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Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Abbey: How to Visit and How to Get There from Krakow

    Just a few kilometers from Krakow, nestled in the picturesque scenery of the Polish countryside, is the small village of Tyniec, famous for being the site of an ancient Benedictine monastery, built on a hill overlooking the Vistula River.

    Tyniec Abbey was founded in the 11th century by King Casimir the Restorer. The monastery looks like a military fortress and stands on a promontory on the banks of the Vistula River, between limestone hills and the beautiful nature reserve of Skolczanka.

    What you can find in this guide to Tyniec Abbey:

    Some interesting facts about Tyniec Abbey

    Around the 11th century, the area around the village of Tyniec was owned by King Casimir the Restorer who, while trying to reunite the Kingdom of Poland, in 1040 decided to establish a Benedictine monastery here, with the aim of fostering relationships with the Church, strengthening the position of the new Kingdom of Poland and restoring order after the various battles with the Czechs.

    Thus the first monks began to arrive at the monastery, and over time the village of Tyniec became a religious, cultural and political center of great importance, and a safe place for travelers along the pilgrimage routes.

    During the 13th century a defensive system was built around the monastery with mighty walls and fortification towers, with the aim of protecting it from possible enemy attacks.

    Despite this, the monastery suffered various invasions and looting over the years, first by the Tartars and then by the Swedes, who also heavily damaged the structure.

    However, it was always rebuilt according to the various styles of the time, from the Baroque to the Gothic to the Romanesque. It was also enlarged and reinforced with new walls and ramparts.

    Around 800 a terrible fire destroyed most of the buildings and led to the abandonment and ruin of the entire building.

    Tyniec Abbey remained uninhabited for more than a century, until 1939, when 11 Belgian monks decided to move to the monastery and begin the renovation and restoration work, which however was long and difficult due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

    Tyniec Abbey was reopened in 1968, but the works only ended in the late 1990s.

    Tyniec Abbey: What to See and What to Do

    Tyniec Abbey today is the largest Benedictine community in Poland, whose life is regulated by the liturgy and based on the Rule of St. Benedict.

    The abbey is divided into two parts: a non-visitable part occupied by Benedictine monks, while the other open to the public, where visitors can learn more about Benedictine spirituality and the fascinating history of the monastery.

    The visit to the abbey is a real journey through time. Life here hasn’t changed too much compared to a few centuries ago, and during the visit you will be able to discover fascinating details about the monastery, monastic life, and the important role played over time by Tyniec Abbey towards the state and the Kingdom of Poland. .

    Absolutely to visit the beautiful Baroque style Church of St. Peter and Paul, located in the heart of the Abbey. Inside it houses a precious high altar in black marble and a baroque pulpit in the shape of a boat. If you are lucky enough, in the afternoon you can watch the monks singing in Latin.

    The Museum set up inside the former library is also worth a visit. Here are kept precious artifacts found during excavations and various reconstructions, including ancient prints and manuscripts, liturgical objects and Romanesque architectural details such as capitals, fragments of floors and columns decorated with floral and geometric ornaments.

    In addition to this permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions are also often hosted, usually dedicated to the story of the various aspects of monastic life.

    Take a short stop in the inner courtyard of the abbey from which you can admire a beautiful view of the valley. In past centuries, the abbot received his illustrious guests in this garden and this was also the place where the monks retreated to meditate.

    It is also worth taking a look at the shop of Benedictine handicrafts, made according to ancient traditional monastic recipes: in particular, excellent liqueurs, herbs, herbal teas and even beer and wine are produced here.

    For travelers there is also a bar with a splendid view of the Vistula River, the Mnisze Co Nieco Restaurant which serves good traditional dishes and a small guest house, all immersed in the lush and silent nature of the Polish countryside and in the evocative atmosphere of the Tyniec Abbey.

    The highlight of the visit is a nice tour around the monastery to admire the abbey from another perspective: the view of Tyniec Abbey which rises above the Vistula river, surrounded by hills and forests, is particularly photogenic, especially at sunset.

    There are numerous pedestrian and cycle paths that allow you to easily explore the surroundings and therefore to have a complete view of the valley and to take some photos in the most scenic points.

    How to get to Tyniec Abbey from Krakow

    Tyniec Abbey is located approximately 14 km from Krakow’s Old Town and is easily accessible by car, bus or bicycle.

    Certainly the best way is the bicycle. From Krakow there is a comfortable, safe and scenic cycle route. The route is very simple, suitable for families and does not require you to be particularly fit.

    The cycle path runs along the Vistula River and offers wonderful views, amidst the nature of the Polish countryside. The path is completely paved and well signposted.

    You can check out the guided bike tours departing from Krakow, which include a guide and bike rental and will take you through the beautiful Polish countryside to Tyniec Abbey.

    If you want to go by bus from Krakow, near the bus stop “Most Grunwaldzki” (Grunwald Bridge, near the Wawel Castle), bus 112 leaves in the direction of “Tyniec Kamieniołom”. Get off at the “Tyniec” stop which is located about 600 meters from the entrance to the monastery. Buses are quite frequent, about one every 20 minutes, and take about half an hour to get to Tyniec Abbey.

    Another option is to book a comfortable private tour, with pickup directly from your hotel and transport to the monastery and back.

    One of the most memorable experiences is to arrive at Tyniec Abbey by boat, sailing on the Vistula River from Krakow (near the Wawel Castle) to the small pier located near the abbey. The view from the river is unparalleled.

    Tyniec Abbey Visiting Hours and Ticket Prices

    The monastery can be visited all year round according to the following visiting hours.

    From May to October:

    Monday – Friday: 09.00 – 17.00
    Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00

    From November to April it is open every day from 10.00 to 16.00.

    Before going there, you can check for any changes in visiting hours on the Tyniec Abbey website.

    The ticket price is 8 PLN (reduced ticket 5 PLN).
    Admission is free if you have the Krakow City Card.

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