Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wiktorówki - a magic place

Wiktorówki – a place in the Tatra Mountains which attract many people: hikers, alpinists, pilgrims, those who search answers, hope, peace, meeting with the past, talk, or… ? Wiktorówki is not only a small wooden church in the middle of  the woods in the Tatras...

HISTORY. Wiktorówki is the Mother of God who takes care of the place and the people visiting Her. In 1860, Our Lady appeared to the call of a young girl being in need named Mary - shepherdess had lost her sheep in the fog. Thanks to the Mother of God the herd was found. Mary also listened to the warning and prophecy for the Highlanders. 

Mountaineers herding sheep and woodcutters working at felling of trees started coming to pray at the place pointed by Mary. A holy image painted on glass was hung on the tree. Then, the glass painted image was replaced by the bas-relief. At the end of the century, an unknown artist made ​​a small chapel and statue of Our Lady Queen of the Tatras. This is the same figure that is the part of the main altar nowadays. The old chapel itself is hanging on the outside wall of the sanctuary. In 1902 a bigger chapel was built but soon burned down. The Figure’s right hand is still charred as a sign of fire. The present sanctuary building dates from 1936 but was rebuilt several times.

PEOPLE. Wiktorówki is the people. The atmosphere of the place create both its residents and the newcomers. The place is in a custody of the Dominicans. They are lovely people who warmly welcome every person who comes to Wiktorówki. Their door is wide open at all time. In the summer sanctuary is packed full of pilgrims. However, if you want more peace and quiet, visit Wiktorówki in the late afternoon or at any other time of the year. 

MEMORY. Wiktorówki is the memory of those who passed away. Around the church is located one of the several symbolic cemeteries in the Tatras. This is the place where commemorative plaques of those who died in the mountains or tied up their lives with the mountains have been placed.  

Wiktorówki is located in the Polish Tatra Mountains. You can get there in a few different ways. The most popular are two routes. Blue trail leads from Zazadnia. This is the place on the way to the popular Lysa Polana. You can get to Zazadnia taking mini-bus from Zakopane or with your own car. The second trail is the green one and starts at Wierch Poroniec, also on the way to Lysa Polana. The trail leads through the famous Polana Rusinowa with stunning views of the High Tatras. After visiting Wiktorówki you can go for a short hiking trip climbing up the nearest peak - Gesia Szyja (Goose Neck) 1489 m a.s.l.

Polana Rusinowa 

The dwellers of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Jaworzyna, Queen of the Tatra at Wiktorówki: Reb and Stefan.

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