View Full Version : Small and medium towns in Poland
March 7th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Kazimierz Dolny (Казі́меж-До́льни)
Kazimierz Dolny is a small town in eastern Poland, on the right (eastern) bank of the Vistula river in Puławy County, Lublin Province.
It is a considerable tourist attraction as one of the most beautifully situated little towns in Poland. It enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the 16th and the first half of the 17th century, due to the trade in grain conducted along the Vistula. It became an economic backwater after that trade declined, and this freeze in economic development enabled the town to preserve its Renaissance urban plan and appearance. Since the 19th century it has become a popular holiday destination, attracting artists and summer residents.
March 8th, 2010, 12:56 AM
Sandomierz is a city in south-eastern Poland with 25,714 inhabitants.
Sandomierz is known for its Old Town, a major tourist attraction.
Sandomierz is one of the oldest and historically most significant cities in Poland. Archeological finds around the city indicate that humans inhabited the area since neolithic times. The city came into existence in the early Middle Ages, taking advantage of an excellent location at the junction of Vistula and San rivers, and on the path of important trade routes. The first known historical mention of the city comes from the early 12th century, when the chronicler Gallus Anonymus ranked it together with Kraków and Wrocław as one of the main cities of Poland. In the testament of Bolesław Krzywousty, in which he divided Poland among his sons, Sandomierz was designated as a capital of one of the resulting principalities.
In the course of the 13th century the city suffered grievous damage during raids by Tatars in 1241, 1259 and 1287. The old wooden buildings of the town were completely destroyed. As a result, in 1286 the city was effectively refounded by Leszek Czarny, under Magdeburg Law. The founding document is still preserved in the city archives.
After Polish lands were reunified in the 14th century, the former principality became the Sandomierz Voivodeship, incorporating large areas of southeastern Poland. At this time Sandomierz had about 3000 inhabitants and was one of the larger Polish cities. In the middle of the 14th century the city was burned again during a raid by the Lithuanians. It was rebuilt during the rule of king Casimir III of Poland. The layout of the city has survived practically unchanged since that time until the present day.
The following three hundred years, running until the middle of the 17th century, were quite prosperous for the city. The most important historical buildings were built during this period. This golden age came to an end in 1655 when Swedish forces captured the city in the course of the Deluge. After briefly holding out in the city, the withdrawing Swedes blew up the castle and caused heavy damage to other buildings. In the next 100 years the economy of Poland suffered a decline, which also affected the city. A great fire in 1757 and the First Partition of Poland in 1772, which placed Sandomierz in Austria, further reduced its status. As a result Sandomierz lost its role as an administrative capital.
No major industrial development took place in Sandomierz, thus preserving it as a charming, small city full of historical monuments among unspoiled landscape.
March 8th, 2010, 02:37 PM
Zamość is a town in southeastern Poland with 66,633 inhabitants (2004). About 20 kilometres from the town is the Roztocze National Park.
The historical city centre was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List (in 1992).
Zamość was founded in the year 1580 by the Chancellor and Hetman (head of the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) Jan Zamoyski, on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea.
Modelled on Italian trading cities, and built during the Baroque period by the architect Bernardo Morando, a native of Padua, Zamość remains a perfect example of a Renaissance town of the late 16th century, which retains its original layout and fortifications (Zamość Fortress), and a large number of buildings blending Italian and central European architectural traditions. The Old City quarter of Zamość has been placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
March 8th, 2010, 10:26 PM
Zamoscie is lookig great! Thanks for the pics.
March 9th, 2010, 06:30 PM
Tarnów is a city in southeastern Poland with 115,341 inhabitants as of June 2009.
The first recorded mention of Tarnów was in 1125. In 1264 Daniel of Galicia and Bolesław V the Chaste met in the town to establish the borders of their domains. It was granted city rights on March 7, 1330 by Władysław I the Elbow-high. At the time it was owned by Spycimir Leliwita (Leliwa coat of arms). In the 13th century, numerous German settlers immigrated from Kraków and Nowy Sącz. During the 16th century Scottish immigrants began to come in large numbers (Dun, Huyson, and Nikielson). In 1528 the exiled King of Hungary János Szapolyai lived in the town. It was annexed by Habsburg Austria in 1772 during the First Partition of Poland. The Diocese of Tarnów was formed in 1785.
February 18, 1846 - beginning of the Galician peasant revolt. The massacre, led by Jakub Szela (born in Smarżowa), is also known as the Galician Massacre, and began on February 18, 1846. This led to the "Galician Slaughter", in which many nobles and their families were murdered by peasants. Szela units surrounded and attacked manor houses and settlements located in three counties - Sanok, Jasło, and Tarnów. The revolt got out of hand and the Austrians had to put it down.
During World War I, the city was one of the focal points of Austro-Hungarian/German Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive of 1915, a military operation that changed the situation in the Eastern Front and resulted in major retreat of opposing Russian forces. After the war, the city became part of a reconstituted Polish state on October 30, 1918.
Tarnów is one of the warmest cities in Poland.
March 9th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Сan you post some photos of Tarnow Railway station I heard that it is similar to Ivano-Frankivsk Railway station))
March 10th, 2010, 01:13 AM
Сan you post some photos of Tarnow Railway station I heard that it is similar to Ivano-Frankivsk Railway station))
Here you go :cheers:
before the war:
during the renovation:
after the renovation:
March 10th, 2010, 01:53 AM
March 10th, 2010, 02:42 AM
Красота какая, не тронутая совком и современной архитектурой!
March 10th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Jarosław is a town in south-eastern Poland, with 40,167 inhabitants, as of June 2009.
The city was established by the Ruthenian prince Yaroslav the Wise in the 11th century. It was granted Magdeburg rights by Polish prince Władysław Opolczyk in 1375.
The city quickly developed as important trade centre and a port on the San river, reaching the period of its greatest prosperity in 16th and 17th century, with trade routes linking Silesia with Ruthenia and Gdańsk with Hungary coming through it and merchants from such distant countries as Spain, England, Finland, Armenia and Persia arriving at the annual three week long fair on the feast of the Assumption. In 1574 a Jesuit college was established in Jarosław.
In the 1590s Tatars from the Ottoman Empire pillaged the surrounding countryside. They were unable to overcome the city's fortifications, but their raids started to diminish the city's economic strength and importance. Outbreaks of bubonic plague in the 1620s and the Swedish The Deluge in 1655-60 further undermined its prominence. In the Great Northern War of 1700-21 the region was repeatedly pillaged by Russian, Saxon and Swedish armies, causing the city to decline further.
Jarosław was under Austrian rule from the First Partition of Poland in 1772 until Poland regained independence in 1918. After the 2nd World War the city remained part of Poland. Poland's communist government expelled most of Jarosław's Ukrainian population, at first to Soviet territories and later to territories transferred from Germany to Poland in 1944-45.
March 11th, 2010, 04:56 PM
Chełmno (older English: Culm; German: Kulm) is a town in northern Poland near the Vistula river with 20,000 inhabitants and the historical capital of Chełmno Land (Culmerland).
The name is derived from the Old Slavic word for hill (chełm, in modern Polish language wzgórze). This is a cognate of the English word hill and similar words in other related languages.
Culm was the German name, officially used between 1772 and 1807 and again between 1815 and 1920. During the Nazi occupation in World War II, the town was called Kulm. The town also has been known as Culm in English, but Chełmno is now more commonly used.
The first written mention of Chełmno is known from a document allegedly issued in 1065 by Duke Boleslaus II of Poland for the Benedictine monastery in Mogilno. In 1226 Duke Konrad I of Masovia invited the Teutonic Knights to Chełmno Land (Kulmerland).
In 1233 Chełmno was granted city rights known as "Kulm law" (renewed in 1251), the model system for over 200 Polish towns. The town grew prosperous as a member of the mercantile Hanseatic League. Chełmno and Chełmno Land were part of the Teutonic Knights' state until 1466, when after the Thirteen Years' War Chełmno was incorporated into Poland and made the capital of Chełmno Voivodeship.
In 1772, following the First Partition of Poland, Chełmno was taken over by the Kingdom of Prussia. Between 1807 and 1815 Chełmno was part of the Duchy of Warsaw, returning to Prussia at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
The city had a mixed German/Polish population during most of his history. Around 1900 the city was about one-third German and two-thirds Polish. Chełmno returned to Poland in 1920 following World War I. During the interwar period the town experienced renewed economic growth.
When World War II broke out in 1939, Nazi German authorities murdered 5,000 Polish civilians upon taking control of the territory. The atrocities took place in Klamry, Małe Czyste, Podwiesk, Plutowo, Dąbrowa Chełmińska, and Wielkie Łunawy, while many other Poles were executed in forests. The rest of the Polish population was expelled to the General Government in line with the German policy of Lebensraum. Polish Secret State resistance groups such as Polska Żyje ("Poland Lives"), Rota, Grunwald, and Szare Szeregi were also active in the area.
On 25 January 1945 German forces set fire to several buildings in the city, including a hospital, a railway terminal, and a brewery, while retreating
Chełmno has a well-preserved medieval center, with five Gothic churches and a beautiful Renaissance town hall in the middle of the market square.
* Gothic churches:
o Church of St Mary, former main parochial church of town, built 1280-1320 (with St. Valentine relic)
o Church of SS Jacob and Nicholas, former Franciscan church, from 14th c., rebuild in 19 c.
o Church of SS Peter and Paul, former Dominican church, from 13-14th c. rebuild in 18 and 19th c.
o Church of SS John the Baptist and Johns the Evangelist, former Benedictine and Cictercian nuns' church, with monastery, built 1290-1330
o Church of Holy Ghost, from 1280-90
Town Hall in Chełmno
Town hall, whose oldest part comes from the end of the 13th century, rebuilt in manneristic style (under Italian influence) in 1567-1572
* City walls which surround whole city, preserved almost as a whole, with watch towers and Grudziądzka Gate
Chełmno gives its name to the protected area called Chełmno Landscape Park, which stretches along the right bank of the Vistula.
March 12th, 2010, 03:41 PM
Nowy Sącz (Новий Сонч)
Nowy Sącz was founded on 8 November 1292 by the king Wenceslaus II, on the site of a village named Kamienica. An ancient trade route called the Amber Road passed through the town, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Baltic. The town benefited during that time from its proximity on the trade route to Hungary due to privileges granted by Polish King Władysław I the Elbow-high, and later his son, Polish king Kazimierz the Great, for supporting him during a rebellion in 1311.
In the 15th century it produced steel and woolen products, and nearly rivaled Kraków in visual arts. In 1611 a great fire destroyed much of the town, and the 17th century the town declined in importance after the "The Deluge".
Nowy Sącz was in the central part of West Galicia from the First Partition of Poland, 1772, to Polish independence,1918. Nowy Sącz rose to a new prominence in the 19th century when the Austrian authorities built a railway connecting it with Vienna, the capital. At the beginning of World War I, Nowy Sącz was occupied by the Russian Army. The Russians were driven back by the Central powers in December 1914. Briefly after the end of the war, it was associated with the independence movement of the Lemko (a Ukrainian related group, native to the Beskid Niski), the Lemko-Rusyn Republic. The inter-war Poland saw industrial expansion and the railroad factory expanded.
During the invasion of Poland starting World War II, Nowy Sącz was occupied by Nazi Germany on 6 September 1939. Because of its proximity to Slovakia, it lay on a major route for resistance fighters of the Polish Home Army. The Gestapo was active in capturing those trying to cross the border, including the murder of several Polish pilots. In June 1940, the resistance rescued Jan Karski from a hospital there, and a year later 32 people were shot in reprisal for the escape; several others were sent to concentration camps.
In 1947 much of the Lemko population, living in villages southeast of the town, was deported in Action Vistula (mostly to land recently annexed from Germany) in reaction to the anti-communist activity in the region.
The town has many historic features, the mountainous country around Nowy Sącz is also popular with tourists, hikers and skiers.
March 13th, 2010, 09:41 AM
Tykocin is a small, old town in north-eastern Poland, with 1,800 inhabitants (1998), located on the Narew river.
It is one of the oldest cities in Podlaskie Voivodeship.
The name of Tykocin was first mentioned in the 11th century. Tykocin received city rights from Władysław II Jagiełło in 1425, lost them in 1950, only to regain them in 1993 after the collapse of communism.
Points of interest
* Castle of Zygmunt II August built before 1469, extended in 16th century and partially reconstructed in 2005
* The Baroque Tykocin Synagogue Bejt ha-Kneset ha-Godol, built in 1642, one of the best preserved in Poland from that period, is a major tourist attraction.
* A baroque Church of the Holy Trinity and former monastery of Congregation of Mission founded in 1742 by Jan Klemens Branicki
* Baroque monastery dating from 1771-90
* Former military hospital from 1755
* Jewish cemetery - one of the oldest in Poland
* a lot of white storks and their nests
March 13th, 2010, 08:10 PM
DocentXthanks for keep posting, nice job, it's all time interesting to come here :)
March 13th, 2010, 11:41 PM
I would like to visit every town posted here :)
Great selection, DocentX.
March 14th, 2010, 01:58 AM
Reszel is a town in Poland in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. The population is about 5,700.
The beginnings of the settlement date back as early as 5th century B.C.
In 1241 The Teutonics raised a wooden watchtower, which was later burned down during Prussian uprisings. The town developed along a Warmian bishops' castle, The building of which began in 1350.
Reszel was granted the location priviledge in 1337, and since 1466 had been a part of Polish, Catholic province of Warmia.The town had very modern sewage and draining system as early as 1389, the system that was in operation until the end of the 19th century. During the Polish reign, Reszel was the local center of craftsmanship, famous for its magnificent blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and weavers. Since the second half of the 17th century a renown Jesuit college Provided education to both catholics and protestants. The college was funded, among others, by the King Jan Kazimierz. The town was blooming thanks to the sanctuary of Our lady in Święta Lipka (Heiligelinde), which is located in the close vicinity of Reszel (5 km east of th town).
In 1772 the Polish reign over the province came to a crash And Reszel found itself in Prussian hands. For Reszel the change meant the beginning of the end. In 1806 Reszel went down in flames of the biggest fire in the history of the town.
In 1811, on a hill outside the town, the last funeral pyre in Europe took the life of Barbara Zdunk, a local women accused of witchcraft and bringing the fire on Reszel.
March 15th, 2010, 01:56 AM
Bożków is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Nowa Ruda, within Kłodzko County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.
The village has a population of 1,600.
March 15th, 2010, 10:29 PM
yeah, the spirit of old times. Keep posting! Do you have some pics from Poslki Cieszyn?
March 16th, 2010, 07:46 AM
yeah, the spirit of old times. Keep posting! Do you have some pics from Poslki Cieszyn?
Yes of course :cheers:
I was planning before to post some pic of Cieszyn - very nice town :)
March 16th, 2010, 07:47 AM
next page ---->
March 16th, 2010, 08:25 AM
Cieszyn is a town in southern Poland, it has 36,109 inhabitants (2004). Cieszyn lies on the Olza River, a tributary of the Oder river, opposite Český Těšín.
It is situated in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. Until the end of World War I in 1918 it was a seat of the Duchy of Teschen. In 1920 Cieszyn Silesia was divided between the two newly created states of Poland and Czechoslovakia and the smaller western suburbs of Teschen were joined to Czechoslovakia as a new town of Český Těšín. Larger part of the town was joined to Poland as Cieszyn.
The town combines both Polish and Austrian peculiarities in the style of its buildings. Because of several major fires and subsequent reconstructions (the last one in the late 18th century), the picturesque old town is sometimes called Little Vienna. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 12th century and 10th century romanesque chapel.
The area has been populated by Slavic peoples since at least the 7th century. According to the legend, in 810 three sons of a prince – Bolko, Leszko and Cieszko, met here after a long pilgrimage, found a spring, and decided to found a new settlement. They called it Cieszyn, from the words "cieszym się", "I'm happy". This well can be found at the ulica Trzech Braci ("Three Brothers Street"), just west of the town square.
The town was the capital of the Duchy of Teschen and shared its history throughout the ages. It was in Teschen where Maria Theresa and Frederick II signed on 13 May 1779, the Teschen Peace Treaty, which put an end to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Teschen was known for its national, religious and cultural diversity, comprising mostly of German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities. There was also a small but lively Hungarian community in the town comprised mostly of officers and clerks.
According to the Austrian census of 1910 the town had 22,489 inhabitants. 13,254 (61.5%) were German-speaking, 6,832 (31.7%) were Polish-speaking and 1,437 (6.7%) were Czech-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared German as their native language. The most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 15,138 (67.3%), followed by Protestants with 5,174 (23%) and the Jews with 2,112 (9.4%).
The town was divided in July 1920, by the Spa Conference, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty, leaving a sizeable Polish community on the Czechoslovak side. Its smaller westerns suburbs became what is now the town of Český Těšín in the Czech Republic. Both towns were joined together again in October 1938 when Poland annexed the Zaolzie area together with Český Těšín. In 1939 whole Cieszyn Silesia was annexed by German forces and during the World War II was a part of Nazi Germany. After the war, the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia was restored to the one from 1920.
After Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union and its passport-free Schengen zone, border controls were abolished and residents of both the Polish and Czech part can move freely across the border.
Since 19th century the Cieszyn Silesia has been an important centre of Polish Protestantism. Currently Cieszyn is also the site of the Cieszyn Summer Film Festival, one of the most influential film festivals in Poland. There is also a longer established Czech-Polish-Slovak film festival.
One of the oldest sacred architectural relics on Polish soil is the Cieszyn Rotunda of Saints Nicholas and Wenceslas situated on the Castle Mount in Cieszyn. From the moment this stone structure was erected in the first half of the 11th century it fulfilled the function of castle church.
Apart from the Cieszyn rotunda, we know of a further eleven surviving rotundas of this type on Polish territory. It must be pointed out, though, that most of them exist only as stone remains of parts of different constructions, or merely as foundations. These buildings are as follows: St, Benedict’s on Krzemionki in Krakow, two examples on Wawel hill, in Wiślica, two in Przemyśl on the castle hill and under the presbytery of the cathedral, in Płock, Strzelin, St. John the Baptist’s in Grzegorzewice, in Stronia (Lower Silesia) and one discovered recently in Łękno in Wielkopolska.
The Cieszyn rotunda is also, along with the one in Stronia, the best preserved specimen of this type of building in Poland. It was erected by an early medieval castellan fort on the Castle Mount, with origins dating back to the 10th century, in the first half of the 11th century. This indicates that it may have been built in the period prior to 1025, during Bolesław Chrobry’s brief reign over the Czech lands, and it cannot be ruled out that he created a strong administrative base in the fort at Cieszyn to rule over the frontier lands in his name, or that in the 2nd quarter of the 11th century, when the Cieszyn province of Silesia was governed by the Czech ruler Břetislav.
Border river 'Olza' - to the left Polish Cieszyn, to the right Czeski Cieszyn
March 17th, 2010, 08:32 AM
Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde) is a city and seaport on the Baltic Sea and Szczecin Lagoon, located in the extreme north-west of Poland. It is situated mainly on the islands of Usedom and Wolin, but also occupies smaller islands, of which the largest is Karsibór island, once part of Usedom, now separated by a Piast canal dug in the late 19th century to facilitate ship access to Stettin (Szczecin).
The city lies in the geographic region of Pomerania and had a population of 41,100 in 2006.
The first human settlements, in areas where it is now Swinoujscie appeared already before 5 thousand years ago, as confirmed by archaeological findings. A thousand years Swiny estuary area were part of the tribal state Wolinian that Polish prince Mieszko I turned to his country. In later centuries ruled there Pomeranian princes, who are on both sides of the river they built fortified castles, destroyed several times by the Danish invasions in the twelfth century in 1170 and 1173 on both sides assumed Swiny Gródki guard destroyed the Danish invasion in 1177 and rebuilt in the years 1181-1182. During the entire 1185-1227 Swinoujscie Western Pomerania has become a fief of Denmark. The river Świna (German: Swine) was formerly flanked by the fishing villages of Westswine and Ostswine. Towards the beginning of the 17th century it was made navigable for large ships, and Swinemünde, which was founded on the site of Westswine in 1748, was fortified and received town privileges from King Frederick II of Prussia in 1765. It served as the outer port of Stettin (Szczecin) and was administered within the Province of Pomerania. Swinemünde became part of the German Empire after the Kingdom of Prussia completed the unification of Germany in 1871.
The town had broad unpaved streets and one-story houses built in the Dutch style, which gave it an almost rustic appearance, although its industries, beyond some fishing, were entirely connected with its shipping. The river mouth, which was the entrance to the harbor, and which was regarded as the best on the Prussian Baltic coast, was then protected by two curving long breakwaters, and was strongly fortified. On the island of Wollin, on the other side of the narrow Swine, a great lighthouse was erected. In 1897 the canal of the Kaiserfahrt was opened to navigation, and this waterway between the Stettin harbour and the Baltic Sea was deepened between 1900–01. From then on Stettin could be reached directly by ships, and Swinemünde's importance diminished somewhat.
On 12 March 1945 during World War II, refugee-crowded Swinemünde suffered heavy destruction by USAAF, an estimated 23,000 to 25,000 were killed, most of whom are buried on the Golm hill west of the town. The uncomplete German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in the harbor to save it from the advancing Soviet Army. The city was placed under Polish administration in 1945 and since then remains as part of Poland. After the war ended it was officially renamed Świnoujście. Its German population was expelled and replaced with Poles, themselves refugees from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. The Red Army occupied part of the city until 1957 and the navy harbour until c. 1990.
The town is located on both banks of the river Świna, and since there is no road connection across it, transport is provided by regular ferries. Under current plans, a tunnel will be built under the river some time before 2013.
Świnoujście has one of the largest and most modern ferry terminal in Poland, with regular connections to Denmark and Sweden.
Land border controls were abolished 21 December 2007, and free automobile traffic to and from Germany was allowed for the first time since 1945, (when it was part of German territory), as Poland implemented the Schengen Agreement. From 20 September 2008 the city has a railway connection to its western portion as well, when the railway line to Ahlbeck was extended eastward to Świnoujście, ("Świnoujście Centrum") giving it a direct link to the German railway network.
The city is a very popular summer resort.
March 17th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Border river 'Olza' - to the left Polish Cieszyn, to the right Czeski Cieszyn
Nice memories, I've crossed this river twice on foot. There was one funny accident there. I knew, that people who are middle-aged can§t understand English, so I asked in Czech language some women about how can I reach to the Polski Cieszyn bus station, she answered in Polish and added in your laniguage it's called autobusové nádraží :lol:
March 17th, 2010, 07:51 PM
Nice memories, I've crossed this river twice on foot. There was one funny accident there. I knew, that people who are middle-aged can§t understand English, so I asked in Czech language some women about how can I reach to the Polski Cieszyn bus station, she answered in Polish and added in your laniguage it's called autobusové nádraží :lol:
Heheheh :cheers: BTW Do you find Ukrainian language similar to Czech ?
March 18th, 2010, 01:45 AM
Heheheh :cheers: BTW Do you find Ukrainian language similar to Czech ?
Definately, it's a language of the same Slavic group :lol: But seriously Polish more similar to Ukrainian than Czech. For example, Polish and Ukrainian can find a mutual understanding if they can speak in another language. As regards Ukrainian and Czech I'm not so sure, they have some similar words with opposite mining (čerstvý = fresh etc.)
March 18th, 2010, 07:45 AM
(čerstvý = fresh etc.)
We have the same problem ;) I've spent a few months in Czech Republic and with some Czechs it was quite easy for me to conversate (I mean I was speaking in Polish and they in Czech), whereas some had major poblem to understand me. I was of course trying to avoid the word "szukać" ;)
March 18th, 2010, 08:34 AM
Gniezno is a city in central-western Poland, some 50 km east of Poznań, inhabited by about 70,000 people.
One of the Piasts' chief cities, it was the first capital of Poland in the 10th century. Its Roman Catholic archbishop, the Archbishop of Gniezno, is the primate of Poland. These historical facts make its position in Polish history similar to Canterbury or Rheims.
There are archaeological traces of human settlement since the late Paleolithic. Early Slavonic settlements on the Lech Hill and the Maiden Hill are dated to 8th century. At the beginning of the 10th century this was the site of several places sacred to the Slavic religion. The ducal stronghold was founded just before AD 940 on the Lech Hill, and surrounded with some fortified suburbs and open settlements.
Legend of Lech, Czech and Rus
According to the Polish version of legends: three brothers Lech, Czech and Rus were exploring the wilderness to find a place to settle. Suddenly they saw a hill with an old oak and an eagle on top. Lech said: this white eagle I will adopt as an emblem of my people, and around this oak I will build my stronghold, and because of the eagle nest [Polish: gniazdo] I will call it Gniezdno [modern: Gniezno]. The other brothers went further on to find a place for their people. Czech went to the South (to found the Czech Lands) and Rus went to the East (to create Russia and Ukraine).
Cradle of the Polish state
In 10th century Gniezno became one of the main towns of the early Piast dynasty, founders of the Polish state.
Congress of Gniezno
It is here that the Congress of Gniezno took place in the year 1000 AD, during which Boleslaus I the Brave, Duke of Poland, received Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. The emperor and the Polish duke celebrated the foundation of the Polish ecclesiastical province (archbishopric) in Gniezno, with newly established bishopric in Kołobrzeg for Pomerania; Wrocław for Silesia; Kraków for Lesser Poland and later also already existing since 968 bishopric in Poznań for western Greater Poland.
Royal coronation site
The 10th century Gniezno cathedral witnessed royal coronations of Boleslaus I in 1024 and his son Mieszko II Lambert in 1025. The cities of Gniezno and nearby Poznań were captured, plundered and destroyed in 1038 by the Bohemian duke Bretislav I, which pushed the next Polish rulers to move the Polish capital to Kraków. The archiepiscopal cathedral was reconstructed by the next ruler, Boleslaus II of Poland, who was crowned king here in 1076.
In the next centuries Gniezno evolved as a regional seat of the eastern part of Greater Poland, and in 1238 municipal autonomy was granted by the duke Władysław Odonic. Gniezno was again the coronation site in 1295 and 1300.
The city was destroyed again by the Teutonic Knights' invasion in 1331, and after an administrative reform became a county within the Kalisz Voivodeship (since the 14th century till 1768). Gniezno was hit by heavy fires in 1515, 1613, was destroyed during the Swedish invasion wars of the 17th-18th centuries and by a plague in 1708-1710. All this caused depopulation and economic decline, but the city was soon revived during the 18th century to become the Gniezno Voivodeship in 1768.
Gniezno was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the 1793 Second Partition of Poland and became part of the province of South Prussia. It was included within the Duchy of Warsaw during the Napoleonic Wars, but was returned to Prussia in the 1815 Congress of Vienna. Gniezno was subsequently governed within Kreis Gnesen of the Grand Duchy of Posen and the later Province of Posen. On January 20, 1920 after the Treaty of Versailles, the town became part of the Second Polish Republic.
Gniezno was annexed into Nazi Germany on 26 October 1939 after the invasion of Poland and made part of Reichsgau Wartheland. The town was occupied by the Red Army in January 1945 and restored to Poland.
March 18th, 2010, 11:57 AM
Definately, it's a language of the same Slavic group :lol:
Well, not really the same Slavic group. Polish and czech are West Slavic languages and ukrainian is East Slavic language :)
March 18th, 2010, 12:37 PM
Well, not really the same Slavic group. Polish and czech are West Slavic languages and ukrainian is East Slavic language :)
If you haven't noticed, nobody was talking about subgroups ;)
March 18th, 2010, 03:59 PM
Well, not really the same Slavic group. Polish and czech are West Slavic languages and ukrainian is East Slavic language :)
Come on, hundreds years in one country, active international trade, moving between our nations and finally Polish-Ukrainian marriages. I have to stress that Polish is much more close to Ukrainian than Czech with who we don't have so long common history.
March 18th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Come on, hundreds years in one country, active international trade, moving between our nations and finally Polish-Ukrainian marriages. I have to stress that Polish is much more close to Ukrainian than Czech with who we don't have so long common history.
I can barley understand spoken Ukrainian(it sounds like Russian), reading it is even harder since you don't use Latin, on the other hand I can easily understand Czech language.
March 18th, 2010, 04:28 PM
Come on, hundreds years in one country, active international trade, moving between our nations and finally Polish-Ukrainian marriages. I have to stress that Polish is much more close to Ukrainian than Czech with who we don't have so long common history.
Well, but long common history doesn't change the fact that ukrainian sounds, at least for me, quite close to russian, you use cyrillic alphabet and because of that and maybe something more it belongs to a different subgroup. But I agree that I can understand quite a lot of ukrainian words :)
March 18th, 2010, 06:31 PM
Guys - let's stick to the topic :cheers:
BTW for me the most similar to Polish is Slovak, then Ukrainian and Czech more or less on the same level of similarity to Polish.
Biecz is a town and municipality in southeastern Poland, located in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Gorlice County. It is located in the Carpathian Mountains, in the Doły Jasielsko Sanockie, by the Ropa River.
Due to its rich history, it is often referred to as "little Krakow" or the "pearl of the Carpathians." The many preserved medieval city walls and buildings have also given rise to the nickname "Polish Carcassonne."
By the mid-sixteenth century, the city was one of the largest in Poland. As a designated royal town, Biecz enjoyed an economic and social Renaissance during the 14th and 15th centuries which tapered off into a gradual decline starting during the 17th century.
Today, it is a small, picturesque tourist town with numerous historical monuments.
March 19th, 2010, 08:58 AM
Płock is a city in central Poland, on the Vistula river, with 131,011 inhabitants. It is located in the Masovian Voivodeship.
Its 12th century beautiful cathedral contains the tombs of Władysław I Herman (died 1102) and Bolesław III Wrymouth (died 1138) - kings of Poland. They are buried in the Masovian Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Płock.
Płock was the capital city of Poland during their reign (1079-1138). It was also a seat of several of the Dukes of Masovia and one of the capitals of that state.
The main industry is oil refining. The country's largest oil refinery, (Plock refinery) and parent company, PKN Orlen is located there; it is served by a large pipeline leading from Russia to Germany.
March 19th, 2010, 06:33 PM
Grudziądz is a city in northern Poland on the Vistula River, with 99,090 inhabitants (2007).
In 1291, the town (as Graudenz) received German Kulm law city rights from the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights it was located in. In 1440, the town joined the Prussian Confederation.
In 1466 under the II peace treaty in Torun, Chelminska Land with Grudziadz came back into the Polish borders. A convenient localisation in Central Royal Prussia decided about choosing Grudziadz to be the seat of the Prussian Parliament’s meetings, state meetings, and in the later time also the general Parliament’s congresses. It was at the congress of 1522, when Nicolaus Copernicus uttered his famous economical dissertation on coins (“De aestimatione monetae”). Between 1526 and 1772 in Grudziadz 170 general congresses took place.
A long period of peace was conducive to the town’s development, handicraft and trade had their good time. The granaries which were built then, were of great importance to trading with Gdansk, Elblag and Torun.
The XVII century was, on the contrary, the period of non-ending wars conducted by the Polish state. These wars did not omit Grudziadz. Here, during the war with Sweden for Royal Prussia, German supporting troops were standing in 1629. Near Grudziadz was the camp of the Great Crown Hetman Koniecpolski. Also Grudziadz was included in the Swedish “flood”. The Swedes gained the town in the first stage of their invasion. During several years of the occupation, the Swedish king Charles Gustaff visited Grudziadz, supervising works on rebuilding fortifications and surrounding walls of the castle. In 1659 the town was liberated by Polish troops commanded by Jerzy Lubomirski. Unfortunately, almost the whole town burnt during the surrounding actions, only the castle, cathedral and only a few living houses escaped destruction.
In the following years Grudziadz experienced hard times again, this time connected with long lasting Northern War and internal conflicts in the country. Despite this fact, this era is called by many researchers “Grudziadz baroque”, since a lot of magnificent monuments of architecture were created then. Among them we can mention: the main altar in St Nicholas’ Church, the wing in the Benedict nuns cloister, the Palace of Abbot nuns and a fabulous interior of the Jesuit Church.
Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the city was annexed by the King Frederick II of Prussia and made part of the German Kingdom of Prussia. In 1871, during the unification of Germany, it became part of the Prussian-led German Empire.
After the construction of a railroad bridge across the Vistula in 1878, Grudziadz became a rapidly growing industrialized city as well as a district centre in 1900. In the 1912 Reichstag elections, 21% of the votes were given to Polish candidates, while the National Liberal Party of Germany received 53% of all votes. On January 23, 1920, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles, Grudziądz became part of the newly created Polish republic.
In the 20 years between the world wars, Grudziądz served as an important centre of culture and education with one of the biggest Polish military garrisons and several military schools located both within the confines of the city and around it. A large economic potential, and the existence of important institutions like the Pomeranian Tax Office and the Pomeranian Chamber of Industry and Trade, helped Grudziądz become the economic capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship in the interwar period. Grudziądz's economic potential was featured at the First Pomeranian Exhibition of Agriculture and Industry in 1925, officially opened by Stanisław Wojciechowski, the President of the Second Polish Republic.
The 64th and 65th Infantry Regiments and the 16th Light Artillery Regiment of the Polish Army were stationed in Grudziądz during the 19 years of interwar period. They were part of the 16th Infantry Division, which had its headquarters in the city, as did the cavalry's famous 18th Pomeranian Uhlans Regiment. The Grudziądz Centre of Cavalry Training educated many notable army commanders. Military education in Grudziądz was also provided by the Centre of the Gendarmerie, the Air School of Shooting and Bombarding, and the N.C.O. Professional School, which offered courses for infantry reserve officer cadets.
On September 3, 1939 military troops of Nazi Germany entered Grudziądz and, as Graudenz, annexed the city into the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, starting a five-year long occupation lasting till the end of World War II. Graudenz was the location of the German concentration camp Graudenz, a subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp. As the result of heavy fights in 1945, Grudziadz was destroyed and devastated in over 60%.
Grudziądz is located on the right bank of Vistula river in the northern part of Pomerania Region, amongst main seaports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot), Bydgoszcz and Toruń. Such location and well-developed road system are the advantages of the town. The international road E-75 (Gdynia-Cieszyn) runs 5 km from the town, and two national roads, No 55 (Toruń-Grudziądz-Kwidzyn-Elbląg) and No 16-the shortest road connecting western border of Poland with Warmia and Mazury, and further Kaliningrad, run directly through Grudziądz. In addition there are plans of the motorway A-1 which will connect the Scandinavia with the southern Europe and the clearway from Poznań through Bydgoszcz, Grudziądz to Olsztyn. Such situation makes the town attractive and gives possibilities of development.
Grudziądz is over 700-year-old town, so there are a lot of monuments, among them fragments of the Town Walls with the Water Gate, the gothic church of St. Nicolas, the complex of granaries, the Jesuits’ college and the St. Francis Xavier’s church, the Benedictines nuns’ cloister, the Abbot Palace, the Citadel, historic tenements, and other monuments from XIX century.
Not only monuments make tourists come to Grudziądz, but also place where they can rest and have fun. There are three lakes in Grudziądz, among them, the biggest one is Great Rudnickie Lake, with beautiful beaches, recreation centres, water equipment rentals, bars, camping sites, sailing cenrtres.
Two water routes-Wisła and Osa, four routes for pedestrians and two international bike routes run through the town.
March 20th, 2010, 01:44 AM
Mikołajki is a town in north-eastern Poland with 3,849 inhabitants. The town is located near Śniardwy, the largest lake of the Masurian Lake District.
Mikołajki is an old Masurian church town first documented in 1444. The settlement grew during the 18th century, receiving its town privileges as Nikolaiken in 1726. Because of its location on Śniardwy, the fishery of Nikolaiken ensured continued prosperity; the whitefish of the region were especially popular throughout East Prussia.
Until 1945 the town was part of Landkreis Sensburg within East Prussia in the Kingdom of Prussia. During World War II Nikolaiken was one of the few East Prussian towns not destroyed from the fighting, and it became part of Poland as Mikołajki after war's end. The German-speaking population was evacuated and expelled.
The town was a growing tourist center before the war, and is now one of the largest tourist sights in Masuria.
March 20th, 2010, 09:36 AM
Janowiec is a village in Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland.
The village has a population of 1,000.
It received its town charter in 1537, but lost it in 1870. The place is fameous for the ruins of Janowiec castle.
The Janowiec Castle was built for Mikolaj Firlej in the early sixteenth century. Later that century the architect Santi Gucci turned it into a manneristic residence combining features of both a castle and a palace.
Later extensions and re-designs added Baroque and Rococo traits to the building's exterior and interiors. A Baroque chapel was erected in the courtyard in the mid-seventeenth century. Since the early years of the nineteenth century the Janowiec Castle started to deteriorate and before long fell into ruin.
The innovatory restoration project embarked upon in 1988 envisaged leaving substantial parts of the Castle in permanent ruin.
The reconstruction of the other areas of the Castle involved meticulous re-creation of architectural detail as well as - for the first time ever - of colours used on the Castle walls, in particular with regard to the colourful stripes and figures of halberders on the gates and on the western wing.
This unconventional approach of the restorers has elicited response ranging from admiration to condemnation, but has nevertheless made the Janowiec Castle truly worth visiting. The restored interiors house exhibitions telling the history of the Castle, of its renovation and of the development of the art of defence. A few rooms have been decorated and furnished as they would have been in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and these form the Castle Interiors Museum.
The sixteen hectare park surrounding the Castle is also home to the Open Air Architecture Museum with manor and farm buildings moved here from the area of Lublin. Visitors may see a wooden Baroque manor house from 1760, a granary, a depository, a coach station and an administration building. The reconstructed interiors of the manor house include a hall, drawing room, dining room, landlady's and landlord's rooms, and a library. There is a garden, a driveway with a flower bed, walking paths, an entrance gate with the porter's lodge, and a chapel. The granary houses an ethnographical exhibition showing household equipment, folk costumes, and crafts.
March 20th, 2010, 10:48 PM
Come on, hundreds years in one country, active international trade, moving between our nations and finally Polish-Ukrainian marriages. I have to stress that Polish is much more close to Ukrainian than Czech with who we don't have so long common history.
My Thai roommate invited his Czech ex girlfriend to stay with us for 3 weeks in Toronto. She's kinda weird. Got drunk with us and got pissed off when I told her that Polish beer is just as good or better than Czech beer.
Also, back in 2008 I went to this Czech meetup but the Czech bastards mostly spoke Czech around me. Didn't feel very welcome I must say. I also hear that Poles make fun of the Czech language because it sounds like a funny version of Polish. Is there animosity between us I'm not aware of? :cheers:
March 21st, 2010, 09:24 PM
Bardo is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.
The town lies on the Nysa Kłodzka river. As at 2006, the Bardo has a population of 2,860.
Bardo was founded in the 10th century as a defensive gord. The surrounding area was populated by Slavic peoples tribes and Bardo's castellans were Polish knights. Its chapel was built in the 10th century, and it was first mentioned in 1189 as being owned by the Knights Hospitaller. By 1290 the gord had lost its strategic importance and ceased to exist as a castellany. By 1299 the whole area had been bought by the Cistercian order and was owned by them until 1810. Along with most of Silesia, it passed from Germany to Poland at the end of World War II.
Bardo gained the status of a town in the early 14th century, but this was lost as the result of the destruction caused by World War II. It became the seat of a gmina in 1954, and was granted town status again in 1969.
Historic buildings still existing in Bardo include a Baroque church and a 15th-century stone bridge.
March 21st, 2010, 11:03 PM
Bardo has somewhat reminded me Kremenets (http://wladyslaw.mylivepage.com/image/1738_%D0%9A%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%86%D1%8C)
March 22nd, 2010, 09:17 AM
Bardo has somewhat reminded me Kremenets (http://wladyslaw.mylivepage.com/image/1738_%D0%9A%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%86%D1%8C)
Krzemieniec looks very nice :cheers::cheers1:
PS. Do you know that Juliusz Słowacki, fameous Polish Romantic poet, was born in Krzemieniec? :yes:
March 22nd, 2010, 09:40 AM
Krzemieniec looks very nice :cheers::cheers1:
PS. Do you know that Juliusz Słowacki, fameous Polish Romantic poet, was born in Krzemieniec? :yes: Yes, I do. There is also a homestead (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Ukraina_%28124%29.jpg). We went by this building, but did not come by :ohno:
March 22nd, 2010, 10:55 AM
Yes, I do. There is also a homestead (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Ukraina_%28124%29.jpg). We went by this building, but did not come by :ohno:
March 22nd, 2010, 12:07 PM
Ok - let's go back to the topic.
Bielsko-Biała (German: Bielitz-Biala; Czech: Bílsko-Bělá) is a city in southern Poland with 176,987 inhabitants.
Bielsko-Biała is composed of two former cities on opposite banks of the Biała River, Bielsko and Biała, amalgamated in 1951.
Both parts of the name stem from "biel" or "biała", which means "white" in Polish.
Between 1933 and 1938 an archaeological team discovered remains of a fortified settlement in what is now Stare Bielsko (Old Bielsko) district of the city. The settlement was dated to the 12th - 14th centuries. Its dwellers manufactured iron from ore and specialized in smithery.
The current center of the town was probably developed as early as the first half of the 13th century. At that time a castle (which still survives today) was built on a hill.
In the second half of the 13th century, the Piast Dukes of Opole invited German settlers to land between Silesia and Lesser Poland in order to colonize the Silesian Beskids. Nearby settlements west of the Biała River were Nikelsdorf, Kamitz, Alt-Bielitz (now Stare Bielsko), Batzdorf and Kurzwald. Nearby settlements east of the river Bialka were Kunzendorf, Alzen and Wilmesau. Nearby settlements in the mountains were Lobnitz and Bistrai.
After the partition of the Duchy of Oppeln in 1281, Bielsko passed to the Dukes of Cieszyn (Teschen). The town was first documented in 1312 when a Duke of Cieszyn granted a town charter. From 1457 the Biała River was the border between Silesia (within the Holy Roman Empire) and Lesser Poland. The town of Biała was established on the opposite bank of the Biała River in 1723.
During the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Biała was annexed by Austria and included in the crownland of Galicia. In 1918 both cities became part of a reconstituted Polish state.
The city of Bielsko-Biała was created on 1 January 1951 when the adjacent cities of Bielsko and Biała were unified.
Nowadays Bielsko-Biała is one of the best-developed parts of Poland. It was ranked 2nd best city for business in that country by Forbes. About 5% of people are unemployed (compared 9,6% for Poland). Bielsko-Biała is famous for its textile, machine-building, and especially automotive industry. In Bielsko-Biała there are four areas that belong to Katowice Special Economic Zone. Another reason for the low unemployment rate is that large numbers of young families have become economic migrants and have moved to the UK for employment. There are large communities originally from Bielsko-Biała now living in towns such as Slough and Southampton.
Bielsko-Biała is a beautiful city. It has a vibrant modernistic presence being a student-city with its associated nightlife, as well as having numerous historical sights.
March 22nd, 2010, 11:26 PM
Hel is a town located on the tip of the Hel Peninsula, some 33 kilometres from the Polish mainland.
The Kashubian village of Hel was first mentioned in 1198 as a centre of herring trade area named Gellen. In one of the Danish chronicles of 1219 it is mentioned that a damaged ship of King Valdemar II the Victorious was set ashore on an "Island of Hel". By 13th century the village became one of the most important trade centres of the area, competing with the nearby town of Gdańsk. It was then that the village was granted city rights by Duke Świętopełk II the Great of Pomerania. The privileges were later confirmed in 1378 when the town came under the rule of the Teutonic Knights.
Initially the town was located some 1.5 kilometres from its present-day centre. It contained a church, hospital, city house, two market places, several guest houses and a small port. However, during the 15th century the peninsula started to shrink through marine erosion and soon the town was relocated to a safer location. In 1417 St Peter's Church was built in the town, devoted to the patron saint of fishermen. Hel experienced a period of growth, but was later left behind by the faster growing city of Gdańsk. In 1466 King Casimir IV of Poland granted the town as a fief to the rulers of Gdańsk, which ended the century-long struggle for economical domination over the Gdańsk Bay. In 1526 King Sigismund I the Old withdrew all privileges previously granted to Hel and sold the town and the peninsula to the city authorities of Gdańsk. Since then Hel's fate was tied to the fortunes of its bigger neighbour.
In the 17th and 18th centuries prolonged warfare and a series of natural disasters severely damaged the town. It was severely depopulated and in 1872 the government of the newly-formed German state abolished the city rights granted to Hel six centuries previously. After that the village of Hela (as it is called in German) lost much of its significance.
The period of decline was halted in 1893 when a fishing harbour was built in the village. It provided a shelter for fishing vessels, but also became a popular destination for weekend trips of the inhabitants of Gdańsk and Sopot. In 1896 the village was granted the status of a sea-side resort.
