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Why are there chapels on the side of the Polish roads? Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Culture, Places to visit

If you are ever going to travel in Poland, it won’t be long before you notice either a religious figure, cross, statue, or a building that resembles a little house or miniature chapel along the roadside. These small religious chapels or shrines are commonly called roadside or wayside shrines (przydrożne kapliczki). These shrines were often built at the expense of individuals, families and sometimes entire villages to publicly thank a saint or God for a benefit or blessing received (See Calendar of Feasts – Harvest Festival (Święto Plonów – Dożynki).

In the case of smaller shrines they acted as a remembrance for a tragedy or crime. Recently constructed shrines are usually on a much smaller scale and most often mark the spot where a fatal traffic accident occurred. Here’s a photograph of a typical roadside cross marking the spot where someone was killed.

Roadside shrines or chapels can be seen almost anywhere: at the entrance of a village, up on a high point, at the outer boundaries of a village or town, or along a main road or at a major crossroads.

Here are some pictures of different shrines in Poland:

 

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

Image by Rantes on Flickr.com

 

Image by "Zakwitnij!pl Ejdzej & Iric" on Flickr.com

Image by “Zakwitnij!pl Ejdzej & Iric” on Flickr.com

Image by Royston Rascals on Flickr.com

Image by Royston Rascals on Flickr.com

Image by sfu.marcin on Flickr.com

Image by sfu.marcin on Flickr.com

 

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

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About the Author:Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew up in Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.