|Silasian Opera in Bytom||54km|
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The monastery comprises several parts. The oldest one, the basilica, was built in the fifteenth century. The youngest part was completed in the twentieth century. The monastery includes a tower which is 106 metres tall.
The very beginnings of the Jasna Gora Monastery date back to the year 1382. At that time, Prince Vladyslaw II of Opole invited to Poland Pauline monks, who came from Hungary to disseminate their faith. The monks lived in a little church on the site where the monastery is now. The monks named the place Jasna Gora after their mother monastery in Buda (today´s part of Budapest ) .
The picture of the Mother of God in this monastery is the most significant Polish religious relic and it is considered as one of the national symbols of the country. It depicts the Virgin Mary with little Jesus. According to the legend, the author of the icon is St. Luke, who painted it on the table from the house of thee Holy Family. The picture was brought to the Jasna Gora Monastery from today´s Ukraine, two years after its foundation by the Pauline monks. In 1430, the monastery was attacked and the icon was damaged. It was very difficult to restore it - the reconstruction in Krakow lasted four years. For the whole time of its existence, the icon has been attributed miraculous powers and attracted huge numbers of visitors to the Jasna Gora Monastery.
It is widely believed that the power of the icon was best shown in 1655, when the Jasna Gora monastery was besieged by Swedish troops. The monastery with mere 260 defenders, in the head with local friar, was capable to resist nearly three thousand of soldiers. The victory was attributed to the Icon of the Mother of God. Afterwards, Poland allied with the Crimean Khanate drove the Swedish out of the country. A year later, Polish king Jan II Kazimierz, solemnly pronounced his vow to consecrate the country to the protection of the Mother of God and proclaimed Her the Patron and the Queen of the lands in his kingdom.