As a result of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles Poland was re-established as an independent nation, Hel became part of Poland. In 1921 a new railway was built along the peninsula connecting the town to the mainland. The authorities of the Pomeranian voivodship also planned to build a road to the village, but the peninsula was found too narrow at the time. Soon Hel became one of the most important tourism centres in Polish Pomerania. New suburbs of villas were built for tourists, as well as a new church, school, fishing institute and geophysical observatory. In addition, the village became one of the two main naval bases of the Polish Navy. The harbour was expanded and in 1936 the president declared the peninsula a "Fortified Area" under jurisdiction of the Polish Army. The naval base was expanded significantly and a battery of coastal artillery was built to provide cover for the military facilities.
During the Invasion of Poland the Hel Peninsula was one of the longest-defended pockets of Polish Army resistance. Approximately 3,000 soldiers of the Coastal Defence Group (Grupa Obrony Wybrzeża) units under Kapitan [Stanislaw Zwartynski]"The Defender of Hel" defended the area against overwhelming odds until October 2, 1939. Shortly before capitulation, Polish military engineers detonated a number of torpedo warheads, which separated the peninsula from the mainland transforming it into an island. During World War II the Kriegsmarine used the Hel naval base to train U-Boat crews. At the end of the war the village was the last part of Polish soil to be liberated: the German units encircled there surrendered on May 10, 1945, two days after Germany capitulated.
After the war the village yet again became a naval base. In 1960 a road linking Hel with Jastarnia on the mainland was built. Three years later city rights were reintroduced. Since then the tourist industry started to recover and several hotels, guest houses and pensions were built. In 1996 the Polish Navy sold all remaining parts of the peninsula to the civilian authorities and only a small naval base is located there today.
The harbour now serves primarily as a yacht marina. Hel houses a sea life biological laboratory and there are interesting examples of naval armament and equipment exhibited throughout the town.
The most easterly edge of Hel, which was once a military territory, can now be accessed by the general public making it possible to walk all the way around the peninsula.
March 23rd, 2010, 09:11 AM
Kalisz is a city in central Poland with 107,910 inhabitants (2008). Situated on the Prosna river in the southeastern part of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, the city forms a conurbation with the nearby towns of Ostrów Wielkopolski and Nowe Skalmierzyce.
Kalisz is an important regional industrial and commercial centre. The city is also a centre for traditional folk art.
Kalisz has long been considered the oldest city of Poland because it was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century A.D. (cf. Calisia). The location mentioned by Ptolemy was situated in the territory of the Diduni (Vandals) on the Amber Trail. There are many artefacts of the Roman times in the area, pointing to the fact that it could have been one of the stops of the Roman caravans heading for the Baltic Sea.
The modern Kalisz was most probably founded in 9th century as a provincial capital castellany and a minor fort. The name itself stems from the Celtic term cal which means stream, or Slavic term kal, meaning swamp or marsh. In 1106 Bolesław Krzywousty captured the town and made it a part of his feudal domain. Between 1253 and 1260 the town was incorporated according to the German town law called Środa Śląska Law after Środa Śląska in Silesia, a local variation of the Magdeburg Law, and soon started to grow. One of the richest towns of Greater Poland, during the feudal fragmentation of Poland it formed a separate duchy ruled by local branch of the Piast dynasty. After Poland was reunited, the town became a notable centre of weaving and wood production, as well as one of the cultural centres of Greater Poland. The economical development of the area was aided by a large number of Protestant Czech Brothers, who settled in and around Kalisz after being expelled from Bohemia. Also, Jewish settlement of Kalisz dates back to 1139.
In 1282 the city laws were confirmed by Przemysł II of Poland and in 1314 it was made the capital of the Kalisz Land, one of the provincial capitals Voivodeships of Poland, by king Władysław Łokietek. A notable centre of trade, Kalisz was also located more or less in the centre of Poland back then. Because of its strategic location, in 1343 king Casimir III signed there a peace treaty with the Teutonic Order. As a royal town, the city managed to defend much of its initial privileges and in 1426 a new town hall was built. The Polish king Mieszko the Old was buried in Kalisz.
In 1574 the Jesuits were brought to Kalisz and in 1584 they opened a Jesuit College there, one of the most notable centres of education in Poland back then. However, with time the importance of Kalisz declined and its place was taken by nearby Poznań.
In 1792, fire destroyed much of the city centre. The following year, in the second partition of Poland, the Kingdom of Prussia absorbed the city, called "Kalisch" in German. In 1801, Wojciech Bogusławski set up one of the first permanent theatre troupes in Kalisz.
In 1806 Kalisz became a provincial capital within the Duchy of Warsaw. During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, following Yorck's Convention of Tauroggen of 1812, von Stein's Treaty of Kalisz was signed between Russia and Prussia in 1813, confirming that Prussia now was on the side of the Allies.
After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, Kalisz became a provincial capital of the Congress Kingdom of Poland and then the capital of a province of the Russian Empire Russia. The proximity to the Prussian border accelerated economic development of the city and Kalisz ("Калиш" in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet) started to attract many settlers, not only from other regions of Poland and other provinces of the Russian empire but also from German states. In 1902, a new railway linked Kalisz to Warsaw and Łódź.
After the outbreak of the Great War, the proximity of the border proved disastrous for Kalisz, as it was one of the first cities destroyed in 1914. The German army German artillery shelled Kalisz. Between August 7 and August 22, 1914, Kalisz was destroyed almost completely after the entry of the German units led by Hermann Preusker. 800 men were arrested and then several of them slaughtered, while the city was set on fire and the remaining inhabitants were expelled. Out of roughly 68,000 citizens in 1914, only 5,000 remained in Kalisz a year later. However, by the end of the Great War much of the city centre was more or less rebuilt and many of the former inhabitants were allowed to return.
After the war Kalisz became part of the Republic of Poland, which regaine dits independence. The reconstruction continued and in 1925 a new city hall was opened. In 1939 the population of Kalisz was approximately 89,000. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Invasion of Poland (1939),World War II, the proximity of the border proved once again disastrous. Kalisz was captured by the Wehrmacht almost instantly and without much fighting, and the city was annexed by Nazi Germany. By the end of World War II approximately 30,000 local Jews had been murdered. An additional 20,000 local Catholics were either murdered or expelled to the German-occupied territories General Government or to Germany as slave workers. In 1945 the population of the city was only 43,000, approximately half of the pre-war population.
Today's Kalisz is, after Poznan, the most important administrative, economic and socio-cultural center of Greater Poland. Despite major damage suffered during World War I, it managed to preserve many remnants of its past – including a pleasant Old Town with Gothic and Baroque churches and fragments of city walls.
» Emplacement of Zawodzie - IX-X centuries - archeological reservation.
» Scraps of fortified walls.
» St. Nicholas Cathedral - built in 1253 thanks to the foundation of prince Boleslav Pious.
» Basilica under the invocation of The Holy Virgin Assumption with the miraculous picture of The Holy Family - built in 1353.
» Franciscan monastery - founded in 1257 by the prince Boleslav Pious and his wife Jolanta.
» Bernardine monastery - XV-XVII centuries with the polichromy from XVIII century.
» Church formerly belonging to the Jesuits - built for the Jesuits in 1587-1595 according to the project of Italian architect Jan Maria Bernardoni.
» St. Wojciech Church - in XI century already was a parish of former Kalisz borough.
» Stone bridge - monument of engineering art., built in 1824-25.
» The Wojciech Boguslawski theatre.
» Park in Kalisz - the oldest town’s park in Poland.
March 23rd, 2010, 07:57 PM
Gniew (German: Mewe; Kashubian: Gniéw) is a town situated on the left bank of the Vistula River, in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.
The first recorded mentions of Gniew appear in written documents from the first half of the 13th century, one of which refers to the region as Terra Gymeu. The earliest name for the settlement was Gmiew, however, during the Middle Ages the name Wońsk was also used. The German name of Mewe for the town is still reflected on the coat of arms of the city, which bears the presence of a seagull (Möwe in German).
Beginning in the 10th century, the region belonged to the Polan tribe and was part of Gdańsk Pomerania. After the division of Poland by Bolesław Krzywousty, Gniew fell to the castellany of Starogard Gdański. The land later fell to the Princes of Świecie and in 1229 Prince Sambor and Swantopolk II of Pomerania granted it to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa. In the second half of the 13th century, Sambor retook Gniew from the Cistercians and in 1276 bestowed it on the Teutonic Knights. Their claim was formally recognized by Mestwin II of Pomerania in 1282, and the city became the first stronghold of the Teutonic Order on the left riverside of the Vistula. A castle was built as a result of this important strategic location, and in 1297 the Teutonic Knights gave Gniew town privileges.
The city exchanged hands various times between 1410-1466 until it became part of the Polish province of Royal Prussia following the Second Peace of Thorn (1466). In 1626, during the Swedish-Polish War, a battle between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Swedish forces was fought in the area of Gniew, resulting in a victory for the army of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and only the second historic defeat for the Polish hussars. In the second half of the 17th century, prior to becoming King of Poland, John III Sobieski served as the local district governor (starost) of Gniew and built the Marysienka Palace for his wife, Maria Kazimiera.
Gniew was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Partitions of Poland and became part of the German Empire in 1871. With the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, Gniew became part of the Polish Corridor according to the Treaty of Versailles. During World War II the castle was used by Nazi Germany as a relocation camp for the population of Tczew and the surrounding area.
The most notable landmark of the town is the Ordensburg castle built by the Teutonic Order at the turn of the 14th century, as well as Marysienka's Palace, built during the second half of the 17th century. The city also boasts a well preserved medieval old town, with buildings dating from the 15th to 19th century and a Gothic church dating to the 14th century.
March 24th, 2010, 08:39 AM
Bolków (German: Bolkenhain) is a town in Jawor County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.
First mentioned as Hain in a 1276 deed, Bolków was named after Polish Duke Bolko II of Świdnica, who died in 1368. His duchy was incorporated into the Lands of the Bohemian Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 1945 the town belongs to Poland.
Above the town stand the ruins of Bolków Castle, built in the 13th century. Devastated in the Thirty Years' War it became a property of Grüssau Abbey in 1703, though restoration efforts did not begin until 1905. Since 1994 the ruin is the site of the annual "Castle Party" Gothic rock festival.
The Bolkow Castle was built in XIII century during the reign of prince from Polish Piast dynasty - Bolko I.
This medieval building is one of the oldest castles in Poland. The castle is divided into two parts: inner built in Gothic style, and outer – build in Renaissance.
The castle had many owners and its walls had witnessed many bloody battles. During one of such battles in the 16th century the castle fell in the hands of the bishop of Wroclaw, who build the outer – Renaissance part of it.
March 24th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Szydłowiec is a town in Mazovian Voivodeship with 15,243 inhabitants.
From the 12th century the environs of Szydłowiec belonged to the powerful knightly family of Odrowąż. In the 13th century the site of the present castle was occupied by a stronghold on an artificial island with wood and earth defences and by a village called Szydłowiec.
The present town came into being in the early 15th century and together with the neighbourigh estate was the property of the Szydłowiecki and Radziwiłł families until the 19th century.
The town flourished in the 16th and the first half of 17th centuries. It was then an important centre of trade and crafts, mainry stone-masonry based on the exploatition of the local sandstone which was easy to work. This stone was used to carve architectural sculptural elements and to make tools for agriculture. It was also a building material for the local Saint Sigsmunt Church, Castle in Szydłowiec and the Town hall in Szydłowiec; moreover, it was sent to Kielce, Cracow and Warsaw. Among the goods traded in vere agricurtular products.
The period of wars 1648-1717 and numerous epidemics and fires brought abought a decline of Szydłowiec,which persisted for centuries, its state being yet aggravated after the partitions of Poland. The town owes this present cheracter to transformations in urban design and architecture which took place in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century.
March 24th, 2010, 05:36 PM
Szydlow is small town in Poland. If fact the city lost its city status and now is a village with a population slightly above 1000 people.
Szydłów's history dates to the 12th century.
It gained its city rights in 1329 and lost them in 1869. It has several very interesting tourist attractions, the 16th-century Szydłów Synagogue, several buildings and churches dating to the 14th century and the ruins of a castle from the same period.
The whole city is surrounded by gothic stone walls.
March 24th, 2010, 06:56 PM
Radom is a city in central Poland with 227,309 inhabitants. It is located on the Mleczna River in the Masovian Voivodeship 100 km south of Poland's capital, Warsaw.
The oldest traces of human habitation at the Mleczna River reach back to late earlier stone age (approx. 10 000 years BC). These include remains of a silex processing workshop. Archeologists have discovered over a hundred sites where historic populations left traces of their activity.
Radom proper and its history began in early Middle Ages.A rural settlement existed in the Mleczna valley in the 8th and 9th centuries. The second half of the 10th century saw construction of a fortified burgh with a double ring of walls and a moot. In time, it became a chatelain's seat. The first written mention of Radom can be found in pope Hadrian IV's bull of 1155. The name of Radom is usually derived from the proper name Radomir or the name of the tribe Radomierzanie.
During the 13th century, the so-called market setlement with St. Wenceslaus church grew on the extensive headland. Radom district is believed to have received Środa municipal rights at the time.
The 14th century witnessed a period of development and changes. Foundation of New Radom is associated with king Casimir the Great and his efforts to strengthen the position of towns and cities. The New Town, which received Magdeburg rights in 1364, was built on medieval principles. Walls with defence turrets, three entrance gates, a town hall, church, and castle were erected. The town had self-government and a loal court.
The city flurished under the Jagellonian dynasty. Most privileges were granted in the 15th and 16th centuries. Guilds of weavers, tanners, and other crafts were established. Trade and services grew owing to the convenient situation at an intersection of roads.
Radom and its castle frequently hosted royal guests, meetings of parliament and the state weight and measures office.
In 1401, the first deed of a union between Poland and Lithuania, the so-called 'Radom and Vilnius union', was signed here. In 1481-82, Kazimierz, son of king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk and governor of the state, resided in Radom. In 1505, 'Nihil novi' constitution and a collection of Polish laws, called Jan Łaski statutes, were approved in the city. In 1613, Radom became the seat of the Royal Treasury Tribunal.
The 17th century was not beneficial to the city, visited by 'the plague' and invaded by Swedes, who burnt down the town and the castle. 37 households and approximately 375 residents survived the military operations.
Radom Confederation of 1767, convened under the auspices of duke Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł, was a later historical event worthy of note. Epidemies, a great fire, and marches of Polish and foreign troops brought decay of the city.
Radom was then occupied by Austria and subsequently Russia. It continued to fulfill important administrative functions as the capital of West Galicia District, Warsaw Duchy department, Sandomierz voivodship of the Polish Kingdom, and finally Radom gubernya.
The town continued to gradually develop thanks to growth of leather, metal, and food industries. A highway was built to Warsaw, as well as a railroad route Dęblin - Radom – Dąbrowa Górnicza, streets were lit with electricity.
Local population took part in national uprisings, independence and revolutionary efforts, struggles for Polish education (1904-1908).
Colonel Dionizy Czachowski's part in the January Uprising of 1864, death of the student assassin Stanisław Werner in 1906, civic courage of the teacher Prosper Jarzyński, principal of the first Polish school, are memorable events of that time.
After WW1 ended and Poland regained independence in 1918, growth of the city decidedly accelerated. Radom became part of the Central Industrial District. In effect, the State Weapon Factory, the most up-to-date in Poland, and Planty housing estate for its employees were built.
A telephone factory, cooperating with Ericsson of Sweden, wood and tobacco plants were created. Water and gas supply and sewage disposal systems, an airfield were constructed. That was accompanied by growth of culture: theatre, cinemas, comunity centres, museums, libraries, and periodical publications. Victory of the socialist party PPS in local elections translated into welfare campaigns, child care, building of workers' accommodation.
Radom district was established in the time of German occupation during WW2. 1939 – 1945 witnessed terror, executions at Firlej, sending to concentration camps, extermination of Radom Jews.
Freedom from the Nazi occupation came on 16 January 1945. The city had not been destroyed. The after-war years saw dynamic industrial growth and urbanisation of suburban areas by emergence of new hiousing estates and population growth. Theatre, museum, libraries, and community centres continued, and still continue, to develop.
March 24th, 2010, 07:38 PM
Frombork is a little town (about 3000 inhabitants) located in the North of Poland in the Warmia Region on the Vistula Lagoon.
Frombork is known as “The Jewel of Warmia” because of its many historical sites. The Museum of Copernicus in Frombork holds exhibitions related to the astronomer, as well as to astronomy in general, and includes a planetarium.
The town was first mentioned in the 13th century. On 8 July 1310, Bishop Eberhard of Neisse granted the town Lübeck city rights, as used by many member cities of the Hanseatic League. In 1329-1388, the magnificent Brick Gothic cathedral was built.
In 1414 the city was plundered and burned during the Hunger War between the Teutonic Knights and Poland. In 1454, during the Thirteen Years' War, the hill and its cathedral were occupied by Jan Skalski. By the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), it became an important city of the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia and part of the Polish province of Royal Prussia. The city was also devastated after a raid by Albrecht of Brandenburg in 1520.
In the Middle Ages, the inhabitants were mainly merchants, farmers and fishermen. The most famous resident was the astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus, who lived and worked here as a canon (1512–16 and 1522–43). In 1519 Copernicus wrote to the King of Poland, asking for help against the Teutonic Knights who were threatening the city. The letter however was intercepted, and the Teutonic Knights took and burned the city (Copernicus and other canons had left the city shortly before).
The city also suffered destruction and heavy population losses during the Polish–Swedish wars. Between 1626 and 1635 it was occupied by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who looted the cathedral and shipped many cultural artifacts, including Copernicus' manuscripts to Sweden. Further destruction followed during the Deluge (Swedish invasion of Poland), the Great Northern War and the War of the Fourth Coalition.
After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772) the town was taken over by the Kingdom of Prussia. Subsequently, in 1871 Frauenburg became part of the German Empire. The Preußische Ostbahn railway line was opened in 1899 connecting Elbing (Elbląg) and Braunsberg (Braniewo) via Frauenburg, leading further to the Russian border at Eydtkuhnen (Chernyshevskoye). Passenger services on the railway line ceased in early 2006.
At the end of World War II, 173 years after the partitons, the city along with the rest of southern East Prussia became again part of Poland.
Today, Frombork is regaining its importance as a tourist destination, abetted by its key location just south of the frontier with the Russian district of Kaliningrad. Although the railway through Frombork closed in 2006, the port has seasonal ferry connections with Elbląg, Krynica Morska and Kaliningrad.
In 2005 a world-wide sensation spread from Frombork: the archaeologists at last found the grave of the famous astronomer in the Cathedral. The archaeological search for Copernicus was very difficult (this demands a separate story). Finally, his upper scull was found and sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory in Warsaw. It was not said whose it presumably was. It was just said – a scull of an elderly man from the 16th century. The scientist who worked on it – said that from the beginning he supposed that it was a Very Special scull. When he reconstructed the face of the long dead – he was sure it was Copernicus. The scar on his forehead and the broken nose gave the certainty.
Although born in Torun, Copernicus after studies in Cracow and Padua, spent 33 years in Frombork, which he described as “the remote place of the Polish Kingdom, forgotten by God and people”. He was not only a canon priest, but also an administrator of Warmia, and therefore a colonizer. He settled people and established several still existing villages. He also worked on “Bread Regulations” unifying the weight as well as both the price and the recipe of bread in the whole region. He was also a doctor – and a well known one. Duke Albrecht von Ansbach (the former Teutonic Grand Master) of Koenigsberg - called for him specially.
March 24th, 2010, 11:36 PM
Radom is a city in central Poland with 227,309 inhabitants. It is located on the Mleczna River in the Masovian Voivodeship 100 km south of Poland's capital, Warsaw.
The original settlement dates back to 8th–9th century. It was an early mediaeval town in the valley of the Mleczna River (approximately on the location of present-day Old Town). Around the 2nd half of 10th century, it turned into a fortified town called Piotrówka.
Not approximately, it's in different place.
Radom was founded in 1340, and it belonged to the Sandomierz Voivodeship (part of Little Poland) of the Kingdom of Poland, later Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the partitions of Poland it was held successively by Austria and Russia in the 19th century before returning to Poland after World War I in 1918. The main industries include leather, glass, and chemicals.
Not Radom but the New Radom was founded in 1340, city Radom has already existed next to it (look down;)). The main industries are quite different too.
Niezwykle lakoniczny opis jak na jedno z najstarszych polskich miast o bardzo bogatej historii, zwłaszcza na tle Grudziądza, Fromborka, Mikołajek, Szydłowca itd. Nie jest on najszczęśliwszy.
Unlikely place this thread for Radom to be found.
March 25th, 2010, 12:22 AM
Not Radom but the New Radom was founded in 1340, city Radom has already existed next to it (look down;)). The main industries are quite different too.
Niezwykle lakoniczny opis jak na jedno z najstarszych polskich miast o bardzo bogatej historii, zwłaszcza na tle Grudziądza, Fromborka, Mikołajek, Szydłowca itd. Nie jest on najszczęśliwszy.
Unlikely place this thread for Radom to be found.
If you have more detailed description of Radom's history feel free to post, but please remeber it's not a thread about Radom only :cheers:
March 25th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Radom with its population reaching 250k doesn't quite match this thread. It's kinda weird. But well it's just like my opinion.
March 25th, 2010, 01:36 AM
Radom with its population reaching 250k doesn't quite match this thread. It's kinda weird. But well it's just like my opinion.
I've already posted some pic from other not so small cities like Płock and Bielsko-Biała, but you are right that the title can be misleading - I'll try to stick to places below 100.000 people :cheers:
March 25th, 2010, 02:13 AM
Łeba is a town in Middle Pomerania, Poland, located near Łebsko Lake and the mouth of the river Łeba on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
Leba is one of the biggest and most famous resorts in Poland. Leba has a wonderful microclimate. Wide beaches, proximity to the Slowinski National Park where you can watch the famous moving sand dunes. Leba is also ideal for sports, especially windsurfing and horse riding.
In the proximity of Łeba there is a large testing area for long-range rocket weapons. On this area the German long-range rocket Rheinbote was tested between 1941 and 1945. Also the V-1 flying bomb was tested here from 1943 to 1945. Between 1963 and 1973 33 Polish sounding rockets of the type Meteor were launched in Łeba.
Allegedly, the German general Erwin Rommel practiced desert warfare in the vast dunes of Łeba.
Sand dunes near Łeba
March 25th, 2010, 07:56 AM
If you have more detailed description of Radom's history feel free to post, but please remeber it's not a thread about Radom only :cheers:
I'll try to look for something better on net (or write) and I'll send you PM.
Anyway I find your threads about polish towns very interestning, so many beautiful places to visit:cheers:
March 25th, 2010, 07:17 PM
area of Great Mazurian Lakes:
Ruciane-Nida a town in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland, with 4,934 inhabitants (2004).
The town was formed in 1966 by uniting 3 villages: Ruciane, Nida (German: Nieden) and Wola Ratajowa.
lakes around Ruciane-Nida:
March 26th, 2010, 05:34 PM
March 26th, 2010, 06:42 PM
Przemyśl is a city in south-eastern Poland with 66,756 inhabitants.
Przemyśl is one of a select group of the oldest and the most beautiful Polish towns. Its thousand years of turbulent history have been inextricably linked with the fate of the whole Polish republic.
Przemyśl is the second oldest city in southern Poland, after Kraków. It appears to have been founded as early as the 8th century. The region subsequently became part of the Great Moravian state. Archeological remains testify to the presence of a monastic settlement as early as the 9th century. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area declared their allegiance to Hungarian Empire. The Przemyśl region then became a site of contention between Poland, Kievan Rus and Hungary beginning in at least the 9th century. The area was mentioned for the first time in 981 by Nestor, when Vladimir I of Kievan Rus took it over on the way into Poland. In 1018 Przemyśl returned to Poland, 1031 went back to Rus, and in 1340 Casimir III of Poland recovered it.
Between 11th and 12th century the city was a capital of Red Ruthenia, one of the Ruthenian principalities. It became part of the Polish kingdom in the second half of the 13th century. Around this time Przemyśl was granted city rights based on Magdeburg law, confirmed in 1389 by king Władysław II Jagiełło.
The city prospered as an important trade centre during the Renaissance period. Like nearby Lviv (Lwów in Polish), the city's population consisted of a great number of nationalities, including, apart from Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Germans, Czechs and Armenians.
n 1772, as a consequence of the First Partition of Poland, Przemyśl became part of the Austrian empire, in what the Austrians called the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. In 1861 railways were built to connect Przemyśl with Kraków to the west and Lwów (Lemberg) to the east. In the middle of the 19th century, due to the growing conflict between Austria and Russia over the Balkans, Austria grew more mindful of Przemyśl's strategic location near the border with the Russian Empire. During the Crimean War, when tensions mounted between Russia and Austria, the city was turned into a fortress, surrounded by a ring of forts 15 km in circumference, containing 30 modern fortification works.
At the end of World War I, Przemyśl became disputed between renascent Poland and the West Ukrainian People's Republic. On November 1, 1918, a local provisional government was formed of representatives of Polish, Jewish, and Ukrainian inhabitants of the area. However, on November 3 a Ukrainian army overthrew the government, arrested its leader, and captured the eastern part of the city. The Ukrainian army was checked by a small Polish self-defence unit formed of World War I veterans and Orlęta, an organisation of young volunteers from Przemyśl high schools. The battlefront divided the town, with the western borough of Zasanie in Polish hands. Since neither side could cross the San River, both opposing forces awaited relief from the outside. That race was won by the Polish relievers: the volunteer expeditionary unit formed in Kraków arrived in Przemyśl on November 10. When the Polish ultimatum to the Ukrainians remained unanswered, on November 11 and November 12 the Polish forces crossed the San and expelled the outnumbered Ukrainian army in what became known as the Battle of Przemyśl.
Due to long and rich history of the city, there are many sights in and around Przemyśl, of special interest to tourists, including museums, the Old Town with Rynek, the main market square, castle, cathedral etc.
March 26th, 2010, 10:46 PM
This town looks very much like Lwow
March 27th, 2010, 01:44 AM
This town looks very much like Lwow
Sometimes in Poland it's called "mały Lwów" :cheers:
March 27th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Jelenia Góra (Єлєня Ґура)
Jelenia Góra (German: Hirschberg im Riesengebirge, Czech: Hiršberk, Jelení Hora), is a city in Lower Silesia, south-western Poland. The name of the city means "deer mountain" in Polish and German. It is close to the Karkonosze mountain range running along the Polish-Czech border – ski resorts such as Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba can be found within 10–15 km of the town.
As at 2007 the population of Jelenia Góra is 86,372.
Jelenia Góra was used by Polish ruler Bolesław Krzywousty as base for his campaigns against the Czechs in 1110. A legend mentioned by German author Johann Karl Herbst in his town chronicle from 1847, attributes the beginnings of the town back to the times of the Polish Piast dynasty, and connects its foundation with king Bolesław III Wrymouth (1108). Today instead of the first mention the legend is used by the town to celebrate their anniversary.
In 1281 the settlement was first mentioned as Hyrzberc, and in 1288 in Latin as Hyrsbergensium. When the Silesian Piasts lost inheritance and Agnes of Habsburg, the last dutchess of Schweidnitz- Jauer (Świdnica-Jawor) died in 1392, the city passed to Bohemia, ruled by the House of Luxembourg.
The city was inherited by Habsburg Austria in 1526, two years after the town adopted the Protestant faith. A Protestant school was built in 1566. In 1560 a fire destroyed large parts of the city and stopped the economic development, which until then was characterized by linen weaving. The city recovered when Joachim Girnth, a shoemaker on a return journey from Holland, introduced veil weaving. The first "light veils" were offered in 1625, and five years later the city received a imperial privilege by Ferdinand II for these veils.
During the Thirty Years' War the city suffered badly. Hirschberg was beleaguered by troops of both parties , paid high contributions, and during a siege in 1634 the city burned down again. Two more sieges followed in 1640 and 1641. The town needed several years to recover. One reason for the new boost was the creation of a merchant society 1658, which secured Hirschbergs position as the most important center of linen and veil trade in the Silesian mountains during the 17th and 18th century.
The Protestants of the city were oppressed during the Counter-Reformation, but the second Treaty of Altranstädt, which allowed to establish a Protestant community center and a church outside the medieval city walls, brought relief. Great sacrifices by the merchant society, especially its most prominent member Christian Menzel, made the construction of a large church, modeled after Church of Catherine in Stockholm, possible. The cemetery of the church was the preferred burial place for most merchant families (largely destroyed after 1945).
Hirschberg was annexed with Lower Silesia by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Silesian Wars. The city was again partly destroyed, had to pay contributions and was seized several times. The detachment from Austria and the new border in the mountains to the south badly damaged the economy as the merchants lost a large part of their customers. Although Prussia took on substantial efforts to revive the economy they never recovered completely and finally lost their position during the industrial revolution.
In 1871 the town became part of the German Empire upon the Prussian-led unification of Germany, as one of the largest towns in the Province of Silesia. The Deutsche Riesengebirgsverein (German Giant Mountains Club), a organization to protect the environment of the Giant Mountains (Karkonosze) and to promote tourism, was founded in 1880 by Theodor Donat and 47 other dignitaries of the region. It was the seventh oldest German mountaineering club with up to 18,000 members and 95 local groups, some of them even in Hamburg, the Rhineland or New York.
Following the end of World War II in 1945, the town was placed under Polish administration according to the decisions of the Potsdam Conference, and became officially known by its Polish name of Jelenia Góra, which was first recorded in 1882. The remaining German inhabitants were expelled westward and replaced with Polish settlers. The city was not destroyed in the war. The town was expanded through the incoporation of surrounding localities, including the spa town of Cieplice in 1976, now the district of Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój.
Cieplice is a district of Jelenia Góra.
With its record-entries running back to the year 1281, Cieplice Zdrój is the oldest spa in Poland.
Located at the foot of the Sudety Mountains, near Jelenia Góra, the region has a sub-highland climate. Cieplice's location in the vicinity of the warm springs have added to its renown. The enamoring beauty of the countryside and the historical monuments rejuvenate the minds of the vacationers.
Chojnik (German: Kynast) is a castle located above the village of Sobieszów, today part of Jelenia Góra in southwestern Poland. Its remains stand on top of the Chojnik hill (627 m (2,057 ft)) within the Karkonosze National Park, overlooking the Jelenia Góra valley.
The building of the fortress dates back to the times of the Polish Silesian Piasts and for most of its time was in the possession of the Schaffgotsch noble family. Today the semi-ruined stronghold is a major tourist attraction and houses a hotel and a restaurant.
March 27th, 2010, 02:10 PM
Sometimes in Poland it's called "mały Lwów" :cheers:
In Ukraine "little Lviv" it's — Stanislaviv:)
March 27th, 2010, 02:25 PM
European towns are very nice, especially small towns.
March 27th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Co to jest?
March 27th, 2010, 02:56 PM
Co to jest?
It's National Museum in Przemyśl, check this link:
March 27th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Supraśl is a town in north-eastern Poland. It is the home of the Supraśl Lavra, one of only six Eastern Orthodox monasteries for males in Poland. It is located in Białystok County, about 15 km northeast of Białystok. It is the seat of the Gmina of Supraśl. Its population numbers 4,526 (2004).
The Codex of Supraśl, the oldest Slavic literary work in Poland and one of the oldest of its kind in the world, is named after the Suprasl Lavra. As of September 20, 2007 it is on Unesco's Memory of the World list.
March 28th, 2010, 12:52 PM
Łęczyca (in full The Royal Town of Łęczyca, Polish: Królewskie Miasto Łęczyca) is a town of 16,594 inhabitants (as of 2004) in central Poland.
Łęczyca is one of the oldest Polish cities, mentioned in the 12th century. It was the place of the first recorded meeting of Sejm, the Polish parliament in 1182. It was the capital of the Łęczyca Duchy in the 13th century, and next it became the capital of Łęczyca Voivodeship since 14th till 18th century.
In 1331 the Teutonic Knights sacked the city during one of their repeated incursions into central Europe. A considerable number of buildings were burned down, including two churches. A few decades later, on the initiative of Kazimierz the Great, the city was walled and a castle built to the southeast of the city.
The city's prominence came to and end with the Swedish invasion of Poland when the castle was overrun and most of the city once again destroyed, and it remained in a state of crisis until the Partitions.
Because of its royal history Łęczyca is probably more tourist-worthy than its current size might suggest. Some of the more interesting sights include:
* The Royal Castle - dating from the 14th Century.
* The Church of St Andrew the Apostle—the current church dates was consecrated in 1425.
* The former Dominican monastery in Ul. Pocztowa (served as a prison from 1799 until 2006).
* The Cistercian church and monastery in ul. Poznańska, built between 1636-1643.
* The city walls, some of which are still extant. The original walls enclosed an area of approximately 9 hectares, amounted to 1150 metres in length and 7 metres in height. The town plan is still recognisably that of a medieval town.
A couple of kilometres away are the Collegiate church and the earthworks at the site of the medieval settlement of Tum.
Royal castle in Łęczyca was erected by Casimir III the Great during 1357-1370.
Later the castle served as a prison for the gentry, but for the whole period of its existence it has been officially recognized as the residence of Boruta Devil - a malicious prankster who has been accompanying the local community for generations.
Within the boundaries of the castle walls there is the Regional Museum where you can see some exhibits from the local excavations and also, with a little bit of luck, have an encounter with the ruler of the castle Boruta himself.
Tum near Łęczyca
The Collegiate church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum is a Romanesque church of granite built during the years 1140–1161 in Tum in central Poland (about 3 km/2 mi east of the town of Łęczyca).
The church was built in opus emplectum style and has the form of an aisled basilica with galleries, twin-tower west facade and two apses (west and east).
The church resembles the Wawel Cathedral founded by Władysław I Herman.
March 28th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Polsha, navernoe, samoe krasivoe gosudarstvo Evropy. Ne perestayu voshishatsya.
March 28th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Łagów is a village in Świebodzin County, Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland. The village has a population of approximately 1,600.
It features a spectacular lake divided by the village center in the middle. The village gives its name to a protected area called Łagów Landscape Park.
The main tourist attraction in Lagow is Johannites Castle which is now also part of a luxury hotel (Zamek Johannites). In the mid 15th century the Knights St John (Teutonic Knights Templar) built the castle between the two lakes, it’s possible to walk up the steep steps to the top of the tower and take in a breathtaking view of the Lagow, the lakes and surrounding forests.
March 29th, 2010, 12:11 AM
Pułtusk is a town in Poland by the river Narew, 70 km north of Warsaw. It is located in the Masovian Voivodship and has about 19,000 inhabitants.
The town has existed since at least the 10th century. In the Middle Ages it was one of the most important castles defending northern Masovia against the attacks of Prussians and Lithuanians. According to a legend, the town initially was known as Tusk. After a flood destroyed half of the city it was renamed to Pułtusk (Pół- or puł- being a Polish prefix for a half). However, scientists assume that the town got its name after a small river named Pełta.
In 1440 an academy was founded in the town, one of the most influential schools of higher education in Poland. Among its professors were Jakub Wujek, Richard Singleton, Marcin Łaszcz, and Piotr Skarga.
Around 1405 the Mayor House, today known as Dom Polonii, was constructed. In 1449 the Gothic church was added to the city's facilities. In the 16th century the castle was rebuilt by many famous Italian architects, including Giovanni Babtista of Venice and Bartolommeo Berrecci, and Giovanni Cini of Siena.
In 1566 one of the first public theatres in Poland was opened. In the 16th century the town was visited by many notable persons, such as Jan Kochanowski, King Sigismund III, and Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski. In 1530 the first printing house in Masovia was opened there.
The 1703 battle.
In April 21, 1703 during the Great Northern War, a decisive battle was fought in Pułtusk where the Swedish army under Charles XII defeated and captured a large part of the Saxon army under Graf von Steinau. Although the town and the castle were conquered by Polish forces under Marshal Wincenty Gosiewski, they were recaptured by the Swedish forces who looted and destroyed it.
Yet another Battle of Pułtusk was fought on December 26, 1806, between forces of Imperial Russia and Imperial France. The battle became so famous that its name is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. After the fall of Warsaw in 1809 Pułtusk became the temporary capital of the Duchy of Warsaw. After the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte the town was annexed by Russia.
The town was also a battleground in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, at the eve of the Battle of Warsaw.
Currently Pułtusk is one of the most picturesque towns of Masovia. Located at the Narew river, it is one of the most popular weekend places for inhabitants of Warsaw.
Pułtusk is known for having the longest market square in Europe-measuring around 900 meters.
March 29th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Darłowo (in full The Royal City of Darłowo: Polish: Królewskie Miasto Darłowo, German: Rügenwalde) is a town at the south coast of the Baltic Sea in Middle Pomerania, north-western Poland, with 14,931 inhabitants (2006).
Numerous archeological findings reveal that, after the ice which had covered North-Eastern Europe had molten and the Ice-age had ended at about 8.000 B.C., settlers of the Stone Age first populated the region. Remainders of Celtic culture and Germanic culture, as well as of Baltic culture, influenced by contacts with Rome's merchants, were found in the area. Several Roman coins with portraits of Roman Emperors were found around today Darłowo.
On Ptolemy's chart of Germania Magna a settlement of the Rugians called Rugium is listed in the vicinity of a river which probably is identical with River Grabow flowing into River Wipper.
Already in the 11th century a fortress named Dirlow, also called Dirlovo, existed in the immediate vicinity of the place where River Wieprza enters the Baltic Sea. From this fortress, the fortress district of Dirlow was administered, which itself belonged to the castelany of Schlawe. The town of Rügenwalde was later founded in the fortress district of Dirlow, but not at the location of the fortress itself.
The town of Rügenwalde was probably founded in 1270 by Wizlaw II of the Danish Principality of Rügen, at that time also ruler of the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp. The first mention of Rügenwalde is in a document of February 5, 1271.
In 1277, Wizlaw II had sold his rights concerning the lands of Rügenwalde and Schlawe to the margraves of Brandenburg, who thereafter ruled these lands from Buckow up to the year of 1283. According to a Polish encyclopedia, the town of Rügenwalde has been destroyed in 1283 during fights between Wizlaw II and Mestwin II (Polish: Mszczuj or Mściwój). In a chronic of 1652, M. Merian stated that it had been destroyed on purpose by Bogislaw of Pomerania, when after Mestwin's II death in December 1294 duke Przemysŀ had claimed the town for Pomeralia, as he had done already five years before, and could not be persuaded to peacefully give up his claim and to withdraw from there. In a decisive battle of 1296, the Polish invasion troups were beaten near the village of Buckow by a Pomeranian contingent led by duke Wizlaw of Rügen and count Adolph from Holstein. The retreating Polish troups devastated the castle of Dirlow and the town once more.
Rügenwalde was built new and in May 21, 1312, the town was granted Lübeck law under the administration of the noble brothers John, Peter, and Lawrence of the Swenzones, vassals of the Brandenburg margraves since 1307. The Ascanians had already been prior to 1307 under control of the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp. In Rügenwalde they had been already in 1305.[ They undertook in 1308 a campaign against Gdansk.
The town passed to the Duchy of Pomerania in 1347, at that time ruled by the brothers Bogislaw V, Wartislaw V, and Barnim IV of the House of Pomerania dynasty. Bogislaw, son-in-law of king Casimir III of Poland, would become ruler of the area after the partition of Pomerania-Wolgast in 1368. This part duchy was known as Pomerania-Stolp.
In 1352 the construction of the castle began, and cooperation with the Hanseatic League (Hanse) was initiated, with the town becoming a full member of the Hanse in 1412.
In 1382 Eric of Pomerania, later the king of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, was born in the town. After losing his thrones, he returned to his birthplace and began to expand his duchy. After his death in 1459 he was buried in St. Mary's Church.
After Eric's death the town was ruled by duke Eric II of Pomerania-Wolgast.
Another significant ruler was Bogislaw X (1454-1523). Under his administration the trade and prosperity in the area of Darłowo grew, as international trade relations were extended, also with Poland.
In 1497 and 1552 the harbour of the town, known in German as Rügenwaldermünde, and parts of the town were hit by great storms. Ships which had got out of control were seen drifting in the vicinity of the town and of the neighbouring village of Suckow. In 1589, 1624, 1648, 1679 and 1722 fires damaged the town. The first lighthouse was built around the year 1715.
After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke Bogislaw XIV in 1637, the end of the contemporary Thirty Years' War in 1648 and the subsequent partition of the Duchy of Pomerania between the Swedish Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia in the Peace of Westphalia and the Treaty of Stettin (1653), Brandenburg included Farther Pomerania with Rügenwalde in her Pomeranian province. The harbour of Rügenwaldermünde was destroyed during the Thirty Years' War by imperial troops, and was reconstructed by order of King Frederick II of Prussia not before 1772.
During the Napoleonic Wars some of its inhabitants, in particular ship owners and businessmen, profited from smuggling British goods to the continent. In 1871 the town, along with Prussia, became a part of the newly constituted German Empire. A railway reached the town in 1878. 289 inhabitants died throughout World War I.
Before the outbreak of World War I the town had about 6,000 inhabitants, before the outbreak of World War II about 8000.
In 1935 the important Firing Test Range Rügenwalde-Bad (German: Schießplatz Rügenwalde-Bad), designed for testing heavy guns, including long-range railway type of cannons such as Krupp K5, was built between Rügenwalde's habour Rügenwaldermünde and the village of Suckow. During World War II some of the largest guns in military history were tested here: Schwerer Gustav and Mörser Karl. Gun barrels with a length of up to 47 meters were tested. For long distance tests, target areas within the Baltic Sea North of Großmöllendorf and Henkenhagen (about 80 kilometers away from Rügenwaldermünde) and North of Dievenow and Swinemünde (120 to 130 kilometers away) were used. The test camp was currently visited by officers of the commanding staff of Germany's army, air force and marine, including Admiral of the Fleet Erich Raeder and marshals von Rundstedt, Wilhelm Keitel and Hermann Göring. Once the resort hade been visited also by Adolf Hitler accompanied by Benito Mussolini. Their trains, however, had not stopped at Rügenwalde's train station.
During World War II families from the bombarded German towns of Hagen und Bochum in the Ruhr district had been evacuated to Rügenwalde. Short before the end of World War II numerous refugees from East Prussia and West Prussia arrived in the region. In early 1945, about 5.600 persons could escape by ships in the framework of the Operation Hannibal before Soviet Troops reached the town on March 7, 1945. About 3.500 citizens had remained in the town or returned again after their escape had failed.
Following the post-war boundary changes, Rügenwalde became Polish. Its thorough German population was expelled and the town was populated with Poles and Ukrainians in 1946/47, who mostly came from regions East of the Curzon Line. The first expulsion of the residual German inhabitants took place on 17 October 1945, followed by a series of further expulsions beginning on 17 August 1946. In 1949 only about 70 Germans were left in the town.
The town was given the Polish name Dyrłów, and later Darłów, before changing to the current name.
Today the city is well known in Poland as a summer resort.
The whole area of the Old Town in Darłowo is under preservation. Darłowo has maintained the unique medieval urban planning with the main square in the middle of the town. During medieval times the town was surrounded by walls and had four gates; only one gate has survived in a fairly original shape.
* Castle of Dukes of House of Pomerania - today a Regional Museum. The castle is built in gothic style on a base plan resembling a square; its tower is 24 meters high. This is the only castle of such characteristic on the Polish seacoast.
* Blessed Virgin Mary Church - basilica built in gothic style in 1321, with sarcophagues of Dukes of Pomerania: Erik I, Elisabeth (wife of last Duke of Pomerania Bogislaw XIV, died in 1653).
* Saint Gertrude Church - built in Scandinavian style, first mentioned in 1497, built in Scandinavian Style on the little hill Kopfberg outside of the city walls.
* Saint George Church - built in Gothic style outside of the city walls.
* The town hall re-built in 1657 and in 1725 after damages by fire, with its inscriptions in Latin stating the years of devastation (1589, 1624, 1648, 1679 and 1722).
* The Hanse fountain (German: Hansabrunnen) in front of the town hall, a creation of the German artist Wilhelm Groß (*1883, †1974), donated to the town of Rügenwalde as a present by the local shipping company Hemptenmacher.
* High Gate - also known as Stone Gate (original German names: Hohes Tor or Steintor) - built in the XIV century, a remainder of the city walls.
* Lighthouse - built in the XIX century, 20 meters high
Darłówko is a seaside neighborhood and a popular summertime resort in the town of Darłowo on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Poland. Famously, it is the site of a yearly gathering of old military vehicles, the largest of its kind in Europe, held at the end of Słowiańska street.
Darłówko has two beaches, east and west, extending from either side of the Wieprza river mouth.
March 30th, 2010, 06:31 AM
Ząbkowice Śląskie (Зомбковіце-Шльонські)
Ząbkowice Śląskie (German: Frankenstein) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland.
