Tyniec - solitary rock on the right bank of the Vistula river since 1044 (1047) was inhabited by monks from the Order of Saint Benedict. The monks erected first romanesque style church and monastery. Around 1124 Cardinal of Tusculum and papal legate, Gilles consecrated the church and issued the ownership deed for the abbey.
The first church does not exists, due to its strategic localisation as the gate to Krakow, Tyniec was conquered several times. The rock was atacked in 12th century by Tartars, in 14th century by Czech, in 17th century by Swedish. The last defense took place in 1771-72 when Polish soldiers defended the hill against Russians. In 1816 the Austrian Emperor dissolved the abbey (the last monk died in 1833). During 1821-26 Tyniec was the seat of the bishop. Later the seat was moved to Bochnia and then to Tarnów.
In the 1930 the abbey of St. Andrew in Bruges, Belgium, became the centre of formation of contemporary monks. 30 July 1939 a group of monks left Bruges for Tyniec. That was unfortunate returning, one month later the II World War began. After the war the cloister went in ruins, only in 1989 the process of modernisation started.
Today, Tyniec is willingly visited by townspeople and tourists. Whats attracts visitors is not only this simple temple but also beautiful view from the rock. Visitors who already decide to come can see:
• The well - in front of the church there is a wooden well 30 meters deep, digged in the rock. According to a legend:
Once upon a time two merchants living in Krakow quarelled, fighted and in effect one killed another. Angry townspeople wanted to asess the killer too, but he escaped. He was running and runnigh trying to avoid punishment. Finally he run to Tyniec, where he got protection of the monks. He confessed and got a penancy - the task to digg the well with his hands. After seven years of hard work, he had a dream that this day he should work together with other monks. Indeed, this day onter Benedictine accompanied the killer. When the killer touched first stone, water filled in the well. Hopefully accompanying monks saved him.
• The Church of Saint Peter and Paul - the interior is simple and reflects simplicity of the Order of saint Benedict. The pulpit, one of the most beautiful in Krakow, has form of a bout.
The main altar of the church is decorated with painting presenting saints Peter and Paul. Below there are four figures: Saint Petronella (according to apocrifs she is doughter of Saint Peter), Saint Gregor, Saint Barbara and Saint Tekla. On the top of the altar there is inscription: 'Isti sunt viri sancti facti amici Dei' (Here are saints who became friends of the God).
Next to the nave there are six side-chapels:
Saint Benedictus - in the altar there is a painting of Saint Benedictus (painted by Andrzej Radwański).
Tyniec is definetely worth visiting. For tourists who like biking bicycle path along southern bank of the Vistula river is prepared. The bicycle path connects center of Krakow with Tyniec.