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Photographer's Note

No, it is not a mosque. I used this title because this was the first thought which I came to my mind when I first saw this basilica. You can spot the crosses there. It is Roman Catholic.

My next thought was: “Why would anyone want to spend so much money on a church nowadays?” At first it felt too arrogant, and a waste of money when there are so many poor people around? But then again I realized: many of the structures which we admire today were built for religious reasons. And there was even more poverty before. If someone genuinely believes in God: isn’t it a beautiful idea to build him a temple as big and rich as possible? I have entered the underground chapel below this church and I found walls decorated with thousands of little bricks showing names of the people who voluntarily paid their own money to build this basilica. Nobody was forced but people gathered money and succeeded in creating it. Isn’t it great?



Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Poland, in Licheń [ˈlixɛɲ] is a Roman Catholic church located in the village of Licheń Stary near Konin. It was designed by Barbara Bielecka and built between 1994 and 2004. The construction was funded by pilgrims' donations.

The history of the foundation of the church dates back to 1813, when Tomasz Kłossowski a Polish soldier fighting under Napoleon near Leipzig was seriously wounded. He invoked Our Lady, begging her not to let him die in a foreign land. According to legend, she appeared to him wearing a golden crown, a dark red gown, with a golden mantle, and holding a white eagle in her right hand. She comforted the soldier and promised he would recover and return to Poland. Tomasz was instructed to have an image of her made, and to place the image in a public place so that My people will pray before this image and shall draw many graces at My hands in the hardest times of trial.

With the nave 120 meters long and 77 meters wide, with a central dome 98 meters high, and with a tower 141.5 metres tall, it is Poland's largest church and one of the largest churches in the world. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Poland whose icon, perhaps dating back to the 18th century, is displayed in the basilica's main altar. It is one of Poland's principal pilgrimage sites. Pope John Paul II blessed the Basilica in 1999.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4301 W: 91 N: 11078] (45473)
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