The town lies approximately 63 kilometres (39 mi) south of the regional capital Wrocław. As at 2006, it has a population of 16,242.
The town was established as Frankenstein in the early 13th century, following the Mongol invasion, and received town rights around 1280. As from 1335 it belonged to Bohemia, and from 1742 to Prussia.
In the early 1600s the plague killed about one third of the population, and it has been speculated that events at that time may have inspired the Frankenstein story.
In 1858 the town burned down and had to be rebuilt. On this occasion, the upper part of the 15th-century leaning tower was reconstructed in a straight manner. The town was a county seat from 1816 to 1945. After World War II the town passed to Poland and was renamed Ząbkowice Śląskie in 1946, after the German population had fled or been expelled.
Was Frankenstein - the monster 'born' in Ząbkowice ?
Since the time of ist establishing in the second half of XIII th century till XX century Ząbkowice was called Frankenstein. It seems probable that the first settlers, the founders of the city, coming from Frankony - the historical land of Germany located on the Middle Rhine-"brought" the name of the city with them.
The word Frankenstein is associated with the monster Frankenstein from the novel by Mary Shelley and with horror films based on that novel. Consequently, the question arises if there is a connection between the name of the city and the monster Frankenstein.
The event which happened in Ząbkowice at the beginning of 1606 proves some truth in the concurrence of the names. On January 17 th 1606 the plague broke out extending as far as the whole city and its suburbs. There would be nothing strange in that fact as epidemic broke aut very often those days were it not the scale. 2061 people including 1503 adults and 558 children, which was over 1/3 of the city population, died as a result of the plague.
The plague itself, however, as it turned aut later, was cansed by the criminal and predatory activity of the gang of the local growe-diggers and their assistants. Their bad deeds were described and illustrated by Jerzy Kreß, a printer and editor, in the "Newe Zeyttung" published in Augbsurg at the end of 1606. We can read there:
"Eight growe-diggers have been captured in the city of Frankenstein in Silesia, six men and two women in their. After being tortured dureng the investigation they confessed to preparing some poisoning powder and spreading it a few times in the houses, smearing the tresholds, door-knockers and handles owing to which many people got pasoned and died.
Apart from that they stole a lot of money from the houses and stripped dead bodies of their cloaks. That also cut open pregnant women and took aut their foetuses and they ate up the raw hearts of small children. They stole table-dothes from the altars of churches there and two cloks from the pulput. They powdered it and used for their magic and they committed some other horrible crimes(...)"
The defendants were sentenced to death by mutilation and being burnt alive. They were executed on October 4 th 1606.
From 4 th till 10 th October 1606 a vicar, Samuel Heinnitz, preached 6 thanksgiving sermons in his parish church with the prayers on each day for the intention of overcoming the plague. The sermons entitled with real sophistication "The true story of a few revealed and destroyed poisoning works of the devil`s hunter during the plague of 1606 in the city of Frankenstein in Silesia". That "devil`s hunter" , being a philosophical metaphor or a personification of evil in general, became by later inhabitants and travellers visiting Ząbkowice transformed into a real figure to the core, the horrible monster Frankenstein. His name must derive from the name of the city.
The fact, that the legend of Frankenstein was still alive even a few hundred years after that terrible incident is proved by an account of Władysław Grabski in his book called "300 towns returned to Poland", published in 1960 where he says quoting the local legend:
"There was the monster Frankenstein living in the castle of Ząbkowice, who by his infamous dealings took 2000 lives until the hand of God`s justice tauched him".
March 30th, 2010, 10:46 PM
Jarocin is a town in central Poland with 25,700 inhabitants.
The first mention of Jarocin has been found in a document of 1257. The document describes how the town was bestowed on Janek of the Zaremba family. This record shows that Jarocin was the oldest private town in the region of Wielkopolska. The towns name origins from a Slavic, Old Polish name Jarota.
The establishment and development of medieval Jarocin was due to a favourable location at the crossing of important trade routes - from Wroclaw to Torun and from Poznan to Kalisz. For centuries German and Polish people coexisted here in peace. Due to the close neighbourhood of Silesia, German settlers first came here already in medieval ages. Through the centuries the town changed owners a few times. In 1661 Jarocin was taken over by the Radolinski family who remained its owners until 1945. After the second partition of Poland in 1793, for 125 years Jarocin had been a part of Germany.
Jarocin was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the 1793 Second Partition of Poland and administered within South Prussia. It was part of the Duchy of Warsaw from 1807–13 during the Napoleonic Wars, but was restored to Prussia afterward.
The town was included within the Grand Duchy of Posen from 1815 and the Province of Posen from 1848. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. In 1889 it was included within the newly-created Jarotschin District of the Province of Posen.
Jarocin participated in the Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919) and had the first soldiers' council in the Province of Posen. It was subsequently included in the Second Polish Republic.
The town was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1939 during World War II and administered within Reichsgau Wartheland. Many Poles, especially Jews, were expelled and replaced with ethnic Germans from the Baltic states, Volhynia, and Bukovina. In 1944, Germans constituted 35% of the population.
The town became famous in the 1980s thanks to the Jarocin Festival, one of the first rock and punk music festivals in communist Eastern Bloc countries. The first one was organised in 1980.
Today Jarocin is a dynamic administrative centre of a large and densely populated commune, where both industry and agriculture play an important role. The town cooperates with a number of partnership towns abroad: Libercourt in France, Hatvan in Hungary, Veldhoven in Holland, Schluechtern in Germany and Oleksandria in Ukraine.
March 31st, 2010, 11:12 AM
Piotrków Trybunalski (Пйотркув-Трибунальський)
Piotrków Trybunalski is a city in central Poland with 80,738 inhabitants (2005).
According to tradition, but not confirmed by historical sources, Piotrków was founded by Piotr Włostowic, a powerful 12th century magnate from Silesia. The name of the city comes from the Polish version of the name Peter (Piotr), in a diminutive form (Piotrek, or "Pete").
In the early Middle Ages the Piotrków region was included in the province of Łęczyca owned by the Piast dynasty. Ca. 1264 it became part of a separate principality. The foundation of the city and its development were connected with its geographical position and an advantageous arrangement of the roads linking the provinces of Poland in the Piast times. At first a market town and a place of the princes' tribunals (in the 13th and 15th centuries), Piotrków became an administrative centre (the capital of the district since 1418), and in the later centuries it also became an important political centre in Poland. The first record of Piotrków is included in a document issued in 1217 by the Prince of Kraków, Leszek I the White, where there is a mention of the prince's tribunal held "in Petrecoue". Medieval Piotrków was a trading place on trade routes from Pomerania to Russia and Hungary, and later from Masovia to Silesia.
During the 13th century, apart from the tribunals, Polish provincial princes made Piotrków a seat of a few assemblies of the Sieradz knights, which according to historical sources were held in 1233, in 1241, and in 1291. It might have been during the 1291 assembly that the Prince of Sieradz, Władysław I the Elbow-high, granted Piotrków civic rights, because in documents from the beginning of the 14th century he mentions "civitate nostra Petricouiensi".
The first foundation certificate and the other documents were burnt in a great fire which destroyed the city ca. 1400. The privileges and rights were re-granted by King Władysław II Jagiełło in 1404. The city walls were built during the reign of King Casimir III, and after the great fire they were rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. During the reign of Casimir III, many expelled German Jews from the Holy Roman Empire immigrated to the town, which grew to have one of the largest Jewish settlements in the kingdom.
Between 1354 and 1567 the city held general assemblies of Polish knights, and general or elective meetings of the Polish Sejm (during the latter Polish kings of the Jagiellon dynasty were elected there). It was in the city of Piotrków that the Polish Parliament was given its final structure with the division into Upper House and Lower Chamber in 1493. King John I Albert published his "Piotrków privilege" on May 26, 1493, which expanded the privileges of the szlachta at the expense of the bourgeoisie and the peasantry.
Piotrków became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. When the seat of the Parliament was moved to Warsaw, the town became the seat of the highest court of Poland, the Royal Tribunal, and trials were held there from 1578-1793; the highest Lithuanian court was held in Hrodna (Grodno). Piotrków's Jewish population was expelled in 1578 and only allowed back a century later. The town became a post station in 1684. Ca. 1705, German settlers (often Swabians) arrived in the town's vicinity and founded villages; they largely retained their customs and language until 1945.
While the importance of Piotrków in the political life of the country had contributed to its development in the 16th century, the city declined in the 17th and 18th centuries, due to fires, epidemics, wars against Sweden, and finally the Partitions of Poland.
The first official inventory of important buildings in Poland, A General View of the Nature of Ancient Monuments in the Kingdom of Poland, led by Kazimierz Stronczynski from 1844-55, describes the Great Synagogue (Piotrków Trybunalski) as one of Poland's architecturally notable buildings.
In 1793, the Kingdom of Prussia annexed the town in the Second Partition of Poland and administered it in the Province of South Prussia. During the Napoleonic Wars, Piotrków became part of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-15) and was a district seat in the Kalisz Department. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Piotrków became part Congress Poland, a puppet state of the Russian Empire. The town was made the seat of an oblast.
When the Warsaw-Vienna railway was built in 1846, there was a slight increase in the economic and industrial development of Piotrków. In 1867 Russian authorities formed the Oblast (province) of Piotrków, which included within Łódź, Częstochowa, and the coal fields of Dąbrowa Górnicza and Sosnowiec.
The province had the best developed industry of all of Congress Poland until 1914. Many Poles demonstrated and went on strike during the Russian Revolution of 1905.
During World War I, Piotrków was occupied by Austria–Hungary. From 1915-16, it was a centre for Polish patriotic activity. The city was a seat of the Military Department of National Committee, and headquarters for the Polish Legions, which were voluntary troops organized by Józef Piłsudski, Władysław Sikorski, and others to fight against Russia. Piotrków was made part of the Second Polish Republic following the defeat of the Central Powers in the war.
In the interwar period, Piotrków was the capital of Piotrków County in the Łódź Voivodeship, and it lost its previous importance. In 1938 the town had 51,000 inhabitants, including 25,000 Jews and 1,500 Germans. The town had a large Jewish settlement and a thriving Hebrew printing and publishing industry until the Holocaust.
During the invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II, Piotrków was the setting for fierce fighting between the Polish 19th Infantry Division and the 16th Panzer Corps of the German Wehrmacht on September 5, 1939. The town was occupied by Nazi Germany for the following six years.
Piotrków had the first ghetto for Jews in occupied Poland, built as early as October 1939. Approximately 25,000 people from Piotrków and the nearby towns and villages were imprisoned there. During the Holocaust 22,000 were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, while 3,000 were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps.
From the first months of the war, Piotrków was a centre for underground resistance. Since the spring of 1940, it was the seat of the district headquarters of the Armia Krajowa, or Home Army. In the summer of 1944, the 25th infantry regiment of the Home Army was formed in the district; it was the biggest military unit of the Łódź Voivodeship, and it fought against Germans until November 1944.
On January 18, 1945, the Soviet Red Army entered the city, dislodging the German troops. Anti-communist partisans continued to fight in the vicinity in the following years. From 1949-70, Piotrków was built into an industrial center.
Piotrków lies almost in the center of Poland. In Piotrków cross three national roads. Piotrków, thanks to its location, is known as second biggest "logistic center" after Warsaw. There is high concentration of warehouses and distribution centres around the city.
April 1st, 2010, 12:29 PM
Augustów (Lithuanian: Augustavas) is a town in north-eastern Poland with 29,600 inhabitants (1995). It lies on the Netta River and the Augustów Canal.
The town was first mentioned in 1496 and was granted city rights by Polish king Sigismund II Augustus in 1557. Until 1569 Augustów belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when the Real union called Union of Lublin was signed between Poland, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Royal Prussia. As a result, the town became a part of the Kingdom of Poland, while its cemetery was left in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Tatar invaders destroyed Augustów in 1656, and the second half of the 17th century saw the town afflicted by plague.
In 1795 Prussia annexed Augustów. In 1807 it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, followed by incorporation into the Kingdom of Poland in 1815. It was made a county seat in 1842. The first railway connection reached Augustów in 1899.
During World War I, the Russian army successfully counterattacked the German army across Augustów in 1914. In the aftermath of World War I, it was a site of the Battle of Augustów in 1920. From 1939 to 1941, Soviet troops occupied the town. Many inhabitants were sent to exile in Kazachstan, from where some were able to return after 6 years. The Nazi German forces occupied Augustów until 1944. World War II brought destruction of about 70% of the town and death or departure of most of its residents, amongst them a community of several thousand Jews who were imprisoned in the ghetto situated between the canal and the river. The Germans executed practically all of them before they left. In 1945 the Soviets conducted the nearby Augustów chase 1945 - a special operation against former Armia Krajowa anticommunist fighters.
In 1970 Augustów officially became a health-cure resort, and in 1973 adjoining local villages were made a part of it.
The Augustów Canal (Polish: Kanał Augustowski, is a cross-border canal built in the 19th century in present-day north-eastern Poland and north-western Belarus (then part of Congress Poland and the Russian Empire). It is a navigable watershed canal, linking the Vistula River with the Neman River. It is a conservation protection zone proposed by Poland for inscription onto the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The canal was constructed for political and economic reasons. In 1821 Prussia unilaterally introduced repressively high customs duties for transit of Polish and Lithuanian goods through its territory, practically blocking the access to the sea for Polish traders operating outside of Prussian-controlled territory. In 1823-1839 a waterway designed by General Ignacy Prądzyński, French General and engineer Jan Chrzciciel de Grandville Malletski and General Jan Paweł Lelewel was constructed, including buildings and hydraulic engineering structures, intended to bypass Prussian territory and link the center of the Congress Kingdom of Poland with Latvian ports on the Baltic Sea.
The idea of Polish Minister of Economy, Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, was to make the new trade route independent of Prussian control over the seaport of Gdańsk. The partly constructed canal had become enough of a reason for Poland to win the "customs war" with Prussia. Consequently, the building of the final "windawski" section of the waterway, which was to connect the new trading route with the Latvian seaport of Ventspils (Polish: Windawa), was relinquished. The unrest caused by the November Uprising against Russia contributed to it. The completed part of the Augustów Canal remained an inland waterway of local significance used for commercial shipping and to transport wood to and from the Vistula and Neman. Between the World Wars the canal became a tourist attraction for the first time. It was a picturesque tourist route providing excellent sporting opportunities for canoeists, sailors and boaters, which continues to be the function of the Polish section of the canal. Plans to change the Belarusian part of the Canal into a tourist destination are under development.
April 1st, 2010, 02:34 PM
Lesko is a town in south-eastern Poland with a population of 5,755 (02.06.2009), situated in the Bieszczady mountains. It is located in the heartland of the Doły (Pits), and its average altitude is 390 metres (1,280 ft) above sea level, although there are some hills located within the confines of the city.
Lesko was probably founded in the fourteenth century; records first mention it in 1436. It was granted its town charter in approximately 1469, when it was owned by the Kmita family. In the seventeenth century, the town was quite an important centre of trade and craftsmanship, with approximately 1,500 inhabitants. Its heyday ended in 1704, when it was looted by the Swedish troops during the Great Northern War.
In 1772, following the First Partition of Poland, the town was located in the Austrian Empire (from 1867 Austria-Hungary) until Poland regained its independence in 1918. In 1872 a railway line passing just 3 km north of the town was built.
In September 1939, following the territorial division of Poland by the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the border between German and Soviet occupation zones ran along the river San in the area of Lesko. Thus the town ended up in the Soviet zone, as it was located on the eastern bank of the river. In 1940-1941, as part of the construction of the Molotov Line along the new border, the Soviets constructed a line of bunkers along the river to defend the river crossings, some of them right in the town. During Operation Barbarossa the Germans destroyed the bunkers in the initial days of their invasion (their ruins exist to this day). The town was liberated from the Germans by the Red Army in September, 1944. In 1945 the border between Poland and the Soviet Union was moved somewhat eastwards from the San river, so Lesko ended up in Poland following the postwar territorial rearrangements. Nevertheless it remained very close to the Soviet border until the 1951 Polish–Soviet territorial exchange which moved the border further eastward.
During the war, after the town was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, its Jewish community (about 60% of the town's population) perished in the Holocaust.
In the immediate postwar years the area was the scene of the fighting between Polish military forces and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The fighting ended after the Ukrainian population was expelled in the course of Operation Vistula in 1947. The city and its economy only started to recover in the 1950s, after a government program encouraging people from other areas of Poland to settle there.
Currently Lesko is a gateway to the Bieszczady Mountains. The city has numerous outdoor recreational clubs.
Solina lake near Lesko
Lake Solina (Polish: Jezioro Solińskie) is an artificial lake in the Bieszczady Mountains region, more precisely in Lesko County of the Subcarpathian Voivodship of Poland.
The lake was created in 1968 by the construction of the Solina Dam on the San River. It has an area of 22 square kilometers and contains 472 million cubic meters of water, making it Poland's largest artificial lake.
It is the best known tourist attraction of the region, with waterside villages like Solina, Myczkowce and Polańczyk catering to watersports enthusiasts. The lake's great depth, water clarity, and mountainous scenery makes it a very popular destination for boaters. Because of these qualities the lake has been nicknamed the "Bieszczady Sea".
Starting in the 1970s the Wojewódzkie Przedsiębiorstwo Turystyczne (State Tourism Enterprise) "Bieszczady" purchased a number of vessels for the lake and established the lake's White Fleet. The fleet's main ships offer cruises on the lake.
April 2nd, 2010, 12:52 AM
April 2nd, 2010, 01:49 AM
Situated in the south of Poland at the foot of the Tatra mountains (the most beautiful and the only alpine mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains), Zakopane is the highest located town in Poland.
Zakopane is a town with some 28,000 inhabitants and is visited annually by some three million tourists.
The earliest documents mentioning Zakopane date to the 17th century, describing a glade named Zakopisko. In 1676 it was a village of 43 inhabitants. In 1824, together with a section of the Tatra Mountains, it was sold to the Homola family.
Zakopane's further history was connected with the development of the mining and metallurgy industries in the region — in the 19th century, it was the largest center for metallurgy in Galicia — and later with that of tourism. It grew greatly over the 19th century, as more and more people were attracted by its salubrious climate, and soon developed from a small village into a climatic health resort of 3,000 inhabitants (1889).
Rail service to Zakopane began on October 1, 1899.
It has been enchanting visitors with its unique atmosphere for over 100 years. The town has long been regarded as the winter capital of Poland, but it is also one of the most important tourist destinations of the country.
Zakopane is the country's largest centre of winter sports.
'Zakopane' style in architecture
The Zakopane Style developed as a unique phenomenon. In a remote village at the foot of the Tatra mountains at the end of the 19th century, a handful of the Polish intelligentsia, together with Tatra Highlanders from the Zakopane region, created a distinctive Polish national art-form. The result was the Zakopane Style, which embraced all elements of design and architecture.
April 2nd, 2010, 07:50 AM
Absolutely beautiful and unique architecture of Zakopane. Well, it is to me anyways :)
April 3rd, 2010, 11:52 AM
Świdnica (German: Schweidnitz; Czech: Svídnice) is a town in south-western Poland. It has a population of 60,317 according to 2006 figures.
Świdnica became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact. In the beginning, the town belonged to the Duchy of Wrocław and experienced two important privileges conducive to its development. By 1290, Świdnica had city walls and six gates, crafts and trade were blossoming, and it had become the capital of the Duchy of Świdnica. City was in 1291 - 1392 capital of Duchy of Świdnica.
At the end of the 14th century the city was under rule of the Kingdom of Bohemia, and a long period of growth began. The last duke from Polish Piast dynasty was Bolko II of Świdnica, and after his death in 1368 land was held by his wife until 1392; after her death they were incorporated into the lands of Bohemia by Wenceslaus, King of the Romans. In 1493, the town is recorded by Hartmann Schedel in his Nuremberg Chronicle as Schwednitz along with Neyß, Oppel, Liegnitz, Teschen, Frankenstein etc. all in Silesia.
In 1471, there were 47 trade guilds in operation, nearly 300 homes had the rights to brew beer, and large cattle and hops fairs were organized. The beer was distributed in many European cities, including Wroclaw, Prague, Heidelberg, Kraków, and Pisa. The beer was offered in pubs.
In 1526, all of Silesia, including Schweidnitz, came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. The city of Schweidnitz was in the surrounding Duchy of Schweidnitz. The Thirty Years' War (1618–48) ravaged the Duchy. The town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the First Silesian War. It was subsequently turned into a fortress. Schweidnitz became part of the Prussian-led German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany.
The town was placed under Polish administration according to the post-war Potsdam Conference in 1945 and renamed Świdnica. The German population who had not fled during the war were subsequently expelled westward and replaced with Poles, many of whom had been expelled themselves from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
The Gothic Church of Ss. Stanislav and Vaclav from the 14th century has the highest tower in Silesia, standing 103 meters tall.
The Evangelical Church of Peace, a UNESCO Heritage site, was built from 1656–57.
The 16th century town hall has been renovated numerous times and combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements. The Baroque Church of St. Joseph and the Church of St. Christopher are from the same era. One remaining element of the former defensive works is the Chapel of St. Barbara. Other sights include the old town square.
One of the notable residents of Świdnica (at that time German Schweidnitz) was Manfred von Richthofen (1892–1918), World War I ace known as "The Red Baron".
The Church of Peace in Świdnica in Silesia was named after the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 which permitted the Lutherans in the Roman Catholic parts of Silesia to build three Evangelical churches from wood, loam and straw outside the city walls, without steeples and church bells. The construction time was limited to one year. Since 2001, the two remaining churches, one of them in Świdnica, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
April 4th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Białowieża (Белавежа in Belarussian) is a village in Poland, in Podlaskie Voivodeship, in the middle of Białowieża Forest, of which it is a namesake. The population of the settlement is 2000 (2002).
Before 1426 a wooden hunting manor for Polish king Władysław Jagiełło was built in the middle of the Białowieża Forest on the Lutownia stream. It was most probably one of the first permanent settlements in the area, although the forest was already penetrated by hunters from the nearby areas and by the king himself who used to hunt there. The wooden manor was painted in white and became the namesake both for the future village and the forest (Białowieża means White Tower in Polish).
From 1538 the forest was protected by the laws of Polish king Sigismund I the Old. However, until the times of John Casimir the forest was mostly unpopulated. Sporadic settlements were established in various places, but the manor in Białowieża was the only one to be permanent. In the late 17th century, several small villages were started for development of local iron ore deposits and tar production. The villages were populated with settlers from Masovia and Podlachia and many of them still exist.
After the Partitions of Poland the local population was turned into serfs and Białowieża quickly depopulated. Tsar Alexander I reintroduced the reserve in 1801 and hired a small amount of peasants for protection of the animals. Most of them were settled in the administrative centre of the area - Białowieża. However, since most of the foresters took part in the November Uprising (500 out of 502 in total), their posts were abolished and protection was again harmed. Yet again the village of Białowieża ceased to exist. Protection was reintroduced in 1860 and the village was repopulated with Russians.
During World War I most of the local Russian population fled before the advancing German army which seized the area in August 1915. The Germans built a lumber mill in Białowieża and connected it with railway to the nearby town of Hajnówka. However, the village did not recover until 1921 when the Białowieża National Park was established. The village became the administrative centre of the Park and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the area. Following Polish-Soviet War, Bialowieza returned to Poland.
During the World War II after the joint German and Soviet attack on Poland, the area came under Soviet occupation. In 1939 and 1940 most of the local inhabitants were arrested and sent to gulags. They were replaced with Russian forest workers, but in 1941 the forest came under German occupation and the Russian inhabitants were also deported. Hermann Göring planned to create the biggest hunting reserve in the world there, but those plans were never realized. After July 1941, the forest became a refuge for both Polish and Soviet partisans. German authorities organized mass executions of people suspected of aiding the resistance. In July 1944 the area was captured by the Red Army. The withdrawing Wehrmacht blew up the historic Białowieża hunting manor.
After the war Białowieża yet again recovered and became the centre of the re-established National Park in 1947. Nowadays it is one of the least populated areas in Poland, while at the same time it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Eastern part of the country with almost 100,000 visitors every year. The Reserve was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992 and internationally recognised as a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme in 1993.
Białowieża Forest (UNESCO)
Białowieża Forest (Belavezhskaya Pushcha, (Belarusian: Белавежская пушча) in Belarus, Puszcza Białowieska in Poland, is an ancient woodland straddling the border between Belarus and Poland. It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest which once spread across the European Plain.
The border between the two countries runs through the forest and is closed for large animals and tourists for the time being. The forest is home to 800 wisent, the continent's heaviest land animals.
On the Polish side, in the Białowieża National Park, the territory is partly protected as Białowieski Park Narodowy (Białowieża National Park), with general area of about 100 km2 (39 sq mi).
April 4th, 2010, 04:46 PM
Bytom Odrzański (Битом-Оджанський)
Bytom Odrzański (German: Beuthen an der Oder) is a town in Poland, in Lubuskie Voivodeship, on the Oder River. It has about 4,400 inhabitants.
Bytom arose from a medieval fortress (castellany) on a ford crossing the Oder, held by the Polish Silesian Piasts. In 1157 it was devastated by the troops of the Polish high duke Bolesław IV the Curly during his inheritance conflict with the sons of his elder brother Władysław II the Exile and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The parish church was a filial of the Cistercian Abbatia Lubensis abbey, the settlement itself was granted town privileges in 1263.
In 1561 the estates were acquired by the Protestant Schoenaich noble family, whose scion Georg von Schoenaich established a humanist Gymnasium academicum school here in 1601. Together with neighbouring Siedlisko (Carolath) Bytom was raised to the status of a state country by decree of Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg in 1697.
April 5th, 2010, 09:44 AM
Niedzica is a resort town in Nowy Targ County in Lesser Poland, Poland located on the banks of Czorsztyn lake. It is famous for Niedzica Castle, also known as Dunajec Castle, an important centre of Polish-Hungarian relations built between the years 1320 and 1326 on foundations of a prehistoric roost.
The castle was an important centre of Polish-Hungarian relations since the 14th century. It was a place where the money lent by the Polish king to the Hungarian king Sigismund had to be returned following an agreement signed in 1412. Once the loan was paid back, the Polish king returned the 16 Spiš towns given to him by Sigismund as collateral. For centuries the castle was a border-post with Hungary. At the time of the Turkish invasion five hundred years ago, a deal was struck at Niedzica to make it a Polish protectorate. However, the owners of the castle remained Hungarian right up until the middle of the Second World War.
The castle was built by a Hungarian known as Kokos from Brezovica with family rights dating back to 1325. In 1470 it became the property of the aristocratic Zápolya family. However, in 1528, the entire county including the castle was given away by John Zápolya aspiring to the Hungarian throne, and became the property of Viliam Drugeth who received it as a reward for his support. Sixty years later it became the property of Hieronim Łaski and his son Olbracht. At the end of the 16th century the castle was bought by Ján Horváth from Plaveč. The fortress was renovated many times in the fifteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth and in the beginning of the 19th century by its successive owners. The last Hungarian inhabitants remained there until in 1943 when the coming of the front in World War II inspired the Salomon family to abandon it. The last countess left with her children two years before the Red Army marched in. The final reconstruction of the castle was completed in 1963 under the supervision of the Polish Ministry of Culture. It has served as a historical museum ever since.
Before the Czorsztyn reservoir was built, the castle had a very Dracula-like setting, perched high on a wall above the Dunajec River. It was a place rich in tales and legends with some of the former residents resembling characters from gothic novels. In the post-World War II period Polish newspapers wrote at length about Sebastián Berzeviczy (one of Niedzica's owners) who traveled to the New World in the 18th century.
According to a popular legend, he fell in love with the alleged Inca princess. Their daughter Umina married the nephew of an Inca insurrection leader Túpac Amaru II, whose assumed name implied descent from Inca kings. Túpac Amaru was eventually executed by the Spaniards after rebelling against the colonial government. The legend goes on to claim that the sacred scrolls of the Incas had been handed down to his surviving family members. His nephew, Andrés Túpac Amaru a.k.a. Andreas with wife Umina and his father-in-law Sebastián Berzeviczy fled to Italy, where Andrés was killed in suspicious circumstances. Consequently, Umina with son and her father fled to Hungary and settled at the castle. Sources claim that Umina was assassinated there some time later. Her testament to son Anton, written in 1797 and stored there, allegedly contained information about the lost treasure of the Incas.There was a leaden case found at the castle with some “quipu” writings, but it was lost in Kraków in the following years. Later, news appeared about expeditions searching for fantastic treasures at Lake Titicaca in Peru. The notion that the Inca treasure map could be hidden somewhere in the depths of the castle is still cherished today.
Other tales follow the exploits of a motley crew of the castle's other former owners. They include stories of counts and jesters who tortured village folk, stabbed priests and misbehaved. The less grisly world of modern day Niedzica includes a pleasant restaurant just below the castle — a fine place for a break from the trek. Above the road, an 18th century wooden barn houses a charming museum of Spisz folklore.
Nearby Czorsztyn castle
The Czorsztyn castle was once a Polish border fortress.
The oldest parts of the castle come from XIII century.
First mentions about “castrum Wronyn” come from this period. The name “Czorsztyn” appears in the middle of XIV century. During the period of Polish king Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki) circumferential walls were built and in the XV century the lower castle and a gateway. In the XVII century, Jan Baranowski, a starost, renovated the castle and added two new towers.
Thanks to its location along a historical trade route, the castle has a rich history.
It was visited by many famous people, including kings. Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki), Louis of Hungary (Ludwik Węgierski), Jadwiga of Angevin (Królowa Jawiga), Ladislaus Jagiello (Władysław Jagiełło) (Zawisza the Black was a starost then ) and Ladislaus of Varna (Władysław Warneńczyk) stayed there. Hussites, John Casimir fleeing the Swedes, insurgents of Kostka Napierski, cossacks and confederates were seeking refuge here.
The castle was also a residence of fameous Polish knight Zawisza Czarny (Zawisza the Black), also known as The Black Knight. He was a winner of many tournaments, a symbol of a knight and a model of all knightly virtues. In 1410 he took part in the battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Order.
An exhibition providing the information on the castle's history and its surrounding is being displayed in two rooms.
From the ruins of the Czorsztyn castle, on a good day, one can clearly see the Tatra Highlands.
April 5th, 2010, 11:05 PM
Bolesławiec (German: Bunzlau) is a town on the Bóbr river in southwestern Poland with 40,837 inhabitants (2006).
Bolesławiec in Lower Silesia was first mentioned in 1201; according to tradition its citizens took part in the Battle of Legnica during the Mongol invasion of Poland in 1241. After that a renewed city with walls and fortifications was established, that from 1297 belonged to the Silesian Duchy of Jawor. The city seal, still used today, was first used in 1316. In 1346 Bolesławiec was inherited by Duke from Polish Piasty dynasty Bolko II the Small of Świdnica and upon his death in 1368 fell to the Imperial Kingdom of Bohemia under Charles IV of Luxembourg. It was again heavily destroyed during the Hussite Wars in 1429. After that a double city wall was erected from 1479 on.
With the majority of burghers in 1522 becoming Protestant early on, Bolesławiec became an important center of the Reformation. The Renaissance town hall was rebuilt by Wendel Roskopf in 1525 and at the same time the construction of a sewerage system was started; an unusual and difficult undertaking, that was finished in 1565 and it was the first canalisation system in Central Europe. In 1558 the first apothecary was established.
After World War II one of the biggest Soviet Red Army contingents was stationed in Bolesławiec until its withdrawal from Poland in 1992.
April 6th, 2010, 12:17 PM
Chojnice is a town in northern Poland with 39 670 inhabitants (2004), near famous Tuchola Forest, Lake Charzykowskie and many other water reservoirs.
Duchy of Pomerelia or Eastern Pomerania
Around 1230 - Konitz (Chojnice) founded by Hermann von Balk († 1239), German knight of the Teutonic Order 1275 – first notice of Chojnice / Konitz in documents.
Teutonic Order 1309 - 1466
1309 – German Teutonic Order rule: Eastern Pomerania (often known as Pomerelia), became much absorbed into the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights 1340 - 1360 church Hl. Johannes Täufer; 14th century walls and 22 towers being erected by the Teutonic Order 1410 – Polish army occupies the town but has to return it to the Order according to the Treaty of Thorn 1417-1436 Konitz becomes an important centre for textile production 18.09.1454 – Polish army of King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk loses the Battle of Chojnice 28.09.1466 – Teutonic Order has to surrender Chojnice to the Polish army, after three month siege.
Poland 1466 - 1772
19.10.1466 Chojnice being annexed by Poland according to the 2nd Treaty of Thorn 1555 – city council accepts reformation officially, the Protestants take over the church, the Roman Catholic priest Jan Siński dies in the following turmoil 1620 – the Jesuits fight the reformation movement 10.04.1627 - town burns 18.12.1657 - town burns 1655 - 1660 war against Sweden, see Battle of Chojnice (1656) 1700 - 1721 war 15.04.1742 - town burns third time.
Prussia 1772 - 1871
12.09.1772 – Konitz/Chojnice becomes Prussian / First partition of Poland 1864 - telegraph to Stettin
German Empire 1871- 1920
15.11.1871 – railway to Schneidemühl (Piła) 1870 – Gas power plant 1873 - railway to Dirschau (Tczew) 1877 – railway to Stettin 1886 – hospital 1894 – railway to Nakel (Nakło) 1900 – water supply system and electricity power plant 1902 – railway to Berent (Kościerzyna) 1900-1902 Konitz ritual murder case & antisemitic pogrom 1909 – used water system 1912 – ,,Gazeta Chojnicka" first Polish language newspaper in town
31.01.1920 – Polish troops enter the town according to the Treaty of Versailles, town being renamed Chojnice 06.08.1932 – regional museum Chojnice
Third Reich 1939 - 1945 (Reichsgau Westpreußen)
01.09.1939 – 4.45 o´clock German Wehrmacht occupies Chojnice, town renamed Konitz (see Battle of Chojnice (1939)) 15.09.1939 – execution of Poles in the city forest (Stadtwald).
14.02.1945 – Red Army occupies the town, 800 soldiers die, town centre heavily damaged (45%). reconstruction by Polish authorities follows.
and something interesting - revitalized commie block :
April 6th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Chełm is a city in eastern Poland with 67,702 inhabitants (2007).
The city houses numerous notable historical monuments and tourist attractions. In Jewish humor, the town is the legendary capital of foolishness.
Chełm gives its name to the protected area known as Chełm Landscape Park, which lies to the north and east of the city.
The first traces of settlement in the area of modern Chełm date back to at least 9th century. The following century a Slavic fortified town was created there and initially served as a centre of pagan worship. The etymology of the name is unclear, though most scholars derive it from the Slavic root helm or holm denoting a flat hill. In fact the town's centre is located atop of such hill called góra chełmska in modern times. However, there are also theories deriving the name from some Celtic root. In 981 the town, then inhabited by the Eastern Slavic tribe of Buzhans, was made a part of Kievan Rus', along with the surrounding Cherven Towns. According to a local legend, it was Vladimir the Great to build the first stone castle there in 1001. Following the Polish capture of Kiev in 1018 the region was made part of Poland, but returned under Kievan rule in 1031.
In 1235 Danylo Romanovych of Halych granted the town a city charter and moved the capital of his domain there. He also built a new castle atop the hill in 1240 and created an Orthodox bishopric there (now the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary). Until 14th century the town developed as part of that state and then as part of the short-lived Princedom of Chełm and Bełz. In 1366 king Casimir III annexed the region to Poland and created a Catholic bishopric there. On 4 January 1392 the town was relocated and Magdeburg Law was granted with vast internal autonomy.
Throughout the ages, the town was the capital of a historical region of the Land of Chełm, administratively a part of the Ruthenian Voivodeship with the capital in Lviv. The city prospered in the 15th and 16th centuries, then declined in the 17th century due to the wars which ravaged Poland at the time. In the 18th century the situation in eastern Poland was stabilized and the town started to slowly recover from the damages suffered during The Deluge and the Khmelnytsky's uprising. It attracted a number of new settlers from all parts of Poland, including people of Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish faiths. In 1794 the Chełm Voivodeship was established. However, later that year Kościuszko's Uprising started, and Chełm became one of the first towns to join it. In the effect of the battle of Chełm of 8 June 1794, in which the forces of Gen. Józef Zajączek were defeated by the Russians under Gen. Derfelden, Valerian Zubov and Boris Lacy, the town was yet again sacked by the assaulting armies. The following year, as a result of the Third Partition of Poland, the town was annexed by Austria.
During the Napoleonic Wars in 1809, in the effect of the Polish-Austrian War, the town was briefly attached to the Duchy of Warsaw. However, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 awarded it to Imperial Russia. The town entered a period of decline as the local administrative and religious offices (including the bishopric) were moved to Lublin. In mid-19th century the Russian Army turned the town into a strong garrison, which made the Russian soldiers a significant part of the population. The period of decline ended in 1866, when the town was connected to a new rail road. In 1875 the Uniate bishopric was liquidated by the Russian authorities and all of the local Uniates were forcibly converted to the Russian Orthodox Church. In the late 19th century the local administrative offices were restored and in 1912 a local gubernia was created.
In 1918, following World War I, the town was incorporated into a restored Polish state.
n 1921: out of a total population of 23,221 there were 1,369 Orthodox Christians (Ukrainian and Belarusians), 9,492 Roman Catholics (Poles), 12,064 Jews, and 207 Lutherans (Germans).
Chełm Chalk Tunnels
The digging of tunnels for chalk extraction began in the Middle Ages and was discontinued in the 19th century. A part of the system is now open for tourists. In total, the network of tunnels stretches for around 15 kilometres.
April 6th, 2010, 11:33 PM
Wejherowo (Kashubian: Wejrowň, German: Neustadt in Westpreußen) is a town in Gdańsk Pomerania, northern Poland, with 47,000 inhabitants.
Wejherowo was founded in 1643 as Wola Wejherowska, by the voivode of the Malbork Voivodeship, Jakub Wejher, with the consent of King Władysław IV Vasa of Poland. Wejher, who was saved during the Smolensk War, built two churches in the new settlement (The Holy Trinity and Saint Ann). He also brought in Franciscan Fathers, built a monastery, and founded the Calvary of Wejherowo, consisting of 26 chapels.
After the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, administered within the new province of West Prussia, and had its name in German changed from Weihersfrei to Neustadt in Westpreußen ("new town in West Prussia").
The town became part of the Second Polish Republic in 1920 in the aftermath of World War I. Wejherowo was the capital of Wejherowo County in Pomeranian Voivodeship, becoming a headquarters of state administration responsible for maritime economy. After the invasion of Poland beginning World War II, Wejherowo was annexed into Nazi Germany as part of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. Most of the town's Jewish community was murdered by the Nazis during the war, while many local Poles were also victims of the Nazi extermination policy. The nearby village of Piaśnica Wielka was the site of a mass murder where about 12,000 Poles were shot in 1939. Wejherowo was restored to Poland after the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
There is here the Museum of Kashubian and Pomeranian Writing and Music.
April 7th, 2010, 10:59 AM
Żyrardów is a town in central Poland with 41,400 inhabitants (2006).
It is situated in the Masovian Voivodship (since 1999), Żyrardów is located on the Pisia Gągolina river.
Founded by the Łubienski brothers as a textile factory in 1833. One of directors of the factory was French inventor Philippe de Girard (from Lourmarin). The town developed during the 19th century into a significant textile mill city in Poland. In honour of Girard, Ruda Guzowska was renamed to Żyrardów, a toponym derived of the polonised spelling of Girard's name. On September 13, 1939 Nazis captured the town. In 1941 they transported Jews into Warsaw ghetto. The town museum is nowadays located in the former palace of owner of factory K. Dittrich.
Most of Żyrardów's monuments are placed in manufacturing's settlement which is from 19th and 20th's century beginning.
It's widely believed that Żyrardów's settlement is single saved in Europe as a whole urbanist complex from 19th c. industrial town.
April 8th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Leszno is a town in central Poland with 63,955 habitants (2008).
Leszno was first mentioned in historical documents in 1393. The settlement was then the property of Stefan z Karnina of Clan Wieniawa. The family adopted the surname of Leszczyński from the name of their estate according to the medieval custom of the Polish nobility.
In the early 16th century a community of Protestant Unity of the Brethren refugees from Bohemia settled in Leszno invited by the Leszczyński family, who were since 1473 imperial counts and had converted to Calvinism. The arrival of the Bohemian Protestants as well as weavers from nearby Silesia helped the settlement to grow and made it possible to became a town in 1547 by a privilege given by King Sigismund I the Old.
Leszno was also the biggest printing center in Greater Poland thanks to the activity of the Protestant community, whose number increased because of inflow of German refugees from Silesia during the Thirty Years War. At the time it already had a Gymnasium school led for a period by Jan Amos Komenský (known in English as Comenius), a Bohemian educator who was a bishop of the Unity of the Brethren.
From 1638 to his death in 1647, Johann Heermann, a German-speaking poet, lived in Leszno. Between 1736 and 1639 the town became fortified and its area increased. The golden era of Leszno ended with a large fire in 1655. During the Great Northern War the town was burned again in 1707 and had a plague in 1709. The Leszczyński family owned the city until 1738 when king Stanisław Leszczyński sold it after he abdicated for the second time.
During the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, Leszno was annexed by Prussia and became part of Province of Posen as Lissa. The town took part in the Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919) and was returned to Poland by the Treaty of Versailles on 1920 January 17. The town was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1939. The Polish population was resettled to the General Government. Most of the town's Jewish population (which in its history included such famous rabbis as Leo Baeck and Jacob of Lissa as well as the Polish-Jewish writer Ludwig Kalisch) and remaining Poles were murdered by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen.
The town returned to Poland in 1945. After the war, the city underwent a period of fast development especially between 1975 and 1998 when it was a seat of a voivodeship administrative area. In 2000 the city was awarded "The Golden Star of Town Twinning" prize by the European Commission.
There are numerous tourist attractions in Leszno and the whole Leszno region such as: castles, palaces, manor houses, historical churches and windmills. The most outstanding historical buildings are: the townhall and St. Nicholas’ church in Leszno, the castle in Rydzyna, the palace in Pawłowice, the Sanctuary in Gostyń, the Benedictine monastery complex in Lubiń and the windmill in Rydzyna.
April 8th, 2010, 06:00 PM
The earliest historic referent about Kowary dates back to 1148. It was about Walloon Laurentius Angelus who found iron ore near hill Rudnik in Rudawy Janowickie Mountains. Ten years later, Polish duke Bolesław IV the Curly, ordered to mine iron in those parts of his realm.
Reference of Schmiedeberg (Germanized name of Kowary) dates back to 1355, when the region was made arable by German peasants. In this year Duke Bolko II the Small, the last independent Silesian Piast, granted mining privileges to the local miners.
Since 1401 the village belonged to the possessions of the Schaffgotsch family. As a mining center Schmiedeberg received several privileges and was seat of a Vogt since 1368. A accord with Hirschberg (Jelenia Gora) in 1454 elevated Schmiedeberg above the status of a village, it wasn't until 1513 however that Casper Schaffgotsch acquired the municipal law from Bohemias king Vladislas II against the opposition of Hirschberg. Mining flourished until the Thirty Years' War, when the town was destroyed in 1633. After the war veil weaving became more and more important for Schmiedeberg, whereas mining dimished. In the early 18th century the town became one of the biggest veil trading places in Silesia with trade relations to Bohemia, Italy, Spain, Russia and North America. When Prussia annexed Silesia in 1742 a economic decline followed. Aid by the Prussian king, the settling of Saxon damask weavers, couldn't stop the downturn. Only the Industrialisation, beginning around 1850, led to a recovery of the local economy. In 1882 Schmiedeberg received a rail connection to Hirschberg, which further strengthened the economy.
Schmiedeberg, belonging to the duchy of Schweidnitz-Jauer (Swidnca-Jawor), remained in possession of the Schaffgotsch family until 1634. In the 16th century the population adopted the Protestant faith. When Hans Ulrich of Schaffgotsch was arrested as a follower of Wallenstein the town came under Imperial custody. In 1639 the emperor sold the town to Bohemian count Hermann of Czernin, which kept Schmiedeberg until Prussias takeover of Silesia. Frederick II. immediately sold the possessions to the town, which thereby became souvereign.
After the Peace of Westphalia the Counter-Reformation was executed also in Schmiedeberg. The Protestant could now practice their faith only at the church of peace in Jauer (Jawor) and later in Hirschberg and Landeshut (Kamienna Góra). After Prussia annexed Silesia the Portestants received their own church (Bethaus).
After World War II Silesia became part of Poland and the German population fled or was expelled westwards, the town was resettled by the Poles and renamed back to Kowary. As of 2006, the town had a population of 11,824.
