Bielany is the name of the south-western part of Las Wolski, forest located only around 7km from Krakow city centre. The central part of Bielany is Srebrna Góra(Silver Mountain), high hill with a Camaldolese monastery on the top of it. The name of the convent comes from the name of the town Cameldoli close to Florense where the first monastery of this convent was built in 1012. The monastery was founded in 1603 by Mikołaj Wolski, the Grand Crown Marshal. While visiting Italy as an ambassador of Polish king Sigismund III he first meets Camaldolese convent and invites them to Poland. They agree to send few monks but only if Mikołaj builds them a monastery and finances their work. After arriving to Krakow Camaldolese monks chose the hill at Bielany as a place for a future monastery, but it’s owner, Sebastian Lubomirski, didn’t want to sell it. To change his mind Wolski invited him to a feast where publicly described all the difficulties he had with the monastery including the problem with the land in Bielany. Lubomirski didn’t have other option than to donate his land to the convent. Wolski to thank him presented him a huge amount of silver dishes, that’s why the hill in Bielany was called a Silver Mountain. Mikołaj Wolski was buried close to the entrance to the monastery church. There is no cemetery there, mummified bodies of monks are exposed in the basement of the church.

Only men can enter the territory of monastery, women are allowed to enter only the church and only few times a year on big holidays.

Camaldolese monastery on a map

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