Hidden among the hills of the Island Beskid, the Cistercian abbey was founded in the 13th century and featured a stone church. In 1620, the monks began construction of a new monastery and church, consecrated in 1642. A library was established in one of the monastery buildings. In the 17th century a brewery, an inn and a mill were built on the Stradomka River. In the 1930s, a hydroelectric power plant was launched there. The monks raised cows and fish, cultivated fields and established orchards. Since 1780, the monastery also housed a school. In 1792, the monastery lost its status of an abbey. It only saw further growth in the 20th century after Poland regained independence. The 15th century painting of Our Lady of Szczyrzyce located in the church was painted by an unknown artist on a linden board in the Italian style. It was crowned in 1939 and 1984. The Baroque church was built on a cruciform plan, with a chancel enclosed with a semi-circular apse and a slender Rococo tower with a bell. The entrance is crowned by a 15th-century Gothic portal, and the interior is decorated with Art Nouveau polychrome painted in 1913. The monastery complex also features monastic buildings, a courtyard, a cloister with a garden, and farm buildings including a coach house, granary, mill and brewery. Today, the Cistercians still run the farm and breed a herd of Polish Red cows, while the Szczyrzycki Gryf brewery remains the only active monastery brewery in Poland. The granary was turned into a museum with historical, military and religious collections. The indulgences are celebrated on 8 May – the Feast of St Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr – as well as on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15 August.
Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Szczyrzyc
The history of the sanctuary is connected with the history of the Cistercian Abbey built by the Cistercians, who were invited to Małopolska in 1234. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stanislaus the Bishop houses a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, venerated here for nearly 800 years.