Uranium deposits in Poland are located only in the west in the Sudetic mountains. There, polymetal ore deposits formed in large complexes of metamorphous rocks.
The story of the Kowary Drifts actually begins with the Walloons who arrived here in the Middle Ages. Thanks to their tools and knowledge they were able to locate valuable deposits of minerals, and extract them from the earth.
Several centuries later the Germans showed a renewed interest in the Kowary mines. At the beginning of the 20th century they began searching for - and extracting Uranium.
In 1945, the Soviets opened the Kowary uranium mine. Ore was exported irregu-larly to the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1950, then regularly until 1954. The deposits were mined out by the end of the 1970's.
Everything concerning uranium was "top secret". Soviet, and a few Polish, "experts" and secret police were the only ones with access to information. Diseases were kept secret by false registration and diagnosis, although the relation between health problems and work in the mines was known.
The uranium mine at Kowary was important in the production of the first Russian atomic bombs.
Since 2000 the mine can be visited by tourists. The touristic route is about 1.2 kilometres long and you will walk through galeries, chambers and caves.
Nowadays the mine is used for radon-therapy.
April 9th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Szczecinek (German: Neustettin; Kashubian: Nowé Sztetëno; Swedish: Nien Stettin; Latin: Nova Stetin is the one of biggest towns of West Pomeranian Voivodeship (northwestern Poland). In 2007 the urban area had a population of 39,777.
In 1310, the castle and town was founded under Lübeck law by Duke Wartislaw IV of Pomerania-Wolgast and modelled after the city of Stettin (now Szczecin) situated about 150 km to the west. The initial name was "Neustettin" ("New Stettin"). It was also known as "Klein Stettin" ("Little Stettin"). In 1707, Polish exonyms were Nowoszczecin and Mały Szczecin, which gradually developed into the modern name Szczecinek which replaced the "Neustettin" as the city's official name after the town became Polish in 1945.
The town was fortified to face the Brandenburgers, with a wall and palisades. In 1356 Neustettin was hit by the plague. Thankful for their survival, the Dukes Bogislaw V, Barnim IV and Wartislaw V founded the Augustine monastery called Marienthron, on the Mönchsberg on the southern bank of lake Streizigsee (nowadays Trzesicko Lake). Under Duke Wartislaw VII Neustettin was from 1376 to 1395 seat of his Duchy. Afterwards, it was ruled by Pommeranian Duchy Rügenwalde (until 1418), Wolgast ( until 1474) and Stettin (until 1618).
On 15 September 1423, the "great day of Neustettin", the Pomeranian dukes, the Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order and Nordic king Eric VII of Denmark met to discuss defense against the treaty of Brandenburg and Poland. In 1461 Neustettin was sacked, looted and burned by Polish troops and Tatars because King Casimir IV wanted to take revenge on Eric II of Pomerania-Wolgast who supported the Teutonic Knights.
In1648 at the end of the Thirty Years War Neustettin became a part of Brandenburg- Prussia, and in 1701 under the crown of the Kingdom of Prussia.
In 1945, the Red Army occupied the town and placed it under Polish, Soviet controlled communist administration. The German population fled or was expelled and the town was resettled with Poles many of whom were expelled from Eastern Poland annexed in 1945 by the Soviet Union.
April 9th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Żnin is a small town in Poland with a population of 14,558 (June 2005). It is in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. The town is situated in the historic land of Pałuki and the Gniezno Lake Area on the river Gąsawka.
The name originates from the Polish word "żnieja", meaning harvest or a harvester.
The area was known in Roman times, especially the nearby fortification of Biskupin, a Lausitz culture site known as the "Polish Pompeii". Biskupin was an early Iron Age Hallstatt C fortified settlement of about 800-1000 people in the Warta River valley ca. 2700 BC.
By 1030 the area was included within the Archbishopric of Gniezno. The first mention of Żnin is in the Gniezno papal bull issued on 7 July 1136 by Pope Innocent II. The pope granted Archbishop Jacob of Żnin 29 villages in Pałuki and the town of Żnin, which also became property of the Roman Catholic Church.
Żnin was given town rights in 1263 (based on Magdeburg law). In the 13th century the town was given the right of coinage which resulted in its dynamic expansion. Żnin was a major town located on the trade route from Silesia to Gdańsk (the Amber Road). The Teutonic Knights, under command of the Order's Marshal Dietrich von Altenburg, sacked Żnin in 1331. After a few years, the town was rebuilt.
City walls were constructed in 1343. King Casimir the Great of Poland confirmed several privileges and duties to the city and visited it in 1343, 1361, 1365, and 1370. Żnin became a favourite residence of the Gniezno bishops in 1374. In 1447 fire destroyed large parts of the town. In the rebuilt town in 1459, the first wind-mill was constructed, while breweries, orchards, and workshops increased Żnin's prosperity. Another fire destroyed the town in 1494.
Swedish invaders did not attack Żnin during the Deluge (1655–60), but disease and poverty depopulated the town; only 96 building were occupied and 151 buildings were left empty. By 1673 Żnin had 2,331 inhabitants. Fires again damaged Żnin in 1688, 1692, and 1700. People abandoned the town, searching quarters in other nearby towns and villages. After a partial reconstruction, another fire in 1751 destroyed 64 houses, the brewery and the town hall. Only the city-hall tower remained. The medieval part of Żnin constructed of wood was totally destroyed. However, tourists can still admire the historic centre of Żnin and its old structure dating back to the Middle Ages.
Żnin was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772 during the First Partition of Poland and subsequently administered within the Netze District. In September 1794 during the unsuccessful Kościuszko Uprising, Polish forces under General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, passed Gąsawa from Poznań and liberated Żnin. The local garrison commander, Colonel Keszycki, established a recruitment center for volunteers in the town.
After Napoleon's defeat of Prussia in the War of the Fourth Coalition, Żnin was included in the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807. The town was restored to Prussia in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon and administered within Kreis Schubin within the new Province of Posen. Żnin's economy developed rapidly by the end of the 19th century. By 1902, the town had fresh water pipe lines, gas works, macadam streets, and 4,500 inhabitants.
Żnin participated in the Greater Poland Uprising in January 1919 after World War I. At the time there was a garrison of 300 German soldiers in the city under Sub. Lt. Eckert. The Polish insurgents, supported by a cavalry unit from Gniezno, kept the Germans busy until another unit of 737 came from Poznań and liberated Żnin on 18 January. A new town council was elected and Polish was re-established as the official language. The city had 4,980 inhabitants. The German minority, no longer part of the occupying force, was given the option to move to Weimar Germany in 1920, while those who remained could become citizens of the Second Polish Republic.
In 1930 during the interwar era the growing town had 5,500 inhabitants. The processing plants increased their output and agriculture flourished. Żnin had two colleges, three hotels, and, since 1936, a local daily and a weekly newspaper. The county office and court of justice were located in the town.
On 1 September 1939, the first day of World War II, Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe bombed undefended Żnin. Nine days later, German troops marched into the town, which was renamed Dietfurt and administered within Landkreis Dietfurt (Wartheland). All street names were replaced by names of Nazi leaders or German sounding names. There was no school for the Poles; children had to walk to Góra, a village east of Żnin. 600 Poles were deported, with 200 taken to forced labour or Nazi concentration camps. In November and December 1939, hostages, mainly insurgents of 1919, were shot at different places around the town. After the war, on 21 October 1945, a mass re-burial of 62 exhumed victims was held in Gąsawa. In the village Góra (now part of Żnin), a solemn burial of 100 Jewish citizens, killed in the nearby concentration camp Murczyn, was held and a monument created by Żnin craftsmen was unveiled on 11 December 1987.
Wenecja (Polish for Venice) is a village in north-central Poland. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) south-east of Żnin and 38 km (24 mi) south-west of Bydgoszcz. The village has a population of 300.
Its picturesque location among three lakes (Biskupinskie, Weneckie, Skrzynka) resulted in its name alluding to the location of Italian Venice. The village, called "the pearl of Pałuki", is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Pałuki region. Wenecja is located on the line of the narrow gauge railway running from the town of Żnin to famous Biskupin and further on to Gąsawa. The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum and the ruins of the 14th century castle attract thousands of tourists
In summer, the 19th century train operates between Znin and Gasawa passing through Biskupin and Wenecja.
April 9th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Wieluń is a city in central Poland with 24,347 inhabitants.
The City and Province of Wieluń have a long and interesting history. The traits of early settlements reach back to the 8th century BC. The first administrative center with a church – Ruda – was mentioned by the first Polish historian – Gall Anonym in 1106.
In the early Middle Ages, the town seated a Castellan. According to a medieval legend, Wieluń was founded in 1217 when Władyslaw Odonic, Duke of Greater-Poland spotted a deer and a God’s Sheep over it while hunting in the area. In that very spot, Władysław was said to have had a chapel erected. Around this little church, a settlement started to develop, and its name was taken from the deer hunting, but more precisely from an Old Slavonic word for boggy meadows – vel.
In 1281, Henryk IV, Duke of Silesia moved the seat of a Castellan to Wieluń. In a document signed by Przemysł II of 1283, Wieluń is already mentioned as a city. The development of the city was fostered by its location on crossing of commercial routes from Moravia to Kujawy, and from Wrocław to Kijev, and from Little-Poland to Greater-Poland. During regional disintegration of Kingdom of Poland, the Province of Wieluń was a part of the Senior Duchy. Later it was ruled by Dukes of Calisia, Greater-Poland and Silesia interchangeably.
During the reign of Kazimierz the Great, King of Poland, the city was protected by fortified walls, ramparts, moats and a castle. Soon after, the province becomes a dominion of Władysław, Duke of Opole who made it a Duchy (Wieluń Duchy 1370-1391), brought in the Pauline Order and minted his own currency – a denary with an eagle and Wieluń city coat of arms accompanied by inscription “MONETA WELVNES”. Polish King, Władysław Jagiełło had to use armed forces to return the Province to Kingdom.
The knights of Wieluń Province took part in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, fighting the Teutonic Order Knights under their own battle flag (which was a great honour at the times) – the present City Flag is a remnant of the original Grunwald Battle Flag. In 1419, Archbishop of Gniezno, Mikołaj Trąba moved the Parish from Ruda to Wieluń, and five years later King Jagiełło issued “Wieluń Edict” against the Hussite Brothers.
During the reign of the Jagiełło Dynasty, the City of Wieluń thrives – the 16th century is considered to be its peak development in the entire history of the city. Both trade and handicraft developed dynamically then. There was a Town Hall in the middle of the Old Market Square surrounded by merchants’ and guildsmen townhouses.
During the reign of Zygmunt August, Wieluń was considered to be one of the prettiest towns in Poland. Many Wieluń citizens studied at the first Polish university – Krakowska Academy. The City had its own theater group. Hieronim Spiczyński was born here, called “Hieronim of Wieluń” – the first translator of parts of Holy Scripture from Latin into Polish to be published in printing. After defeat of Byczyna in 1588, Maximilian Habsburg was a prisoner of war and was kept in the Wieluń castle. In the first half of the 17th century, new churches and monasteries were erected: The Sisters of Bernardine and The Franciscan Brothers. The rapid development of Wieluń was halted by fires and epidemics, but first of all by the Swedish Conquest of Poland, when the city was totally burnt and many inhabitants were slaughtered.
Some signs of revival including development of the Pijar Academy were again halted by fires demolishing town in years 1791-1795. After the Second Partition of Poland, the Province of Wieluń was under Prussian occupation. Wieluń citizens supported the Kościuszko Uprising issuing an Act of Joining the Insurrection and setting up military administration. In 1807-1815, the Province was a part of The Duchy of Warsaw, and from 1816 it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland that was under absolute Russian rule. In the 19th century, the City again started to slowly rise from the fall: a clothing manufacture started operation, a modern hospital together with a new town hall were built, a new classical palace was erected on the foundations of a former Piast Castle, a Synagogue and an Orthodox church were built. However, a strong garrison of occupational Russian army was stationed in the city. During the January Uprising (1863-64), Polish troops fighting for freedom operated also in the Wieluń area. The city inhabitants frequently witnessed executions of freedom fighters. A fire brigade started operation in 1877. And in 1893, an Industrial Bank, one of the first in the Kingdom of Poland was established. In 1912, a sugar factory was constructed. In free Poland after the end of First World War (1919), the Province of Wieluń was incorporated into Łódź Voivodship. Wieluń gained rail connection with Silesia and Greater-Poland. At that time about 30% of all inhabitants were Jewish.
The Second World War brought about the most tragic events in the history of the city.
The bombing of Wieluń refers to the indiscriminate bombing of the Polish town of Wieluń by the German Luftwaffe on 1 September 1939, five minutes before the shelling of Westerplatte, which has traditionally been considered the beginning of World War II. The bombing of Wielun is considered as one of the first terror bombings in history and first in this war. German carpet bombing killed an estimated 1300 civilians, injured hundreds more and destroyed 75% per of the town centre. It is widely acknowledged that there were no targets of any importance in the area such as military installations or industrial facilities. The casualty rate was more than twice as high as Guernica.
The widely acknowledged by the majority of historians and official version of the events is that there were no military or industrial targets of note in the area, except for a small sugar factory in the outskirts of the town. German bombers destroyed 90% of the town center (including the historical gothic church) and killed approximately 1,200 civilians, about 8% of the town's population of 15,000. Approximately 75% of all the buildings in Wieluń were destroyed. Among the first targets bombed by the Germans was the hospital (despite a huge Red Cross sign painted on the roof). The undefended town of was captured by the German Army on day one.
April 9th, 2010, 02:00 PM
All Poland here + some others countries .
Poland is very beautiful, you can see that from page 1 - 22 :
April 9th, 2010, 04:21 PM
All Poland here + some others countries .
Poland is very beautiful, you can see that from page 1 - 22 :
Thank you for the link - heheheheeh :cheers:
Most of the pic in that thread was posted by me ;)
April 10th, 2010, 01:10 AM
April 10th, 2010, 01:12 AM
April 10th, 2010, 01:47 AM
Pszczyna is a town in southern Poland with 26,827 inhabitants (2003) within the immediate gmina rising to 50,121 inhabitants/
The history of Pszczyna is intertwined with the history of the Polish Piast dynasty and their local residence, the 12th century castle palace now a site of the Muzeum Zamkowe (Castle Museum) at the main square.
Early in the 12th century, Pszczyna laid within the territory of the Polish Piast dynasty. The city belonged to Lesser Poland (Małopolska) until 1177, when it became part of the Duchy of Racibórz. From this time on, it was also a part of the Kraków bishopric.
In 1336, the main line of the dukes of Racibórz died out and the Duchy was ruled by the Czech Přemyslid dynasty. From 1412 until 1452, Countess Helena, sister of Jogaila, ruled the Duchy. After her stepdaughter governed from 1452 until 1462, the Podebradies took over. The Thurzó family acquired the Duchy and sold it, with the approval of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1548 to the Promnitz family, who ruled the Duchy until 1765; it was inherited from them by the Dukes of Anhalt-Cöthen-Pless, and in 1846 by the Counts of Hochberg.
The city is first mentioned in a document from 1327, as most probably founded in the late 13th century on the trade route from Kraków to Cieszyn. The city was famed for its fish, mostly carp, exported to Kraków and beyond, due to many streams and swamps in the area. During the Middle Ages the region became part of the Duchies of Silesia known as the Duchy of Pszczyna. Pszczyna and the surrounding area got populated by German settlers during Medieval Ostsiedlung, but from the 16th century on it was predominantly Polish again. Frederick II of Prussia conquered the Duchy from its Habsburg rule in the War of the Austrian Succession, encompassing most of Silesia.
In the beginning of the 19th century, small-scale industrialisation started with factories manufacturing garters. The first newspaper in all of Upper Silesia was founded here. In 1868 the railroad to Czechowice-Dziedzice arrived. Because of the Germanisation under Prussian rule the German share of the population increased. For example, in 1829, 94,3% of the population in Pszczyna county declared themselves Polish, but according to the 1900 census this number had decreased to 86,6%. In 1910 census 105,744 citizens spoke Polish (86,0%), 16,464 German, 447 Polish and German and 242 another language.
One of the Silesian Uprisings, led by Albert or Wojciech Korfanty, started in the city on August 16, 1919. In 1922, the city was officially joined with Poland.
During the Invasion of Poland the Wehrmacht marching into Pszczyna in September 1939 was met with fierce resistance. On 14 September, 14 Poles were killed by Germans invading the county. In the winter of 1944-1945, death marches from the Auschwitz concentration camp passed through the city.
Castle in Pszczyna (Polish: Zamek pszczyński) is a classicist magnate palace in Pszczyna. Constructed as a castle in 13th century or earlier, in a gothic style, it was rebuilt in renaissance style in 17th century, in baroque in 18th century and classicist in 19th century; the classicist modernization transformed the castle into what is usually described a palace.
In its history the castle was a residence of local Piasts dynasty members, then Promnitz family (mid 16th to mid 18th centuries) and later, von Pless family. The castle was owned by the government since 1936. Since 1946 it is a site of the Muzeum Zamkowe (Castle Museum).
April 11th, 2010, 09:05 PM
Poland, please accept my condolencesю It personally hurts me... I can not imagine it at all.
April 17th, 2010, 12:06 AM
Paczków is a town with 8,226 inhabitants (2004).
It is one of the few towns in Europe in which medieval fortifications have been almost completely preserved.
Located in the southeastern outskirts of the historical province of Lower Silesia, along the medieval road from Lesser Poland to Klodzko Valley and Prague, Paczków is called “Polish Carcassone", thanks to its well-preserved medieval fortifications. However, while the famous French Carcassonne is a XIX century reconstruction, all historic buildings of Paczków are authentic.
Paczków (its name comes from the old Slavic first name Pakoslaw) was officially founded on March 8, 1254, when the Bishop of Wroclaw, Tomasz I gave permission for the location of a new town. It was placed near the ancient village of Paczków, and henceforth, the name of the village was changed to Old Paczków. Paczków quickly grew, becoming not only a market town, but also a stronghold, guarding southwestern borders of the mighty ecclesiastical Duchy of Nysa. It was granted the so-called Flemish rights, based on Magdeburg rights. The new town received several privileges, such as the right to brew beer, and its early inhabitants were mostly craftsmen, such as bakers, butchers, and shoemakers.
In the late Middle Ages and subsequent periods, Paczków shared the stormy fate of other towns of Silesia, with frequent disasters, such as hunger (1325), floods (1333, 1501, 1539, 1560, 1598, 1602), fires (1565, 1634), as well as epidemics - Black Death (1349), and cholera (1603-1607, 1633).
Paczków also suffered during the Hussite Wars, when it was captured by the Hussites on March 17, 1428. The period of religious wars did not end until the late XV century, and only then did Paczków begin to flourish again. With the financial support of the bishops of Nysa, new fortifications were constructed, with a wall and towers.
In 1526 Paczków, together with the whole of Silesia, passed to the Austrian Habsburg dynasty. The XVI century was the best period in the history of the town. It was a major center of trade, with several manufacturers of textiles. The end of prosperity came during the Thirty Years' War, when warring armies destroyed Paczków and adjacent areas. In 1742, after the Silesian Wars, Paczkow was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, and it subsequently became part of the German Empire. The town, known then as Patschkau, remained within the borders of Germany until 1945, when, following the Potsdam Agreement, it was placed under Polish administration. Its German population was largely evacuated or expelled and replaced with Poles, most of whom came from current Western Ukraine, mostly from areas of Lviv, Ternopil, and Volhynia.
World War Two spared Paczków, and most of its monuments have been preserved. Called “The Polish Carcassone” (or "The Silesian Carcassone"), as early as in the XV century, it was surrounded by double ring of defensive walls. Initially, the fortifications were made of dirt and wood, but later they were replaced by mightier stone walls.
The first fortifications of Paczków were built in the mid-XIV century upon the order of the Bishop of Wroclaw, Przeclaw z Pogorzeli. In the mid XV century, Paczków had three gates - Wroclaw Gate (eastern), Klodzko Gate (western), and Zabkowice Slaskie Gate (southern). In the second half of the XVI century, the northern Nysa Gate was added. Vertical, 9-meter walls made from stone still surround the historical center of the town today. Altogether, the fortifications are around 1200 meters long, and apart from four gates, there originally were 24 wall towers, out of which 19 have been preserved. Along the defensive walls, there was a moat, which has been turned into a recreational park.
Besides its fortifications, Paczków is famous for renaissance, baroque, and neoclassic tenement houses, which surround the town square. The oldest of these buildings date back to around 1500, with the most visible being the so-called “House of the Executioner”. Also, in the center of Paczków, there is the town hall, with 48-meter high tower.
Another interesting monument of “Polish Carcassone” is the Church of John the Evangelist, which is considered to be one of the most impressive fortified churches in Poland. Its construction began in 1350, and lasted for 30 years. The unique Gothic church, which is made of stone and bricks displays a renaissance attic, and its mighty structure has been incorporated into the town's fortifications. The church stands out because of its immense size, and inside there are sculptures attributed to Wit Stwosz. Next to the complex there is the so-called Tatar well. According to a legend, a Tatar warrior (see Mongol invasion of Poland) was thrown into the well, after he had captured the daughter of a wealthy inhabitant of Paczków.
April 17th, 2010, 09:52 AM
Byczyna (Latin: Bicina, Bicinium, German: Pitschen) is a town with 3,708 inhabitants (2004).
Town of Byczyna was first mention in 1054 when it temporarily served as the capital of the Polish Bishopric of Wrocław.
The name of the town comes from the Old Polish word byczyna (the word byk means "a bull" in Polish), which means a place where bulls are bred and grazed. Various other spellings of the word Byczyna were used over centuries, such as Byscina, Biczin, Byczyn, Pyschyn and the German Pitschen.
After the loss of Silesia by Poland in the 14th century Byczyna for centuries was the frontier town (near the border to Poland) and located north of Kluczbork and Olesno in Upper Silesia.
Byczyna went down in the history of Poland as the place of a triumph of the Polish army. At the city walls of Byczyna on 24 January 1588 Jan Zamojski (1542-1605), the commander-in-chief of the Polish troops (Hetman) defeated the army of Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg, a claimant to the Polish throne. Although the origins of this event were far beyond Byczyna, the battle took place here.
Byczyna has retained the charm of an ancient town that has changed little over the centuries. A quite small, elliptical area is surrounded with the defensive walls, which have been almost entirely preserved to this day, the sand tower and parts of the 15th/16th century moat.
There are small backstreets, and narrow streets with low houses and several much higher towers which can bee seen from a long distance. These are the tower of the Town Hall, built at the turn of the 15th and 16th century and renovated in baroque and classical style, the tower of the baroque Holy Trinity Catholic church built in 1767, the 14th century Gothic St. Nicholas' Evangelical church and two towers at the gate.
April 18th, 2010, 04:01 AM
Krasnystaw is a town in eastern Poland with 19,615 inhabitants (2004).
Krasnystaw, go back to the 11th c. When a fortifield settlement called Szczekarzew existed here which, in 1394, recived civic right from Polish king Władysław Jagiełło.
The name Krasnystaw was first recorded in a state document in 1462. Many villages in the county may boast with equally distant roots. The majority dates back to the 14 th-15 th c. Fajsławice, for instance, was chronicled already in 1409, the name of Gorzków- in 1359, Izbica- in 1419, Rudnik- 1492. Chronicles of the 12 th c. mentioned Łopiennik on occasion of a victory of prince Leszek Czarny over the jaćwing tribes. Siennica village was a family nest of the Siennicki family with the coat-of-arms Bończa. Kraśniczyn, a small town in the past, was famous as a fair centre at the route from Krasnystaw to Horodło.
Many present villages (Gorzków, Izbica, Żółkiewka) used to hold civic right lost then as a result of centuries long war damages, economic decline or tsarist repressions after the January Uprising.
The city is famous for its beer festival called Chmielaki (Polish: chmiel means hop). Krasnystaw is also famous for its dairy products such as jogusie. Krasnystaw is near the border of Poland Ukraine
April 18th, 2010, 05:04 AM
Poland seems to be filled with architectural treasures. You are very lucky to have such a preserved and maintained heritage. Hopefully your example will continue to be a model for our own future.
April 18th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Poland seems to be filled with architectural treasures. You are very lucky to have such a preserved and maintained heritage. Hopefully your example will continue to be a model for our own future.
Interesting phenomena in case of Poland is that becouse of its history, partitions, multiculturality, the architectural heritage is very diverse, something which you can not find in many other countries.
BTW I think that Ukraine has also lot's of architectural treasures :cheers:
April 18th, 2010, 03:04 PM
Lidzbark Warmiński (Лі́дзбарк-Вармі́нський)
Lidzbark Warmiński is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland.
Historically, for over four centuries Lidzbark Warmiński was the capital of Warmia, the domain of the bishops of the Warmian Diocese. Owing to its location, high class architectural and historic monuments as much as the illustrious personages that had once resided in it, Lidzbark Warmiński has received the title of honour - the Pearl of Warmia.
The town was originally an Old Prussian settlement known as Lecbarg until being conquered in 1240 by the Teutonic Knights, who called it Heilsberg. In 1306 it became the seat for the Bishopric of Warmia and remained the Prince-Bishop's seat for 500 years. In 1309 the settlement received town privileges. After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the town was integrated into the Polish province of Royal Prussia.
Nicolaus Copernicus lived at the castle for several years, and it is believed he wrote part of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium there.
Like whole Warmia, this town in 1772, during the first Partition of Poland, was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1807 a battle took place at Heilsberg between the French under Murat and Soult and the Russians and Prussians under Bennigsen.
After World War II German inhabitants were expelled and the whole territory was given to Poland.
The castle of Warmia Bishops - one of the most magnificent Gothic buildings in Poland. In 1963 it was acknowledged a monument of history and listed in the register of class "O" relics of the past. The main architectural structure, formed in a square of 48,5 m side length, consists of four wings enclosing a courtyard, which is surrounded by two-storey cloisters. They are the only so well-preserved ones in Poland. In the years 1350-1795 the castle had a residential function, being the home of Warmia Bishops. Currently, it accommodates a museum and is a tourist destination for both Poles and foreigners. The Feasts of Humour and Satire - the oldest cabaret contest - are held annually to commemorate Bishop Ignacy Krasicki's (the Prince of Poets) 30-year stay in town.
April 18th, 2010, 10:33 PM
Ustka is a town in the Middle Pomerania region of northwestern Poland with 17,100 inhabitants (2001).
The first settlers arrived at Ustka as early as the 9th century, and established a fishing settlement with the original name of Ujść.
The area at the mouth of the river Słupia (Stolpe) was ceded to the town of Słupsk (Stolp) in 1337 with the purpose to built a fishing harbour and a commercial port there to the Baltic Sea. According to documents in 1355 a church was built. In 1382 the city of Stolp (Słupsk) became a member of the Hanseatic League.
The town was given to Brandenburg-Prussia as part of the Duchy of Pomerania after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The first railway station was opened in 1878. The rails were transported by the sea and the bedding for the track was formed by sand taken from the dunes on the Western Beach. The first passenger train departed Ustka (then Stolpmünde) on 1 October 1878. The rail was also used as a main transport facilitating the trade from the harbour. The rail track was extended to run into the harbour, trading mostly grain and spirits. Records state that in 1887, the local harbour shipped 5 million litres of plain spirits. The Harbour lost its importance after the World War II, fishing taking priority over trade. The current shape of the harbour is a result of an investment between 1899 and 1903 creating the largest port between Szczecin and Gdańsk.
Ustka is a popular tourist destination and a fishing port on the south coasts of the Baltic. For a number of years, the town has won a string of local awards for the best summer place in the country. Since the end of the 19th century, Ustka has been recognised as a summer holiday resort and various illnesses treatment and recovery centre.
The old part of the town has retained its layout since the Middle Ages. The small residential buildings were modernised in the thirties of the 19th century, however the layout of the streets was not changed. Since 2005, Ustka's authorities and the European Union embarked on the Revitilisation Programme for Old Ustka. Many buildings have and are being restored.
April 19th, 2010, 12:10 PM
Karpacz is a spa town and ski resort in south-western Poland, and one of the most important centres for mountain hiking and skiing.
Its population is about 5,000. Karpacz is situated in the Karkonosze mountains - a resort with increasing importance for tourism as an alternative to the Alps.
Karpacz is located at 480-885 metres above sea level. South of Karpacz on the border to the Czech Republic there is Mount Sněžka-Śnieżka (1,602 m). In Karpacz Górny there is a Norwegian stave church, moved here from Vang, Norway in the mid-19th century.
Karpacz was first mentioned in 1599 because of lead and iron mining. The village was part of Germany until 1945. Karpacz (Krummhübel's) original German population was expelled from the village between 1945 and 1947. The town was subsequently repopulated with ethnic Poles and renamed Karpacz.
In Karpacz Górny there is a gravity hill where bottles appear to roll uphill.
Vang stave church in Karpacz
Vang stave church (Świątynia Wang, also Vang stavkirke, German: Stabkirche Wang) is a stave church which was bought by the Prussian King and transferred from Vang in Norway and re-erected in 1842 in Brückenberg near Krummhübel in Germany, now Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland.
The church is a four-post single-nave stave church originally built around 1200 in the parish of Vang in the Valdres region of Norway.
Now serving a Polish community, Vang (Wang) church has become a major tourist attraction and is probably the world's most visited stave church with about 200 000 visitors each year.
There is a curious runic inscription on the doorway of the church. It has been interpreted as: "Eindridi badly cut St. Olafs son's little finger". But the expert Magnus Olsen has proposed a more likely interpretation: " Eindridi the dexterous carved (the doorway), the son of Olav of Lo". If this is the correct interpretation, the inscription identifies the artist. His name was Eindridi, his nickname was "dexterous" or "handy", and his father was Olav of Lo.
On the door frame across the room another runic inscription reads: "Eindridi carved me to the glory of St Olaf".
April 20th, 2010, 12:24 AM
Nowy Wiśnicz (Новий Ві́сьнич)
Nowy Wiśnicz is a small town in Bochnia County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, with 2,724 inhabitants (2004).
The area of Nowy Wiśnicz was a monastic village that had existed since the 8th century.
In 1613, Nowy Wiśnicz became the property of Stanisław Lubomirski, who was the governor of the Cracow Province. In 1616, he established the city of Nowy Wiśnicz. He rebuilt the castle into a great fortress and founded the Barefoot Carmelites Monastery.
April 20th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Kórnik is a town with about 6800 inhabitants (2006) in Greater Poland. Located approximately 35 kilometres to the south-east of Poznań, it is one of major tourist attractions of Greater Poland Voivodeship.
Until 1961 the modern town of Kórnik consisted of two separate towns, Kórnik itself and the town of Bnin, located only 1 kilometre away. Both towns were founded in Middle Ages.
Among the notable tourist attractions of the area are:
* Kórnik Castle, was built in the 14th century, but in the 18th century it was rebuilt in neogothic style by the Działyński family.
* Town halls of both Kórnik and Bnin. That of Kornik was built in 1907 as a neo-baroque city hall; Bnin's is a piece of original 18th century late baroque architecture
* Kórnik Library (Bibliotheca Cornicensis), one of the most famous Polish libraries, founded by Tytus Działyński in 1828. Currently the library, despite being looted by the German Nazis during the World War II, is one of 5 largest libraries in Poland and contains roughly 400,000 volumes, including 30,000 books older than 150 years, 14,000 manuscripts. Since 1953 it is a part of the National Library of Poland.
April 21st, 2010, 02:03 PM
Brzeg (German: Brieg) is a town in southwestern Poland with 38,496 inhabitants (2004), situated in Silesia in the Opole Voivodeship on the left bank of the Oder.
Brzeg was in earlier documents referred to as Civitas Altae Ripae, meaning "city at high banks" of the Oder (Odra) river; its name is derived from the Polish Brzeg (shore).
The city received municipal rights in 1250 from the Wrocław Duke Henry III the White, and was fortified in 1297. From 1311-1675 Brzeg was the capital of a Lower Silesian duchy (Duchy of Brzeg) ruled by the Polish Piast dynasty, a branch of the dukes of Lower Silesia, one of whom built a castle in 1341. Much of Silesia was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia during the Middle Ages. The town was burned by the Hussites in 1428 and soon afterwards rebuilt.
In 1595 Brzeg was again fortified by Joachim Frederick, duke of Brieg. In the Thirty Years' War it suffered greatly; in that of the Austrian succession it was heavily bombarded by the Prussian forces; and in 1807 it was captured by the French and Bavarians. When Bohemia fell to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526, the town fell under the overlordship of the Habsburgs in their roles of Kings of Bohemia, although it was still ruled locally by the Silesian Piasts. Upon the extinction of the last duke Georg Wihelm von Liegnitz-Brieg-Wohlau (George IV William of Liegnitz) in 1675, Brzeg came under the direct role of the Habsburgs.
In 1537 the duke Frederick II of Brieg concluded a treaty with Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, whereby the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg would inherit the duchy upon the extinction of the Silesian Piasts.
On the death of George William the last duke in 1675, however, Austria refused to acknowledge the validity of the treaty and annexed the duchies and Frederick the Great of the Kingdom of Prussia used this treaty to justify his claim at the invasion of Silesia during the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740. Brieg and most of Silesia were annexed by Prussia after that state's victory. Its fortifications were destroyed by the French in 1807. The city of Brieg became part of Imperial Germany in 1871.
During the Second World War, 60% of the city was destroyed. After the war, the Potsdam Conference put Silesia, and thus the town under Polish administration.
Brzeg Castle is one of the most beautiful examples of Polish Renaissance.
The castle was built in the XIII century as the residence of Silesian princes from Polish Piast dynasty. Used as such until 1675. Partly rebuilt in a Renaissance style.
Today the Brzeg´s Castle houses a museum.
April 22nd, 2010, 11:19 AM
Remarkable for its architecture and mysterious atmosphere, the 14th century Teutonic Castle constitutes a major draw for visitors for the town of Golub-Dobrzyn. Famous international knights’ tournaments are held here yearly in July. Besides the castle, also of interest are the remains of mediaeval walls with towers and a moat, plus several other historic monuments. The region around the town is rich in lakes and forests, which allows for various recreational activities.
Prior to 1951 two towns existed on the site, but to understand why it is necessary to understand the history of Golub and Dobrzyn individually.
The first mention of Golub can be found in a document from 1258. In its infancy, it was a village inhabited by Poles, and then the Teutonic Knights erected a castle in the years 1296-1306 and Golub achieved town status. All the town rights were confirmed by Grand Master Michael Kuchmeister von Sternberg in the year 1421.
The wars in 1414 and 1422 resulted in serious damage being done to Golub. Later, in 1466, the town became part of Poland as a result of a peace treaty made in Torun.
Golub reached the peak of its development under the reign of Polish King Sigismund III Vasa (1611-1625). Then came the period of the Polish-Swedish Wars, during which the town suffered great destruction, particularly between 1626 and 1629, as well as in 1660. It was also affected by the subsequent Seven Years’ War of 1756-1763.
During the first partition of Poland in 1772, the town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. From 1807 to 1815 Golub remained part of the Duchy of Warsaw, in 1815 it was assigned to the Duchy of Poznan and in 1817 to West Prussia. Following the inclusion of the town as part of Imperial Germany in 1871, a policy of Germanisation was implemented in Golub and its vicinity.
In January 1920, the town was finally returned to Poland, yet in August the same year it was attacked by the Red Army. In 1939 Golub was annexed by Nazi Germany, in 1945 returned to Poland.
HISTORY OF DOBRZYN The name Dobrzyn was initially given to a settlement established on the left bank of the Drweca in the second half of the 17th century. In 1684, Zygmunt Dzialynski called the settlement “Przedmiescie Golubskie” (“Suburb of Golub”), but in 1789 Count Ignacy Dzialynski founded the town of Dobrzyn there. In 1793, following the second partition of Poland, Dobrzyn was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. Between 1807 and 1815 it existed as part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815, the town became part of the Kingdom of Poland in personal union with the Russian Empire. In the second half of the 19th century, after the Kingdom of Poland had been assigned to Russia, Dobrzyn started to develop rapidly and ultimately became larger than Golub.
The town became part of the Second Polish Republic in 1918, following the end of the First World War. In August 1920, Dobrzyn was attacked by the Soviet Army and in 1939 was annexed by Nazi Germany, in 1945 returned to Poland.
Castle of the Teutonic Knights, built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, later rebuilt and extended in the 15th century.
In the 16th century, the castle was taken over by the Polish king Sigmundus III and given to a Swedish princess Anna Vasa, who cleverly changed this typically defensive structure into an elegant Renaissance residence.
April 22nd, 2010, 12:18 PM
Absolutely amazing towns! I'm very very like it!
Big thanx, DocentX :cheers:
April 22nd, 2010, 06:57 PM
Absolutely amazing towns! I'm very very like it!
Big thanx, DocentX :cheers:
I am glad you like it - next will follow ;)
BTW I also like many cities and destinations to the east of Poland both in Ukraine and Lithuania (although I have to admit that I've never been to Ukraine, but I'll try to visit Lviv soon). :cheers:
April 22nd, 2010, 07:32 PM
Chęciny is a town in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Poland, with 4,252 inhabitants (2006).
The town is first mentioned in historical documents from 1275. It obtained its city charter in 1325. The most important sight in the town is the royal castle built in the late 13th on the Castle Hill above the town. It fell into ruin in the 18th century and remains in that state to this day.
The town had a Jewish community and it had been the center of the Hasidic Chentshin dynasty.
The Royal castle was built in XIII c. and some years later it became one of the main residences of the Polish king Wladyslaw Lokietek.
The castle was extended in the 15th century. It is split into two parts: the proper castle with two characteristic cylindrical stone towers and the lower castle.
"Raj" cave (Paradise Cave) near Chęciny
The cave has a length of 240 m and vertical range of 9.5 m; however, only 180 m is open to visitors. Despite its small size, it is regarded as one of Poland's most beautiful caves. Its corridors lead through five chambers ornamented with stalactites, stalagmites and columns of rock created over thousands of years. A maximum of fifteen people are admitted every fifteen minutes to the cave under a guide's protection. This is to maintain an internal temperature of eight to ten degrees Celsius to preserve the cave's historical value.
Before the entrance there is an exhibition of archeological and paleontological findings from the cave that include prehistoric tools (the cave was inhabited by Neanderthals) and animal bones. It is illuminated by an optical fiber.
April 23rd, 2010, 10:19 AM
Wigry is a village in Podlaskie Voivodeship, in north-eastern Poland. It lies approximately 10 kilometres east of Suwałki and 106 km north of the regional capital Białystok.
The village has a population of 30.
Human activity in the area goes back to the Old Stone Age. It is proved by findings from over 184 archeological sites.
There is a Camaldolese monastery (17th-18th cc.), church and hermitages located on a peninsula in Lake Wigry.
The region of Suwalki, including its part - the Wigry National Park, is very attractive for tourism, especially popular during summer season. Hikers and bikers will find here about 190 km of trails. Sailors and anglers have camping sites and the largest lakes at their disposal.
April 23rd, 2010, 10:22 PM
Choroszcz is a town in north-eastern Poland.
It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The palace in Choroszcz was the summer residence of Pałac Branickich, and is now part of the Museum of Polish Interiors.
The palace in Choroszcz was the summer residence of the crown hetman and castellan of Krakow, Jan Klemens Branicki (1689-1771), a powerful aristocrat raised and educated in a French cultural milieu. The palace was built on an artificial island, which is surrounded by canals modeled after those at Versailles. Probably designed by the French architect Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaile, this enormous 25 hectare park is the only one of its kind in Poland, and its criss-crossing canals and star-shaped paths are similar to those at the gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles. The construction of the Baroque residence at Choroszcz lasted from 1745 almost until Branicki's death in 1771. A fire destroyed it in 1915, and the palace was reconstructed only much later during the years 1961-1973, and then made into a museum.
April 26th, 2010, 12:41 AM
Ostrołęka is a town in northeastern Poland on the Narew river, about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Warsaw, with a population of 53,982 (2008) and an area of 29 km2 (11 sq. mls).
Ostrołęka lies on a sand-mud plain on the left side of the Narew River. The name comes from a plain that was once flooded by the Narew during the spring. A small island is located about 1 kilometer (half a mile) from today's town centre. In the 11th or 12th century, there was a fort built on it, making it one of the few fortifications on or near the Narew. The fort was surrounded by a village now known as Ostrołęka. Ostrołęka was first mentioned in the Province Act of 1373, signed by Prince Siemowit III. The actual date of the town's foundation is not precisely known, but it is known that by 1373, Ostrołęka was one of the biggest towns in the surrounding area.
In the beginning of 15th Century, Ostrołęka was a center of economic activity in the trade with the Crossmen Order. Traders from the town were selling wood, amber, honey, and other products. In the year of 1526, the rest of the Masovia Principality was introduced to the Polish Crown. This was the beginning of Ostrołęka's Golden Age, which lasted for over 40 years. During this time, Queen Bona Sforza founded a folwark in Pomian, an area situated within Ostrołęka's city borders today. In 1564, two major catastrophes devastated Ostrołęka. An epidemic struck the city, killing a sizeable population off and a fire which tore through the city burning and destroying everything to the ground. In 1571, another epidemic depopulated the town and counties nearby, ending the town's Golden Age. However, the town was quickly rebuilt and in the 1590s, the first school was built in Ostrołęka. At the end of the 16th century, the town was the centre of a big administration district (1,980.5 km2).
After the disaster the town quickly recovered. In the middle of the 17th century, the town passed through a period of impoverishment and stagnation. On July 25, 1656, the town resisted a Swedish attack and was laid waste by the Swedes. In 1665 Tomasz Gocłowski founded a monastery to settle the Bernardine monks in the town. The monastery was built in a late Baroque style. In 1676, with only 400 inhabitants left, it was the most populous town in the Łomża region. In the 18th Century, through a span of 35 years, Ostrołęka was destroyed numerous times by foreign armies such as the (Swedish, Russian, and Saxon).
On March 12, 1794 the first brigade, stationed at Ostrołęka started marching towards Kraków, with A. Madaliński, a member of the conspiracy, in command. This hastened the outbreak of hostilities. In consequence, Prussian forces advanced as far as the Narew, but did no overtake Ostrołęka. Following the Third Partition of Poland, Ostrołęka was situated within Prussia's borders. After 1802, the first German and Jewish families settled in and around Ostrołęka.
From the end of 1806 through June 1807, Ostrołęka was occupied by French troops. On February 15 and 16 February the battle took place on the banks of the Narew outside of Ostrołęka where the French, under the General Nicolas Charles Oudinot, prevailed. Due to this success of the French Army, Ostrołęka appears on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In May 1807 the first map of Ostrołęka was made.
Narew river near Ostroleka
April 26th, 2010, 07:16 PM
Złotoryja (German: Goldberg, Latin: Aureus Mons, Aurum) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, southwestern Poland. It is located in the Kaczawa river valley, close to Legnica.
Since the Middle Ages the town was a centre of gold and copper mining. Currently it has approximately 17,000 inhabitants and is one of the important centres of basalt mining.
During its long existence Złotoryja was referred to by various names. Since the Middle Ages it was referred to as either Aurum (Latin: Gold), Aureus Mons (Golden Mountain) or Goldberg (German: Golden Mountain). After 1945 the name was changed to Polish Złotoryja, which also includes the Polish root złoto meaning gold.
In late 12th century and early 13th century a small settlement of gold miners was founded on the slopes of Mount St. Nicholas (Góra św. Mikołaja), at the shores of the Katzbach (cats creek), Kaczawa river. The village grew rapidly and in 1211 it was named Aurum (Latin for gold) and located on the Magdeburg law by Polish Prince Henry I the Bearded as the first city of Silesia. It was attached to the Duchy of Legnica. The local golden ore deposits were rich and the town attracted both miners and gold washers from all the nearby areas. In the 13th century a Hospitaller and Franciscan monasteries were founded in the town, which thus became one of the important cultural and religious centres of the region. In 1241 many of the miners took part in the Battle of Legnica, where most of them died, but the mining quickly recovered. In 1290 the town was granted with a privilege to trade salt, one of the most expensive and valuable minerals in the Middle Ages.
In 1328 the whole Duchy of Legnica became a fief of imperial Bohemia, yet it retained its local self-government. During the Hussite Wars the town was captured by the Hussite forces in 1427, 1428 and 1431. It was severely pillaged, but it quickly recovered and the local city council decided to build city walls in order to spare the city such troubles in the future. Much of the mediaeval fortifications is preserved until today.
Although by early 15th century most of the gold deposits were depleted, the town started to gain significant income from the nearby road linking Breslau (Wrocław) with Leipzig. A brewery and several weavers shops were opened soon afterwards. In 1504 a school was opened by Aurimontanus. 1600s century maps show Silberberg in the Duchy of Monsterberg, Silesia, in Germany. In 1522 the first Protestant priests arrived in Silberberg (Złotoryja) and soon afterwards the school was turned into a Latin, humanistic gymnasium, the first in Silesia. One of its rectors, Valentin Trozendorf, wanted to turn it into a university and these plans were approved by prince Friedrich II of Legnica, but the prince died soon afterwards and the town was struck by a severe fire in 1554, which made the plans obsolete.
