Saint Stanislaus’ fountain
When strolling down the Wisla River, you might come upon a beautifully peaceful monastery, its green roof perhaps sheathed in snow or catching a ray of sunlight. The Skalka and Pauline Monastery, also called the Church on the rock due to its elevated location, is often missed by visitors. Although easily seen when walking down the Wisla River, tourists don’t often make their way inside the monastery’s grounds, meaning they remain tranquil and serene.
When inside the walls, what can be admired, as well as an impressive interior, is Saint Stanislaus’ fountain, with water meant to possess miraculous healing powers. The story of Saint Stanislaus is an important one in Polish history.
Stanislaus of Szczepanow was named Bishop of Krakow in 1072. He earned the dislike of King Boleslaw the Bold after denouncing the King’s excesses and treatment of women. Though your guide can give even more details about the conflict, it finally resulted in the excommunication of the King. Soon afterwards, in 1079, the order was given to murder Stanislaus. Either a mystical power made the men miss their mark or, might it simply have been that they refused to obey the given command, Stanislaus survived (but not for long.) After his men’s failure, King Boleslaw returned and slay the Bishop himself. His death not being enough, he cut his body into several pieces which he threw in the nearby monastery well. But the King was not to be left in peace. Be it a curse or simply punishments for his deeds, the King was exiled.
Some versions of the legend state that after being thrown in the well Stanislaus’ body reformed and rose from the dead. From then on he became a martyr and a saint. The fountain became magical. Surrounded by pillars with eagles marking its four corners, a statue of Saint Stanislaus stands in the center of the structure and at the bottom of the stairs, a small fountain of pure water.
Church on the Rock Info
Address: Skałeczna 15, 31-065 Kraków, Poland
Map Ref: 50.048266, 19.937825
Opening times: Mon-Sat 9AM to 4PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
No visits during mass.