Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Crosses and Road Chapels in Poland

Poles were always very religious people. Everybody who would travel through Poland would see numerous crosses, figures of saints, statues and chapels on the sides of the roads. Local people take care of these religious symbols, a traveler can see fresh flowers and even freshly lit candles inside the small shrines.

The crosses are often situated on the crossroads - to prevent the accidents. They are also often located on the mounts, hills and even in the highest mountains in Tatra (there is a famous cross on Kasprowy Wierch - a mountain heading over Zakopane, a capital of Polish Tatras with a huge cross on it) - to bring a good fortune and prevent accidents. During the history the crosses and chapels were also built to prevent the epidemic, to commemorate a special event, a tragedy or the accident.

The roadside crosses are made from wood or from metal, sometimes they stand on a special rock shelf with the information about who and when founded it. More elaborate religious symbols remind a miniature chapel. Jesus and St. Mary figurines are the most frequently seen, but also other saints are present - st. John Nepomucene - a patron of farmers. St. Laurentius (Wawrzyniec) was very popular in Posen (Poznan) region of Great Poland (Wielkopolska).


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