In 1526 the town together with the rest of Silesia was annexed by the Habsburgs. Goldberg continued to prosper until 1608, when the prosperity was stopped by a major flood that killed approx. 50 of the inhabitants and damaged large part of the city. Five years later, in 1613 the town yet again was struck by great fire that destroyed 571 houses.
During the Thirty Years' War Goldberg changed hands several times and suffered especially in 1633, when Albrecht von Wallenstein, a former pupil of the gymnasium, beleaguered the city. After that Goldberg needed almost 100 years to recover. In 1742 it was annexed by Prussia and in 1871 became part of the newly-formed German Empire. During the Napoleonic Wars, on August 26, 1813, the armies of French marshal Macdonald was defeated near the town by the forces of Prussian general von Blücher.
At the end of 19th century the town started to recover after almost 200 years of crisis. In 1862 the town of Silberberg was connected with Berlin by a telegraph. In 1884 the town was connected to Liegnitz (Legnica) by a rail road and by 1906 two additional lines were opened: to Świerzawa and Chojnów. In 1900 the first telephone line was started. At the same time various companies tried to recover the gold mining in and around the city, but the plans were soon abandoned. Instead the copper ore mines were opened, but they faced serious financial difficulties by the end of 1920s.
The town survived the World War II almost untouched. In 1945 it was captured by the forces of the Red Army 2nd Ukrainian Front under Ivan Konev. Following the decisions of the Potsdam conference it was transferred to Poland and renamed to Złotoryja.
In the nearby villages of Wilków and Nowy Kościół two important copper mines were founded and a large number of local engineers also participated in the development of the industrial region of Legnica. However, in early 1970s the mines were closed down due to the fact that ore deposits of much higher quality were found around Lubin.
Many factories were founded, including a shoe factory, Christmas tree ornaments factory and a basalt mine. Since 1989 the town of Złotoryja started to look for its past. The historical old town was restored and the traditions of gold mining were started. In 1992 a local Polish Guild of Gold Prospectors was started, which ever since organises the Polish Gold Panning Championships. In 2000 World Championships were held there.
Currently the town is one of the main tourist centres of the area. The heavy industry is also playing an important part in the development of the area. The local quarries are ones of the most profitable in Poland and the Christmas tree ornaments factory is exporting millions of ornaments every year, mostly to Western Europe and the United States.
April 27th, 2010, 12:45 AM
Tarnowskie Góry (Тарновські Гури)
Tarnowskie Góry is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Borders on the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - metropolis with the population of 2.7 millions (Katowice urban area).
The town has 61.6 thousand inhabitants (2005).
According to legend, around the year of 1490 a peasant called Rybka plowed up the first silver ore giving rise to the output of silver ore in the region of the village of Tarnowice. At that time in the surrounding area many villages were founded: Bobrowniki, Opatowice, Ptakowice, Rybno, Ruda and others.
In 1526 Tarnowskie Góry was granted a Town Charter and mining privileges. In 1528 the Duke of Opole Jan II Dobry granted the town a privilege as a “free mining town”. In 1327 Duke Władysław Bytomski (1277-1352) paid liege homage to the King of Czech and from that moment Tarnowskie Góry was under the Czech rule and shared the political lot of Silesia. In 1526 the King of Czech and Hungary Ludwik II Jagielończyk (1506-1526) died without an heir and then archduke Ferdinand Habsburg ascended the throne of Czech. Thus, Tarnowskie Góry came under the rule of the Habsburg.
In the 16th century the town was an important center for the reformation movement. At the turn of the 16th and 17th century there were about 20,000 mineshafts in the region of Tarnowskie Góry. It was one of the biggest mining centers of precious metals in Europe at that time. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) numerous armed forces ravaged Tarnowskie Góry. In 1676 the town was hit by the plague. In 1701 the great fire burnt part of the town. In the years 1715, 1723 and 1728 three plagues hit the town. From 1742 Tarnowskie Góry was in Prussia under the German name of Tarnowitz. In 1742 and 1746 great fires destroyed the town. Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden (1752-1815) contributed to the development of local iron and lead ore mining. In 1788 the steam machine imported from England, the first one on the European continent started to operate in Tarnowskie Góry. In 1800 the town had 1,037 inhabitants. At the beginning of the 19th century the ironworks and new factories were opened. In 1857 the railway line to Opole started to operate, which was a factor influencing the developing economy. In 1912 the town had 13,575 inhabitants.
In the interwar period, numerous inhabitants of Tarnowskie Góry took part in the Silesian uprisings of 1919-1921. As a result of Silesian uprisings the town was incorporated into Poland in 1922. At the beginning of the 20th century the local ore resources ran out and mining collapsed.
During World War II, the German army occupied Tarnowskie Góry in September 1939. In January 1945 the town was under Soviet occupation.
Silver mine in Tarnowskie Góry
April 27th, 2010, 04:01 PM
есть ли в Польше маленькие молодые города, построенные после 1950-х годов?
April 27th, 2010, 04:49 PM
есть ли в Польше маленькие молодые города, построенные после 1950-х годов?
Yes of course :) For the purpose of this thread I am concentrating on small and medium towns with longer history, most interesting for potential visitors.
April 27th, 2010, 05:00 PM
а можно для примера выложить фотографии городов после 1950-х? Интересно их сравнить с украинскими аналогами
April 27th, 2010, 05:24 PM
Wieliczka is a town (2006 population: 19,128) in southern Poland in the Kraków metropolitan area.
The town was founded in 1290 by Duke Premislas II of Poland.
Located under the town of Wieliczka is the Wieliczka Salt Mine – one of the world's oldest operating salt mines.
Wieliczka Salt Mine (UNESCO)
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka, is within Poland's Kraków metropolitan area.
It had been until 2007 in continuous operation, producing table salt, since the 13th century. Together with nearby Bochnia, it is the world's oldest operating salt mine.
The mine reaches a depth of 327 meters, and is over 300 km long.
The Wieliczka salt mine features a 3.5-km. tour for visitors (less than 1% of the length of the mine's passages) that includes statues of historic and mythic figures. The older works were sculpted by miners out of rock salt; more recent figures have been fashioned by contemporary artists. Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. The rock salt is naturally grey, in various shades like granite, so that the carvings resemble carved unpolished granite rather than having the white or crystalline appearance that many visitors expect. (The carvings appear white in the photos below; the actual carved figures are not white.)
Also featured is a large chamber with walls carved to resemble wooden chapels built by miners in earlier centuries; an underground lake; and exhibits on the history of salt mining. The mine is often referred to as "the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland."
About 1.2 million people visit the mine each year.
In 1978 the Wieliczka salt mine was placed on the original UNESCO roster of World Heritage Sites.
April 27th, 2010, 05:27 PM
а можно для примера выложить фотографии городов после 1950-х? Интересно их сравнить с украинскими аналогами
Yes - I'll try to post later some pic of relatively new towns.
April 28th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Wałbrzych (German: Waldenburg, Czech: Valbřich or Valdenburk) is a city in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland, with 121,919 inhabitants (June 2009). Wałbrzych lies approximately 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) south-west of the regional capital Wrocław, and about 10 km from the Czech border.
According to the website of the Wałbrzych City Office, the city's predecessor was an early medieval Slavic settlement named Lasogród ("forest castle"), whose inhabitants engaged in hunting, honey gathering, and later agriculture. The website further says Lasogród lated developed into a defensive fort, the remains of which were destroyed in the 19th century during expansion of the city.
Some historians claim that during the Middle Ages the area of Wałbrzych was part of the Silesian Przesieka, a dense, unpopulated forest.
Wałbrzych was founded between 1290 and 1293 on a cleared spot in the mountains near the castle of Nowy Dwór (German: Neuhaus), and first mentioned as Waldenberc in 1305. Nowy Dwór, probably built around the same time, was first mentioned as "newe haus" in 1365, and built by Bolko I of the Silesian Piast dynasty of Świdnica-Jawor (German: Schweidnitz-Jauer). A part of Nowy Dwór castle, a manor built in the 17th century, was destroyed in the 19th century.
The city was chartered in 1426, but it did not receive the rights to hold markets or many other privileges due to the competition of nearby towns and the insignificance of the local landlords. Subsequently, the city became the property of the Silesian knightly families, initially the Schaffgotsches in 1372, later the Czettritzes, and from 1738, the Hochberg family, owners of Fürstenstein Castle.
Coal mining in the area was first mentioned in 1536. The settlement was transformed into an industrial centre at the turn of the 19th century, when coal mining and weaving flourished. In 1843 the city obtained its first rail connection, which linked it with Breslau (Wrocław). In the early 20th century a glassworks and a large china tableware manufacturing plant, which are still in operation today, were built. In 1939 the city had about 65,000 inhabitants.
After World War II, the area became Polish, and as in all of post-war Poland most of the German population was expelled. However, Walbrzych was one of the few areas where several Germans were held back as they were deemed indispensable for the economy. A contineous post-war German society is maintained in Walbrzych since 1957.
The city was relatively unscathed by the Second World War, and as a result of combining the nearby administrative districts with the town and the construction of new housing estates, Wałbrzych expanded geographically. At the beginning of the 1990s, because of new social and economic conditions, a decision was made to close down the town's coal mines. In 1995, a Museum of Industry and Technology was set up on the facilities of the oldest coal mine in the area, KWK THOREZ.
Książ Castle in Wałbrzych
Książ Castle, the biggest in Lower Silesia, the third biggest in Poland and one of the biggest castles in Europe is also known as the Pearl of Lower Silesia.
Bolko I, prince from Polish piast dynasty, Duke of Świdnica and Jawor built a the castle between 1288 and 1292.
Duke Bolko II of Świdnica died in 1368 without having children with his wife Agnes von Habsburg. After her death in the year 1392 King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia obtained the castle. In 1401 Janko z Chociemic obtained the castle. The Bohemian Hussites occupied the castle between 1428-1429. In the year 1464 Birka z Nasiedla obtained the castle from the Bohemian crown. He sold it to Hans von Schellendorf. This second castle was destroyed in 1482 by Georg von Stein. In the year 1509 Konrad I von Hoberg (from 1714: Hochberg) obtained the castle hill. The Hochberg family owned the castle until 1941. In the course of World War II the Nazis seized the castle, presumably with the intention of making it a most splendid headquarters for Hitler. It was turned into a bunker, with shelters and tunnels dug beneath it. It was a part of the Project Riese until 1945. The castle was occupied by the Red army in 1945.
In 1952 the renovation work was undertaken to restore the previous grandeur of the castle. Nowadays, visitors can admire numerous splendid chambers, terraces and surrounding gardens. The underground tunnel is also available for tourist.
The Stary Książ Castle was builded in 1779 as romantic ruins by Christian Tischbein funded by duke Jan Henryk VI von Hochberg.
Stary Książ was stylized to a gothic castle. What is also interesting it was builded on the ruins on some other castle builded in 1288 by Bolko I Surowy. Stary Książ was destroyed in fire initiated by soviet soldiers in 1945.
April 29th, 2010, 12:05 AM
Opatów is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. Its population is 7,833 (2007).
Tourist attractions include a 12th century Collegiate Church of St. Martin, 15th century baroque Franciscan monastery, 16th century city gate, and several other notable buildings.
Opatow, as one of the oldest Polish towns, witnessed many historical events.
At the end of the 10th century, a settlement and a fortified castle called Żmigród, situated probably on the hill near the present-day Bernardine Monastery, gave rise to the town. After the country had been divided into smaller principalities by Polish Prince Bolesław Krzywousty (the Wry-Mouth) in 1138, Opatow belonged to the Sandomierz District and it became the property of the duke. That was the time of town's development and prosperity. At the end of the 12th century church was erected. In 1237 Henryk Brodaty (the Bearded), the Polish Duke of Silesia, at that time also the Duke of Cracow and Sandomierz, bestowed Opatow and 16 neighbouring villages on the bishop of the Lubuski Region. During the Tatars invasion in 1241 Opatow was seriously damaged.
In 1282 the Polish Prince Leszek Czarny (the Black) granted the municipal charter for Opatow. At that time, Opatow was situated on the important trade route, running from the Black Sea, through the Podolska Upland, through Sandomierz, Opatow and westwards towards Cracow. Also, routes to Russia and Hungary ran through Opatow. As a result, the town was getting more and more prosperous. The handicraft developed and a few mills were erected. A lot of workshops were set up: leather, food, metal, clothes, butcher and others. The person who greatly contributed to the town's development was Krzysztof Szydłowiecki, the chancellor. Thanks to him Opatow, then called 'Great Opatow', became Poland's boast.
In 1409 a significant event took place in Opatow. Before the military operation against the Teutonic Knights, Polish King Władysław Jagiełło (Jogaillo) sent a war manifesto to all European countries. The manifesto, written in Opatow, accounted for the necessity of fight against the Teutonic Order. In 1514 Krzysztof Szydłowiecki purchased Opatow. It was he that brought the town back to its prosperity, surrounded it with town walls with four gates: the Krakow Gate, the Sandomierz Gate, the Lublin Gate and the Warsaw Gate. The latter has been preserved till the present day. At that time, the town hall, the municipal water supply and the baths were built as well. Opatow was also the site of landowners' meetings, which additionally influenced its growth. Trade and handicrafts were developing more dynamically then before.
After the death of Krzysztof Szydłowiecki, Opatow was taken over by the Tarnowski family, and then by the Ostrogski, Radziwiłł, Lubomirski and Potocki families. In the middle of the 19th century the Karski family of Włostow became the owners of Opatow. The 17th and 18th centuries were the times of unrest. Many wars broke out, (e.g. with Sweden), a few epidemics and fires took place. As a result, the output of many generations was damaged. Opatow lost its prosperity and its economic meaning. After the Partitions of Poland, the town found itself in the Russianoccupied part. The townspeople fought against the Russians during the January Rising of 1863. On 21st February, 1864, the Rakowska and Sandomierska divisions attacked Opatow - the town was occupied by the Russians. The insurgents did not capture the town. Their commandant, major Ludwik Zwierzdowski, called Topór (the Axe), who was wounded during the battle, was hanged in the market square two days later. During the 19th century risings the town was seriously damaged, especially in the fires.
During the Second World War Opatow suffered other losses. There were many casualties, especially among the Jews whose population decreased by 50%. The region of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains was a cradle of the partisan movement. In Opatow and its vicinity there were a few actively fighting squads: "Jędruś", the Peasants Battalions and the Peoples' Guard. After the WW2, Opatow was a district centre of administration and economy, concentrated on food production, small industry and services. As of 1975 Opatow ceased to be a district town.
Krzemionki Opatowskie - neolithic flint mines near Opatów
In the Mesozoic margin of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains there are outcrops of various kinds of flint and many prehistoric mines. Places where striped flint was mined were found at Korycizna, Borownia and Ruda Kościelna. In terms of area of the mining field, one of Europe’s biggest sites is the complex of flint mines at Krzemionki near Ostrowiec Świetokrzyski and Opatów. Its perfectly preserved ground landscape and underground structure give it extraordinary importance.
The mines were exploited ca. 3900 to 1600 BC. (radiocarbon dating) by different peoples who left artefacts categorized by archaeologists into cultures- e. g. the culture of funnel- shaped cups, culture spherical amphorae, Mierzanowice culture. It is possible that deposits of striped flint were known even earlier, to the Mesolithic hunters.
Underground exhibition gallery ca.0,5 km long passing through Neolithic mining units was opened for tourists 1 july 2004.
Krzyżtopór castle near Opatów
Krzyżtopór is a castle located in the village of Ujazd near Opatów in southern Poland. It was originally built by a Polish nobleman and Voivode of Sandomierz, Krzysztof Ossoliński (1587-1645).
The castle was partially destroyed during the Swedish invasion known as The Deluge in 1655, and then reduced to ruin during the Bar Confederacy by the Russians in 1770.
In 1980 the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to rebuild it for use as a rest area for officers. This work was halted in 1981, when martial law was imposed in Poland.
Krzysztof Ossoliński was enamored with black magic; while the unique symmetry of the castle is evident even in its ruined state, the hidden meanings that may have been incorporated into virtually every part of the castle are not obvious.
The very name of the complex is a mysterious one. Krzysztof Ossoliński officially named it Krzysztofory, which is derived from Latin word Christophoros. Later, the name changed to Krzyżtopór, which is a compounding of two Polish words – krzyż ("cross", a symbol of the Catholic faith and Ossoliński’s policies) and topór ("axe", the charge from the family's coat of arms). Both symbols can be seen on the gate of the castle. Also, above the gate there is the date 1631, but to what this date refers has not been firmly established.
The castle is a typical example of the so-called palazzo in fortezza – an intermingling of both palace and fortress. The total size of the complex is 1.3 hectares; the length of perimeter walls is 700 meters; the total area of all interior rooms is around 70 000 square meters. The basic design was based on the palace of Cardinal Alexander Farnese, located in the Italian village of Caprarola. Reportedly, the castle once had 365 windows (as many as days of the year), 52 rooms (as many as weeks of the year) and 12 ballrooms (as many as months of the year). For defensive purposes, the castle was erected upon a rocky hill.
Krzyżtopór was furnished with amenities that were rarely seen in the 17th century, such as ventilation and heating system, and unique waterworks that provided all rooms with fresh water. Allegedly, the ceiling in one of dining rooms was made up of an aquarium containing exotic fish. Additionally, a system of dumbwaiters carried food from pantries to the upper floors.
The castle, without convenient proximity to main roads and rail connections, is not visited by many tourists, nevertheless is becoming more and more popular. However, as walls, bastions and moat are relatively well-preserved, its magnitude is still very impressive. Though it is regarded as a permanent ruin, since around 90 percent of the walls have been preserved, reconstruction has been planned several times. Currently, efforts have been underway to roof the entire complex; however, this ambitious project lacks sufficient funding.
April 29th, 2010, 10:53 PM
Złoty Stok (Злоти Сток)
Złoty Stok [ˈzwɔtɨ ˈstɔk] (German: Reichenstein, Czech: Rychleby) is a town in south-western Poland. It is situated on the border with the Czech Republic, adjoining the Czech village Bílá Voda. The name Złoty Stok means "golden slope" in Polish.
As at 2006, the town has a population of 2,930.
Its Czech name is applied to the neighbouring mountain range, the Rychleby Mountains (Czech: Rychlebské hory). The corresponding Polish name is Góry Złote (Golden Mountains). This range is part of the eastern Sudetes.
The old gold mine houses the Underground Museum of Mining and Gold Metallurgy. Gold was mined here as early as the 13th century. Mining of the main deposits ceased in the 19th century, but the last 30kg of gold were excavated in 1962.
Two of the old galleries are open to visitors. The “Czarna” gallery leads through the 16th century hand-excavated heading. The “Gertruda” gallery features an underground waterfall (8m high) and an exhibition of old mining tools.
Competitions in gold-washing and minting of gold coins are organized in the mine.
said to be one of the biggest underground waterfalls in Europe
May 7th, 2010, 01:23 AM
Bochnia is one of the oldest cities of Lesser Poland. The first known source mentioning the city is a letter of 1198, wherein Aymar the Monk, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, confirmed a donation by local magnate Mikora Gryfit to the monastery of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów.
The discovery of a major vein of rock salt at the site of the present mine in 1248 led to the granting of city privileges (Magdeburg rights) on 27 February 1253 by Bolesław V the Chaste.
The salt mine
The Bochnia Salt Mine is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest one in Poland and Europe. The mine was established between the 12th and 13th centuries after salt was discovered in Bochnia. The mine was closed some time after World War I. In 1981 it was declared a monument.
The mines measure 4,5 kilometres in length and 468 metres in depth at 16 different levels. Deserted chambers, shafts and passages form a so called underground town, which is now open to sightseers. The largest of the preserved chambers has been converted into a sanatorium.
May 8th, 2010, 09:37 AM
Rydzyna is a Polish town that was the seat of Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński during Leszczyński's first short reign from 1704-1709. Rydzyna is known as "the pearl of the Polish baroque".
It was founded at the beginning of the 15th century by Jan from Czernina, a descendant of the Wierzbno family, a knight of king Władysław Jagiełło. At the end of the 17th century the town and its environs were owned by well-known magnates, the Leszczyński and then the Sułkowski families.
The most historically important site in Rydzyna is Rydzyna Castle, formerly the residence of king Stanisław Leszczyński and the Sułkowski princes. The castle in Rydzyna was built at the beginning of 15th century by Jan of Czernina. At the end of 17th century Italian architects Joseph Simon Bellotti and Pompeo Ferrari erected the present Baroque castle on its ancient foundations. The first owners of the castle were the Leszczyński family. Together with its park and surrounding areas, it was one of the most splendid palaces in Poland. Between 1704-1709 it was a residence of the Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński. In 1709, during the Great Northern War, the castle was partly burnt by tsar's soldiers. However wall-paintings and stucco works in representative rooms, made by best Italian artists, were not destroyed completely, and the castle was restored and expanded by Prince August Sułkowski , who purchased the Leszczyński estates in 1738. The castle together with its adjacent park and the surrounding terrain forms one of the most valuable castle-park complexes in Poland.
Other historical monuments within the town boundaries are baroque tenement houses around the market square together with the town hall and the baroque parish church, all built in the 18th century and designed by the same architects as the castle. The evangelical church building now serves as a concert hall. In the center of the market square a unique statue representing the Trinity was erected in 1761 by the sculptor Andrew Schmidt in memory of the plague that decimated the town in 1709. The monumental former annexes to the castle, facing its north side, are in Classic style. All the monuments are the works of prominent architects brought in from all over Europe by the Leszczyński and Sułkowski families.
At one time there were over 40 windmills around Rydzyna, Today only one remains, renovated in 2003 it now houses the Museum of Agriculture and Milling.
May 11th, 2010, 10:18 PM
Trzebiatów (German: Treptow an der Rega) is a town in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. As of June 2007, it has 10,196 inhabitants.
The city was member of the Hanseatic League. This very old Slav settlement in Pomerania used to be cult center where oblations were made to pagan gods.
The town received its urban rights in 1277 according to the so-called Lubeck law, and the right of navigation along the Reda river was granted to Trzebiatow in 1287. At that time the town had its own trade fleet and the big port of Regoujscie at the mouth of River Rega could receive numerous merchant`s ships. As a Hansa member, the town had the right to mint its own coins and it boasted of powerful fortifications much respected in the central Baltic Sea area.
The medieval urban layout of the town has been preserved until today. Trzebiatow has a number of historical monuments.
The most famous monuments of Trzebiatów are:
The St. Mary's Church - built in 1305 - 1370. At two-three high, there is a viewng platform, from where you can admire the panorama of the region. There are three bells at the entrance to the tower, the oldest one called the "Mary" is dated on 1515. inside the church, there are tombstones. On of the graves, belonging to the family of Arnold Crample, from 1382, is exhibited right next to the entrance to the church.
The Defense Walls - built in 1300-1370 had 2500 m in perimeter. The Walls had 4 gateways, 40 towers and lookouts. Up to this day, only one tower left - Kaszana.
The Kaszana Tower - called the Prochowa Tower, was built in the very act of building of the Defense Walls. There is a legend related to the Tower, which describes how it saved the city against attack of citizens of Gryfice city.
St. Spirit Chapel - nowadays the Eastern Orthodox Church. Build at the beginning of the 16th Century. The Regional Council of Pomeranian States took place there on December 13th, 1534, when the Reformation was resolved as major religion. Until 1903 there was a fire station and then the auditorium of the Female College.
Segraffito - there is an elephant image on the wall of the corner building, at Zajazdowska street, made with use of segraffito technique. Probably, in fall 1939, a parade with an elephant passed through Trzebiatów city. This fact was registered in the parish register. Segraffito became a symbol of the present Trzebiatów city.
May 12th, 2010, 07:06 PM
Can anyone show pictures of Racibórz?
May 12th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Can anyone show pictures of Racibórz?
Here you go:
Racibórz is a town in southern Poland with 60,218 inhabitants (2006) situated in the Silesian Voivodeship.
The name Racibórz is of Slavic origin and comes from the name of Duke Racibor, the city's founder.
Until the end of the 5th century AD, the lands of the later Racibórz settlement were inhabited by East Germanic Silinger tribes.
Racibórz was one of five strongholds of the Slavic Golezyce (Golenshitse, Holasici in Czech), a proto-Polish tribe. Racibórz, as a stronghold, was mentioned in a work of the "Bavarian Geographer" in 845. It was the first historical capital of Upper Silesia. The Duchy of Racibórz was established by Duke Mieszko Plątonogi in 1172. The city was granted municipal privileges in 1217. From 1299 Racibórz was ruled by its own city council. The last duke of the Piast dynasty died in 1336 and from that time until 1521 the duchy and the city were ruled by the cadet branch of the Přemyslid dynasty. Racibórz was also ruled by the duke of Opole. The first coin with the Polish description "MILOST" was issued in Racibórz, in 1211 as well the first Polish national anthem "Gaude mater Polonia" which was written ca. 1260–70 in Latin by a brother from the Dominican monastery in Racibórz.
In the first half of the 14 th century Raciborz had the largest population of all south-Silesian towns. It was ruled by the Piast Dynasty until 1336, and from that time by the Przemyslids, the Czech dynasty of Dukes. In those days, according to Norbert Mika, a historian, Raciborz managed to repurchase a hereditary voytship. The transaction took place before the year 1413, and the town paid in its own tender; Raciborz Heller – a two-sided minted silver coin. That was also a time when the council’s authority was extended; a right to choose a mayor.
In 1521, after the death of Walenty Przemyslid, who did not leave an heir, Raciborz was ruled by John II Dobry, Duke of Opole. The new ruler issued Hanuszowy privilege, and made Raciborz a place of proceedings of the country council and paying homage to the king of Czech.
In 1551 the Habsburgs gained control over Raciborz and Bohemia. During the Thirty Years’ War the town was destroyed several times. In 1683 townspeople gave a warm welcome to John III Sobieski marching to Vienna to save it from besieging Turks.
After the two Silesian Wars, Raciborz was joined to Prussia. In those days, the town experienced a rapid economic growth, that accelerated in 1846 due to the new railway line, that two years later joined Berlin via Raciborz to Vienna. Steelworks smelted ores. There was a faience factory in the town. Later, metallurgical industry developed. In the first ten years of the 20 th century the population of Raciborz was 39,000.
In the second half of the 19 th and 20 th century Raciborz was a centre of the Polish activity. There was a Polish-Upper-Silesian Association (1886 – 1939), a Polish bookshop, the Polish House ‘Strzecha’. Moreover, some Polish newspapers were published, for example, ‘Nowiny Raciborskie’ (1889 – 1921). The inhabitants took part in three Silesian Uprisings. After the plebiscite of 1921 Raciborz remained in Germany. Although, the Polish-German border ran nearby, Polish cultural, social and economic organizations were active, as well as the members of the Association of Poles in Germany, cooperatives ‘Rolnik’ and ‘Ogrodnik’ and Bank Ludowy. The cultural life thrived in the community centre, ‘Strzecha’.
The Polish people lived mainly in the nearby villages, while the town was dominated by Germans. By the time of Kulturkampf (1880s) the relationship between these two nations was quiet harmonious. The authorities even published all regulations in Polish and clerks had to have a good command of it.
Political and economic changes after WWI, as well as the rebirth of Poland and a new country, Czechoslovakia, decreased the town’s significance as an industrial centre. Newly established borders broke the economic relationships binding the region. Inhabitants were not in favour of fascism, which was shown in the documents gathered by Hitler’s political police. Both Polish and German citizens were victims of repression. According to American scientists, as stated by Ryszard Kincel, anti-fascists operating in Raciborz, prevented the Germans from constructing an atomic bomb in 1942 by fabricating the chemical composition of blocks made of graphite in Plania Werke (today’s SGL Carbon Group).
During the Hitler’s occupation, there were eight labour units consisting of the British, French, Russian and Italian prisoners. Moreover, Raciborz had a maximum security prison, a camp for the displaced Poles and three labour camps. At the beginning of 1945 hundreds of prisoners marched through the town. They had been evacuated from concentration camps due to the approaching front line.
It is estimated that approximately 80% of houses, public works, factories were destroyed. Only 3000 inhabitants returned to Raciborz during the first two months. Later, more of them appeared. Repatriates from different parts of Poland settled in Raciborz.
n the 1950s ‘Rafako’, a boiler engineering company was built. Housing estates mushroomed. In the first ten years after the war Raciborz was rebuilt, then it started to extend. In 1975 nearby villages were joined (Markowice, Sudół, Miedonia, Brzezie).
May 13th, 2010, 10:42 AM
May 15th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Suwałki is a town in northeastern Poland with 69,340 inhabitants (2008). The Czarna Hańcza river flows through the town.
Suwałki is located about 30 km from the southwestern Lithuanian border. The town gives its name to the Polish protected area known as Suwałki Landscape Park.
The area of Suwałki had been populated by local Yotvingian and Prussian tribes since the early Middle Ages. However, with the arrival of the Teutonic Order to Sudovia, their lands were conquered and remained largely depopulated in the following centuries. The village was founded by Camaldolese monks, who in 1667 were granted the area surrounding the future city by the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the King of Poland John II Casimir. Soon afterwards the monastic order built its headquarters in Wigry, where a monastery and a church were built. The new owners of the area started fast economic exploitation and development of the forests and brought enough settlers (mainly from over-populated Masovia) to build several new villages in the area. Also, production of wood, lumber, tar and iron ore was started.
The village was first mentioned in 1688; two years later it was reported to have two houses. However, the growth of the village was fast and by 1700 it was split onto Małe Suwałki and Wielkie Suwałki (Lesser and Greater Suwałki). The village was located almost exactly in the centre of Camadolese estates and it was located on the main trade route linking Grodno and Merkinė with Königsberg. In 1710 Polish King Augustus II the Strong granted the village a privilege to organize fairs and markets. Five years later, in 1715, the village was granted city rights by the grand master of the order, Ildefons. The town was divided into 300 lots for future houses and its inhabitants were granted civil rights and exempted from taxes for seven years. In addition, the town was granted with 18.03 square kilometers of forest that was to be turned into arable land. On May 2, 1720, the city rights were approved by King August II, and the town was allowed to organize one fair a week and four markets a year. In addition, a coat of arms was approved, depicting Saint Roch and Saint Romuald.
After the Partitions of Poland in 1794 the area was annexed by Prussia. In 1796 the monastery in Wigry was closed and its property confiscated by the Prussian government. The following year a seat of local powiat authorities was moved to the town, as well as a military garrison. By the end of 18th century, Suwałki had 1,184 inhabitants and 216 houses. A large part of them were Jewish.
In 1807 Suwałki became part of the newly-formed Duchy of Warsaw and became one of the centers of the department of Łomża. After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Congress of Vienna, the area was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. The status of a powiat capital was briefly withdrawn, but it was re-introduced on January 16, 1816, when the Augustów Voivodeship was created and its government was gradually moved to Suwałki. Soon afterwards the older city hall was demolished and replaced with a new one, and General Józef Zajączek financed the paving of most of the city's streets. The cemetery was moved to the outskirts from the town center, and that area became a city park. Also, the Russian authorities built the Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway, which added to the city's prosperity.
In 1820 a new church was built and the following year the first synagogue was opened. In 1829 a permanent post office was opened in Suwałki. Between 1806 and 1827 the town's population almost tripled and reached 3,753 people living in 357 houses. During the November Uprising of 1831 the town's population took part in the struggles against Russia, but the city was pacified by the Russian army on February 11, 1830. In 1835 the government of Tsar Nicholas I decided not to move the capital of the voivodeship to Augustów. Two years later the Voivodeships of Poland were renamed to gubernias and the town became the capital of the Augustów Gubernia.
In 1826 an investment plan was passed and new buildings were started by the Russian authorities. In 1835 a police station was built, in 1844 a new town hall and Orthodox and Protestant churches were completed. Soon afterwards a new marketplace was opened, as well as St. Peter's and Paul's hospital and a gymnasium. In addition, between 1840 and 1849 the main Catholic church was refurbished by many of Poland's most notable architects of the era, including Piotr Aigner, Antoni Corazzi and Enrico Marconi. To change the city's architecture and break with its rural past, the city council passed a decree banning the construction of new wooden houses in 1847.
The city's population continued to grow rapidly. In 1857 it had 11,273 inhabitants and in 1872 almost 20,000. Newly-built factories needed workers and these were brought from all over the world. Because of that, the mixed Lithuania-Polish-Jewish population was soon joined by people of almost all denominations that worshiped in the Russian Empire. Soon the city became the fourth most populous town in the Kingdom of Poland. After the January Uprising of 1863, the new administrational reform was passed to unify the Polish lands with Russia completely. In 1866 the gubernia of Augustów was finally renamed to Suwałki Gubernia. However, the newly-built Warsaw-Petersburg rail road passed by Suwałki and the town's prosperity diminished. It was not until the early 20th century, when the arrival of a new Russian army garrisons brought the economy back on track. Also a railroad line linking Suwałki with Grodno was finally completed.
After the spring of 1905, when the Russians were forced to accept a limited liberalisation, the period of Polish cultural revival started. Although the Polish language was still banned from official use, new Polish schools were opened, as well as a Polish-language Tygodnik Suwalski weekly and a library. After the Great War broke out, heavy fights for the area erupted. Finally in 1915, the Germans broke the Russian front and Suwałki was put under German occupation. The town and surrounding areas were detached from the rest of the Polish lands and were directly administered by the German military commander of the Ober-Ost Army. Severe laws imposed by the German military command and the tragic economic situation of the civilians led to the creation of various secret social organisations. Finally, in 1917, local branches of the Polska Organizacja Wojskowa were created.
After the collapse of the Central Powers in November 1918, the local commander of the Ober-Ost signed an agreement with the Temporary Counc l of the Suwałki Region and de facto allowed for the region to be incorporated into Poland. However, the German army remained in the area and continued its economic exploitation. In February 1919 the local inhabitants took part in the first free elections to the Polish Sejm, but soon afterwards the German commanders changed their mind and expelled the Polish military units from the area and in May passed it to Lithuanian authority. By the end of July the Paris Peace Conference granted the city to Poland and the Lithuanians withdrew from the city, but some of the Polish-inhabited lands were left on the Lithuanian side of the border while several Lithuanian villages were left on the Polish side of the so-called Foch Line. This led to the outbreak of the Sejny Uprising on August 23, 1919. To secure the city, the following day the first regular units of the Polish Army entered Suwałki. A short Polish-Lithuanian War erupted and for several days limited fights were fought for the control over Suwałki, Sejny and other towns in the area. The war ended on the insistence of the Entente in mid-September (negotiations took place in Suwałki in early October). During the Polish-Bolshevik War the city was captured by the Reds and after the Battle of Warsaw it was again passed to the Lithuanians, but it was retaken by the Polish Army with negligible losses soon afterwards.
In the interbellum Suwałki became an autonomous town within the Białystok Voivodeship (1919-1939). This led to yet another period of prosperity, with the city's population rising from 16,780 in 1921 to almost 25,000 in 1935. The main source of income shifted from agriculture to trade and commerce. Also, in 1931 the new water works and a power plant were built. Also, Suwałki continued to serve as one of the biggest garrisons in Poland, with two regiments of the Polish 29th Infantry Division and almost an entire Suwałki Cavalry Brigade stationed there. Since 1928 Suwałki was also the headquarters of one of the battalions of the Border Defence Corps.
During the later stages of the Polish Defensive War of 1939 the town was briefly captured by the Red Army. However, on October 12 of the same year the Soviets withdrew and transferred the area to the Germans, in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Alliance. The town was renamed to Sudauen and incorporated directly into the German Reich's East Prussia. Severe laws and terror that erupted led to the creation of several resistance organisations. Although most of them were at first destroyed by the Gestapo, by 1942 the area had one of the strongest ZWZ and AK networks. Despite the resistance, almost all of the city's once 7,000-strong Jewish community was murdered in German concentration camps. Also, in Suwałki's suburb of Krzywólka a POW camp for almost 120,000 Soviet prisoners of war was established. On October 23, 1944, the city was captured by the forces of the Soviet 3rd Belarusian Front. The fights for the city and its surroundings lasted for several days and took the lives of almost 5,000 Soviet soldiers. The anti-Soviet resistance of former Armia Krajowa members lasted in the forests surrounding the city until the early 1950s.
After the war, Suwałki remained a capital of the powiat. However, the heavily-damaged town recovered very slowly and the Communist economic system could not help the city's problems. This period came to an end in 1975, when a new administrative reform was passed and Suwałki yet again became the capital of a separate Suwałki Voivodeship. The number of inhabitants rose rapidly and by the end of the 1970s it was over 36,000. Large factories were built in the city and it became one of the important industrial and commercial centres of Eastern Poland.
After the peaceful dissolution of the Communist system in Poland in 1989 the city experienced a period of economic difficulties. Most of the city's major factories were inefficient and went bankrupt. However, the creation of the Suwałki Special Economic Zone and the proximity of the Russian and Lithuanian borders opened new possibilities for the local trade and commerce. In addition, the ecologically clean region started to attract many tourists from all around the world.
Suwalki is often called "Polish pole of cold" because it has the lowest average temperature in the whole Poland, except mountain resorts.
May 16th, 2010, 11:28 AM
The first signs of settlement date to 10.000 B.C. when reindeer hunters made their visits to the area. Around 4500 B.C. the first agricultural settlements were founded. Goth tribes also moved through the area on their trek from Scandinavia and North Germany. Visible signs of existence of the Old Prussians also exist. Around VII century Slavs(Goplans) arrived in the area.
In the time of first Piasts and the formation of Poland, ziemia chełmińska and the settlement of Łoza (now the town of Chełmża) was incorporated into chełmińska castellany. After the death of Polish Prince Bolesław Krzywousty in 1138 it was handed over to his son Bolesław IV Kędzierzawy – as part of Masovia. The fights with nearby Old Prussian tribes resulted in several raids that destroyed the area. In XIII century the ruler of the area was Konrad I Mazowiecki who in order to Christianize the Old Prussians brought a missionary bishop Christian. The bishop was granted a number of possession including the settlement of Łoza. Later Teutonic Knights were granted local lands to support the bishop by military means. However in time the Knights took over the possession of Christian, dividing the area into four dioceses in 1243, including the chełmińska diocese. At the end of 1245 Heidenreich(Heidenryk) of the Bishopric of Culm became the bishop of diocese. He picked Łoza as place of his stay. It was during that time that Łoza received its new name Culmense and became part of the residence of the Bishop who resided and governed in Warmia from 1245-1263. In 1251 (before July 22) Bishop Heidenreich bestowed city rights to Łoza and renamed it to Culmsee (Kulmsee). A number of other towns are mentioned in his territory as well, such as Hermannysdorp, Arnoldisdorp, Sconenwerde, Belacin, Razlai, Zcampe, Heiminsod and Vambresin or Wambresin.
On July 22, the bishop also founded the cathedral-church which was build starting in 1254. Bishop Heidenreich received permissions for his undertakings directly from the pope. Later, in 1255 the four dioceses of Prussia, including the Bishopric of Culm were put under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Riga as metropolitan.
In the 1250s Jutta von Sangerhausen came to live in Prussia and settled at Bielczyny. In 1256 she founded the St. George church. It was her wish to be interred at the Culmsee cathedral-church and upon her death in 1260 her wish was granted. The 5th of May is her memorial day. The nearby town of Bielczyny and the cathedral soon became a destination for pilgrims to her shrine.
The town witnessed many wars and uprisings. Local Old Prussians staged several sieges and raids. Additionally in XV century the town experienced the wars between Teutonic Knights and Poland. In 1410 Polish army took the town and the bishop of Chelmno Arnold Stapil made a tribute to Polish king Jagiełło. In 1422 Chełmża was taken again by the forces of the king and destroyed in large part. After 1466 the town was integrated into Polish Kingdom. In 1621 and 1627 the city hosted the court of Polish King Zygmunt III Waza along with prince Władysław. The Swedish wars of 1626-1629 and 1655-60 brought devastation to the town.
In the beginning of XVIII century Russian, Saxon, Swedish armies went through the area along with supporters of Stanisław Leszczyński. The constant warfare led to the fall of the city, and its breaking point was reached due a plague that happened in years 1708-1710. A next series of wars in 1733-1735 and in 1756-1763 along with fire in 1762 almost completely destroyed the city.
After first Partition of Poland on 15 September 1772 Chełmża was taken over by Kingdom of Prussia.At that time it counted only 600 inhabitants. In 1807 till 1815 it became part of Duchy of Warsaw only to be taken over by Prussia again after 1815 and Congress of Vienna. The city population in 1831 counted 1.200 people and in 1871 3.000. It’s economical situation improved as it became an economic center for local villages benefited with good soil. During the Spring of Nations in 1848 Polish patriotism reinvigorated. Circle of Polish League was established and Polish newspaper "Biedaczek" is being distributed in the years 1849-1850 by Julian Prejs. In 1866 “Towarzystwo Rolniczo-Przemysłowe” is created, an association dealing in industry and agriculture. In 1879 a regional court is established in Chełmża. Two banks and school are established as well. Jews who made up 8 % of local population built in 80s of XIX century a synagogue. The industrial development was increased and agricultural manufacturing plant and railway terminal were completed n 1882. The population rose as well from 3.400 in 1880 to 10.600 in 1910. In 1869 a local church choir “Cecylia” was founded, which exists to this day. The developlment of the city was stopped by the start of First World War. The living conditions declined and street riots became widespread. Poles rose up against Germanisation and protests were made against forced teaching in schools in German language. On 8 January 1919 local Poles attacked a Grenzschutz unit but were repelled. In revenge the Germans shelled the town by artillery, and 7 random citizens were killed. Additionally several people were arrested upon suscipition of leading the protests. On 21 January as result of Treaty of Versailles, Chełmża became part of Poland again. A part of pro-German population was deported(2000 people). The population counted 98% Poles, 1,8 % Germans, 0,2 % Jews. The overall number of Chełmża citizens rose from 10.700 in 1921 to 13.000 in 1939. After the Great Depression in 1929 wages became lower and unemployment rose. National Democrats and at the second place socialists lead by Stanisław Nehring became the main parties in Chełmża. “Gazeta Chełmżyńska” and “Głos Chełmżyński” were two papers distributed in the city. The mayor of the city was Bronisław Kurzętkowski from 1920 to 1933 and Wiktor Barwicki from 1933 till 1939. After German invasion of Poland, extermination of the Polish and Jewish people started. German state at the time considered Poles and Jews to be untermenschen and planned their eradication as national groups. As result of German repressions the population of the city declined to 10.000 in March 1945. On January 1945 Red Army took Chełmża ending the German occupation. Soviet repressions followed and 600 people were deported to Siberia. The losses inflicted by German occupation regarding the population were gradually reversed and in 1980 Chełmża counted 15.000 people.
August 17th, 2010, 10:45 PM
czekam na kolejne zdjęcia
August 19th, 2010, 11:05 AM
This is one of my favorite threads in Urban Ukraine's Photos from abroad section. A big thanks to DocentX :cheers:
August 19th, 2010, 02:46 PM
Since there is a demand for more pic, I will try to update this thread from time to time:
Kłodzko (Czech: Kladsko; German: Glatz; Latin: Glacio) is a town in south-western Poland, in the region of Lower Silesia. It is situated in the centre of the Kłodzko Valley, on the Nysa Kłodzka river.
With 28,250 inhabitants (2006), Kłodzko is the main commercial centre as well as an important transport and tourist node for the area. For its historical monuments it is sometimes referred to as "Little Prague" (German: Klein-Prag). Culturally and traditionally a part of Bohemia, administratively it has been a part of Silesia since 1763.
The earliest mention of the town itself is in a 12th century chronicle by Cosmas of Prague. He mentions the town of Cladzco as belonging to Slavník, father of Adalbert of Prague, in 981. Initially in Bohemia, the town was also claimed by the Kingdom of Poland, which led to a series of conflicts which in turn devastated the city completely by the beginning of the 12th century. In 1114 Bohemian prince Soběslav (later duke Soběslav I) burnt the town to the ground, but he rebuilt it shortly afterwards. He also rebuilt and strengthened the castle located on a high rock overlooking the town. After the peace treaty of 1137, Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland ceded all claims to the land of Kłodzko to the Bohemian Principality (later Kingdom).
German Augustian monks were invited to the city and, in 1376, most streets were paved with stone setts. The Augustian abbey became one of the most important centres of culture in the region and, in 1399, the Florian Psalter (Psałterz Floriański), one of the earliest texts in the Polish language, was written there by a Polish Augustinian monk. In 1390 a Gothic stone bridge over the Młynówka, a local branch of Nysa Kłodzka river) was built by the local prince. During the Later Middle Ages, the population of the city gradually became Germanised, due to the German Ostsiedlung.
