Even cities with a nation wide importance does not look nice. Some times you can see it from your first steps. For me the new looking train train station had been a hint.
The religious centre of Poland, Czestochowa; with the portrait of the Black Madonna is a divided place for me. On one hand there is the monastery of the Ordo Paulini Primi Eremiti (monks of St- Paul the eremite) which owns the portrait and on the other hand there is the city.
The monastery exists since 1382 and was short after it known as the home of the Madonna. She came from Byzantium.The myth tells that S. Helena, mother of emperor Constantin, detected the portrait, painted on a piece of wood from the tabel of the Holy Family in Jerusalem. The myth also tells that she found the real cross of Christ.
A lot of miracles were done by the painting of the Madonna so that she was coronated twice as the queen of Poland.
The painting is a national treasure. Celebrities, politicians, high ranks of the church and even the popes are visiting the church and greeting the portrait.
Catholic church learned from the Roman emperors to use grandiosity and impressive rituals for their stability of power.
The monastry looks like a fortified castle, although the monks belong to an order of eremites.
Inside you are bedazzled by precious material, figures and gold and on the other hand instructed about the ideal way of christian living.
Opposite to the monastery the city of Czestochowa looks very poor. You will find more bedraggled corners than nice places. Even the central market place – the pride of any city – is more like a deserted place.
I have seen only one street from town hall to the monstra – Mary’s Annunciation – which looks like a boulevard. It is the street of the pilgrims and the tourists. Going some hundret yards aside you will find the comments by graffiti and architecture.