The Black Madonna or Black Virgin of Czestochowa is an internationally famous icon of the Virgin Mary, which can be viewed at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland.
The painting itself is wax and tempera on wood. Measuring approximately 4 ft high. The date of the painting and the artist is unknown. But it would be fairly safe to say that it was painted sometime between 400 A.D and 900 A.D. Unfortunately, restoration in the 15th century makes dating the painting precisely very difficult if not impossible.
To some the safety of the shrine of Czestochowa is closely tied to the wellbeing and independence of the whole nation. Indeed some believe that the very existence of Poland is due to the help of the Black Virgin of Częstochowa.
As a result, Częstochowa is without a doubt the most popular shrine in Poland, with many Polish Catholics visiting year after year and is seen by many thousands of international visitors each year.