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Chapel-hermitage of St Rosalia In the Wilderness - Zabytek.pl

Barwałd Górny, Puszcza naprzeciwko nr 67

woj. małopolskie, pow. wadowicki, gm. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska-obszar wiejski

The chapel with a hermitage is a structure strongly associated with local historical events, built with the use of custom architectural solutions.

Due to its specific location, the complex has major landscape values.


The chapel-hermitage of St Rosalia was built probably at the turn of the 18th and the 19th century. The existence of this building is confirmed by an Austrian real estate plan from 1845. The hermitage could be erected in connection with the epidemic spreading at that time near Barwałd, against which St Rosalia was to protect the residents. The hermitage was created on the route of pilgrimages from the area of Oświęcim and Wadowice to the sanctuary in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. During period when pilgrimage was forbidden by Austrian authorities, pilgrims came to the hermitage individually and from there, in organised groups, they started to nearby Kalwaria, taking crosses and pilgrimage props stored in the hermitage with them. In the residential part of the building, hermits stayed all the time, and in the chapels, services were held for nearby residents. The last hermit was Zofia Owsianka who died here in 1978. The chapel is currently a filial church of the parish of Divine Mercy in Barwałd Górny, included in the worship. The monument is in good condition. The hermitage was renovated in the early 20th century (probably it was then that the wall between the chapels were removed), in the 1960s and after 2000.


The chapel with hermitage is located in the eastern, hilly part of Barwałd Górny, by the road leading through the hamlet Puszcza and a forest on the Żar mountaing (530 m above the sea level) to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. The chapel was built of wood, with the use of a log structure. It was erected on a rectangular floor plan. Its body is cuboid, with a pronounced, overhanging arcade resting on pillars in the front, covered by a gablet tile roof, with a hexagonal steeple turret topped with a pyramid tented roof, on the roof ridge. The extraordinary door and window joinery features decorative blacksmith strapwork. The interior is divide into a chapel (originally there were two chapels) and a two-room premises of the hermit. On the walls, there are surviving fragments of painted decorations from the 3rd quarter, comprised of geometrical and foliage motifs, and board ceilings are decorated with painting featuring foliage and figural motifs (among other things a portrait of pope Pius IX). The most valuable artefacts in the chapel are two large Baroque paintings from 1746: "Adoration of the Magi", and "Birth of Christ". The fittings also include, among other things, two wooden, eclectic altarpieces with paintings of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Rosalia, and numerous paintings and lithographies from the 19th and 1st half of the 20th century. The residential part of the building contains plain, wooden furniture from the 20th century. In front of the chapel, there is a stone statue of the the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, standing on a column, with the Leliwa coat of arms, initials of Adam Gołuchowski, the owner of Barwałd Górny in the 1st half of the 18th century, and date "1745" on the plinth.

The historic monument is accessible.

compiled by Tadeusz Śledzikowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 31-10-2014.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 1: Województwo krakowskie, oprac. Szablowski J, Warszawa 1953, s. 458.
  • Natanek P., Informator Archidiecezji Krakowskiej 2000. Parafie i kościoły, Kraków 2001, s. 237.
  • Studnicki G., Barwałd. Parafia i kościół św. Erazma, Barwałd-Wadowice 1995.
  • Zinkow J., Wokół Kalwarii Zebrzydowskiej i Lanckorony, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska 2000, s. 293-295.
  • Karta ewidencyjna, Barwałd Górny. Pustelnia św. Rozalii z kaplicami, oprac. Tadeusz Śledzikowski, Kraków 1993, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Krakowie.

Category: chapel

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_12_BK.215219, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_12_BK.369232