There are Catholic Wayside (Roadside) Shrines throughout Poland Indeed in pretty much every hamlet, village, town or city has at least one shrine. Here are three photographs we took back in the summer of one shrine that we drive by most days. This particular wayside shrine is in the column-style and located about 20 metres from a country road in the province of Lubuskie in the far west of Poland; not far from the German border; and around an hour’s drive from Berlin.
This shrine is often used as a small chapel where a handful of villagers will spend time praying. Often bringing along chairs to sit on. Candles are also placed and lit here around religious holidays or to remember people who have passed. As can be seen in the photographs the central figure here is Jesus Christ. Others in the are known as ‘Marian’ shrines and feature figures of the Virgin Mary.
This type of more established wayside shrine shouldn’t be confused with the many thousands of more personal and probably more temporary crosses and small shrines placed beside the roads of Poland to mark where a relative or friend died, often as the result of a road traffic accident. On my daily commute to work I drive past three of these large wayside shrines maintained by local communities, whereas I pass five markers, mostly in the shape of crosses, placed beside the road by family’s who have lost a loved one.