The city with its 259,000 inhabitants, is the main centre of religious worship in Poland. This is due to the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa known as the Black Madonna. The sanctuary is located in the Pauline monastery on Jasna Góra, which has been a major goal of pilgrimages for centuries. The monastery was founded in 1382. The icon of St Mary with the Child, as the legend has it, was painted by St Luke 13 years after the death of Christ. Very soon it was ascribed miraculous powers. Its strength was also reputedly proven by the fact that monks and Polish soldiers successfully withheld the Swedish 40 day siege in the 17th century. Since that time the monastery on Jasna Góra with the icon of Black Madonna has become the country’s principal religious symbol. The first buildings appeared here in the 15th century. The monastery derives its contemporary shape predominantly from the 17th century.