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The courtyard of the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary Sącz. 
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The courtyard of the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary Sącz.

"Situated at the juncture of the Poprad and Dunajec rivers, on a trade route between Małopolska and Hungary, Stary Sącz was chartered twice, which is reflected in its urban structure. The first charter dates back to the time of St. Kinga, princess of Kraków and Sandomierz, before 1273. It was envisioned according to an oval-shaped layout, while the one constructed in 1357 follows a chessboard layout, with a rectangular market square in the centre. St. Clare’s convent has played an important role in Stary Sącz ever since its foundation. St. Kinga brought the Sisters of St. Clare to Stary Sącz from Skała, near Kraków. On July 6th, 1280, she renounced her Sądecczyzna lands, which consisted of Stary Sącz and 28 villages, in order to found the convent. It was situated on the outskirts of the town, in accordance with the medieval guidelines for the placement of Franciscan convents and monasteries. The Holy Trinity church (originally St. Clare’s) was eventually consecrated in 1332. The church underwent major remodelling in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the construction of the western gable of the church, decorated in 1777–1779 with volutes, obelisks and an avebell turret associated with Francesco Placidi. Clustered around the quadrangular cloister garth, the convent buildings, initially made of wood, were constructed by the Krakow master, Jan de Simoni, in the early 17th century.

A gate topped with a clock tower opens into the convent complex, surrounded by walls. In the spacious courtyard you can find a field altar built in 1990, the former house of the chaplain (currently the convent museum), the Holy Trinity church, and the cloister gate topped with sgrafitto figures of Christ the Saviour, Blessed Salomea, St. Clare, St. Kinga and St. Francis. The Holy Trinity church comprises a chancel with a polygonal end, a vestry in the north, and a single-nave, two-bay body covered with cross-ribbed vaulting, with the adjoining 14th century St. Kinga’s chapel (originally St. Mary’s) at the south end. The nave is bordered with a one-storey structure, housing a vestibule and a stone vestry on the ground floor, and an oratory on the first floor." (Text from the 13th Annual Days of Cultural Heritage leaflets).

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An exhibition of 13c St. Kinga's memorabilia in the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary SączAn exhibition of 13c St. Kinga's memorabilia in the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary SączAn exhibition of 13c St. Kinga's memorabilia in the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary SączA 18c copper plaque on the roof of the Convent of Poor Clares in Stary SączAn old epitaph on the wall of the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary SączAn old epitaph on the wall of the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary SączA memorial plaque on the wall of the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary Sącz
Inside the church of the Holy Trinity and St. Clare in Stary Sącz. 
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Inside the church of the Holy Trinity and St. Clare in Stary Sącz.

"As the first part of its double-barrelled name suggests, Stary Sącz is the oldest town in the region and owes its existence to 13th-century Princess Kinga, wife of King Bolesław Wstydliwy (Bolesław the Shy), who in the 1270s founded the convent of the Poor Clares here. After the king's death, Kinga entered the convent, where she lived for the last 13 years of her life, becoming its first abbess. [...] Equally splendid is the Church of the Poor Clares, a short walk from the parish church. Surrounded by a high defensive wall, this was the birthplace of the town. The church, originally Gothic and completed in 1332, also ended up with opulent Baroque fittings. The traces of its creator are clearly visible: the Baroque frescoes in the nave depict scenes from the life of Blessed Kinga, and her chapel on the south side boasts a 1470 statue of her on the altar. The pulpit (1671) on the opposite wall is an extraordinary piece of art." (Neal Bedford: Lonely Planet's Poland Country Guide, 2008).
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Some old Latin text on the wall inside the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary SączSome old Latin text on the wall inside the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary SączSome old Latin text on the wall inside the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary SączAD 1599: the door to the Convent of Poor Clares' church in Stary Sącz
The early 17th-century wooden church of Saint James' in Powroźnik. 
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The early 17th-century wooden church of Saint James' in Powroźnik.

"The earliest mentions of Powroźnik date back to the 14th century. The name of the village probably refers to its villagers’ main activity: growing hemp to be used for making rope. After 1565, when the village was re-chartered under Wallachian law, Powroźnik was inhabited by settlers of Ruthenian origin (referred to as the Lemkos since the 19th century). This community went about erecting a church, which was consecrated on October 5th, 1600. On June 18th of 1607, work on the paintings decorating the interior of the sanctuary – the holiest place in the Orthodox church, or the space where the Eucharist is kept – was completed. Traditionally, this space is not accessible to the congregation, which is separated from it by an iconostasis. [...]

The church in Powroźnik is a classic example of Lemko Orthodox churches. It is representative of the north-western style, whose examples may be found throughout Poland (the western and central area of Lemko settlement) and in Slovakia, by the border with Poland: it is wooden and shingled, with a timber frame structure and a post-frame tower. The church faces eastwards and is subdivided into three parts: it consists of a chancel on an irregular rectangle plan, a four-sided nave that is broader than the other parts, and the women’s gallery on a square plan, above which there is a four-sided tower with a chamber section that bends forward. A semi-hexagonal vestry adjoins the chancel on the northern side, while a vestibule adjoins the women’s gallery on the eastern side. The chancel has two windows (on the northern and eastern walls), while the vestry has two (on the northern and southern walls), and the nave three (on the southern wall). The chancel is covered with flat vaulting and bed-moulding, and the vestry has mock barrel vaulting. Above the nave is tiered hipped vaulting, and the women’s gallery is covered with flat vaulting. There are ridged roofs above the chancel and vestry, and hipped roofs above the nave and tower. The tripartite division of the church is accentuated by bulbous domes topped with crosses that are located over the chancel, nave and women’s gallery." (Text taken from the 13th Małopolska Days of Cultural Heritage website).

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The early 17th-century wooden church of Saint James' in Powroźnik. 
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The early 17th-century wooden church of Saint James' in Powroźnik.
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St. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in PowroźnikSt. James' church in Powroźnik
The sacristy of Saint James' church in Powroźnik has its walls covered by 400 years old paintings. 
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The sacristy of Saint James' church in Powroźnik has its walls covered by 400 years old paintings.
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St. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristySt. James' church in Powroźnik: paintings in the sacristy
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
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