There are a lot of portraits of a pope John Paul II not exclusively at churches/chapels of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska but in private homes as well. People do respect him very much in this area.
No wonder, he was there many times as a kid and then a priest and bishop of Krakow and recently in 2002 as a pope.
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a saint place for many pilgrimes. They used to pray a lot in peace and quiet. Do not disturb them - it's socially unacceptable to talk inside churches and chapels of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. Keep silence there.
I noticed that there are fresh flowers in all places, I mean statues, commemorating plates dedicated to Polish heroes in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. They were put by a statue of a pope John Paul II as well.
It seems that people (locals, visitors, authorities?) put a lot attention to their traditions in this area.
I found great looking, although very small, frontyards in houses on the Pilgrimage Square (Fair Square), benesth the basilica and Paradise Square.
It's a pity that not all frontyards in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska look like this one on my picture. Hmm... people need more time and $$$ to put up such beautiful yards.
Haha, it looked a little strange: a satelite dish among flowers on a balcony of a house beneath the basilica. It seems that they didn't have cable TV there so they were forced to put satelite dishes to watch more TV channels. There are many of them on local houses.
It maybe not at all local, Kalwaria custom but I rarely saw such beautiful flowers growing in flower-pots hanging on balconies like just there. To be more exact I found them at houses beneath the Paradise Square, at the north, at so called the Pilgrimage Square (Fair Square).
I liked them a lot and maybe I found an idea for my/your balcony :-).
Locals are proud of close connections of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska with Roman catholic pope John Paul II and they pray for him a lot, pilgrimes as well.
Look at my pic, it's written: "do not stop praying, I ask you to pray for me here" - words of a pope from his visit to Kalwaria in 1979.
In 2002 he said in Kalwaria:
When I first visited this shrine in 1979, I asked you to pray for me, while I am alive and after my death. Today I thank you and all the pilgrims of Kalwaria for these prayers, for the spiritual support I continually receive. I continue to ask you: do not stop praying - once again I repeat it - as long as I am alive and after my death. As always, I will repay your kindness by recommending all of you to the merciful Christ and to his Mother.
Look at the three flags waving on a balcony of facade of the basilica. There are:
- papal flag (yellow and white),
- Vatican flag (white and blue),
- Poland's flag (white and red).
They are hang in many places around either Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Wadowice - birthplace of pope John Paul II. During pope's visits to Poland most houses were decorated with the three flags and portraits of the pope.
Roman catholic pope John Paul II was born 14 km (8.7 mi) east of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska in a town called Wadowice. He came here many times with pilgrimages as a young boy with his father and later as a priest from Krakow. So, there are a lot of signs of his presence there.
As a pope he visited Kalwaria Zebrzydowska twice: in 1979 and in 2002. During his first visit on 7 of June 1979 he announced personally this local church to become basilica. There is a commemorating plate on this event on a facade right to stone portal.
Some older parts of the monastery and basilica were made by cut stones as you can see on my picture - local custom that time? Hmm... maybe not so local hehe. The younger parts were built of brick.
Personally I like stone walls a lot. I liked them much in architecture of houses in... Andorra.