This time around in Poland I, definitely, wanted to go exploring, thus me and my brother took a trip to southern part of Poland. The first stop on our way was Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, where the painting of Black Madonna of Częstochowa draws thousands of pilgrims each year (no pictures this time around - there was a mass in progress, sorry). It is a beautiful place, rich in history with absolutely beautiful artwork. Founded in 13 hundreds by Pauline monks it has been a religious center ever since. In 17th century, after it survived the siege during the time of the Deluge (Swedish invasion of Poland) king Jan Kazimierz pronounced his vow to consecrate the country to the protection of the Mother of God and proclaimed Her the Patron and Queen of the lands in his kingdom. I haven't been to Jasna Gora in a couple of decades and it was a pleasure to visit again. Regardless of thousands of visitors (and it can get very busy there), a visit at the grounds of the monastery leaves me always feeling peaceful, one might even say serene... One should definitely also visit the treasury (no pictures allowed, unfortunately) and see beautiful examples of old jewelry and other types of artwork. Definitely a place to stop by while traveling in the south of Poland.. Enjoy!