Glatz developed rapidly until the start of the Hussite Wars in the 15th century. The wars left the town depopulated by plagues, partially burnt, and demolished by several consecutive floods. In 1459 was elevated by king of Bohemia George of Poděbrady to County, but still remained integral part of Bohemia as "outer region", and was not counted as part of Silesia. Before this elevation was integral part of the Kingdom of Bohemia.
n 1526 the Habsburgs were enthroned as the kings of Bohemia. Thus the County of Kladsko (hrabství Kladské) became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy; the local counts retained their powers and Bohemian kings (i.e. Habsburg emperors) ruled this land as suzerains. It was not until the 16th century that the local economy began to recover from the previous wars. In 1540 the sewer system was built. In 1549 the remaining streets were paved and the city hall was refurbished. Most of the houses surrounding the town square were rebuilt in a pure Renaissance style.
In 1617 the first census was organised in the County of Glatz. The city itself had approximately 1,300 houses and over 7,000 inhabitants. However, two years after the census took place the Thirty Years' War started. Between 1619 and 1649 the fortress was besieged several times. Although the fortress was never captured, the city itself was largely destroyed. Over 900 out of 1,300 buildings were destroyed by fire and artillery and the population dropped by more than a half. After the war the Austrian authorities put an end to all local self-government, and the County of Glatz existed in name only. The city was gradually converted into a small garrison town attached to the ever-growing fortress.
The Kingdom of Prussia annexed Glatz during the 18th century Silesian Wars, although Austrian influence is still evident in the architecture and culture of the region. The construction of the fortress was continued and the town had to bear the costs of the fortress expansion. In 1760 the town was captured by Austrian forces in the Siege of Glatz, but was subsequently returned to Prussia.
Unlike most of Prussian Silesia, Glatz resisted French bombardment during the War of the Fourth Coalition.
Glatz became part of the German Reich in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany. The restrictions in the city's growth were not withdrawn until 1877, after which the town began another period of rapid modernisation and expansion. Some of the forts were demolished, several new bridges were built, and new investments started to arrive in Glatz. The town was connected to the rest of Germany by a railway. In 1864 the gas works were built and in 1880 an electric plant was opened. The buildings along the main streets were rebuilt in Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance style while the city walls with all their gates were demolished.
The end of the 19th century saw the Kłodzko Valley turned into one of the most popular tourist regions.
During World War II, the fortress was changed into a prison. At first it was administered by the Abwehr, but was soon taken over by the Gestapo. It was also used as a POW camp for officers of various nationalities. Beginning in 1944, the casemates housed the AEG arms factory evacuated from Łódź. The slave labourers were kept in the stronghold, which was turned into a sub-camp of Gross-Rosen concentration camp.
The town itself was not damaged by the war and was taken over by the Soviet Red Army without much opposition. However, shortly after the war the Kłodzko Valley became the scene of alleged Wehrwolf activities. The Nazis had blown up all the bridges in Glatz; the only one to survive was the Gothic stone bridge erected in 1390.
After the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945, the town was placed under Polish administration according to the Potsdam Conference. Since then it remains as part of Poland. The German inhabitants of the town were expelled and replaced with Poles, many of whom had themselves been expelled from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Other Polish settlers came from war-devastated central Poland. In May 1945 Czechoslovakia tried to annex the area on behalf of Czech minority (living especially in the western part of the land, called Czech Corner) and historical claims, but on pressure of Soviet union ceased military operations and Czech minority was expelled to Germany and Czechoslovakia.
In the 1950s and 1960s much of the town centre was damaged by landslides. It turned out that throughout the city's history, generations of Kłodzko's merchants had developed an extensive net of underground basements and tunnels. They were used for storage and, in times of trouble, as a safe shelter from artillery fire. With time the tunnels were forgotten, especially after the original German population was deported, and during the years after World War II many of them started to collapse, along with the houses above. Since the 1970s the tunnels were conserved and the destruction of the city was stopped. Another disaster happened in 1997 when the city was damaged by flooding even greater than that of 1938. However, the town quickly recovered.
Currently, Kłodzko is one of the most important centres of culture, commerce and tourism in Lower Silesia. It is popular with German tourists interested in the city's history and among younger tourists for its winter sports facilities.
October 13th, 2010, 12:35 AM
Jawor (German: Jauer) is a town in south-western Poland with 24,347 inhabitants (2006).
It is the seat of Jawor County, and lies approximately 61 kilometres (38 mi) west of the regional capital Wrocław.
In the town can be found a Protestant Church of Peace. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
The name Jawor is Polish for "sycamore". Prior to 1945, the town was part of Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia and Germany.
Church of Peace (UNESCO)
October 13th, 2010, 01:27 AM
Kłodzko looks wonderful, I'd like to move it to Ukraine, if you don't mind :)
October 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Kłodzko looks wonderful, I'd like to move it to Ukraine, if you don't mind :)
Lower Silesia region is especially rich is such treasures like Kłodzko.
But don't worry - you have also many nice towns and cities :cheers:
For example this year when I've been to Lviv and I've seen some interesting towns on the way after crossing the border (but I am not able to name it).
October 14th, 2010, 11:00 PM
Środa Śląska (Сьрода-Шльонська)
Środa Śląska has a population of 8,800.
Long time since important trade routes ran through Silesia connecting Easter and Western Europe. Many settlements were established along the trade routes, where merchants travelling from place to place apart from barter could rest after the hardships of journeys. Over the course of the time the settlements became the centers of economic, political and cultural life. By one of such routes sometime in the 12th century a market settlement called Środa Śląska was founded. It’s got its name from the markets which were held here every Wednesday (Środa means Wednesday in Polish).
The transformation of Środa Śląska from a market settlement into an urban environment had started in the reign of Henry the Bearded (1202-1238) and was connected with his aiming at gaining greater economic and political significance of Silesia as a program of unification of Poland.
The social and legal status changes connected with the foundation of the town were followed by the changes in the layout. The town was not built from the scratch on new terrain but based on the pre-existing settlement, modified to urban needs. The old spindle-shaped marketplace was retained becoming the market square. Three perpendicular streets that led out from the market in a northward and southward directions divided the town into building plots.
The 14th century was a period of particular fast economic growth. It could have been due to the fact that it was the only century in the history of Sroda when there was no atrocities of war. The most important event for Sroda in that century was its annexation into Czech territory. In 1327 the Duchy of Wrocław became a fiefdom of the Bohemia and after the death of the Duke Henry IV the Righteous, the duchy was incorporated into it. It was six hundred years until Sroda was returned to Polish hands.
Surely from the very beginning Środa had been a wine growing and making centre, which was thought to have been one of the best in Silesia. This fact was reflected in the coat of arms consisting of a golden field with a black Silesian eagle on the right and a silver field with a bunch of grapes on the left. All the seals of the town authorities were patterned on the coat of arms.
In the first half of the 15th century Bohemia and what follows Silesia was a scene of the Hussite Wars. In the years from 1428 to 1431 Środa was on the way of Hussites’ military expeditions. The worst Hussite raid was the one in 1428 when they plundered the town and burnt both the Franciscan church and the monastery.
The period of interregnum and fighting for the Bohemian crown that followed Hussite Wars lasted till the mid-15th century. It was full of rapes and ravaging done by Bohemian, Hungarian and Polish armies.
In the 16th century some significant social and political changes occurred which were a landmark for the inhabitants of Środa Śląska. In 1526 Silesia became a part of a multinational Habsburg Monarchy for over two centuries. That influenced the daily lives of the townsmen.
The most important political event of 18th century was falling into the rule of Prussia in 1741. By 30th December 1740 Środa had been seized by Prussian army led by Frederick II.
The Środa Treasure is one of the most valuable archaeological finds in Central Europe of the 20th century. It was found in 1985 during renovation works in Środa Śląska, Poland, and is mostly kept in the Regional Museum in Środa Śląska.
The most valuable elements of the treasure include:
* a gold woman's crown, which probably belonged to Blanche of Valois, one of the wives of the emperor Charles IV
* two gold pendants, dating to the 12th century
* two gold pendants, dating to the 13th century
* a medieval gold clasp decorated with precious stones
* a ring with heads of dragons
* a ring with sapphire
* a ring with moon and star
* 39 gold coins
* 3924 silver coins
In 2006 experts noted that it is difficult to put a value on it since there are few items of similar type being auctioned anywhere in the world. One estimate from 2001 put the lowest value of the treasure at 50 million dollars, a book published in 2005 put it at 100 million dollars.
October 15th, 2010, 02:43 PM
Elbląg (German: Elbing (Ltspkr.png listen)) is a city in northern Poland with 127,892 inhabitants (2006).
The city is a port on the river Elbląg which flows into the Vistula Lagoon about 10 km to the north, thus giving the city access to the Baltic Sea via the Russian-controlled Strait of Baltiysk.
It was first mentioned as "Ilfing" in The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan which was written in Anglo-Saxon in King Alfred's reign using information from a Viking who had visited the area.
During the Middle Ages, the Old Prussian settlement of Truso was located at Lake Drużno near the current site of Elbląg in historical Pogesania; the settlement burned down in the 10th century. The Teutonic Knights conquered the region and the inhabitants dispersed in the process. The Teutonic Order built a castle and founded Elbing at the lake with a population mostly from Lübeck; today the much smaller lake does not reach the city any more.
After the defeat of the Teutonic Knights and the destruction of the castle by the inhabitants, the city successively was under the sovereignty of the Polish crown (1466), the Kingdom of Prussia (1772), and Germany (1871). Elbing was heavily damaged in World War II, its German citizens were expelled upon the war's end. The city became part of Poland in 1945 and was repopulated with Polish citizens.
Restoration of the Old Town began after 1989. Since the beginning of the restoration, an extensive archaeological programme has been carried out. Most of the city's heritage was destroyed during the construction of basements in the 19th century or during World War II, but the backyards and latrines of the houses were not changed and provide information on the city's history. On some occasions the private investors incorporated parts of preserved stonework into new architecture. Approximately 75% of the Old Town has been reconstructed as of 2006. The city museum presents many pieces of art and utilities of everyday use, including the only 15th century binoculars preserved in Europe.
October 18th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Genialny ten wątek. Czekam na więcej :)
October 20th, 2010, 08:56 PM
czekamy na kolejne zdjęcia! jakieś zdjęcia Kościerzyny by się przydały szczególnie po przebudowie rynku.
October 21st, 2010, 08:51 AM
czekamy na kolejne zdjęcia! jakieś zdjęcia Kościerzyny by się przydały szczególnie po przebudowie rynku.
I'll try to add sth today. :cheers:
Ps. I personally think that this thread shows also Polish people how rich and interesting Poland is in terms of smaller cities and towns :cheers:
October 21st, 2010, 10:34 PM
I'll try to add sth today. :cheers:
Ps. I personally think that this thread shows also Polish people how rich and interesting Poland is in terms of smaller cities and towns :cheers:
I'm glad to hear that! I agree with you I love polish small cities
October 22nd, 2010, 12:05 PM
Ostrów Wielkopolski (Острув-Великопольський)
Ostrów Wielkopolski is a town in central Poland with 72,360 inhabitants (2008), situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.
Ostrow Wielkopolski is one of the most important railroad junctions in Poland.
Recently, a small fortified dwelling dating from the 10th century was discovered on the north-east side of the town's limits. An archeological excavation is now in progress.
Ostrów received town privileges in 1404 but the economic stagnation caused by fires, wars, and a weak 16th century nobility, led to the town’s officials dropping its town status in 1711. In 1714, one of the nobility of Ostrów, Jan Jerzy Przebendowski intervened at the royal court, for the status to be reinstated. By the power of a Royal Marshall (English: Marshal), Franciszek Bielinski, the town received its status back with greater privileges. Another noble family, the Radziwiłłowie took patronage over the town and looked over its many investments. The care of the town’s owners, work of its people, dedication of its officials and its location, have favored the town’s continuous growth. This stopped unfortunately with the beginning of the Second World War. In Ostrów, a railroad hub was formed and became a vital point of the town’s development. It also helped to establish its prominent status on the local and national scene.
During the time of Partition and both World Wars, the town had become an important source for nationalist movements. One of the town’s historic episodes was the so called Ostrów’s Republic (Republika Ostrowska), which was the citizens’ upheaval of 1918. No blood was shed at that upheaval and all political powers were taken back by the Poles from their Prussian oppressor. In between the First and Second WW, Ostrów was one of the fastest growing towns: the number of inhabitants doubled, showy houses were built and modern Railcar Manufacturing (Fabryka Wagon) began.
During World War II, a Nazi labor camp Staatspolizeistelle Litzmannstadt Arbeitserziehungslager Ostrowo operated within the town's limits, where 193 people died. The town was one of the major anti-Nazi conspiracy centers in the Great Poland region. In 1941, after the Gestapo’s crackdown on the headquarters of the Poznań branch of the underground army Union for Armed Struggle-ZWZ, the headquarters were moved to Ostrów. From here the re-structure of the Poznań region of the Union was conducted.
October 23rd, 2010, 11:49 AM
Duszniki Zdrój (Душники-Здруй)
Duszniki-Zdrój (German Bad Reinerz) is a spa town in the Klodzko Valley on the Bystrzyca River in Kłodzko County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. It is a notable spa town and a major tourist attraction of the area.
The town's economy is based on tourism, with several hundred thousand people visiting the town and the area every year. In addition, there are several mineral water bottling plants, a traditional paper works and a crystal jewellery producer.
Although the area was known for its healthy waters at least since the late Middle Ages, the spa was officially founded in 1769. The natural sparkling waters of Duszniki are used in treatment of a variety of illnesses, including cardiac problems, gastrical problems. In addition, there is a number of facilities for balnaeology located in Duszniki and an osteoporosis treatment centre. Young Frédéric Chopin visited the spa in 1826.
October 25th, 2010, 08:38 PM
I'm waiting for more !
October 26th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Puławy is a town in eastern Poland, in Lublin Province, on the Wisła and Kurówka rivers.
According to the 2006 (GUS) census estimate, the town had a total population of 49,839. It was known as Nowa Aleksandria from 1846 to 1918.
Close by is Kazimierz Dolny, a charming medieval village with a little market square surrounded by ancient houses, shops, churches and a synagogue.
From the 17th century Puławy was the location of a rural residence of the Lubomirski, then the Sieniawski, noble families. In 1784 it became the property of Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and his wife Izabela Czartoryska, née Fleming. Under their stewardship, after the loss of Poland's independence in 1795 the palace became a museum of Polish national memorabilia and a major cultural and political centre. After the suppression of the November Uprising of 1830–31, the estate was taken over by the Russian government. The palace collections that had been saved became the nucleus of the present Czartoryski Museum in Kraków.
In 1869 an Agricultural and Forestry Institute was founded in Puławy. One of its first students, briefly, was the future Polish writer Bolesław Prus (who had also spent part of his early childhood in Puławy). Prus would set his stunning 1884 micro-story, "Mold of the Earth," at the Temple of the Sibyl in Puławy.
The town was incorporated in 1906.
On 13 August 1920, Józef Piłsudski, Poland's Chief of State, left Warsaw and established a military headquarters in Puławy. The Soviet Union's Red Army held most of eastern Poland and was besieging Warsaw. Piłsudski's radio-monitoring, cryptological and intelligence services had detected a gap in the Soviet flanks in the Puławy region, and he ordered a concentration of Polish forces in the surrounding area around the Wieprz River. On 18 August 1920 the Polish Army launched a counter-attack directed from Puławy that encircled and defeated a 177,000-strong Soviet force. The attack drove the Red Army from Poland and established Poland's security for two decades, until the German invasion of 1939.
During World War II, three German concentration camps operated around Puławy. The town's Jewish population of some 3,600 was first confined to a ghetto, then murdered at the Sobibór camp.
Since 1966, a large chemical plant (Zakłady Azotowe Puławy) north of the town has been producing nitrate fertilizer. Recently the plant has become the world's largest producer of melamine.
The most valuable landmark in Puławy is the baroque-classicist palace and park complex, dating from 1676–79, remodeled 1722-36 and by Chrystian Piotr Aigner ca. 1800. It includes classicist park pavilions dating from the early 19th century. One of these, the colonnaded round Temple of the Sibyl, is the setting of Bolesław Prus' striking micro-story, "Mold of the Earth."
October 26th, 2010, 06:08 PM
Great photos, and a very nice way to learn about Poland. Keep on posting!
October 28th, 2010, 12:10 AM
Stary Sącz (Старий Сонч)
Stary Sącz is a small town in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, founded in the 13th century.
The history of the town dates back to the early Middle Ages when Duchess Kinga (Kinga of Poland) the daughter of the King Béla IV of Hungary and the wife of King Bolesław V the Chaste, received the land called Sącz, together with surrounding villages, from her husband in the year 1257. It is assumed to be the date of the town foundation. Indeed, the Duchess must have loved the mountains very much, since she founded a Convent of the Poor Clares there in 1280 and she became its duchess herself. Almost at the same time, on the opposite slope of the Sącz hill, the seat of a Franciscan order was established also by Duchess Kinga. In the year 1358 the town received a privilege of the Magdeburg law, confirmed by Polish King Kazimierz the Great. An extremely advantageous location, on a very busy trade route to Hungary, fostered the town’s rapid development. However the town was often damaged by disasters, of which fired were most harmful. The town also did not manage to escape floods, plagues and wars. During the biggest fire, in 1795, almost all the town burnt down.
Visitors in Stary Sącz are provided not only with the town’s rich history, unique medieval architecture and many monuments of ecclesiastical buildings. At the fork of the rivers Dunajec and Poprad spreads a recreation area with ponds. Miejska Góra (The town’s Mountain) encourages hiking and cycling in beautiful wildlife surroundings. Stary Sącz is situated near the Poprad Landscape Park.
October 28th, 2010, 04:42 PM
Łańcut is a town in south-eastern Poland, with 18,004 inhabitants, as of 2 June 2009. Situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship.
Archeological investigations carried out in the region of Łańcut confirm the existence of human settlements from about 4000 years B.C.
The first owner of the town was Otton (z Pilczy) Pilecki, who was given the Łańcut estate by the Polish king, Casimir III the Great, in 1349, as a reward for his service. At the same time, the king also granted Łańcut its city rights according to Magdeburg law. In 1381 Łańcut was officially named a ‘town’ for the first time, by Otton Pilecki, in the foundation charter of the town. Łańcut remained under the ownership of the Pilecki family up to 1586.
The city was then owned consecutively by aristocratic Polish families of Stadnicki, Lubomirski, and Potocki. Łańcut was purchased by Stanisław Lubomirski in 1629, at which time he secured the services of architect Matteo (Polish: ‘Maciej’) Trapola and the stuccoist Giovanni Battista Falconi, in order to build a fortified residence in the town, Łańcut Castle, completed in 1641 and reconstructed many times since.
The castle is situated in the centre of the town and constructed in the style of a grand aristocratic palace-residence. It was last owned until 1944 by the Potocki family, and made infamous in late 16th century during the times of Stanisław Stadnicki. After 1775 the palace was owned by Izabella Lubomirska, who extended it and had the interiors remodelled. The palace is currently a museum particularly well known for its large collection of historic carriages. Since 1961, a well-known classical music festival is held there annually.
In 1772, after Poland's First Partition, Łańcut became part of the Habsburg Monarchy where it remained until 1918 when it became part of independent Poland.
At the end of the 18th century, the Lubomirski family established in Łańcut a distillery known for producing flavoured and sweetened vodkas. The distillery has changed ownership several times and now exists under the name of Polmos Łańcut.
The last owner of Łańcut, Alfred Potocki, was one of the richest men in prewar Poland, accumulating a fantastic collection of art during his tenancy. Shortly before the arrival of the Red Army in 1944, he loaded 11 railway carriages with the most valuable objects and fled to Liechtenstein.
Prior to World War II, Łańcut had a thriving Jewish community constituting about one-third of the city population. Local Jewish cemeteries are the resting place of the famous Rabbi Zvi Naftali Horowitz, the Grand Rabbi of Ropshitz (Ropczyce) and Rabbi Ahron Moshe Leifer, the Grand Rabbi of Żołynia. Every year, followers of the Hasidic Judaism come to pray at their graves.
The Music Festival in Lancut has been an annual event since 1961. The Festival is a series of modern and classical music concerts performed by distinguished European soloists, ensembles and choirs.
November 6th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Ełk is a town in northeastern Poland with 55,846 inhabitants (as of 2004).
The city lies on a shore of Ełckie Lake, which was formed by a glacier. Surrounded by forests, the area is part of the region of Masuria. One of its principal attractions is hunting, which is carried out in extensive forests.
By 1283 the last Sudovian Prussian leader, Skomand (Lithuania:Skalmantas), capitulated to the Teutonic Knights in the Lyck area. After 1323, the northern part of the region was administered by the Komturship of Brandenburg, while the larger part with the later town belonged to Komturship Balga. A former Old Prussian settlement, the town was first documented in 1398 around an Ordensburg built by the Teutonic Knights. The town's German name, Lyck, is derived from its Old Prussian name, Luks (from the word for waterlily, luka). It received its town rights in 1445.
In 1709/10 the plague claimed 1,300 victims. In 1831 300 people, about 10 percent of the populace, died of the Cholera, in 1837 another 80 and 333 in 1852.
Before World War I, Lyck had 13,000 inhabitants. Many citizens fled during World War I, when Imperial Russian troops attacked, but returned after the battles of Tannenberg and at the Masurian lakes. The town was reconstructed after suffering heavy damage from the Russian attack.
Lyck was again heavily destroyed by bombardments in World War II and was captured by the Soviet Union in 1945. The town was placed under Polish administration in April 1945 and since then remains as part of Poland. It was rebuilt and renamed Ełk (before 1939, Polish names for the town included Łęg and Łęk). Only a few hundred German East Prussians were able to return and to remain, with Poles making up the majority of the new population.
November 8th, 2010, 03:33 PM
Siedlce is a city in eastern Poland with 77,319 inhabitants.
The city, which is part of the historical province of Lesser Poland, was most probably founded some time before 15th century and was first mentioned under the name of Siedlecz in a document of 1448. In 1503 Daniel Siedlecki erected a new village of the same name nearby and a church in the middle. In 1547 the town, created out of a merger of the two villages, was granted Magdeburg rights by Polish King Sigismund the Old. Until 1807, when it was confiscated by the Russian authorities, it remained a private property of several notable magnate families, among them Czartoryski and Ogiński.
During the World War II more than 50% of all buildings in the city, including a historical city hall, were destroyed. The Jewish population perished in the Holocaust.
November 13th, 2010, 04:07 PM
November 13th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Słupsk [swupsk] ( listen) (German: Stolp in Pommern, known also under other names) is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, in the northern part of Poland. It is also a part of the historic region of Pomerania.
The city is located in the northwestern part of the country, on the Słowińskie Coast, 18 kilometres (11 mi) from the Baltic Sea, on the Słupia River.
It has a population of 98,757 and occupies 43.15 square kilometres (16.66 sq mi).
The city rights of Słupsk, probably given by Swantopolk II, the duke of Gdańsk (Danzig) in 1265, were extended in 1310 and confirmed in 1313 by the margraves of Brandenburg. By then, the town had become a centre of local administration and trade and a Hanseatic League associate. Between 1368 and 1478, it was the residence of the dukes of Pomerania-Stolp, a partition of the Duchy of Pomerania. In 1648, according to the peace treaty of Osnabrück, Słupsk (then Stolpe) and its surrounding territories of Farther Pomerania were awarded to Brandenburg-Prussia and later formed the Province of Pomerania. The city became part of the People's Republic of Poland in 1945 and nearly the entire German population fled or was expelled and deported during and after 1945 and replaced by Poles from central Poland and the former Polish eastern provinces annexed by the Soviet Union or by Ukrainians and Lemkos forcibly resettled in the town during Operation Vistula of the People's Republic of Poland.
November 13th, 2010, 04:44 PM
Wolsztyn (German: Wollstein) is a town in central Poland.
It is particularly famous for being the location of a locomotive roundhouse, which supplies steam locomotives for regular, timetabled train services on the national railway network. It is the last place in Europe which still does this. It is currently being partially funded by an organisation in the United Kingdom.
Wolsztyn is believed to have been founded circa 1380 by Peregryn Komorowski, a knight from King Casimir the Great’s time. The later-date development of this initially small town owed much to trading in wool and cloth-making industry.
The centuries 16th and 17th clearly saw Wolsztyn develop. During the Thirty Years’ War of 1618–1648, many Protestant dissenters settled down in this town. Resulting from the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, Wolsztyn was made part of the Prussian partition area, only to be liberated from the Prussian reign through the victorious Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918–1919.
Wolsztyn’s shed is still an operating steam locomotive depot that runs mainline steam-hauled trains on regularly scheduled passenger services to Leszno and Poznań. This is the one and only place where workshops, machines, locomotives’ maintenance facilities and other objects of technical background can be seen.
November 14th, 2010, 10:49 PM
Lubań (German: Lauban) is a town in southwest Poland north of the Jizera Mountains on the Kwisa river, with 22,137 inhabitants (2006).
In the 9th and 10th century AD Lubań was a small settlement established by the West Slavic Milceni tribe, whose lands from 927 on were conquered by German king Henry the Fowler and incorporated into the marca Geronis in 939.
In 965 the Milceni territory became part of the Margraviate of Meissen. In 1156 Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa vested his ally Duke Vladislaus II of Bohemia with the former Milceni territory around Bautzen, that later would be called Upper Lusatia.
Likewise several other city foundings under the rule of the Přemyslid dynasty, Lubań, owing to its favourable location on various trade routes, expanded rapidly.
In 1220 or 1268 (the second date is more probable) Lauban became a town with Magdeburg rights. The centre of the town was a square marketplace with perpendicular streets, leading to four gates: Görlitzer Tor (Zgorzelecka) to the west, Bracker (Bracka) (built in 1318 together with stone curtains by Heinrich Jaworski) to the south, Mikołajska to the east and Nowogrodziecka to the north. The first mayor of the town was Nikolaus Hermann, and Lauban received its own seal. Since about 1253 Upper Lusatia had been under the rule of the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg.
In 1319 the Piast Duke Henry I of Jawor claimed their heritage and occupied the lands up to the town of Görlitz including Lubań. He built a new town hall, whose ruins can be seen today (Kramarska Tower). Henry ruled the town for eighteen years, before he finally ceded it to his brother-in-law King John of Bohemia.
Under the rule of the Bohemian kingdom, Lubań on 10 August 1346 established the Lusatian League, together with the towns of Görlitz, Löbau, Zittau, Bautzen and Kamenz. Twice however, in 1427 and 1431, the Hussites completely demolished the town, it was quicky rebuilt. In its history, Lauban has repeatedly suffered great fires, which often ruined the whole town. Many inhabitants died as a result of plagues.
According to the rules of the 1635 Peace of Prague the town with Upper Lusatia passed to the Saxon Electorate. During Saxon rule, the Dom pod Okrętem ("House under the Ship") was built.
In 1815 the Lusatian territory around Lauban and Görlitz was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia after the Vienna Congress and incorporated into the Province of Silesia. In 1865 and 1866 Lauban obtained railway connections with Görlitz and Hirschberg.
At the end of World War II in 1945, the region east of the Oder-Neisse line became part of the People's Republic of Poland following decisions approved at the Potsdam Conference. The remaining German inhabitants were expelled westward and replaced with Polish settlers.
In 1992–2004 the marketplace was renovated. Streets were paved and town houses around the Kramarska Tower were rebuilt.
November 15th, 2010, 12:06 PM
Limanowa is a small town (population 14,624 as of 2005) in southern Poland, in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
Limanowa aspires to be a local administrative, economic, and cultural center. The town, located in the mountains, is well-prepared to receive tourists. Traveling to Limanowa is easy as it has connections with the main southern cities of Poland.
Mentions of the town date back to 1496, when it was documented as Ilmanowa, a rural estate that belonged to members of the szlachta. In 1520, ownership of the estate was passed from the Słupski family to Achacy Jordan, who subsequently established a judiciary.
Limanowa became a township in 1565, after being granted city rights by Polish King Zygmunt August. The residents were not required to pay taxes to the Crown for a period of thirty years, throughout which the town rapidly developed. However, its economic strength declined due to the plague, and destruction caused by the Swedish invasion of 1655.
While the town was constantly damaged by fire because of its wooden buildings, much of its infrastructure was destroyed by the fire of 1759. It was not until the Polish Partitions, and Limanowa's incorporation into the Austrian province of Galicia, that it was rebuilt. The town began to flourish as a trading hub, hosting over eighteen markets per year.
During World War I, Limanowa was located at the Eastern Front. In the early months of the war, it was the site of the Battle of Limanowa between December 1 and December 9, 1914 in which the Austro-Hungarian Army repelled a Russian breakthrough southwestwards between Limanowa and Kraków.
The Second World War saw invasion by German soldiers, and the establishment of a ghetto in Limanowa. . The town suffered heavy casualties as a result of the occupation; 472 people were shot as hostages and conspiracy participants, 123 as concentration camp prisoners, 91 people died in the Third Reich, 47 died fighting in the war, and 3,053 people from Limanowa's Jewish population were murdered.
November 15th, 2010, 12:37 PM
Żywiec is a town in south-central Poland with 32,242 inhabitants (Nov. 2007).
The history of Żywiec has over 700 years. Its name has probably been taken from a word "feed" which suggests that the local soils were fertile and the land abounded in wild animals. The first mention about the city comes from registers of the Diocese of Cracow from 1308 where we find a "parochia ecclesie de Ziwicz" which stands for "the parish of Żywiec". In 1327 Żywiec got a city charter.
Throughout the centuries Żywiec changed hands severally. Initially the city belonged to dukes of Cieszyn then to dukes of Oświęcim. Przemysław, the last prince from the Polish Piast dynasty, ruled Żywiec until 1433. The land was then taken over by the Skrzyński family that belonged to the noble clan of Swans. According to Długosz Chronicle, the family was into robbery, and the time of their rule was one of the most turbulent. In 1456 the Żywiec district was bought back by the Polish king Kazimerz Jagiellończyk. After him the land was ruled by the Komorowski family and then by the king's Zygmunt III Waza wife - Constance. In 1626, Constance issued the statute of Żywiec which put order in all the current endowments and charters and defined civic legislation. It resulted in immediate improvement of internal relations and increased economic development.
Constance was then succeeded by the Bishop of Wrocław Karol Ferdynand, then followed the king Jan Kazimierz who, during the Swedish invasion of Poland in 1655-1660, stayed in Żywiec twice. This was the time of patriotic conduct and people from the District of Żywiec faithfully defended their king and the city against Swedes. However, the invader were much greater in numbers and the city was for a short time taken over by Swedes. In 1678 Żywiec was bought back by earl Jan Wielkopolski and stayed in his family for over one and a half century. In 1838 Adam Wielkopolski sold the land to the Habsburgs who ruled the district until World War II.
The fast development of the city in 19th century is connected with industrialization. Metallurgical plant producing screws, paper-mill, printing house and brewery called Arcyksiążęcy Browar - the most famous company associated with Żywiec and established by Albrecht Ferdynand Habsburg, were built. In World War II, the District of Żywiec was included in Reich and underwent strong Germanization. Germany deported 20 000 people and the abandoned households were settled with Germans. During occupation the District of Żywiec was one of the most important centres of the resistance movement. Here were an assembly area of AK forces and a smuggling point to Slovakia.
In the post-war period the city developed industry and collective enterprises. Almost every quarter had its own housing estates and educational and cultural institutions. The city gained a new face in 1967 when after accumulation of water levels of the river Soła in Tresna the Lake of Żywiec come into existence. In 1999 due to a new administrative division of the country, Żywiec became a part of Silesian province.
The city is famous for its Żywiec Brewery.
Żywiec beer is a Polish medium-light bodied pilsner beer that is the most popular in Poland and gaining popularity in the United States and all over the world.
November 16th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Krosno is a town in south-eastern Poland with 47,455 inhabitants, as of 2 June 2009.
Krosno is a medieval fortified town, a former Royal Free Town, a centre of cloth, linen, canvas, baize and Hungarian wine trade. Until recently it was a provincial capital. Today it is a medium-sized town with a population of fifty thousand.
The first mention of the town, which names Krosno as one of 34 estates in Małopolska (Lesser Poland) granted to the Lubusz (German: Lebus) Bishopric, appears in a document signed by Leszek II the Black, Duke of Kraków, in 1282. However, the oldest traces of settlement in the fork of the Wisłok and Lubatówka Rivers, found during archaeological research, date back to the 10th and 11th centuries.
The date of the first foundation charter of the town is not known though we may presume that the oldest preserved royal document of Casimir the Great, dating from 1367, regarding the sale of the Krosno aldermanship, was modelled on an earlier foundation act. Hence it should be assumed that about the middle of the 14th century, King Casimir transformed Krosno from a settlement into a town chartered according to the Magdeburg rights and brought in numerous groups of German settlers.
Krosno, a royal town from its origin, used the coat of arms of the Piasts from Kujawy (half an eagle and half a lion with a crown over their heads) and, owing to the king's foundation, was surrounded with a defensive wall as early as the 14th century. During the reign of Casimir III the Great the construction of stone fortifications was begun to encircle the hill. But it was only under King Ladislaus Jagiello that the full-length stone and partly earth town fortifications were completed. Two gates led into the town: the Hungarian one from the south-east and the Kraków one from the north-west. The well-fortified and secure town provided perfect conditions for the development of craft and trade. The statutes of the butchers guild were known as early as 1403 and in the middle of the 15th century the guilds of bakers, shoemakers, tailors, blacksmiths as well as clothiers and fullers were constituted. Krosno became an important production centre of cloths and fustians.
The medieval town had waterworks and a sewage system, which is evidence of its importance and the wealth of its inhabitants. The privilege granted by King Casimir IV Jagiellon in 1461 shows that Krosno, next to Kraków and Lwów, was the third town in the Kingdom of Poland with such facilities. The archaeological research conducted recently, based on the dendrochronological method, enabled scholars to move the date of the system's installation back to the middle of the 14th century. The pipe-line master dealt with repairs and maintenance of the whole water-supply and sewage systems. From the research conducted by the Krosno archaeologists it appears that the system was used until the beginning of the 19th century.
The 15th century meant the beginning of commerce development for Krosno. Apart from local trade during weekly Monday fairs the town participated in a large-scale import-export and transit commerce. The main trade routes led to the Red Ruthenia, Hungary and the countries of southern Europe. The largest transactions were made during yearly fairs held three times a year. The trade was mainly in local cloths and baizes, horses, cattle, copperware and imported commodities made of copper and iron, and obviously, in Hungarian wine, on which several Krosno merchant families made fortunes.
The middle of the 17th century witnessed the beginning of a gradual loss of the earlier position of the town. Natural disasters, raids of the Swedish, Transylvanian, and Tartar troops, pestilences and war requisitions brought Krosno to a desperate state at the end of 17th century. In the time of the partitions of Poland and under the Austrian rule, once rich and importance, the town experienced a period of severe impoverishment. It became one of many small towns of Galicia. Weaving was the only handicraft which enjoyed prosperity at that time. Large-scale flax and hemp plantations provided work for many weaving shops near Krosno. Korczyna and Kombornia were the strongest centres of this industry but there were thousands of home weaving shops in the vicinity of Krosno.
It was not until the middle of the 19th century, the period of the Galician autonomy from 1867 to the outbreak of the World War I, that Krosno started to rise from the decline. The birth of Polish oil industry undoubtedly contributed to the notable and rapid increase of importance of the town. The first oil company started by Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Tytus Trzecielski and Karol Klobassa in 1856 and the refinery they erected in Chorkówka caused gradual inflow of foreign capital. As a results of the new administrative division the Krosno district (powiat) was established and in 1867 Krosno became the seat of the offices of the district authorities (starostwo). At the turn of the 20th century many societies, schools and institutions were established in the town: Loan Society, Nation-Wide Weaving School, Teacher Training School, Real Secondary School, "Zgoda" (Accord) Townspeople's Society, "Sokół" (Falcon) Gymnastic Society, Bleach and Finish Plant, an oil refinery, the First Domestic Factory of Tower Clocks. This state of relative progress lasted until the outbreak of World War I.
During the war Krosno Suffered serious damages. The inhabitants of the town, bombed and looted several times, suffered both from the Austrian and the Tsarist troops. In the period between the wars Krosno evolved gradually into an important industrial centre: a licence was issued to establish a flax straw breaking plant and a linen weaving plant, in the 1920s Polish Glass Factory, Joint-Stock Company was set up, in 1928 the construction of the airfield was begun and the aviation school was moved to Krosno from Bydgoszcz, in the 1930s the hangars were erected. The prosperous development of Krosno was interrupted by Word War II. The machinery and equipment of the glass factory, the refinery and the flax processing plant were stolen or devastated. The Krosno industry was completely ruined.
In September 1944, almost immediately after liberation, the reconstruction of the industry, destroyed during World War II, began. The glass factory and the flax plant were put into operation. Later on research in geology and oil drilling began, "Polmo" Shock Absorbers Factory and Transport and Aircraft Equipment Factory (WSK) were set up. Oil industry was and still is of importance for the town. Oil Industry Engineering Institute, "Naftomet" Oil Drilling Equipment Factory, Oil Drilling Establishment and "Naftomontaż" enterprise ( assembling oil drilling equipment on oil fields) are organizations which continue the oil industry traditions of the region.
November 16th, 2010, 04:04 PM
Będzin is a city in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie in southern Poland. Located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Czarna Przemsza river (tributary of the Vistula), the city borders the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - a metro area with a population of over 2 million.
The population of the city is 58,639 (2008).
The primeval grad (Slavic settlement) was destroyed by the Tartar invasion in 1241. First notes of the village Będzin date back to 1301. In 1358 Będzin was granted a charter according to the Magdeburg law. In 1364 a town’s defensive wall and a stone castle were built. In 1457 the town was damaged as a result of an invasion of Jan - the Duke of Oświęcim. In 1616 the town was destroyed by a great fire. In 1655 the town was destroyed by the Swedish army. Since 1793 Będzin was under Prussian rule, in 1807 it became a part of the Duchy of Warsaw, and since 1815 it was a part of Congress Poland (the Kingdom of Poland). In the 19th century hard bituminous coal deposits were discovered near Będzin. The first mine was opened in 1825. In 1856 at the foot of the castle a new wooden synagogue was built in the place of which in 1881a brick synagogue was erected. During World War I, in 1914 Będzin was occupied by the German army.
During World War II, in September 1939 Będzin was occupied by the German army. Będzin was incorporated into Germany which resulted in mass deportations of Poles to the General Government. The Germans murdered about 25,000 inhabitants of Będzin in total (50% of all inhabitants). In January 1945 Będzin was liberated by the Soviet army.
The stone castle dates to 14th century, and is predated by a wooden fortification that was erected in 11th century. It was an important fortification in the Kingdom of Poland.
During the reign of Polish king Casimir III the Great the castle received an upgrade from wooden fortress to a stone one, and the stone fort was operational as early as in 1348.
The castle was meant to be a military outpost on the southwestern border of the Kingdom of Poland (later, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). It was the most westward fortification, and was meant to hold off any invasion coming from Bohemian or Silesian lands. In 1364 the castle was visited by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1588, Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria, was held prisoner in here, after his defeat in the War of the Polish Succession (1587–1588).
The castle fell into disrepair in the late 16th century. The fire of 1616 and damage during The Deluge in 1657 resulted in the further destruction.
The castle was not renovated again until the times of People's Republic of Poland, when in 1952–1956, a museum was opened there.
November 17th, 2010, 12:42 PM
Malbork (German: Marienburg; Lithuanian: Marienburgas; Latin: Civitas Beatae Virginis) is a town in northern Poland in the Żuławy region, with 38,478 inhabitants (2006).
Founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, the town is noted for its Gothic Malbork Castle.
The town of Marienburg grew in the vicinity of the castle. The river Nogat and flat terrain allowed easy access for barges a hundred kilometers from the sea. During Prussia's government by the Teutonic Knights, they collected tolls on river traffic and imposed a monopoly on the amber trade. The town later became a member of the Hanseatic League, and many Hanseatic meetings were held there.
When during the Thirteen Years' War the castle was pawned to imperial Bohemian soldiers, who sold it to the King of Poland in 1457. Then the Teutonic Knights left the castle. The town of Marienburg under Mayor Bartholomäus Blume and others resisted the Poles for three further years. When the Poles finally took control, Blume was hanged and quartered, and fourteen officers and three knights with retainers were thrown into dungeons, where they met a miserable end.
The town became part of the Polish province Royal Prussia after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466). It was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the First Partition of Poland in 1772 and made part of the Province of West Prussia the following year. Marienburg became part of the German Empire in 1871.
During World War II a Focke-Wulf aviation factory was set up at the airfield to the east of Malbork. It was bombed twice by the USAAF in 1943 and 1944. Today the airfield belongs to the 22nd Air Base of the Polish Air Force.
Near the end of the war, the city was declared a Festung and most of the civilian population fled or was evacuated, except some 4,000 people. In early 1945, the town was the scene of fierce battles and almost completely destroyed. The battle lasted until March 9, 1945, and following the military capture by the Red Army, the remaining civilian population disappeared and 1,840 people remained missing. In June, 1945, the town was passed to Polish authorities who had arrived in the town in April.
Following the war, the Old Town in Malbork was not rebuilt, instead the bricks from its ruins were used to rebuild the oldest sections of Warsaw and Gdańsk. In the place of the old town, a housing estate was built in the 1960s.
The castle was founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Order during its rule of Prussia. It is located on the southeastern bank of the river Nogat. It was named Marienburg after the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Order.
The Order had been based in Acre (present-day Israel). When this last stronghold of the western Crusades fell to Muslim Arabs, the Order moved its headquarters to Venice. In 1309, in the wake of the papal persecution of the Knights Templar and the Teutonic takeover of Danzig, Siegfried von Feuchtwangen led the Order to relocate its headquarters into the Prussian part of its monastic state. They chose the site of Marienburg, conveniently located on the Nogat in the Vistula Delta. As with most cities of the time, it was based on water for transportation.
The castle was expanded several times to house the growing number of Knights. It became what some claim is the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe. It has several subdivisions and numerous layers of defensive walls. It consists of three separate castles - the High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple dry moats and towers. The castle once housed approximately 3,000 "brothers in arms". The outermost castle walls enclose 52 acres (21 ha), four times the acreage of the enclosed space of Windsor Castle. The developed part of the property designated as a World Heritage Site is 18.0380 ha.
The favourable position of the castle on the river Nogat allowed for easy access by barges and trading ships arriving from the Vistula and the Baltic Sea. During their governance, the Teutonic Knights collected river tolls from passing ships, as did other castles along the rivers. They controlled a monopoly on the trade of amber. When the city became a member of the Hanseatic League, many Hanseatic meetings were held at Marienburg castle.
In the summer of 1410, the castle was besieged following defeat by the armies of Władysław II Jagiełło and Vytautas the Great (Witold) at the Battle of Grunwald. Heinrich von Plauen successfully led the defense in the Siege of Marienburg (1410), during which the city outside was razed.
In 1456, during the Thirteen Years' War, the Order—deserted and opposed for establishing taxes to pay high ransoms for prisoners taken by the Polish king—could not pay its mercenaries. Hochmeister Ludwig von Erlichshausen moved the seat of the Order to Königsberg. Stibor de Poniec of the Clan of Ostoja raised funds from Gdansk for a new campaign against the Order. Learning that the Order's Bohemian mercenaries had not been paid, Stibor convinced them to leave by promising them their unpaid wages. He used the money from Gdansk to pay them. Following the departure of the mercenaries, Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon entered the castle in triumph in 1457.
Under mayor Bartholomäus Blume, the city resisted the Polish forces for three more years, but the Poles captured and hanged him in 1460. In 1466 both castle and town became part of Royal Prussia. It served as one of the several Polish royal residences. During the Thirty Years' War, in 1626 and 1629 Swedish forces occupied the castle. They invaded and occupied it again 1656 to 1660 during the Northern Wars.
After Prussia and the Russian Empire made the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the town became part of the Kingdom of Prussia province of West Prussia. At that time, the officials used the rather neglected castle as a poorhouse and barracks for the Prussian Army. In 1794 David Gilly, a Prussian architect and head of the Oberbaudepartement, made a structural survey of the castle, to decide about its future use or demolition. Gilly's son, Friedrich Gilly, produced several engravings of the castle and its architecture, which he exhibited in Berlin and had published by Friedrich Frick from 1799 to 1803. These engravings led the Prussian public to "rediscover" the castle and the history of the Teutonic Knights.
