Camino Polaco

We felt like on a pilgrimage, visiting 2 important churches on the camino to Santiago leading through the north of Poland.

The first church was in Roszel (Rössel) where a Gothic castle stands on a steep hill side above the river Sajna, built 1350−1401 by the Teutonic Order. It is now a hotel but the tower and the cellars can be visited. Next to it the Saints Peter and Paul church is also from the 14th century.

Castle of the Teutonic Knights in Rössel
Saints Peter and Paul Church in Rössel

Near Reszel, the Catholic shrine of Święta Lipka ( Heiligelinde) was our second church. As  a baroque church it was a big change to the many Gothic brick churches we had seen during the last weeks while travelling through the north of Germany and Poland.

Święta Lipka

According to a legend, Święta Lipka refers to a tree with a wooden statue of Mary under which miracles took place. A chapel at the site was first mentioned in a deed issued by Johann von Tiefen, then Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights in 1491. At this time Heiligelinde was already a pilgrimage site with an inn.

Although the village lay in the Protestant region of Masuria, the chapel was rebuilt by the Jesuits and consecrated in 1619 as a Roman Catholic church. It became a popular pilgrimage site among the Roman Catholic populace of the surrounding counties.

Famous organ of Święta Lipka

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