Earlier this year I visited Lodz in Poland to tour the area and attend a local conference. During my stay, I did a couple of day trips, and one of those was to Czestochowka, perhaps best known for its Black Madonna of Częstochowa at Jasna Góra. We had a local guide take us around the town, starting out the local markets and main street, taking us back in history, with some tales of the former Jewish community, and finally to the monastery to see the Black Madonna painting, believed to have saved the local monastery from the invader during the 15th century and therefore represents both religious miracles and nationalism. On the way back, we also made a quick stop in Lelów to see a symbol for the Jewish communities – the Lelov rabbi tomb, which is of great importance to the Lelov Hasidics, though it’s nothing as grand as the Częstochowa monastery.
Not exactly your typical Poland history tour, and I’m not sure Czestochowka will be considered a tourist hotspot, but still, having a local guide and hearing about some of the lesser known regional history was quite interesting.