Johann Dominicus Fiorillo published another edition of the engravings on 12 February 1803, also wanting to encourage public interest. Max von Schenkendorf critizised the defacement of the castle. Throughout the Napoleonic period, the army used the castle as a hospital and arsenal. After Prussia was liberated again, the castle became a symbol of Prussian history and national consciousness. Initiated by Theodor von Schön, Oberpräsident of West Prussia, in 1816, restoration of the castle was begun. It was undertaken in stages until World War II started.
With the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in the early 1930s, the Nazis used the castle as a destination for annual pilgrimages of both the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. The Teutonic Castle at Marienburg served as the blueprint for the Order Castles of the Third Reich built under Hitler's reign.
In 1945 during World War II combat in the area, more than half the castle was destroyed. At the conclusion of the war, the city of Marienburg and castle became part of Poland. A fire in 1959 caused further damage.
The castle has been mostly reconstructed, with restoration ongoing since 1962. The main cathedral in the castle, fully restored just before WWII, is still in ruins.
UNESCO designated the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and its museum as World Heritage Sites in December 1997.
November 18th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Świebodzin (German: Schwiebus) is a town in western Poland with 21,757 inhabitants (2004).
Świebodzin is an important transportation hub, lying at the crossroads of the Polish national roads 2 and 3. The A2 motorway and S3 expressway are planned to cross near the town.
The crowned statue of Christ in Świebodzin, completed in November 2010, is claimed to be the world's tallest statue of Jesus.
The town's name is derived from the Polish personal name Świeboda, related to swoboda meaning "freedom." The earliest historical records mentioning Sebusianis, Sipusius Silesius, Suebosian, Soebosian, Suebusianus for today's Świebodzin, dated from the beginning of the 14th century, when the area belonged to the Lower Silesian duchy of Głogów (German Glogau). The town sprang up at the intersection of the old trade routes linking Silesia with Pomerania and a branch of the route running from Lusatia to Poznań in Brandenburg and Western Prussia. Initially, the town was probably a defensive fortification, built on the western banks of Lake Zamecko at a slight elevation. The town wall was ringed by settlements, which were much later incorporated into the city itself.
In 1319 the Brandenburg margrave Waldemar of Ascania had conquered Świebodzin and the town of Sulechów to its south, but as he died in the same year the territory fell back to the Silesian Piasts, who in 1329 became vassals of Bohemia. When in 1476 Duke Henry XI of Głogów died without issue, fights over his succession broke out between Duke Jan II the Mad of Żagań and the Brandenburg Elector Albert III Achilles of Hohenzollern, who was able to acquire the northern part of the duchy with the towns of Krosno Odrzańskie and Sulechów, which were finally incorporated into the Neumark district of Brandenburg in 1537. The area of Świebodzin however remained a Bohemian fief, becoming an exclave of the Silesian crown land which in 1526 passed with the Bohemian kingdom to the Habsburg Monarchy.
Because of its position near the Holy Roman Empire's border with the Kingdom of Poland, the town most likely had a population of mixed Polish and German descent at this time, but Germans were the majority by the early modern period. During the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries, the town expanded economically, spatially, and demographically, in spite of local conflicts and the turbulent Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation.
After the victory of King Frederick II of Prussia in the First Silesian War (1740–1742), Schwiebus came under Prussian administration. In 1817 its territory was merged with the southern Züllichau region to form the Züllichau-Schwiebus District in the Province of Brandenburg. Schwiebus remained in this territorial form until 1945. Annexation by Prussia brought about a sharp economic crisis, as the tradesmen of Schwiebus were cut off from many of their traditional markets and outlets. The Prussian authorities also increased local taxes while limiting the town's autonomy. The period of revolutions and Napoleonic wars brought about a depression in the cloth trade and limited the economic prospects of the town.
The town's extended stagnation ended with the Stein-Hardenberg economic reforms and the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century. As a medium-sized town and hub of the local market, lying at the intersection of several routes of communication, including the new Frankfurt (Oder)-Poznań railway line, Schwiebus became a center of local industry (textile, machinery, and agricultural food processing). The town was modernized at this time with improved traffic arteries, renovation of the town hall, reconstruction of the church of St. Michael, and the construction of several new public service buildings (law courts, high school, gas works, and post office).
The center of Świebodzin still contains remnants of the town's past as a medieval walled settlement, including two nearly intact towers and fragments of the town’s defensive walls and bastions. The central market square is dominated by the town hall, built around 1550 in the renaissance style and rebuilt in the 19th century with the addition of its prominent clock tower. The town hall still contains its original gothic vaults in the rooms of the Regional Museum and basement cafe. There are two large churches in the town center, the Church of St. Michael the Archangel and the Church of the Mother of God. The Church of St. Michael was first built in the second half of the 15th Century, and its neo-gothic facade was added in the second half of the nineteenth century. The neo-gothic Church of the Mother of God was built during the Imperial German period as a Protestant Church but was reconsecrated as a Catholic Church after World War II.
In the summer of 2008, assembly of the Christ the King Statue, a giant statue of a crowned Jesus Christ, began on a hill on the outskirts of the town. Intended to serve as a future site of pilgrimage, the statue was completed in November 2010, and is claimed to be the world's largest statue of Jesus. Construction was funded by donations from local people and as far away as Canada.[
November 20th, 2010, 10:27 PM
falls to ask for permission to use photos
November 21st, 2010, 10:17 PM
Poland is very beautiful on photos... and in reality :D
November 27th, 2010, 12:59 PM
i want more ! :)
December 1st, 2010, 01:36 AM
Wiślica, though today only a small village, is one of the most ancient settlements in Poland, and has played an important role in Polish history.
It was (together with Krakow) ancient capital of the Wislanie (Vistulans) tribe.
A number of the Polish tribes formed small dominions beginning in the 8th century. Some of these small dominions merged into larger ones. Among those were the Vistulans (Wislanie) in southern Poland with Krakow and Wislica as their main centers. From the early 10th century on the Polans (people of the fields) of Greater Poland (with main centers in Gniezno and Poznan) began to give rise to the Polish state with tribal unions.
Wislica existed as a fortified settlement (gród) in the 8th and 9th and 10th centuries. In the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century it was an important fortified town and a center of trade, as well as a residence of Piast kings and princes.
The main church in Wislica, the gothic Basilica of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (pl. Bazylika Narodzenia Najświętszej Marii Panny), was funded by king Casimir III and built in the third quarter of the 14th century. The bell tower was added in 1397–1400 and the vicar's house
December 2nd, 2010, 02:17 PM
Wolin (German: Wollin) is a small town situated on the southern tip of the Wolin island off the Baltic coast of Poland. The island lies at the edge of the strait of Dziwna in Kamień Pomorski County in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship.
The town, now a fishing port and gateway to the island's bathing resorts, has a population of approximately 4,900. Dating from the 9th century, it has been associated with the semi-legendary settlements of Jomsburg, Jumne, Julin and Vineta. It played an important role in the conversion of Pomerania and in 1140 became the first see of the Pomeranian diocese.
Several ruins from the Slavic period occupy the area.
The history of the town starts with the West Slavic settlement of the island in the 8th century. The local tribe was recorded as "Velunzani" (Volinians) in the 9th century by the Bavarian Geographer, and is considered a sub-tribe of both the Slavic Pomeranians and the Veleti (later Lutizians). Compared to other tribes of these groups, the Volinian tribal territory was relatively small, but densely settled: In the 11th century, there was one settlement per four square kilometers. The Volinians are described by Jan Maria Piskorski as the most powerful Pomeranian tribe. This position resulted from the multi-ethnic emporium at the site of the present-day town. Similar emporia were also set up elsewhere along the southern coastline of the Baltic Sea since the 8th century.
This emporium, by contemporary chronicles referred to as Jumne or Julin, began to prosper in the 9th century. Archaeological research revealed seaside foritifications that have been dated back to the beginning 10th century, and also remnants of older fortifications, probably pointing to an earlier burgh with an adjacent open settlement. In the 960s, the Jewish merchant Ibrahim ibn Jakub described the settlement as a town with several thousand inhabitants and twelve gates. Besides the Volinians, there were Scandinavian, Saxons and Russians. Later, the town was mentioned in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen. Adam mentioned a lighthouse, which he described as "the lamp of Vulcan". All these descriptions contributed to the Vineta legend. Though other towns are also considered possible locations of Vineta, it is believed today to be identical with Wollin. The same is true for Jomsborg, a stronghold set up by Danish king Harald Bluetooth and Swedish prince Styrbjörn in the course of Harald's internal struggles with his son, Sweyn Forkbeard, in the 970s or 980s, which housed a garrison of soldiers known as Jomsvikings.
In the late 10th century, the Polish dukes Mieszko I and Bolesław I Chrobry subdued parts of Pomerania and also fought the Volinians. Despite a victory of Mieszko in a 967 battle, the Polish dukes did not succeed to subdue the area.
In 1121/22, the Polish duke Bolesław III Wrymouth conquered the area along with the Duchy of Pomerania under Wartislaw I. Boleslaw aimed at Christianizing the area and in 1122 sent the Spanish eremite Bernard on a mission to Wollin. The inhabitants, reluctant to convert to a religion of a man who did not even wear shoes, beat him up badly and expelled him. With the approval of both Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Pope Callixtus II, Boleslaw initiated another mission of Saint Otto of Bamberg in 1124. When Otto, a respected and wealthy man acompagnied by German and Polish clergymen and military units, arrived in Wollin, he had already successfully converted the Pyritz and Cammin areas. Yet, he was met with distrust, and the town's inhabitants finally gave in to convert to Christianity only if Otto managed to convert Stettin, which the Volinians assumed was unachievable. Yet, when Otto after two month work and threatening with another military intervention managed to convert Stettin, he returned to Wollin and the Volinians accepted conversion.
Otto's second mission in 1128 was initiated by Holy Roman Emperor Lothair in 1128 after a pagan reaction. While this second mission was oriented more towards Western Pomerania, Otto also visited Wollin again. Wartislaw I, Duke of Pomerania supported and aided both missions. In 1140, Wollin was made the first episcopal see in Pomerania: Pope Innocent II founded the diocese by a papal bull of 14 October, and made Wollin's church of St. Adalbert its see. However, the see was moved to Grobe Abbey on the island of Usedom after 1150.
At the same time Wollin economically decayed and was devastated by Danish expeditions, which contributed to the move of the episkopal see to Grobe. The Danish campaigns completely wiped out the town in the late 12th century.
On the ruins of the early medieval town, a new town was founded and granted Lübeck Law during the Ostsiedlung in 1260. The town remained in the Duchy of Pomerania (which was within the Holy Roman Empire since 1164/1181), passing with the Duchy of Pomerania-Stettin to the Swedish Crown following the Treaty of Stettin (1630), the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the Treaty of Stettin (1653). Since the Treaty of Stockholm (Great Northern War) of 1720, it was incorporated into the Prussian Province of Pomerania. In 1945, with the conclusion of the Second World War, Wollin was conquered by the Red Army and handed over to Poland and the German population was expelled The town was renamed Wolin and resettled by Poles.
Wolin National Park nearby the town:
December 6th, 2010, 04:15 PM
Szczawnica is the citywith 7 500 inhabitants. It is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Southern Poland, in the borderland of the Pieniny Mountains and Beskid Sądecki Region,430 - 550 m above sea level. The city was being developed in the picturesque Grajcarek valley, the right-bank tributary of the Dunajec river. The beginnings of Szczawnica are dated back to XV th century, and the reason for its growth was the utilization in XIXth century of acid springs of mineral water.
Since then the mountain village started to transform into one of the most popular and frequently visited Polish spas.
Pieniński National Park near Szczawnica :
December 10th, 2010, 01:44 PM
Drohiczyn lay astride a trade route between Ukraine and Poland, and in the 13th century was a part of the principality of Volhynia. It was annexed by Mazovia in 1238. In 1253, prince Daniel of Halych was crowned King by a papal representative in Drohiczyn.
From 1443 it was a Lithuanian domain. Ater the 1569 Union of Lublin it was ceded to Poland.
City rights were granted to Drohiczyn by Alexander Jagiellon in 1498. From 1520 to 1795 it served as the capital of Podlaskie (Podlachia) Voivodeship. In 1795 annexed by Prussia. From 1807 to 1916 the town was part of the Russian Empire. In 1916 occupied by the Germans. In 1918 Drohiczyn returned to the rebirthed Poland.
In 1939-1940, when Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Drohiczyn became a border town between both countries. The Soviets plundered the town, destroyed the rich interior of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches and deported a number of the town inhabitants to Siberia. In spring of 1940, Soviet authorities ordered the destruction of all buildings within 800 metres from the river Bug.
In 1991, the city was made the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Drohiczyn.
December 13th, 2010, 05:30 PM
Kodeń is a village and the site of a famous Marian shrine in eastern Poland, on the Western Bug river which forms the border between Poland and Belarus.
It has about 1,900 inhabitants (2006). It lies approximately 37 kilometres (23 mi) south-east of Biała Podlaska and 102 km (63 mi) north-east of the regional capital Lublin.
The first written mention comes from the 16th century, stating a settlement existed here already a century ago. This settlement was purchased by the voivode of Podlachia Jan Sapieha, who fortified it and in 1511 established a town under Magdeburg law.
In the 17th century the fourth owner of Kodeń Mikołaj Sapieha brought to the town the wonder working icon portraying the Spanish statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, said to have been painted by Archbishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury at the request of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. According to the local legend, Mikołaj Sapieha stole this image from Pope Urban VIII in 1630, however afterwards the Pope lifted the excommunication and gave the icon along with many relics to the basilica in Kodeń in recognition of Sapiehas actions in defense of the Church. There are no documents confirming those events and most likely the icon was simply purchased during a pilgrimage to Spain. The icon was crowned in 1723 by the bishop Stefan Rupniewski with crowns conferred by Pope Innocent XIII.
In the dire time of the Partition of Poland, Kodeń fell under Russian rule. In 1869 the town was stripped of its city rights and in 1875 the basilica was occupied by Russians and the icon had to be taken to Poland's greatest Marian shrine in Jasna Góra where it was relatively safe. In 1905 following a weakening of the tsarist regime the faithful could return to the basilica and after Poland regained independence in 1919 the parish was reestablished. In 1927 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate settled in Kodeń and restored the basilica to its former glory and the icon was returned after 52 years. In 1973 the church of St. Anne was granted the status of a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI.
Other sites of interest in Kodeń aside from the basilica include: the 16th century gothic church of the Holy Ghost with elements of renaissance and baroque, originally Greek Catholic, but in the 1960s adopted as filial church of the Roman Catholic parish due to the lack of Eastern Rite faithful; the cemetery chapel of St. Laurentius; the Calvary of Kodeń; palace ruins.
December 31st, 2010, 12:40 PM
Wolbórz is a village (a town from January the 1st, 2011) in Piotrków County, Łódź Voivodeship, in central Poland.
The town has a population of 2,381.
First mentions of the town date back to 1065. In 1136 it is mentioned as a castellan’s settlement with a market and prison cell. It belonged to the Bishops of Włocławek since 1136 and they resided there very often. In 1273 Wolbórz was granted town rights. In 1410 the Polish army stationed here when on its way to confront the Teutonic Knights. Between the 15th and 16th century millinery started to play an important role in the towns life. In the 17th and 18th century Wolbórz was destroyed several times by enemy forces.
In 1793 during the Second Partition of Poland the town fell under the rule of Prussia. As of 1807 Wolbórz belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815 the town joined Congress Poland.
In 1869 the Tsar revoked Wolbórz’s town rights.
During Word War II, in September 1939, German forces bombarded Wolbórz effectively ruining many of its buildings.
January 21st, 2011, 03:58 PM
January 21st, 2011, 03:58 PM
January 21st, 2011, 03:59 PM
Oleśnica is a town in the Trzebnickie Hills in southwestern Poland with 36,951 inhabitants (2006).
The city has been part of an important trade route between Wrocław and the Greater Poland region, and had close ties with Kraków. It was the site of an important printing press and gymnasium. From the 13th century, it had a coin mint.
The town's name comes from the world Olcha(Alder), in the past it was named Olesznica. Olcha is a slavic word for this common plant and tree.
The ducal castle with a nearby trading settlement was first mentioned in 1189. On 22 February 1255, the village received city rights (Civitatem nostram Olesnicz) from Henryk III the White, son of Henry II the Pious. From 1320 it was the capital of the Duchy of Oleśnica and the seat of Konrad of Oleśnica. After the 1492 death of Konrad Biały Młodszy, last of the local Polish Piast dynasty, the duchy was sold to the Bohemian Poděbrady dynasty. In 1647 was inherited by the Dukes of Württemberg, and in the 18th century by the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
As Oels, the city was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1742 during the First Silesian War and administered within the Province of Silesia. Following administrative reform in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars, Oels became the seat of Landkreis Oels. The city became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany.
After World War I, Oels was included within the Province of Lower Silesia. It was heavily damaged by the Red Army in 1945 during World War II, having approximately 60-80% of its buildings destroyed. The city became Polish after the Potsdam Conference and was renamed Oleśnica. The remaining German-speaking population was subsequently expelled and resettled with Poles many of whom were expelled from Eastern Poland annexed in 1945 by the Soviet Union.
Renaissance castle in Oleśnica
January 21st, 2011, 05:07 PM
Lądek Zdrój (Льо́ндек-Здруй)
Lądek Zdrój, one of the oldest health resorts in Europe, surrounded by the Golden Mountains, not far from the majestic summit of Śnieżnik towering over the Kłodzko Land, has attracted patients and tourists for centuries.
The location of the town, its historical buildings, the charm of the old town part , together with the greenery of the spa parks create a unique atmosphere.
February 2nd, 2011, 05:28 PM
Dzierżoniów (German: Reichenbach; former Polish: Rychbach) is a town in southwestern Poland.
Dzierżoniów covers an area of 20.1 km˛, and according to official figures for 2008 has a population of 34,396. It is named after Polish priest and scientist Jan Dzierżon.
In its early history, the town was known as Reichenbach; composed of the German words reich (rich, strong) and Bach (stream), it refers to the current of the Piława River. The name was rendered in Polish as Rychbach. To differentiate between other places named Reichenbach, the Lower Silesian town became known in German as Reichenbach im Eulengebirge, or "Reichenbach in the Owl Mountains".
Reichenbach was first mentioned in a document dating to 13 February 1258. The parish Church of St. George was also noted early on. The coat of arms, depicting Saint George slaying a dragon, was used by 1290 at the latest. The town passed successively from the Bishopric of Wrocław, to the Duchy of Ziębice, and to the Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor. Reichenbach became part of the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1325 and the Knights Hospitaller built a school and hospital in the town in 1338. It was plundered by the Hussites during the 15th-century Hussite Wars.
The Habsburg Monarchy of Austria inherited the Bohemian throne in 1526 and became the town's new lords. Reichenbach developed into a trading center, especially for textiles and linen, during the 16th century. After the First Silesian War in 1742, most of Silesia, including Reichenbach, became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1762 during the Seven Years' War, the region between Reichenbach and Świdnica was the setting for the Battle of Burkersdorf between Prussia and Austria.
In 1790 representatives from Austria, Prussia, Holland, and Poland met at Reichenbach to discuss the Ottoman wars in Europe. In 1813 Tsar Alexander I of Russia met with King Frederick William III of Prussia. From 1816–1945 Reichenbach contained the district office for Landkreis Reichenbach. Until 1820 the town was the seat of a Prussian district president. Reichenbach was connected to a rail network in 1855. It became part of the Prussian-led German Empire in 1871.
Reichenbach was transferred from Germany to Poland in 1945 after World War II. The majority of its German inhabitants had fled earlier in 1945 before the war, while a few remaining thousands unable to flee were subsequently expelled and replaced with Poles.
Rather than be known by its traditional Polish name Rychbach, the town was renamed Dzierżoniów in 1946 after the apiarist Jan Dzierżon. It was also the site of a Jewish commune of 50,000 led by Jakub Egit from 1945-1948.
One of the town's synagogues survived the war and has been restored.
February 8th, 2011, 12:18 AM
Lovely towns indeed.
By the way, is this some Polish Cyrillic you've invented?
February 18th, 2011, 07:52 PM
Lovely towns indeed.
By the way, is this some Polish Cyrillic you've invented?
I think this is only some phonetic facilitation for Russian/Ukrainian users. In Poland we don't use Cyrillic, only west alphabet (Latina).
February 26th, 2011, 05:46 PM
April 28th, 2011, 09:46 AM
Sorry about the ad, I couldn't find a better map.
Kartoszyno isn't actually a town neither it is a village. Well, it used to be a village at one point but that was a long time ago and noone seems to remember it. The place is located in the northern Poland in Krokowa municipality next to the Żarnowieckie lake. The thing is though it is there where the the first polish nuclear power plant was supposed to be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BBarnowiec_Nuclear_Power_Plant
And those are the remains:
April 29th, 2011, 02:52 PM
you've forgotten Legnica! does anybody have pictures of Legnica?
June 9th, 2011, 02:23 PM
mix of some of the previousely showned towns :
June 9th, 2011, 03:34 PM
Замость класний, але деякі будинки занадто вже яскравих кольорів
June 19th, 2011, 11:36 AM
Pasym is a small town in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with 2,522 inhabitants (2004).
A small settlement named Heinrichswalde was first mentioned in 1381. In 1386 this settlement was renamed Passenheim after the Teutonic Knight Heinrich Walpot von Passenheim from modern Bassenheim near Koblenz.
The town was destroyed by the Polish Tatar raids in 1656, which has been described by Christoph Hartknoch (1644–1687).
June 19th, 2011, 12:32 PM
In 1240 the Teutonic Knights constructed a castle on the left shore of the Alle (Łyna) River on the border between the Prussian regions of Natangia and Bartia. The castle was part of the Komturei Balga and was composed of block houses, palisades, and earthworks. Besieged by Old Prussians for four years during a Prussian uprising, the castle was destroyed in 1264. The Order rebuilt the castle shortly afterwards, but this was besieged by Sudovians in 1273. After uprisings ended, the knights built the Ordensburg out of stone from 1274-80. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the castle was administered by the Komtur of Balga.
Bartenstein sided with the Prussian Confederation during the Thirteen Years' War (1454–66). The Teutonic castle was destroyed by the town's citizens at the beginning of the war and was not rebuilt afterward. The townsfolk reconciled with the Teutonic Knights in 1460.
Bartenstein became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and the Prussian Province of East Prussia in 1773. During the Napoleonic Wars, Prussia and the Russian Empire signed a treaty of alliance in the town on 16 April 1807. Administrative reform following the wars placed the town within East Prussia's Landkreis Friedland in 1818.
Never before in its entire history defeated by aggressors, in January 1945 during World War II, Bartenstein was 50-60% destroyed during fighting with the Soviet Red Army.
June 19th, 2011, 01:17 PM
Ojców is a village in Gmina Skała, in Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland.
It is one of the sights of the Eagle Nests Trail (Szlak Orlich Gniazd), as there are the ruins of a gothic castle near the village. The village is where the authorities of the Ojców National Park (the smallest of Poland's 23 national parks) have their headquarters. It lies approximately 18 km north-west of the regional capital Kraków.
Legend has it that the place name, Ojców, meaning ‘fathers’, came about thanks to Polish king Kazimierz the Great.
He is supposed to have named the castle, built at his bidding, ‘Father on the Cliff’, in connection with an event in the life of his father, Władysław the Elbow-High (Polish King Władysław I).
The legend tells of how he took refuge in the Prądnik Valley during the battle for Krakow being fought out with the Czech king, Wenceslas II. There is a grain of truth inherent in the legend; the stone castle standing on the site of an earlier stronghold was, indeed, built at the command of Kazimierz the Great. It was one of the more important of the fortresses lining the Krakow-Częstochowa Jurassic Highland Chain and it was here that the Starosta of Ojców, the royal official, lived.
The castle was occupied until the end of the 18th century; indeed, in 1787, the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, was received as a guest here. However, following the Partitions, the building fell into ruins. Fragments of the walls survive to this day, as does one of the towers and the gate tower, which houses a small museum. The land on which Ojców Castle stands is now part of the Ojców National Park.
the castle in Ojców :
nearby castle in Pieskowa Skała :
Pieskowa Skała castle built by King Kazimierz Wielki, is one of the best-known examples of a defensive Polish Renaissance architecture. It was erected in the 1st half of the 14th century as part of the chain of fortified castles called Orle Gniazda (Eagles Nests), along the Highland plane of Polish Jura (Polish: Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska) extending north-west from Kraków to the city of Częstochowa.
The castle was rebuilt in between 1542-1544 by Niccolň Castiglione with participation from Gabriel Słoński of Kraków. The sponsor of the castle's reconstruction in the mannerist style was a calvinist Stanisław Szafraniec, voivode of Sandomierz. At that time the original medieval tower was transformed into a scenic double loggia decorated in the sgraffito technique. Between 1557-1578, the trapezoid shape courtyard was surrounded at the level of two upper storeys by arcades, embellished with 21 mascarons. The arcade risalit above the gate is a 17th century addition.
The castle changed hands many times over the centuries. In 1903 it was bought by the Pieskowa Skała Society led by Adolf Dygasiński and with time turned over to the Polish state and meticulously restored.
August 1st, 2011, 02:34 PM
есть ли в Польше маленькие молодые города, построенные после 1950-х годов?
There are no some many cities founded after 1950 (if any except of Nowa Huta - now part of Krakow), but there are of course many cities which were to much extent developed after II world war.
one example of such relatively new city:
Stalowa Wola is the largest city and capital of Stalowa Wola County with a population of 64,353 inhabitants, as of June 2008. It is located in south-eastern Poland in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship.
The city is relatively young. It was established around a steel mill which was set up in order to manufacture high alloy steels and weapons - artillery, heavy machine guns in 1937. The name of the city means "Steel Will". However, it was built on the site of Pławo, a village which had existed since the first half of the 15th century.
The steel mill (HSW S.A.) was a major part of a series of investments made by the Polish government in the years 1936–1939 to create the Central Industrial Region. This was to be a group of factories built in an area in the middle of the country, away from the borders with Germany and the USSR. It was designed to provide a reasonably secure location for the production of armaments and high technology goods.
The main employer is sill HSW S.A. (manufacturer of heavy machines and hi-quality alloys), then StahlSchmidt (producer of aluminium rims), then ESW-(coal power plant), Prefabet Stalowa Wola (building materials), Mostostal S.A. (steel construction-bridges, tanks and so on). Within this community, it is commonly referred to as HUTA.
some examples of new investments :
stadium under construction:
recently opened ring road :
source : http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=161062&highlight=stalowa+wola&page=11
August 3rd, 2011, 01:31 PM
Lubin (German: Lüben) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland.
As of the 2009 census, the town had a total population of 74,552.
Lubin is situated on the Zimnica river in the Lower Silesian historical region, about 71 km (44 mi) northwest of Wrocław and 20 km (12 mi) north of Legnica.
The third-largest Polish corporation, the KGHM Polska Miedź mining company, has its headquarters in Lubin.
Lubin lies midway between the main settlements of two Ślężanie tribes, the Dziadoszanie and the Trzebowianie, whose lands were subdued by King Mieszko I of Poland about 990. It is unclear which of the two tribes, if either, founded the town. One legend states that the town derives its name from Luba, a young man credited with slaying a giant bear that had been terrifying the inhabitants. A papal bull dated to circa 1155 mentions Lubin as one of 13 Silesian castellanies.
According to legend the Polish voivode Piotr Włostowic of Dunin (1080–1153) had a fieldstone church built on the hill in the west of Lubin, where about 1230 a castellany and a village arose that until today is called the Old Town (Polish: Stary Lubin). The settlement in the Duchy of Głogów was first mentioned under the Old Polish name of Lubin in a 1267 deed by Pope Clement IV as a fiefdom of Trzebnica Abbey.
The New Town of what is today Lubin was probably founded in the 1280s under the rule of Duke Przemko of Ścinawa by German settlers, maybe descending from Lower Lorraine or Franconia, in the course of the Ostsiedlung. It obtained its city rights about 1295. In 1329 Duke John of Ścinawa paid homage to King John of Bohemia, who upon the death of John's brother Duke Przemko II of Głogów in 1331 invaded the lands, which were incorporated into the Kingdom of Bohemia and shared the political fortunes of the Silesian crown land.
From 1348 Lubin Castle served as the residence of the Piast duke Louis I the Fair and his descendants. In the quarrel with his elder brother Duke Wenceslaus I of Legnica a 1359 judgement by Emperor Charles IV alloted Lubin along with Krzeczyn Wielki, Krzeczyn Mały, Osiek and Pieszków to Louis. About 1353 he had a manuscript on the life of Saint Hedwig of Andechs drawn up, later called Schlackenwerth (Ostrov) Codex, which today is kept at the J. Paul Getty Museum. In the late 15th century the Lubin parish church was rebuilt in its present-day Gothic style, its high altar was moved to Wrocław Cathedral in 1951. Under the rule of Duke George I of Brieg (d. 1521) and his widow Anna of Pomerania, the reformer Caspar Schwenckfeld, born in nearby Osiek, made the town a centre of the Protestant Reformation in Lower Silesia.
With Bohemian Silesia, Lubin in 1526 fell to the Habsburg Monarchy, it was devastated several times during the Thirty Years' War and conquered by King Frederick II of Prussia in 1742. In 1871 it was connected by rail to Liegnitz and Glogau.
During World War II about 70% of its buildings were destroyed. In 1945 between the days of 8–10 February Red Army soldiers mass-murdered 150 German pensioners in an old-people's home and 500 psychiatric hospital patients in Lubin. As a result of the decisions taken at the 1945 Potsdam Conference, the town east of the Oder-Neisse line became a part of the Republic of Poland. The German population was forcibly expelled and replaced by Poles, many of them expellees themselves from areas of eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union.
Galeria Cuprum - probably one of the best shopping centers in such a small town in the world :
Zaglebie Lubin stadium :
August 14th, 2011, 02:45 PM
Białogard (German: Belgard; Kashubian/Pomeranian: Biôłogard) is a town in Middle Pomerania, northwestern Poland with 24,399 inhabitants.
It is the most important railroad junction of the Middle Pomerania, with two major lines (Kołobrzeg - Piła and Gdańsk - Stargard Szczeciński) crossing there.
According to archaeologists the Białogard stronghold was built in the fork of the Parsęta and Leśnica Rivers as early as the 8th century. In the 10th century it was an important centre of long-range international trade at the crossroads of two important trade routes: a north-south "salt route" from Kołobrzeg to Poznań and Greater Poland, and the west-east Pomeranian route from Szczecin to Gdańsk.
Pomerania was inhabited by several tribes collectively known as Pomeranians, and Białogard was probably the centre of one of them.
In the 10th century Pomerania was conquered by the Polish dukes Mieszko I and Bolesław the Brave, who established a bishopric in the nearby Kołobrzeg in 1000, but the area was soon lost to Poland and Christianity.
Białogard is first mentioned in the chronicle of Gallus Anonymous as a rich and populous stronghold in the middle of Pomerania, a famous royal city called white (Alba Regia).
This city was conquered by Boleslaus III of Poland in 1107. By the invitation of Bolesław III the Wrymouth and his vassal Wartisław I of Pomerania, Bishop Otto of Bamberg came with a mission to Pomerania in 1124; Białogard was one of the places he visited. In the 12th century Białogard was a seat of a regional governor (castellan).
Cassubia was the name of the region around this town. The town developed quickly as one of the more important economic centres of the Duchy of Pomerania, and this was strengthened by the Lübeck law granted to the city by Duke Bogusław IV in 1299.
In the 14th century Belgard was a member of the Hanseatic League. As a result of the feudal fragmentation of Pomerania, Belgard was part of Pomerania-Wolgast from 1295 and Pomerania-Stolp from 1368. Duke Wartislaw IV chose Belgard as his main place of residence in 1315. Pomerania was united under Duke Bogislaw X in 1478, after 1569 Belgard was part of the Pomerania-Stettin, and later was again in the united Duchy of Pomerania under Bogislaw XIV, the last Pomeranian duke.
Following the Protestant Reformation, the town became Protestant in 1534. After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke in 1637, and as a result of the Thirty Years' War, Pomerania was divided between Sweden and Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648. Belgard with all of Farther Pomerania was assigned to Brandenburg and became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. In 1724 Belgard was made the capital of a county in the Province of Pomerania, and after the administrative reorganization in 1815, the capital of Landkreis Belgard.
The first post office in Belgard was opened in 1825. In 1858 the first railroad connecting Belgard to Köslin (Koszalin) and Schivelbein (Świdwin) was completed; it was extended to Stargard and Neustettin (Szczecinek) in 1878. Belgard became part of the German Empire in 1871.
During World War II, the Red Army occupied the town on March 4, 1945. According to an agreement of the Potsdam Conference, after the end of the war the town was put together with Farther Pomerania under Polish administration. In the context of these post-war boundary changes, Białogard (Belgard) became Polish. Its German population was expelled and the town was populated with Poles, many themselves expellees from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Białogard was made a county city in the Szczecin Voivodeship, was later assigned to Koszalin Voivodeship, and is now located in West Pomeranian Voivodeship.
August 15th, 2011, 01:05 PM
Wałcz (Kashubian Wôłcz, German Deutsch Krone) is a county town in Wałcz County of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland.
The city has 26.000 inhabitans.
Granted city rights in 1303, Wałcz has become the administrative, industrial and cultural center of the Wałcz Lake District with the city itself situated on the banks of the Raduń and Zamkowe lakes.
Till 1773 the town belonged to Poland, between 1773 - 1945 to Prussia then Germany, since 1945 the town is once again in Poland.
Numerous ruins of German fortifications and bunkers from World War II are found in woods surrounding Wałcz, especially in proximity to the lakes. Most of them however are inaccessible - blown up or filled with soil, to prevent accidents with careless tourists.
The lack of heavy industry in Wałcz and the surrounding areas has helped the city to maintain relative ecological cleanliness and is an excellent location for rest and relaxation.
August 15th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Świetny wątek. Wielki szacunek Docent
August 15th, 2011, 10:17 PM
Świetny wątek. Wielki szacunek Docent
I think that the thread is interesting to both: foreighners as well as Poles :cheers:
ps. I was inspired by similar thread in Polish foreign section about Czech cities and towns.
August 15th, 2011, 10:59 PM
Lovely towns and scenery, great pics. I was delighted to take a virtual tour myself, as there are many towns in Poland, which I've only heard of but never been to.
Thank you v. much DocentX, much appreciated!
August 17th, 2011, 01:57 PM
Chełmsko Śląskie (German: Schömberg) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Lubawka, in south-western Poland, near the border with the Czech Republic.
The town has a population of 1,900.
currently the market is being modernized :
August 18th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Leżajsk (full name The Free Royal Town of Leżajsk, Polish: Wolne Królewskie Miasto Leżajsk) is a town in southeastern Poland with 14,127 inhabitants.
Leżajsk is fameous for its Bernadine basilica and monastery, built by the architect Antonio Pellacini. The basilica contains a highly regarded pipe organ from the second half of the 17th century and organ recitals take place there.
Leżajsk is also home of the Leżajsk brewery. The Jewish cemetery in Leżajsk is a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world, who come to visit the tomb of Elimelech, the great 18th century Orthodox rabbi.
August 18th, 2011, 09:47 AM
^^ the sad face in the title was made by accident - no conotation here ;)
this time happy face :cheers:
August 19th, 2011, 01:59 AM
Zielona Góra (Зелена Гура)
Zielona Góra (German: Grünberg in Schlesien) is a city in Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland, with 117,557 inhabitants within the city limits.
The city's name, in both Polish, Czech, and German, means "green mountain".
The first settlement in the area of Zielona Góra was built in the valley near the Złota Łącza stream during the reign of Polish ruler Mieszko I. The oldest settlement was agricultural and later developed into a trading point along routes from Poznań to Żagań and further to Łużyce. The written records of the Slavic settlement date to 1222 and an increase of its population by Henryk Brodaty. Other documents date the settlement to 1302.
The region received influx of German burghers in the second half of the thirteenth century during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The settlement became a city with Crossener Recht, a variation of Magdeburg rights, in 1323. The earliest mention of the town's coat of arms is from 1421, although it is believed to have been arranged since the beginning of the fourteenth century.
In 1294 Henry III, Duke of Silesia-Glogau, founded a church in honor of Saint Hedwig, patron saint of Silesia. This building, today called the konkatedra św. Jadwigi w Zielonej Górze, is the oldest building in the city. A wooden castle near the city, built ca. 1272, was the residence of Duke John of Steinau from 1358–65; John had ceded his lands to Henry V, Duke of Glogau. In 1477 the town defeated a 5,000-strong army from neighbouring Brandenburg which attempted to seize it during the succession war to the Duchy of Glogau. In 1488 John II, Duke of Sagan, destroyed the castle to prevent his enemies from using it.
After the collapse of the Duchy of Sagan, the town fell to the Kingdom of Bohemia. The city declined during the seventeenth century, especially during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) and following decades. Grünberg endured plundering, debts, emigration of burghers, and fires. In 1651 during the Counter Reformation, the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria reintroduced Roman Catholicism and suppressed Protestantism.
The city was subjected to heavy Germanisation and German craftsmen banned Poles from attending any practice allowing them to work as members of guilds. A rebellion caused by conscription ended with many Poles being imprisoned.
The city was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia by the 1742 Treaty of Breslau which ended the First Silesian War. The Prussians introduced religious toleration, leading to the construction of the Protestant parish church Zum Garten Christ from 1746–47; Catholic Poles were later discriminated against, however.The city's textile industry was booming by the end of the eighteenth century, and by 1800 large parts of the city walls had been dismantled to allow the city to expand.
During industrialization many Germans from the countryside moved to large industrial cities and large number of Poles came to German cities to work as well. The Polish population was pushed by Germanisation to rural villages, although some remained in the town contributed to the economic revival of the city. A Polish church remained functional until 1809 and a Polish craftsmen association (Towarzystwo Polskich Rzemieślników) was established by Kazimierz Lisowski in 1898, it existed till 1935 when Lisowski was murdered by Gestapo.
in 1945 the town was placed under Polish administration, followed by the post-war Potsdam Agreement. The remaining German inhabitants who had not fled from the Eastern Front were expelled by Soviet troops, and the town was partly resettled with Poles transferred from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
The University of Zielona Góra was opened in 2001.
The city has been known for its wines for centuries. It is now one of two places in Poland with wine grape cultivation mainly for white wines (the other being the wine growing region near the town of Warka in Masovia). The first wineries around the city were built in 1314. At Paradyż (Paradise) Abbey near Zielona Góra, monks have been making wine since 1250.
Since 1852 an annual Wine Festival has taken place in the town.
August 19th, 2011, 05:19 PM
August 22nd, 2011, 07:10 PM
Lanckorona is a small town near Kraków. It is famous for its well preserved 19th century wooden houses.
In the interwar period Lanckorona became a well-known holiday resort, thanks to the landscape assets, bathing in the river and close location to Krakow.
Lanckorona castle was established before 1359, where was the ancient wooden guardian fortress from the 13th century developed by following tenants of Lanckorona’s land. The castle was surrounded with a moat and had a drawbridge, a courtyard, a castle chapel and utility rooms. Rumor has it that there were also secret, underground passages connecting the castle with the Lanckorona Market. The castle was one of the main place of the Bar Confederates’ resistance. After the confederation, Austrians occupied the castle and turned it to jail and barracks and later it fell into ruins at the turn of the 18th and 19th century, as a result of wild demolition.
August 24th, 2011, 12:24 PM
Spała is a village in central Poland.
The village has a population of 400. It gives its name to the protected area called Spała Landscape Park.
Spała was the site of the Central European Jamboree in 1935, and of the International Young Physicists' Tournament in 1995.
This region can be noted as the site of the Imperial Russian hunting lodge where, in 1912, Grigori Rasputin allegedly healed the tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich from a fatal hemorrhage.
August 24th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Pruszków is a town in central Poland, situated in the Masovian Voivodeship since 1999. Pruszków is the capital of Pruszków County, located along the western edge of the Warsaw urban area.
The town's population has grown significantly, from 16,000 in the early part of the 20th century to 55,387 in the 2006 census by the Central Statistical Office of Poland.
Pruszków was incorporated as a town in 1916 following World War I, although a village has existed there since the 16th century. The development of the town was aided by the construction of the Warsaw-Vienna Railway in the 19th Century and the construction of the Elektryczna Kolej Dojazdowa, Poland’s first electrified commuter train line, in 1928. A large psychiatric hospital opened in the outlying village of Tworki in 1891 and is still operating to this day.
After World War II Pruszków became one of Mazovia’s largest industrial centers. Due to its proximity to Warsaw, it is now home to several factories and companies, including Herbapol, Daewoo Electronics, L'Oréal Cosmetics as well as logistic centers. It is also an important sports center, with a sports gymnasium, soccer stadium and a cycling course.
August 25th, 2011, 07:38 AM
Włodawa is a town in eastern Poland on the Bug River, close to the borders with Belarus and Ukraine. It has 14,800 inhabitants.
Włodawa is first mentioned in historical records in 1242. We have the first written mention of the town in an Old Slavonic chronicle which speaks about Prince Daniel staying there, escaping from the Tartars in 1241. In 1446-1447 the surrounding territories were annexed into the Duchy of Lithuania and the river Włodawka marked the border between the Duchy and the Polish Crown.
In 1475 Michał i Aleksander Sanguszko received the town in exchange with the Polish King Kasimir Jagiellończyk. For the next 100 years the town became the home for the Sanguszko family. They built their castle here and developed the town's prosperity. The Sanguszko profited from the border crossing which was bringing good income. In 1534 the town obtained the Magdeburg's city rights. At that time the influx of the Jewish population started, which promoted commerce and artisanship.
The existence of a Jewish community in Włodawa is first recorded in connection with the Lublin fair of 1531. By 1623 Włodawa had a representative in the Council of the Four Lands. The community's prosperity is due to the granting of a city charter in 1534. The community was devastated by the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648, but afterwards re-established and rebuilt. By 1765 the town has 630 Jews. In 1693, the town had 197 dwellings, 89 owned by Jewish families. The census of 1773 records Jewish physicians, butchers, millers, barbers, goldsmiths, tailors, furriers, merchants, and carters, in addition to one Jew in each of the trades of coppersmith, cobbler, glazier, chandler, and wheelwright. There were also 8 schoolmasters, 2 educators, a cantor, a bass player and a cymbal player. There were 2,236 Jews in 1827 and 6,706 in 1907.
Although no Jews are known to live in the town today, Włodawa was 60% Jewish before WWII and the Holocaust. Situated next to the Sobibór Concentration and Death Camp, Włodawa's Jews were mostly rounded up and killed by German Nazis in Sobibor or one of its arbeitslagers (workcamps) such as Adampol. On the road to Włodawa there is a memorial to the Jews from Włodawa who were killed at Adampol. The handsome, Baroque, Wlodawa Synagogue survives.
August 26th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Świecie (German: Schwetz) is a town in northern Poland with 25,968 inhabitants (2006), situated in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.
The name Świecie derives from the Polish name of candle Świeca and it probably means a town with shining walls located on bright clearing or on the tower with a bonfire burning.
Świecie town is firstly mentioned in the documents from 1198 on the occasion of the donation granted by the Świecie Duke Grzymisław to Joanit's Order in the form Starogard settlement with the surrounding properties and land nearby Skarszewy. Adoption of Christianity by Poland determined the membership of the Świecie Duchy to Poland. Christianity was introduced shortly after conversion of Poland, because in 997 the Saint Wojciech could not go through the pagan country further to the pagan country of Prussians.
The Polish King Bolesław Chrobry, after the creation of the large Polish country running from the Carpathian Mountains further to the Baltic Sea uniformly divided it into castellanies. The Świecie castellany included the present parishes: Świecie, Jeżewo and Gruczno. In 1148, the Świecie land was incorporated into the newly created Włocławek bishopric. After death of the King Bolesław Chrobry, the Pomorze Region residents were freed from the polish reign and returned to paganism. The King Bolesław Krzywousty often went on a trip to the Pomorze Region and in the chronicle of Gall, there is a mention about besieging Drzycim nearby Wda River. In 1198, the whole Pomeranian country between the Vistula and Brda, Łaba and the Baltic Sea had two seats of dukes: Gdańsk and Świecie. Since 1198 until 1207, the duke Grzymisław ruled in Świecie. The borders of Grzymisław's country ran from the Brda River further to Tczew.
