Wadowice – the city where future Pope John Paul II was born, is located just 50 kilometers from
Cracow. If You are interested in life of Karol Wojtyla or pilgrimage tour, the town is a must see during Your visit to Poland.
Wadowice are interesting also for other reasons. It’s architecture changed a little since time
when Wojtyła was young. So visit here – typical Polish, XIXth century small town, has something
from a time travel.
Second reason is towns multicultural past: till II World War 20% of local community were Jews. There are multiple remnants of Wadowice Jewish past. This part of town’s history is live also in John Paul II writings. Close relations with his childhood, Jewish friends probably shaped Pope’s attitude towards Christian-Jewish dialogue.
What Your group can see during SPARK Wadowice tour? The most important place is Wojtyła family home in the market square. The family rented two room flat from Jewish merchant. Future Pope was born and lived here to 1938. Nowadays the tenement houses John Paul II museum. Second place is Basilica of Presentation of Mary is nice, baroque revival church near market square. Here Pope was baptized, had his first communion and confirmation.
Another place, pattisserie of Karol Hagenhuber (nowadays a bank, on the market square) during interwar period made cream puffs, prefered by young Wojtyła. These cakes are known as “kremówka” and are the most famous Wadowice products. You can find it in every cake shop here. On Karol Wojtyła route around the city center we will find dozen other buildings, connected to life of Polish Pope.
What are our recommendation for Wadowice tour? We often connect visit here with tour to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. Cracow-Wadowice-Kalwaria Zebrzydowska route, leading to Jasna Góra monastery is the best option for whole day pilgrimage tour.