’s 18 kilometer trail through fir and beech forests. The heaps of broken rock on the slopes are mute testimony to centuries of human activity.
The Benedictine Abbey of Swiet Krzyz is on the summit of Lysa Gora. It dates back to the 12th century. The 18th century church was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church. The present church is a blend of Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture. The interior is decorated with frescoes by the artist Franciszek Smuglewicz. The 17th century dome is the church’s most outstanding feature. A piece of the True Holy Cross is said to be kept in the chapel, and draws thousands of pilgrims every year. A glass coffin in a crypt beneath the chapel holds a mummified body that is allegedly that of Poland’s Prince Jeremi Wisniowiecki. Visitors should be sure to see the Missionary Museum and the Natural History Museum. Information on cheap hotels in Swietokrzyskie can be found in the EasyToBook.com listings.