Project co financed with the funds from the “Fundusz Grantowy dla Płocka” foundation (Grant Fund for Płock)

Stowarzyszenie na rzecz edukacji osób wykluczonych społecznie o nazwie „Busola”

In the footsteps of John Paul II in Płock

Photo Chronicle

30th anniversary of the visit of the Holy Father in Płock

30 years ago, in June 1991, there took place a huge event – our city was visited by the Pope John Paul II. The visit was organized as a part of the IV Pilgrimage to the Motherland on 7 and 8 June 1991. By then, Płock was visited for the first and only time by the Head of the Holy Church. The situation itself was a big event but one episode that took place during the visit left an enduring mark in the history of Płock. The episode in question is John Paul II’s visit in the Płock prison. On Friday afternoon of 7th June 1991, Holy Father made a speech for over 300 inmates. Earlier, to the surprise of all present, the Pope entered the crowd of the prisoners to greet them personally. This was an unprecedented meeting, since never before and never after, the Head of the Holy Church met prisoners behind prison walls in any penitentiary unit.

The present album is documenting the Pope’s visit. There are photographs which, most probably, have never been published anywhere before. Throughout all these years they were lying forgotten in our prison and now we have managed to get them and create this publication. The album came into existence as an additional, unplanned activity within the project “In the footsteps of John Paul II in Płock”. The project was implemented by the “Busola” Socially Excluded Education Association with financial support from the “Grant Fund for Płock” Foundation. Apart from the album we created an urban game within the project which is available at We also recorded a podcast about the Pope’s visit in the Płock penitentiary which can be listened to below.

We leave all the photographs without any comment so that each viewer can reflect on them on their own. The text which you can see, Dear Reader, under the photos is the text of the speech that John Paul II made to the prisoners on the inner yard of the Płock prison after 18.00 CET on 7th June 1991.

Płock, 7th June 2021.

Photo Chronicle on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of John Paul II in Płock

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In the podcast we used fragments of the Mozart’s Requiem performed by the Orchestre National de France and the fragments of the soundtrack of the film “The visit of John Paul II in Płock penitentiary”. Source:

In the podcast, one of the motives that was discussed was a commemorative medal that was designed and made because of the visit of the Pope. It was created by the prisoners of Płock prison. Below you can find more information about that.

„Płock minted in medals”

by Dariusz Lemanowicz

During the meeting with prisoners in Płock penitentiary unit, John Paul II was given several souvenirs made by inmates. One of them was a gilded medal, whose stamp and matrix was designed and made by one of the inmates from the therapeutic unit under the supervision of lt. Edward Lewandowski. The medal, whose design was approved in terms of its content, by the church representatives, was minted in the Metal Industry Enterprise – a company working at the Płock penitentiary. The scope of work was to cutting blocks of a metal rod and later on minting medals of these. Unfortunately, during the process of minting, regular industrial presses were used, which were already heavily exploited at that time. The run-down company did not have modern equipment. Quite ample backlash during the minting process made it that some of the medals are ‘underminted’ (which is particularly visible at the captions on the medal) and on the other hand some of the medals are ‘overminted’ (cracks on medals – visible on the picture of the observe). Medal gilding was performed by Argentum company which specialized in such works. The company was run by Mr. Jerzy Stachurski.


John Paul II’s bust, right profile, inscription around: “4th Pope’s Pilgrimage in Poland * Płock 7th June 1991. Płock Penitentiary”


Writing on an unfold scroll: “For (…) I was in prison and you visited Me Mt. 25, 31-33”. Right hand bottom edge of the parchment folded around the key to the city. On the right hand side, a view of the dome of the cathedral seen from the prison window.

EDGE: smooth   |   ISSUER: Płock Penitentiary Unit   |   PROJECT: Zdzisław Sławiński

Minted by: Metal Industry Enterprise in Płock



The subject of the Quest is the visit of John Paul II in Płock during his pilgrimage in 1991. At the same time we get to know some of the historical secrets of the city.


„In the footsteps of John Paul II in Płock”

Print the Quest!

How to look for the treasure?

Quest is a game which you can play at any time. Read the tips carefully and look around very closely to find the final watchword (password) that leads to the treasure – a commemorative stamp.