In the north eastern corner of Poland close to the borders of Lithuania, Belarus and Russia you find a tiny village which is the home to one of the most important religious buildings in all of Poland – the Swieta Lipka. It is located 13 kilometers from the village of Ketryn and about 6 kilometers from Reszel.
The large complex used to be a Jesuit monastery which is a bit strange since this corner of Masuria used to be mainly a Lutheran area. When the area was transferred to Prussia the monks were initially allowed to stay at the monastery – but the monks were only allowed to stay as administrators of the area and no longer as a religious institution. After World War II this area was transferred back to Poland and the complex could once again be used by the Catholic Church.
The first mention of a chapel at the location dates back to 1491 in the following centuries the complex was extended into the current large scale making it one of the biggest monasteries in Poland.
The complex is open to visitors and it is actually free to enter the area and walk around if there is no service going on inside the church in which case you will have to wait outside for the service to be over.
The area is very pretty but you can see they have run a bit out of money some places. The church is surrounded by a courtyard and at the wall there is a little covered walkway all the way through – some places this is decorated by pretty paintings – but at other places the roof and walls are bare indicating the lack of funds to complete all of the decorations.