Holy Mount of Grabarka, Poland


The Holy Mount of Grabarka (Święta Góra Grabarka in Polish), eastern Poland,  also known as the Mountain of Crosses, is considered to be the holiest location in the country Orthodox Christians.


It is the site of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and is home to the women's monastery of Ss. Marta and Maria. It is the traditional pilgrimage centre for Orthodox Christians. They arrive in large numbers especially on the 19th of August, the day of Transfiguration of Jesus.


The most prominent and well-known feature of Grabarka is the forest of crosses surrounding the Orthodox church, all brought to the Mount by pilgrims. Pilgrims have been bringing votive crosses to the hill ever since. They come in different forms and sizes, from small ones made of sticks, through bigger wooden crosses to few concrete ones. Some of them are already rotten, some brand new, often with epitaphs engraved in Cyrillic alphabet. All of them, however, were brought for personal intention by diseased, distressed and those seeking hope.


After an all-night vigil and prayer on the Holy Mount of the Pilgrims stop by the stream and bath the face and sore parts of their bodies with a cloth soaked with water as the stream is said to have healing properties. Wet clothes are left than by the stream or hung on the tree branches as a symbol of the diseases and worries leaving their bodies and left behind.


Worship of this place and tradition of bringing crosses was born in the 18th century. The famous miracle was recorded in 1710 during the cholera epidemics. Decimated by disease, inhabitants of Podlasie region fled the towns and villages for fear of their lives. At that time an old man experienced a revelation that the only way for salvation was to go to the Mountain of Grabarka with a cross. He went there with some other villagers, brought a cross, bathed his face and drank water from the spring spurting at the foot of the hill and prayed. A miracle happened: all those who followed him were cured and saved. To express their gratitude, the people built a wooden chapel on the top of the hill. It was later extended to the Transfiguration Orthodox Church.


In 1990 the wooden Orthodox church was completely destroyed by the fire. Only two icons survived and a fragment of the Gospel Book. Immediately, reconstruction works began. A new church was consecrated in 1998.




This post is linked at: 

 The Weekly Postcard

Comments

  1. WOW! I have never seen so many crosses in one place adn it looks so peaceful there

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  2. Piękne i zachęcające do refleksji miejsce

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  3. awesome that's for today's blessing

    Have a nice Monday

    much love...

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  4. I love this post. I have never seen colourful crosses. church and chapel are beautiful. really nice place to visit.

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  5. Magnificent and divine place and wonderful photography ~ Poland seems so beautiful.

    Wishing you Happy Days ahead ~ ^_^

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  6. Amazing architecture and the photo of all the crosses is powerful.

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  7. My maternal grandmother practiced Eastern Orthodox religion. This is a beautiful place.

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  8. Fascinating! Somehow it reminds me of some Japanese shrines. I guess the intent is the same. Beautiful.

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  9. Thanks for posting this as i've never read about it before. It is amazing how the wood can be preserved for a long time in cold countries like this. Here in the tropics, they rot so fast.

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  10. What a beautiful and moving place. I love this post.

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  11. A fascinating post about a very holy place. The shots of the old wooden crosses are very compelling and emotive. I do love the brightly coloured ones you started with though.

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  12. This looks like a place I'd like to visit. Thanks for linking up to Blue Monday!

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  13. So many crosses Jarek, the coloured crosses are so unusual.

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  14. I love the symbolism of leaving those cloths behind.

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  15. Wow - those churches are just gorgeous!

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  16. Wonderful shots of interesting place.

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  17. The church is a beautiful structure, and love the colorful crosses as they could signify all those that Jesus touched and loves. Loved seeing your travel to this place through your photography. Thanks for sharing.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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  18. Wow what a beautiful place. I love the church of transfiguration.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  19. Beautiful shots from Poland! What inspired you to visit this particular place?

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  20. Looks like a very peaceful place! Glad to know devotees have a place to express their faith and pray.

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  21. That's really interesting information, the crosses are very colourful.

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  22. Very nice place to visit and I am sure where you can find peace

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  23. Wow! Absolutely beautiful and incredibly interesting! Pinned for later! #WanderfulWednesday
    (www.caliglobetrotter.wordpress.com)

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  24. W wielu miejscach na Podlasiu byłam, ale tutaj nie trafiłam, a szkoda. Jest na co w spokoju patrzeć. Pozdrawiam.

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  25. Looks like a beautiful spot.

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  26. I find orthodox churches so fascinating! And this spot looks definitely interesting!

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  27. Beautiful set of images. Well done.

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  28. What a fascinating place

    Mollyxx

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  29. The famous Russian model of cross type, regardless of location.
    PS - I do not use color filters...

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  30. That's a beautiful holy mountain.

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  31. Wow, stunning photos and interesting history! Thanks for sharing!

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  32. Wow!The chuch shot looks very nice

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  33. What a bummer that the original church had a fire. This is such a beautiful place.

    Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

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  34. A very interest post. Must be an interesting place to visit. - Margy

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  35. Fascinating post and beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

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  36. Hello, what an interesting place to visit. I love the colorful crosses and the pretty church. Wonderful series of photos. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!

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  37. Beautiful photos and super-interesting history about the Mountain of Crosses!

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  38. WONDERFUL POST. SO INTERESTING AND FILLED WITH THE THINGS NEW TO ME. MOST ENJOYABLE.

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  39. Lovely photos and interesting history for this mountain. I like the photo of the colorful crosses.

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  40. Interesting and great photos. Love to read that old story!

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  41. This reminds me of an area close to Montserrat in Spain where there are lost of crosses as an awareness to forest fires. It is beautiful, thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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  42. What an interesting bit of your world. I love seeing different traditions and cultural things from my blog friends. Thanks for all the information, too.

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  43. The Mountain of Crosses looks very interesting. Did you know they have something very similar in Lithuania? #TheWeeklyPostcard

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  44. Absolutely awesome photography. Love the wooden crosses. Thank you so much for sharing today on FFF. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  45. I've never heard of this, but it sure sounds like it is an important place. Sorry to hear the original church was destroyed in a fire as I have a soft spot for historic things. Thanks so much for sharing its story and the pictures of all the crosses.

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  46. Byłem w Grabarce. To niesamowite miejsce.
    Polecam odwiedzenie znajdującej się w pobliżu osady turystycznej Mielnik.

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  47. Stunning photography as always! Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

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  48. Niezwykłe miejsce i jak zwykle doskonale przedstawione.
    Szczęśliwej niedzieli:)

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  49. Piękne zdjęcia. Aż chciałoby się tam być. Może kiedyś.
    Pozdrawiam:)*

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  50. What interesting sights! I like the colorful crosses and the the weathered one. The wooden church is fabulous.

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  51. I love learning about new spots in Poland from you. While I'm not personally religious, Grabarka looks like a fascinating spot nonetheless. Thanks for sharing #WeeklyPostcard

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  52. How good it is to have a holy place and a set ritual to do there, when asking for healing.
    May the miracles continue!
    Thanks for opening our eyes to the Holy Mount of Grabarka.

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  53. Intriguing story about this beautiful place. Indeed, an amazing forest of crosses. Lovely photos.

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  54. Beautiful shots of this amazing place.
    Thanks for likinking up at the Travel Tuesday meme.

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