Bazylika Grobu Bożego Miechów
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów
In the 12th century, the monks from the Order of the Holy Sepulchre were brought to Miechów.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, along with the monastery buildings, was built at the turn of the 14th and 15th century. It was built of brick and stone. The church is a basilica with one nave and two aisles, with the chancel and chapels. From the original Romanesque temple, the wall with the window with a semicircular arch has been preserved. In 1996, Pope John Paul II raised the church to the rank of minor Basilica. Curiosities about the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów, about which not everyone knows, but everyone should. – In the 12th century, the owner of Miechów, Jaksa Gryfita, went on a crusade to Jerusalem. He brought from there the monks known as the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Jaksa have the church and monastery erected for them and gave them Miechów together with two neighbouring villages. Knights of the Order were responsible for looking after the Holy Sepulchre and the pilgrims coming to see it. It’s to them that we owe the creation in Poland of a replica of the Jerusalem tomb of Jesus. – In 1187, Jerusalem was taken over by the army of Saladine. Christians were expelled from there. Thus the Holy Sepulchre was no longer accessible to pilgrims, which is why Miechów became the destination for the pilgrims from all over Europe. – The church in Miechów was visited by various outstanding personalities, including King Władysław I the Short and King Władysław Jagiełło, who were here several times, as well as Queen Jadwiga, the later saint, and many other outstanding figures. – The grave, which is currently in Miechów, is a replica dating back to 1530. It had to be reconstructed after the monastery fire in 1506. Interestingly, in Jerusalem too, they had to rebuild the Holy Sepulchre, which was destroyed by a major earthquake. The Jerusalem reconstruction comes from the end of the 16th century, so the Miechów replica is older than the one in Jerusalem. – The spiritual idea of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre was reflecting on the last days of Christ, it is them who introduced the custom of decorating and visiting the tomb of Christ in the Holy Week. – In Miechów we can see a fragment of the rock of which the grave of Christ was carved out. It is decorated with a crown of thorns cast in bronze and built into the wall of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. – The Order of the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre was dissolved by the Russians in 1819, when they were occupying Poland, by agreement between the state and the Church. Since then, the Miechów sanctuary has been taken care of by the diocesan priests. In 1846, the Order of the Knights of Holy Sepulchre was founded. However, it is a secular order. It has its seats all over the world. Miechów houses its main seat. Its primary objective is to care for Christians in Jerusalem. – From the 14th century, pilgrims, under normal conditions, can receive in the sanctuary a full indulgence throughout the year. – In the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów, there are relics of St Constantius, which are Corpisanti-type relics. In 2020, the EU-funded project Marie Curie was launched, regarding the history of the exchange of relics between Italy and North-Eastern Europe, including the history of Corpisanti. The Miechów relics attracted the attention of researchers from Denmark, who think that they could be one of the most preserved relics of this type in the area of the Baltic states. – One of the important elements of the 6th Miechów Days of Jerusalem in 2020 was the opening of a new exhibition. The Chapel of the Shroud of Turin, located on the cloisters of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, has undergone a large metamorphosis and changed its name to become the Chapel of the Divine Face. So far, there was only a copy of the Shroud of Turin, but from now on, we can also admire an interesting exhibition on the Manopello Image. The exhibition is enriched by light and sound that creates an extraordinary atmosphere. It is also interesting to see the spatial arrangement of the exhibition – visitors walk through a narrow corridor down the stairs to the figure of Christ lying in the grave and covered with the Manopello cloth. You can also see a special film during the visit. – There are only two Sanctuaries of the Holy Sepulchre, one in Miechów and the other one in Jerusalem.