Friday, April 26, 2013

On our way to Katowice for District Conference....

Friday morning we were in the car making the three hour drive to the Katowice Airport. There we would be picking up our visiting Area Seventy Authority, Elder Olsson, who would be presiding at the Katowice District Conference this weekend. About two hours into the trip we received a call from him saying his flight was cancelled, and he would be coming in several hours later. The airport is about 50 minutes outside of Katowice.  So....What to do?  
 Passing through the town of Czestochowa, we saw this sign advertising the biggest statue of a Pope in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Who could pass that up...and hey, we have the time!  When you live in Poland this is a must to see...
Not only was it home to a very large statue, but this park had replicas of cathedrals and basilicas that are found all over Europe....Spain, France, Portugal, Italy....and other countries.
It is a walking park that we found, and it had just opened two weeks ago in the middle of April.
We immediately recognized this statue of Moses and the 10 Commandments...another site in this religious park.  This was Presidents favorite statue in the park.  Climbing a hill, we came to.....
....this 40ft. statue of Pope John Paul II. This statue was commissioned to be built by an anonymous person and placed on this hill overlooking Czestochowa.
We were the only ones at the park; but by the looks of things, they are anticipating a crowd.
They even have a big 'fun park' for children.....
....and are building little cabins you can rent when you come to visit. Why here in Czestochowa? Because this city attracts 4-5 million visitors from 80 countries who come to visit a famous painting called 'The Black Madonna' ancient catholic icon believed to work miracles.
The painting is housed in the Monastery of Jasna Gora (above)...which is still a functioning monastery. This is the entrance into the Monastery.
This is the Chapel of Our Lady which contains the is the oldest part of the complex. This bell tower is the tallest historic church tower (350 ft/106 m) in Poland. It has been rebuilt many times. The current one dates back to 1906.
We spent a few hours looking around and waiting to hear when our guest would be arriving.   (I guess it could count as a P-Day afternoon...Let's see...I think that is P-day #5 so far on the mission) It was now time to pick up our guest and get going with the busy weekend ahead.
Reaching the Katowice Airport, we arrived in time to greet and meet Elder Olsson, our visiting Area Seventy who is from Sweden. We look forward to receiving counsel from this good man and introducing him to our beloved Polish Saints in the Katowice District.

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