Miechów – a place to discover
The urban layout of Miechów dates back to the Middle Ages, when a square market near the church was established in 1290. It looks like that up to this day: the main market square of the town is adjacent to the north-west corner of the former monastery complex. The monks of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, who were set up here in 1163, led their pastoral activity until the secularisation of the order in 1819. They left valuable sacral art objects of great cultural value. The former monastery complex together with the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre is undoubtedly a visiting card of the city. The characteristic element of basilica is the tower crowned with the sphere-shaped helmet with the statue of the Resurrected Christ on the top of it. It shouldn’t surprise that Miechów is called “the Polish Jerusalem”. The Holy Sepulchre in the chapel on the cloisters refers to the dimensions and decoration of the authentic grave chamber in which Christ was buried.
This unique place would have never been erected without prince Jaksa Gryfita, who, in the 12th century, returned from a crusade not only with the monks of the Holy Sepulchre, but also with sacks of the soil gathered from under the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He dispersed the soil in Miechów and had the church and monastery build in this place. The Holy Sepulchre monks introduced a custom to arrange in the churches a replica of the Holy Sepulchre on Great Friday. At present, the building of their former monastery, houses the seat of the Polish Authority of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Every two years, in the town, there are Miechów Days of Jerusalem organised. Miechów is also an important point on the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order, as well as the Romanesque Route and the Renaissance Route.
In the former seat of the generals of the Order currently houses the Museum of the Miechów Land. Tourists and pilgrims should also visit the “U Jaksy” Art Gallery, the Stefan Zechowski Creative Work House and the Zacisze Manor located on the Małopolska Wooden Architecture Route.
The town’s Culture and Sport Centre has a very good offer for leisure and cultural activities. It’s attractions include: an indoor swimming pool with a salt grotto, spa facilities, sauna, bowling centre, squash room, as well as the House of Culture with the Digital Cinema “Gryf” and Miechów Tourist Information Centre, which operates within the framework of the Małopolska Tourist Information System (MSIT). The results of the intensive work of this facility include the annual Days of Miechów, the Harvest Festival or the Day the Orchid Festival.
Visiting Miechów the surrounding area by bicycle is a good idea as well. In May 2020, a new, 9,1-kilometre bicycle path “Along the narrow-gauge track” of was inaugurated in the municipality. The beginning of a walking and cycling route is located in the western part of the municipality and passes through: Podmiejska Wola, Miechów and Bukowska Wola. What is interesting is the fact that the path follows the trace of the former narrow-gauge railway line, whose history is reminded by the original boards.
The area surrounding Miechów, known as the Miechów Upland, is a picturesque land with agricultural traditions. This is where the most famous cabbages in Poland – reigning on the tables as healthy and tasty silage, the Charsznica sauerkraut – comes from.
Miechów is also close to Racławice, the site of the historic battle, an important moment of the Kościuszko Uprising.