Witchcraft and hellish parties
The Sanctuary of the Holy Cross Wood Relic and Museum of the Missionary Oblates of the Virgin Mary are located on Łysiec mountain, nowadays referred to as Święty Krzyż mountain.
Święty Krzyż (Mount Holy Cross) is the second highest mountain in the region at 595m. If you believe local folk legend, the mountain was especially liked by witches and during their Sabbaths, they practised witchcraft and organised hellish parties and dances on the summit.
Today, you can see remains of a 9th century stone rampart surrounding the top of the mountain in addition to the Benedictine monastery with its Relics of the Holy Cross Tree. The 1000 year old monastery is managed by the Missionary Oblates.
Every year, the Holy Cross Sanctuary is visited by crowds of pilgrims, visitors and tourists, who want to see this unique place. In the church on the mountain you can see a valuable painting of Franciszek Smuglewicz, monastery porches, a sacristy, the Oleśnicki family’s chapel and the Museum of the Missionary Oblates of the Virgin Mary.
The Świętokrzyskie Mountains are not particularly high; however they are ancient. Quartzite has been discovered in the area that is 500 million years old. The highest peak is Mount Łysica at 614 m and is located within the Świętokrzyski National Park.
With a history dating back over 900 years, Kielce was once an important mining centre, today, the city and its surroundings are better known for their historic architecture, green spaces and recreational areas like the Świętokrzyski National Park and the Kadzielnia Reserve. Kielce is the only city in Europe which counts five nature reserves within its borders.
There’s a lot of attractions to see in Kielce. The former Palace of the Kraków Bishops, the picturesque National Museum, Kielce Cathedral, and Dworek Laszczyków are must-sees.