Black Madonna

the popular shrine of great national and religious significance to Poland. It is located in the city of Czestochowa in the monastery of Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain). The Black Madonna is a painting on wood that depicts the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Its origins are ancient and obscure.

The monastery was founded on the mountain in 1382, and the painting came there soon afterwards. The icon was damaged in 1430 by Hussites who slashed the face of the portrait. The painting is credited with the miracle of having protected the monastery from the invading Swedish army in 1655-56. The shrine continues to be the focus of pilgrimages and a site for confirmations and marriages.

Source: Dydynski, Poland, Lonely Planet Travel Survival Guide.

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