Home to my roots (I think)

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
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Trip End Jun 26, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel Grand Czestochowa
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Poland  , Southern Poland,
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

After breakfast in Wroclaw we headed out of town toward Central Poland. Whilst it was our originally intention to just travel the Western side of Poland, some late research into my ancestry had brought up the very real possibility that Piotrkow Trybunalski (near Lodz) was a town where some roots were likely laid.

By lunchtime we were still travelling East, hindered by the incessant call of the GPS  to beware of the speed cameras. We stopped in a town whose name now escapes me, but for a few cents we purchased an array of pastries from a local bakery, and enjoyed them amongst the locals in a quiet area of the town.

Shortly thereafter we arrived at Piotrkow and the district, in which I imagined would have been home to my Grandparents in the 1800's, was sought out.
There was not much evidence of what life would have been like other than some faded anti-Semitic graffiti and the existence of the "Little" and "Great" Synagogues which had been converted to a children's library and an adult library respectively. These buildings had plaques on the outside denoting the history and some sympathetic locals gave me a short tour of the larger building explaining what the rooms had been. The children's library I explored myself and found some remnants of a more horrifying time (bullet holes where once sacred scrolls would have been housed). I found it somewhat enigmatic that whilst the evidence of such atrocities was clearly open for all to see, the area had a sign depicting that no photos should be taken.

From Piotrkow we headed westward toward Czestochowa where we would be spending the night.The main attraction of this town is the Jasna Gora Monastery. Founded in 1382 by Pauline monks, it is Poland's most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary and the country's greatest place of pilgrimage.The image of Black Madonna of Czestochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is Jasna Gora's most precious treasure.
Since the Monastery was open till late, we toured those areas that we could and then enjoyed a meal in a restaurant located along the main boulevard of Czestochowa. This long tree lined central avenue which is pedestrianized in the middle and is reminiscent of a Parisian boulevard, extends from the hill top of Jasna Gora to the centre of the town.
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