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Tyniec Abbey near Cracow, Poland.

Benedictine abbey at Tyniec, nowadays on the western outskirts of Krakow, used to command the approach to Poland's capital city through the Vistula river valley. Fortified natural stronghold atop a steep rocky hill was a hard nut to crack for the enemy. And, if eventually captured, the Tyniec Abbey suffered their revenge. Mongols burnt it down in the 12th, Swedes in the 17th, and Russians in the 18th century. Benedictine monks have lived and worked here otherwise peacefully for nearly a millennium. For long the learned brothers provided education to young royalty in addition to their other numerous labors. Little survived of the original 11th-century monastery. First it was replaced by a Gothic structure, next by the 16th-century Renaissance one. And the abbey's present Baroque church dates back to the early 17th century.

More: www.tyniec.mm.com.pl/en

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