On November 1308, during the church fete on the Saint Dominik's day, which was associated with a fair, they murdered 10,000 Poles in Gdańsk. After Gdańsk, the Teutonic Knights occupied Tczew, where the nephew of Władysław Łokietek, Kazimierz was the governor. Kazimierz with the rest of knighthood left the settlement and went on the trip to Świecie. Łokietek, as he heard the news about the Teutonic Knights' violence, set out on the journey to Pomorze, however he only reached Świecie. He fortified the town very well. Teutonic Knights started to siege Świecie on the 25th of July 1309. As the settlements was strong and well fortified, the siege lasted 10 weeks. During that period the settlement was situated on the former castle of the Teutonic Order between the Vistula and Wda River. It was here that the events, which determined the last fates for the next half the century of the Pomorze Region took place. As the siege prolonged, the Teutonic Knights set four siege machineries and placed two gallows threatening Bogusław, the commanding officer and other chiefs of the fortress with death. Just after a complete destruction of the castle, the besieged gave in. In 1309, after conquering Świecie, the Teutonic Knights became the rulers of the whole Pomorze. The same year, the Teutonic Order moved its seat from Venice to Malbork, which became the capital of the Order.
Between 1335 and 1341, the Teutonic Knights started to built the new settlement on the spot of the destroyed one. During the Teutonic reign, Świecie became a land under the Commander (of the Order of Teutonic Knights).
The castle occupied by Teutonic Knights, had to surrender to the Polish army in 1463 and the Teutonic Knights had to leave it.
Świecie was a seat of the non-castle subprefects over the period of the Polish post-partition rule. The county councils and courts had their seats here. In the 16th century, the members of the Konopacki family were subprefects (1508-1578) for several years. In the 17th century, the Zawacki family (1632-1648) and in the last century of the Independent Poland the office was held by the Jabłonowski family (1667-1672). On several occasions, the subprefecture was granted to queens, particularly to Konstancja Habsburska and Maria Ludwika (1646-1667). After that the commander-in-chief of the Polish army Stanisław Jabłonowski (1667-1687), famous of his victories took over the office. The last subprefect was Antoni Jabłonowski (1754-1772). The Prussian government after the partition of Poland took away the premises disputing his rights to purchase them. During the first Swedish war in 1629, the unit of the Wallensteina's army stationed near Świecie, during the second Swedish war the Swedish general Horn defeated Polish army near Świecie on October 1665 and by burning the castle and the town occupied for several years. In 1710, August II with the tsar Peter the Great stayed here to examine the Saxon army. In 1769, Russians occupied the town of Świecie referring to the Toruń confederation, retreating just after the partition of Poland.
In the year 1772 Świecie, together with the Royal Prussia became incorporated into the Prussian state and became part of the Chojnicki County. In the year 1773 Świecie had 1745 inhabitants: 955 catholican, 720 evangelican, and 30 Jews. Due to wars, floods, and plague the town came to such a misery, that even as late as in the year 1789 there were numerous empty squares. A battle between the Prussian and the French armies took place near the town in November 1806, and in January 1807 Świecie was taken over by the Polish legions of General Dąbrowski. In the 19th century, Świecie conducted a travel, unusual at the time: it moved from its early location at the outcome of the Wda to the Vistula and re-settling on the hill next to the church of the Bernardines.
Complex of military buildings was built in Świecie before World War I. Eight years later, on 25th January 1920 in the morning, the last units of German Grenzschutz departured from Świecie. A few hours later, accompanied by ringing bells, first Polish army units entered into the town, welcome joyfully by the Polish community.
Najpierw trochę "streetview" na nowe Stare Miasto:
Trochę rynku, który był akurat w przebudowie:
Uroczy klasztor pobernardyński
Zamek po drugiej stronie Wdy, a raczej dosyć marna rekonstrukcja, chociaż wieża niczego sobie, a widoki piękne:
Po prawej stronie na horyzoncie widać już wieże Chełmna:
Zrekonstruowana całkiem niedawno gotycka Fara, niesamowity widok- kościół w środku pola z fragmentem murów miejskich w miejscu starego Starego Miasta:
August 29th, 2011, 12:07 PM
Wschowa (German: Fraustadt) is a town in the Lubusz Voivodeship in Poland with 14,607 inhabitants.
Wschowa was originally a border fortress in a region disputed by the Polish dukes of Silesia and Greater Poland.
After German colonists had established a settlement nearby, it received Magdeburg rights around 1250. The Old Polish name Veschow was first mentioned in 1248, while the Middle High German name Frowenstat Civitas first appeared in 1290.
After the Silesian Piast dukes had gradually accepted Bohemian suzerainty, King Casimir III the Great in 1343 finally conquered it for Poland. Wschowa was incorporated into the Greater Polish Poznań Voivodeship of the Polish Crown.
Wschowa and its Latin school was one of the centres of the Protestant Reformation in Poland and a retreat for religious refugees in the days of the Counter-Reformation in adjacent Habsburg Silesia.
The Battle of Fraustadt occurred at Wschowa on February 3, 1706 during the Great Northern War, when Swedish forces defeated a joint army of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Saxony and Russia. Within the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, Wschowa was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and incorporated into the province of South Prussia, until in 1807 it was awarded to the Duchy of Warsaw according to the Treaty of Tilsit.
A part of the Grand Duchy of Posen from 1815 on, the town was again incorporated into the Prussian Province of Posen in 1848. According to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Fraustadt remained under German rule and formed the southernmost district of the Posen-West Prussia border province. Since 1945 the area as a result of the 1945 Potsdam Conference again belongs to Poland.
August 31st, 2011, 10:32 AM
Kołobrzeg (German: Kolberg ( listen); Kashubian: Kňłobrzeg) is a city in Middle Pomerania in north-western Poland with some 50,000 inhabitants (as of 2000).
Kołobrzeg is located on the Parsęta River on the south coast of the Baltic Sea (in the middle of the section divided by the Oder and Vistula Rivers).
During the Early Middle Ages, Slavic Pomeranians founded a settlement at the site of modern Budzistowo. Thietmar of Merseburg first mentioned the site as Salsa Cholbergiensis. Around the year 1000, when the area was under Polish rule, the stronghold became seat of the short-lived Diocese of Kołobrzeg.
During High Middle Ages, a additional settlement was founded a few kilometers north of the stronghold in the course of the Ostsiedlung and chartered with Lübeck law. The city later joined the Hanseatic League. Within the Duchy of Pomerania, Kolberg was the urban center of the secular reign of the Cammin bishops and their residence throughout the High and Late Middle Ages. When Kolberg was part of Brandenburgian Pomerania during the Early Modern Age, it withstood Napoleon's troops in the Siege of Kolberg.
From 1815, it was part of the Prussian province of Pomerania. During the 19th century a Polish community started to organize itself. As the Nazis took power in Germany, Poles and Jews were discriminated, determined to be subhuman and eventually subjected to genocide.
In 1945 Polish and Soviet troops seized the town and it was subsequently attached to Poland, while the remaining German population which had not fled the advancing Red Army was expelled. The town, devastated in the preceding Battle of Kolberg, was rebuilt but lost its status as the regional center to the nearby Koszalin.
Kołobrzeg today is a popular tourist destination for both Poles and the Germans. It provides a unique combination of a seaside resort, health resort, an old town full of historic monuments and tourist entertainment options.
September 1st, 2011, 10:34 AM
Krynica-Zdrój (until 31 December 2001 Krynica) is a town in Nowy Sącz County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland in the Beskids mountains, inhabited by over eleven thousand people.
It is one of the biggest spa town in Poland called The Pearl of Polish Spas; a tourist and winter sport centre. It was first recorded in 1547 and became a town in 1889.
Part of the inhabitants belong to the Lemko minority.
The 1931 World Ice Hockey Championships were played in the town.
The 1958 and 1962 FIL World Luge Championships were played in the town.
The 1935 FIL European Luge Championships were played in the town.
The 2004 Euro Ice Hockey Challenge were played in the town.
Krynica, and subsequent investment in modern skiing facilities made it one of the most important ski resorts in Poland. Nearby mountains are also a perfect setting for cross-country skiing and mountain-biking.
Krynica is sometimes nicknamed "Eastern Davos" for the International Economic Summit" held there each year in September. Politicians (including heads of state) and businessmen from several countries of Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East meet there to discuss economic and political matters.
Krynica was home to Nikifor (correct name: Epifaniusz Drowniak), a famous Lemko painter.
September 3rd, 2011, 05:25 PM
Międzyzdroje (German: Misdroy) is a town and a seaside resort in northwestern Poland on the island of Wolin on the Baltic coast.
Międzyzdroje has a population of 6000 people.
It is called The Pearl of the Baltic. It is situated between wide sandy beaches with high cliffs and the forests of the Woliński National Park (which includes a bison reserve). Międzyzdroje has a spa climate and is rich in tourist services.
near Miedzyzdroje :
September 3rd, 2011, 06:22 PM
Szklarska Poręba (German: Schreiberhau) is a town in south-western Poland. The town has a population of around 7,000.
It is a popular ski resort. An important regional and national centre for mountain hiking, cycling and skiing, Szklarska Poręba is situated in the valley of the Kamienna, between the Karkonosze Mountains and Jizera Mountains, 1,900 ft. above sea level, 16 miles south-west of Jelenia Góra. The ski resorts in this area are growing in popularity as an alternative to the Alps, thanks to wide range of both Alpine and Nordic skiing facilities.
The village was created by German colonists on a spot bought by Knights Hospitalers from Calidus Fons (Bad Warmbrunn, now Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój in Jelenia Góra) who were interested in finding gold and precious gems in the area. It was first mentioned in 1366 and 1372 in conjunction with a glass factory, forerunner of the famed later Josephinenhütte, as Schribirshau and Schreibershow.
In 1578 several Bohemian Protestants moved to the village and greatly contributed to its development. Among the refugees was Marie Pluch, which gave the district Mariental its name. Over time the glass factory moved deeper into the mountains. In 1617 the Preußler family migrated from the southern Bohemian side of the Giant Mountains to Silesia and received a concession to run a movable glass factory from the counts of Schaffgotsch, landlords of Schreiberhau. The glass industry of the village was dominated by the Preußler family for the next 200 years.
In 1842 Franz Pohl, son-in-law of the last Preußler, persuaded Count Schaffgotsch to establish a new glass factory in Schreiberhau. This Josephinenhütte became the largest and best glass factory in Silesia, while Schreiberhau greatly expanded to become the largest village in Prussia, with 15 districts covering 43 square kilometres.
Around 1900 several artists discovered the beauty of the countryside and formed the Schreiberhau artists' colony, among them Gerhart Hauptmann and his brother Carl, Otto Mueller and Wilhelm Bölsche. Later, younger artists formed the St. Lukas artists' association.
In 1925 the first winter games of the International Workers Olympiad (organised by the Lucerne Sport International) were held in the town. Twelve national delegations participated.
After World War II Schreiberhau became part of Poland and was renamed Szklarska Poręba (literally "glass clearing"). The German inhabitants were expelled and the village resettled with Poles.
The Josephinenhütte was moved to Schwäbisch Gmünd. The glass factory in Szklarska Poręba was renamed and continued to operate.
The village gained the status of a town in 1959.
Szklarska Poręba still contains some fine villas and municipal buildings built before the war although many are now being restored.
near Szklarska Poręba :
September 4th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Giżycko (German: Lötzen, Lithuanian: Lėcius) is a town in northeastern Poland with 29,796 inhabitants.
Giżycko is the largest town on the trail of the Great Mazurian Lakes. It is situated on a narrow pass between lakes Niegocin and Kisajno, in one of the most attractive regions of Poland.
Giżycko is one of Poland’s holiday and tourist resorts.
There are over 100 lakes around Giżycko.
They surround it on all sides: Lake Niegocin (seventh largest in Poland with 26 km2) in the south, Lake Mamry (second largest in Poland with 104.5 km2 and up to 43.8 m deep) in the north, Lake Tajty in the west, and Lakes Wojnowskie and Grajewko. Niegocin and Kisajno (comprising Lake Mamry) are connected with two canals. The Łuczański (Giżycki) Canal, 2.13 km long and 1.9 m deep, dug in 1772 as the first of the eight canals connecting the Great Mazurian Lakes, runs through the very town. The Wilkaski Canal passes the town in the south-west, connecting Lakes Niegocin and Tajty with Lake Mamry. For this reason, a part of Giżycko is, in fact, an island. Within the town limits, there are also Lakes Popówka Mała and Popówka Duża.
The Teutonic Knights built a castle in Prussia named Lötzen (Lec in Polish) in 1340, located at the isthmus between two lakes in Masuria. Lötzen was administered within the Komturei of Balga. The settlement near the castle received town privileges, with a coat of arms and seal, in 1612 while part of the Duchy of Prussia.
As a legend Holy Bruno of Querfurt was killed on his missionary of Old Prussians by Sudovians Lake Niegocin in 1009, as a memorial the Bruno – cross was erected near Gizycko in 1909.
Lötzen became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and was made part of the province of East Prussia in 1773. In 1709/10 the plague claimed 800 victims, only 119 inhabitants survived. In the 19th century, a Lutheran church designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel was erected in the centre of the town. Lötzen became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany.
1844–1848 the “Feste Boyen“, a fortress named after the Prussian war-minister Hermann von Boyen, was built on a small landtongue between lake Mamry (Mauersee) and lake Niegocin (Löwentinsee). This fortress is one of the largest and best conditioned fortresses of the 19th century. In 1942–1945 it was the headquarter of the German military intelligence service (Fremde Heere Ost) under Reinhard Gehlen.
As a result of the treaty of Versailles on 11 July 1920 the East Prussian plebiscite was organized under the control of the League of nations, which resulted majority of votes to remain in Germany and not in Poland.
Giżycko in the period between the wars was known as a resort and water sports centre
In the 1930s Lötzen was the garrison of several military units of the Wehrmacht as a Sub-area Headquarter of Wehrkreis I, which was headquartered at Königsberg. Staff-, maintenance- and guardtroops of Hitler's headquarter Wolfsschanze and the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH, army highcommand) were also based in or nearby Lötzen. The OKH was based at the Mauerwald area, ca. 10 km north of Gizycko, an undestroyed bunker system.
The town was occupied by the Soviet Union's Red Army in 1945 during World War II and placed under Polish administration after the war ended. The German-speaking populace who had not evacuated during the war were subsequently expelled westward. The town was renamed Giżycko in 1946 in honor of the Masurian folklorist Gustaw Gizewiusz, a 19th century Evangelical-Lutheran pastor in southern East Prussia, who had greatly supported Polish language and Polish culture.
At present, apart from Poles, Giżycko is home to Ukrainians, Germans, Byelorussians, Lithuanians and Tatars.
September 6th, 2011, 10:30 AM
Sulejów is a town in central Poland with 6,375 inhabitants (2004).
Sulejów gives its name to the protected area known as Sulejów Landscape Park.
The town was partially destroyed by the Luftwaffe in September 1939
Sulejów landscape park
September 8th, 2011, 01:41 PM
September 8th, 2011, 01:42 PM
September 8th, 2011, 01:44 PM
September 8th, 2011, 01:45 PM
Włocławek is a town in central-northern Poland on the Vistula (Wisła) and Zgłowiączka rivers, with a population of 117,785.
Around 1000 during Polish king Boleslaw Chrobry, Wloclawek already was an important town.
An assistant to the Archbishop of Gniezno is mentioned residing in the town in 1123 and the Diocese of Włocławek (Latin: Vladislaviensis) in Kuyavia was first mentioned in a bull issued by Pope Eugene III in 1148. The first bishop of Włocławek, whose name appears in the bull, was Warner, and he was followed by an Italian named Onoldius.
Włocławek received its town rights in 1255. In the 14th and 15th century, the city was destroyed or captured several times by German knights, who called it Leslau.
Peace arrived with the Treaty of Thorn in 1466 and the city prospered from its involvement in the Polish grain trade. In 1657, a Swedish invasion during the Second Northern War partially destroyed the city. After the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, Włocławek fell to Prussia. The Congress of Vienna restored it to Congress Poland, but it was occupied by Russia in 1831. The city was again destroyed during the German offensive during the First World War.
Under the Nazi occupation during World War II, Włocławek was renamed Leslau and administered as part of Reichsgau Wartheland. The war saw a third of the city destroyed, but factories and workshops were rebuilt by the Polish government in the subsequent decades. The most important industries in Włocławek today are chemicals, chemical products, furniture, and food processing. A lock system constructed in 1969 regulates the water level of the Vistula.
-Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Mary - Begun in 1340.
-St. Witalis Church - from 1330
-Church of John the Baptist - from 1538. Built on the site of an earlier temple first mentioned in 1065.
September 8th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Niepołomice is a town in southern Poland, situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It has 8.500 inhabitants.
It is situated on the Vistula River, 25 km east of Kraków on the verge of a large virgin forest (Niepołomice Forest).
There is a 14th century gothic hunting castle in town built by Polish king Casimir III, as well as a conservation center for wisents (Polish: Żubry) nearby.
Żubry in Niepolomice forest :
September 9th, 2011, 02:37 PM
Legnica is a city on the Kaczawa river in south-western Poland. According to official figures for 2006, it has a total population of 105,485.
The city was formerly known in Polish as Lignica; it was officially renamed Legnica in 1946, after it had passed to Poland from Germany following World War II.
The city was first officially mentioned in chronicles from 1004, although settlement dates to the 7th century. It was originally known as Lignica. It became the residence of the dukes of Lower Silesia in 1163 and was the seat of a principality ruled from 1248-1675.
Legnica became famous for the Battle of Legnica that took place at Legnickie Pole near the city on 9 April 1241 during the Mongol invasion of Europe.
The Christian army of the Polish duke Henry II the Pious of Silesia, supported by the feudal nobility, included Poles, Bavarian miners and military orders, was decisively defeated by the Mongols. Although the Mongols killed Henry and destroyed his forces, their advance into Europe was halted when they turned back to attend to the election of a new Khagan (Grand Khan) following the death in the same year of Ögedei Khan. Minor celebrations are held annually in Legnica to commemorate the battle.
As the capital of the Duchy of Legnica at the beginning of the 14th century, Legnica was one of the most important cities of Central Europe, having a population of approximately 16,000 residents. The city began to expand quickly after the discovery of gold in the Kaczawa River between Legnica and Złotoryja (Goldberg).
Legnica, along with other Silesian duchies, became a vassal of the Kingdom of Bohemia during the 14th century and was included within the Holy Roman Empire. The Protestant Reformation was introduced in the duchy as early as 1522 and the population became Lutheran. After the death of King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia at Mohács in 1526, Legnica was inherited by the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria. The first map of Silesia was made by native son Martin Helwig. In 1676, Legnica passed to direct Habsburg rule after the death of the last Silesian Piast duke, Georg Wilhelm (son of Duke Christian of Brieg), despite the earlier inheritance pact by Brandenburg and Silesia, by which it was to go to Brandenburg. Silesian aristocracy was trained at the Liegnitz Ritter-Akademie.
In 1742 most of Silesia, including Liegnitz, became part of the Kingdom of Prussia after King Frederick the Great's defeat of Austria in the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1760 during the Seven Years' War, Liegnitz was the site of the Battle of Liegnitz when Frederick's army defeated an Austrian army led by Laudon. In 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars, the Prussians, under Field Marshal Blücher, defeated the French forces of MacDonald in the Battle of Katzbach nearby.
After the administrative reorganization of the Prussian state following the Congress of Vienna, Liegnitz and the surrounding territory (Landkreis Liegnitz) were incorporated into the Regierungsbezirk (administrative district) Liegnitz, within the Province of Silesia on 1 May 1816. Along with the rest of Prussia, the town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. On 1 January 1874 Liegnitz became the third city in Lower Silesia (after Wroclaw and Görlitz) to be raised to an urban district, although the district administrator of the surrounding Landkreis Liegnitz continued to have his seat in the city.
The census of 1910 gave Liegnitz's population as 95.86 % German, 0.15 % German and Polish, 1.27 % Polish, 2.26 % Wendish, and 0.19 % Czechs. On 1 April 1937 parts of the Landkreis Liegnitz communities of Alt Beckern, Groß Beckern, Hummel, Liegnitzer Vorwerke, Pfaffendorf und Prinkendorf were incorporated into the city of Liegnitz. After the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, Liegnitz was part of the newly created Province of Lower Silesia from 1919 to 1938, then of the Province of Silesia from 1938 to 1941, and again of the Province of Lower Silesia from 1941 to 1945.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II, Liegnitz and all of Silesia east of the Neisse river was transferred to Poland following the Potsdam Conference in 1945. The German population was expelled from between 1945 and 1947 and replaced with Poles and, as the medieval Polish name Lignica was considered archaic, the town was renamed Legnica.
The city was only partly damaged in World War II. After 1965 most parts of the preserved old town with its precious town houses were demolished, the historical layout of an old town was abolished and the old city was partly rebuilt in modern forms.
From 1945 to 1990, during the Cold War, the headquarters of the Soviet forces in Poland, the so-called Northern Group of Forces, was located in the city. This fact had a strong influence on the life of the city. For much of the period, the city was divided into Polish and Soviet areas, with the latter closed to the public. These were first established in July 1945, when the Soviets forcibly ejected newly arrived Polish inhabitants from the parts of the city they wanted for their own use. The ejection was perceived by some as a particularly brutal action, and rumours circulated exaggerating its severity, though no evidence of anyone being killed in the course of it has come to light.
In April 1946 city officials estimated that they were 16,700 Poles, 12,800 Germans, and 60,000 Russians in Legnica. The last Soviet units left the city in 1993.
In the 1950s and 1960s the local copper and nickel industries became a major factor in the economic development of the area.
September 11th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Środa Wielkopolska (German: Schroda) is a town in central Poland, about 30 kilometres southeast of Poznań, with 22,001 inhabitants.
The town has assumed its name after the weekday’s name – Wednesday (środa in Polish) being the market day in the Middle Ages.
The town was located (founded) in 13th century, probably in 1261, under the Magdeburg law. In the fifteenth century, Środa was one of the largest and richest Wielkopolska urban hubs. It owed its development to a trade-related character of the site and the crafts. From 1454 onwards, the town was a scene of nobility sejmik (regional council) assemblies to which the town owed its non-deteriorated affluence standard, despite the wartime turmoil of the latter half of 17th century.
In the course of the Spring of Nations events (1848), a large insurgent troop was set up there, under the command of Colonel Augustyn Brzeżański (1789–1855).
After the Partitions and a short episode of the Duchy of Warsaw, dissolved soon after its constitution (1807–1815), the town returned to Poland only resulting from the Wielkopolska Uprising events (1918–1919).
In the twenty-year period between the two World Wars, Środa acted as a trading hub for its agricultural region. The Nazi occupation years were ended as of 11th February 1945 as the Soviet troops of 1st Byelorussian Front liberated the city.
The adjective Wielkopolska was added to the name of Środa in 1967 in order to render this entity different from Środa-Śląska in Silesia. At present, Środa-Wielkopolska is an industrial and services hub.
Środa’s most important monument is the late-gothic Collegiate Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven of ca. 1423–1428, rebuilt in the late 15th century. During three centuries of the modern age, nobility sejmik (regional council) assemblies were held there for Kalisz and Poznań Voivodeships (Provinces). The temple’s outfit is valuable, just to mention the Madonna with the Infant by Italian painter Catharini, on which painting the little Jesus passes a flower to His Mother.
Poland’s first equestrian monument to General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski is worth mentioning here. Authored by Robert Sobociński, the monument was unveiled in 1997 on the 200th anniversary of the Polish national anthem.
September 13th, 2011, 01:00 PM
Lwówek Śląski (German: Löwenberg) is a town in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland. Situated on the Bóbr River, Lwówek Śląski has a population of about 10,300 inhabitants.
The town was founded by Duke of Poland Henry the Bearded who designated it for an administrative centre in a previously uninhabited, borderline Polish - Lusatian territory. By 1217 the settlement, founded by the Duke of Wrocław, had important privileges, such as rights to brew, mill, fish, and hunt within a mile from settlement. German colonists expanded upon the preexisting settlement and in 1217 it received town rights as the second town in Silesia; its style of governance was duplicated by other local towns, such as Bunzlau (Bolesławiec), as Löwenberg Rights or Lwówek Śląski Rights. The dukes then constructed a castle, documented for the first time in 1248. In the second half of the 13th century Löwenberg became the capital of a Silesian Piast principality, whose duke took the title of a Duke of Silesia and Lord of Löwenberg.
After the death of Duchess Agnes of Habsburg, the widow of Bolko II, the last Piast of Świdnica, the region was inherited with the Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor (Schweidnitz-Jauer) by the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1393. Löwenberg's placement on a trade route allowed it to become one of the more prosperous towns in Bohemia. It passed with the Bohemian crown to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526. During the Thirty Years' War, Löwenberg was devastated by Swedish and Imperial troops, especially between 1633-1643. By the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the town was largely destroyed and had a decimated population of only hundreds.
Löwenberg slowly recovered during its reconstruction, but began to prosper again after its acquisition by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1741 during the Silesian Wars. Troops of the First French Empire occupied Löwenberg in May 1813, and Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in the town from August 21–23 while organizing his defenses against the Prussian troops of General Gebhard von Blücher. A few days later the Prussian army defeated the Frenchmen; more than 3,000 French soldiers drowned in the flooding Bober (Bóbr) as they retreated.
Löwenberg was included within the Province of Silesia after the 1814 Prussian administrative reorganization. Like the rest of the Kingdom of Prussia, the town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. It became part of the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia after World War I.
In the last days of World War II, Löwenberg's medieval center was 40% destroyed and numerous buildings of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque were lost. At war's end the town was placed under Polish administration as Lwówek Śląski according to the Potsdam Agreement. Its remaining German population was expelled and replaced with Poles.
September 14th, 2011, 10:49 PM
Great photos, keep up the good work DocentX!
(allow me to act for the audience here :))
September 15th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Great photos, keep up the good work DocentX!
(allow me to act for the audience here :))
at least someone is following the thread - but I will continue with it anyway ;) hehehehe :lol:
maybe I won't post all the towns in Poland, but there are still many interesting places left ;)
btw - some statistics :
As of 1 January 2011 there are 908 towns in Poland (and there are 43.007 villiges in Poland).
It's quite a lot comparing to some other countries:
As of January 1, 2010 there are 459 cities/towns in Ukraine.
Belarus - 112 settlements had the status of a city/town.
According to the data of 2002 Russian Census, there are 1,108 cities and towns in Russia.
So in terms of number of cities and towns we almost equal Russia :)
September 23rd, 2011, 01:20 AM
Trzebnica (German: Trebnitz) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland.
The town lies approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the regional capital Wrocław. As at 2006, the town has a population of 12,180.
The main attraction of the town is the Cisterian Convent which was established in 1202 by Saint Jadwiga (St Hedwig).
September 28th, 2011, 09:51 AM
Ziębice is a town in Ząbkowice Śląskie County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.
As at 2006, the town has a population of 9,234.
Ziebice is located at the Olawa river and has well preserved historical market square and other historical buildings.
The town was probably founded by the prince Henryk III from Wroclaw, whose knight Konrad came to this area in 1226. The town appeared in place of Sambice – an older Slavic town destroyed during Tartar invasion in 1241.
In 1270 in the town there was established a headquarters of Cross Knights with Red Star, founded by the prince Henryk IV from Wroclaw.
Based on old documents, Bolko I from Jawor was to build a castle and surround it with defense walls. It is mentioned in documents of 1301. First information about defense walls comes from 1336, probably in that time the first stone church was built in Ziebice.
The town was granted by Bolko I mile and mug rights. In 1355 the youngest son of Bolko I – Bolko II as the „Prince of Ziebice” overtook the town with belonging properties and established in Ziebice a residence.
In 1355 he recognized Czech supremacy and became Czech vassal. The town Ziebice was directly ruled by the Czechs since 1428, after the death of the Prince Jan the last one of the Polish Piast house.
The town was under domination of the Czech house Podiebrad until 1548. The most tragic moments in the history took place during Hussite wars and related sieges in 1429, 1467 and 1488. The wars resulted in general destruction and poverty of the town and inhabitants. These problems were slowly overcome till the end of 15th century, which was influenced by extension of the guild privileges and possibilities of settlement.
After 1548 Ziebice with the entire duchy were under domination of different houses: Legnica Piasts, Habsburgs, Brzeg Piasts and in 1565 again Habsburgs who made Ziebice a Czech feud and ruled until 1654 when Ziebice passed to private possession of the Auersperg family.
Ziebice remained in possession of the Auersperg house until 1791. After Hussite wars the town had its period of rise and prosperity which lasted until the War of Thirty Years. The War again led to destruction and fall of the town which was accompanied by plague in 1633. After renewal of privileges in 1655 the city was destroyed again in 1678 by a great fire.
During the Middle Ages, Ziębice was the capital of a Silesian duchy, the Duchy of Ziębice.
After the first Silesian War in 1742 the town was dominated by the Prussians and until 1945 remained under German rule. After the World War II the town together with the entire Klodzko Duchy became Polish.
The most important monuments of Ziebice are: well preserved defense walls (beautiful Paczkow Gate from 1491), many old houses and beautiful St. Gregory Church (13th – 14th century, North portal comes from 13th century). In the City Hall there is a museum with unique collection of cutlery and different household appliances.
September 29th, 2011, 11:43 AM
Rawicz is a town in central-western Poland with 21,398 inhabitants (2004). It is situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.
The earliest mention of settlements in the area of today's Rawicz County are from the XI century. There was a Czestram Castellany in the Rawicz area, which eventually merged with Golojewek. Dubin Castellany took over Czestram's role in the XIII century. Jutrosin is first mentioned in 1281, Konary in 1292, and Górka - later Miejska Górka - in 1294.
Rawicz was only granted city rights in 1638 by Polish King Władysław IV Vasa (1595–1648). The name comes from the Rawicz coat of arms of the city’s owner, Adam Olbracht Przyjemski. Nowe Miasto (New City) was created for the Silesian Protestant refugees who settled here in the 17th century. Rawicz became Wielkopolska’s largest cloth centre a century later. Its textile products competed successfully on eastern markets and were sold as far afield as China.
The Rawicz area was overtaken by Prussia during the Second Partition of Poland.
Rawicz was part of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807–1815) during the Napoleonic period but was returned to the Prussian Partition under its German name of Rawitsch pursuant to the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna. The town’s most important industrial enterprise during the 19th century was a cigar and tobacco factory celebrated for its merchandise.
The town was only returned to Poland in January 1920 under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Rawicz was barely 4 km from the German border.
Polish and German troops fought fiercely near Rawicz at the beginning of the Second World War, in Septmeber 1939.
The centre of Rawicz, surrounded on four sides by parkland, has preserved the regular spatial layout that Wrocław architect and town planner Michał Flandrin designed in 1638-1639. The blocks of this part of the town create a chequered pattern whose entirety is recognised as urban heritage.
The baroque town hall (1753-1756) stands in the middle of the marketplace. Wielkopolska’s first lightning rod was installed here in 1783. The town hall now houses the Museum of the Region of Rawicz.
The early 19th-century Church of St. Andrew Bobola, a former Evangelical church, is south-east of the neo-classicist marketplace. The architect was Carl Gotthard Langhans, famous as the designer of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.
The park that was planted over the moat and embankments between 1840 and 1850 is a special attraction. The Rawicz park is the second longest of this type in Poland, after Cracow. Parts of the defensive walls and a mortar from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries can be found in the south-eastern corner of the park.
September 30th, 2011, 03:14 PM
I had no idea that Poland is so amazing country with lots of places that are deserve to be visited. Somehow it reminds me German: similar architecture, landscaping, and of course cleanliness of streets.
Thanks for nice shoots!
September 30th, 2011, 05:30 PM
I had no idea that Poland is so amazing country with lots of places that are deserve to be visited. Somehow it reminds me German: similar architecture, landscaping, and of course cleanliness of streets.
Thanks for nice shoots!
Many people have no idea how diverse Poland is and how rich is the heritage (many Poles don't know as well).
Of course German influence is strong (since some of the lands belonged to Germany before IIWW) - specially in the west and north of Poland.
Fortunately, thanks to EU money, Poland is restoring many of the small beauties and visiting small towns in Poland is becoming more and more popular.
October 4th, 2011, 01:39 AM
Mikołów (German: Nikolai, Silesian: Mikouůw) is a town in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice.
Located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Jamna stream (tributary of the Kłodnica and indirectly Odra river).
Mikołów is one of the towns of the 2,7 million conurbation - Katowice urban area and within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people.
The population of the town is 38,821 (2008).
It was first mentioned in writing in the year 1222.
With a written mention from 1222, Mikołów is one of the oldest towns in Upper Silesia. This was a document sent by duke of the Racibórz Casmir (the son of Mieszko the Raciborian) to the bishop of Wrocław, Wawrzyniec. In the document was written the name of Andrew (Lat. comes Andreas, castellanus de Miculow), the castellan of Miculow, showing that Mikołów was already an administrative center.
Mikołów became the center of local trading, located on crossroads of trading roads. The Black Death killed 33% of the town's inhabitants in 1349-50. In the period 1433–1443, there were several earthquakes in the area. In 1545 Mikołów gained city status.
In 1645 and 1687 few fires burnt tenements near the market place and in connection with that Mikołów achieved the right to expose four fairs a year. In the second half of the 18th century peasants few times opposed the ruler and paying high serfdomes. Additionally in between 1713-15 the city survived a famine bringing epidemics.
In 1760 the name "Mikołów" was used first time in the originally form. On 20 May 1794 a huge fire disaster burnt whole houses around the market square, including the town hall and all historical documents stored inside.
October 6th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Bytów (Kashubian: Bëtowň; German: Bütow) is a town in the Middle Pomerania region of northern Poland in the Bytów Lakeland with 16,888 inhabitants.
According to the city's official webpage the name Bytów comes from the founder of the settlement named "Byt". An old slavic Pomeranian settlement was first mentioned by Latin name castrum nomine Bitom in 1113 in Gallus Anonymus' Chronicle, as conquered by Polish king Bolesław III Wrymouth.
In 1321 the city was mentioned as "Butow" when it became private possession of the noble family von Behr, who sold it to the Teutonic Knights in 1329. In 1346 the Grand Master Heinrich Dusemer granted Bütow city rights under Kulm Law. The Teutonic Knights had started in 1335 with the construction of a rectory. The town alternated between Poland and the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights during the Polish-Teutonic Wars, and returned to Polish control after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), who gave it as lien to the Dukes of Pomerania. The final legal situation of Bytów was regulated in 1526.
In 1627 during the Thirty Years' War, the town was rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire. Between 1627 and 1657 Bytów ceased to be a Polish fief and became directly ruled by Poland.
To gain an ally against Sweden during the Deluge, in 1657 King John II Casimir of Poland gave the Lauenburg and Bütow Land to Margrave Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia as a hereditary fief in the Treaty of Bydgoszcz. Although Poland still retained sovereignty, the town was administered by Brandenburg and, after 1701, by the Kingdom of Prussia. During the 18th century, the town suffered from fires and plague.
In 1773 in the First Partition of Poland the town was wholly incorporated in the Prussian Province of Pomerania. From 1846-1945, Bütow was the seat of the Landkreis Bütow district in Prussia. The town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany. Polish minority remained active in the city, and in 1910 a Polish Bank Ludowy was founded here.
Although reconstituted Poland desired Bütow at the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles kept the town in the Weimar Republic in 1919. The decision led the local Kashubians to protests and hundreds of them took part in march known as "marsz na Bytów".
According to Polish sources (published in 1969) The area remained the main centre of activity by Polish minority in the region and in 1923 Związek Polaków na obszar Kaszubski was founded in the city. In 1928 Jan Bauer, a Polish teacher organised Polish language lessons, and reinvigorated the Polish movement in the city, which resulted in repressions by German state, and his eventual conviction and exile from Germany in 1932, founding himself at the outbreak of Second World War in Berlin he was arrested and murdered by Germans in 1940.
Bütow was occupied by the Soviet Red Army on 8 March 1945. In 1945, after the end of the war, the town was put under Polish administration according to the Potsdam Conference and renamed to the Polish Bytów.
market square during the renovation :
after the renovation :
October 7th, 2011, 10:12 AM
Warka is a town in central Poland, located on the left bank of the Pilica river (60 km south of Warsaw), with 11,035 inhabitants (2004).
Warka obtained its city charter in 1321.
In 1564 there were 369 households and 2,500 residents in Warka. At that time, apart from farmers and traders, there were 192 craftsmen in the town (62 shoemakers, 30 brewers, 13 capmakers, 7 meat-and-salt traders, 5 needle makers, 3 potmakers, 2 goldsmiths) The town had 8 king’s mills and 2 felting machines. Warka’s brewers enjoyed widespread fame in Mazowieckie Province and in the neighbouring regions.
In 1607 the town was looted by Zebrzydowski’s rebel troops, which marked the beginning of its decline. In 1650 a fire destroyed 250 houses. The Swedish invasion (1655-1660) left Warka in ruins. A few years afterwards there were only about 70 extant houses and 53 craftsmen. The wars at the beginning of the 18th century brought about further destruction.
In 1777 Warka had only 82 houses. Over the 19th century, efforts were made to revive the town, but its former importance was never restored. It became a center for local crafts, trade and farming. The Warsaw-Radom railway line, built in 1934, was of little help to the local economy. The town was leveled with the ground during the military operations in 1944 and 1945, with only three surviving houses.
After the war the town was recreated.
A village called Winiary, which today is part of Warka, is the countyside residence of Pulaskis family where General Kazimierz Pulaski spent his childhood and the birthplace of Colonel Piotr Wysocki (September 10, 1797).
Warka is also known for its famous brewery (since 1478).
Kazimierz Pulaski monument :
Casimir Pulaski, or Kazimierz Pułaski in Polish (March 6, 1745 – October 11, 1779), was a Polish soldier, nobleman, and politician who has been called "the father of American cavalry"
A member of the Polish landed nobility, Pulaski was a military commander for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he emigrated to North America as a soldier of fortune. During the American Revolutionary War, he saved the life of George Washington and became a general in the Continental Army. He died of wounds suffered in the Battle of Savannah.
Pulaski is one of only seven people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship.
Piotr Wysocki monument:
Piotr Wysocki (September 10, 1797 in Warka – January 6, 1875 there), was a Polish lieutenant and leader of the Polish conspiracy against Russian Tsar Nicolas I.
He raised military insurgents on 29 November 1830, starting the November Uprising against Russia. In 1831 he was sentenced to death by Russians, but his sentence was commuted to a 20 years exile in Siberia.
On March 3, 1831, he was awarded the Gold Cross of the Virtuti Militari.
Warka brewery - one of the most modern in Europe :
The Battle of Warka (1656) reenactment in Warka :
The Battle of Warka on April 7, 1656 between Polish forces commanded by Stefan Czarniecki on one side, and on the other Swedish forces commanded by Friedrich of Baden.
Battle was fought for about two hours and it was decisive Polish victory.
October 11th, 2011, 04:16 PM
Radomsko is a town in central Poland with 50,618 inhabitants (2006). It is situated on the Radomka river in the Łódź Voivodeship.
Radomsko received town privileges by Duke Leszek II the Black of Sieradz in 1266. It is the site of a Franciscan monastery build on behalf of Bona Sforza, the queen consort of King Sigismund I of Poland.
October 11th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Яке чудове містечко!
Файна панорама :)
October 11th, 2011, 07:00 PM
Kutno is a town in central Poland with 48,000 inhabitants (2005) and an area of 33,6 km˛.
During the Invasion of Poland of 1939, in and around the town, Polish armies under General Tadeusz Kutrzeba conducted an offensive that was later named the Battle of the Bzura.
Kutno is one of the most important railroad junctions in Poland. Two main lines cross there (Łódź - Toruń and Warsaw - Poznań). Also, another connection starts in Kutno, which goes to Płock.
October 23rd, 2011, 10:38 AM
October 23rd, 2011, 10:40 AM
October 23rd, 2011, 11:34 AM
Inowrocław (German: Inowraclaw and Inowrazlaw during the 19th century, Hohensalza during the early 20th century; rarely also Inowratzlaw or Jungbreslau) is a town in northern Poland.
According to the 2004 Census estimate the town has a total population of 77,641.
Inowrocław is known for its saltwater baths and salt mines. The town is the 5th largest in its voivodeship, and is a major railway junction, where the west-east line (Poznań - Toruń) crosses the Polish Coal Trunk-Line from Chorzów to Gdynia.
The town was first mentioned in 1185 as Novo Wladislaw, possibly in honor of Polish prince Władysław I Herman or settlers from Włocławek. It is known that many inhabitants of Włocławek settled in Inowrocław, fleeing flooding.
In 1236, it was renamed Juveni Wladislawia; two years later it was incorporated by Casimir Conradowicz. From 1466 to 1772, Inowrocław was the capital of Poland's Inowrocław Voivodeship, which covered northern Kuyavia. The town's development was aided by the discovery of extensive salt deposits in the vicinity during the 15th century.
Inowrocław was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772 during the First Partition of Poland and added to the Netze District.
The city was a headquarters for Napoleon Bonaparte during his invasion of Russia. Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Inowrocław (as first Inowraclaw and later Inowrazlaw) was administered as part of Prussia's Province of Posen. It flourished after the establishment of a railway junction in 1872 and a spa in 1875. The city and the region were renamed Hohensalza on December 5, 1904. It was electrified in 1908.
Following the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I, the name Inowrocław was restored along with Polish rule on January 10, 1920.
the oldest church in Inowroclaw built in Romanesque style from XII century
the market square
December 24th, 2011, 12:23 AM
Biała Podlaska is a town in eastern Poland with 58,047 inhabitants (2005).
The first historical document mentioning Biała Podlaska dates to 1481. In the beginning Biała belonged to the Illnicz family. The founder of the city is thought Piotr Janowicz nicknamed "Biały" (Polish for "white"), the hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Biała was then a part of Brześć voivodeship in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (then in union with Poland).
In 1569 Biała changed hands; the new owners were the Radziwiłł family. Under their rule, Biała had been growing for two and half centuries. In 1622 Aleksander Ludwik Radziwiłł has built the fortress and the castle. In 1628 Krzysztof Ciborowicz Wilski established Bialska Academy as a regional center of education (since 1633 it was a branch of the Jagiellonian University, then called Kraków Academy). During this time many churches were erected, as was one hospital. The prosperity period had finished with Swedish invasion in 1655. Then Biała was attacked by Cossacks and Rakoczy armies. The town was significantly destroyed; however, thanks to Michał Radziwiłł and his wife Katarzyna Sobieska, it was rebuilt. In 1670 Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł gives Biała town rights and the coat of arms, which depicts archangel Michael standing on a dragon.
In 1720 Anna Radziwiłł begins building the tower and the gate - both buildings exist to this day and are the most interesting remains of the castle and palace. In the 18th century the city and the fortress were many times destroyed (mostly as a result of wars) and rebuilt. The last heir, Dominik Radziwiłł, has died 11 November 1813 in France, as a colonel of the Polish army. The palace, which fell into ruin, has been pulled down in 1883.
In 1822-26 a Polish writer, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, received his primary education in the local academy.
At the end of 19th century Biała was a large garrison town of the Imperial Russian Army. Near cross-section of Brzeska Str. and Aleje Tysiclecia Ave. is located a cemetery of soldiers killed during World War I.
During the Second Polish Republic (or interwar) period, Biała was growing fast. The town was the seat of the Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów (PWS), which manufactured Polish airplanes.
There was also a garrison of the 34th infantry regiment of the Polish Armed Forces. The regiment, formed in 1919, fought successfully in the Polish–Soviet War, and also fought against Germans and Soviets in September campaign of 1939. The last commander of the regiment, lieutenant colonel Wacław Budrewicz, has been taken prisoner of war by Soviets and murdered by them in 1940 Katyn massacre.
World War II stunned the town's growth because of the Nazi and Soviet repressions. The Germans captured Biała Podlaska on 13 September 1939, but withdrew on 26 September to allow the Soviets to occupy the town. On 10 October 1939, in accordance with the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviets departed and the town was reoccupied by the Germans. By the time, Soviets have managed to completely plunder the aforementioned airplane factory, so that nothing but buildings remained.
After the war Biała Podlaska has been developing into a more modern city but still retains many of the original Polish features in the central old city.
December 25th, 2011, 03:12 PM
Bystrzyca Kłodzka (German: Habelschwerdt, Czech: Kladská Bystřice) is a city in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland. It is famous for its historical buildings and is a tourist centre. It has a population of 12,000 and is located on the Nysa Kłodzka and Nysa Łomnicka rivers.
The area of today's Bystrzyca Kłodzka has been inhabited at least for 6 millennia. During the times of the Roman Empire the Celts have established numerous permanent settlements in the area of Glatz Kłodzko on the Amber Road. There are also numerous archaeological excavations of Lusatian culture remnants in the area.
The German town of Habelschwerdt was founded by Gallus of Lämberg (Havel of Markvartice) next to a Slavic village on the trade route leading through the Sudetes in mid-13th century. It was granted the so-called Western Law (a variant of the Magdeburg Law). On July 4, 1319, John of Luxemburg, king of the Romans (of Holy Roman Empire), later king of Bohemia, granted the village vast autonomy and a right to construct city walls. The first noted mayor of Habelschwerdt was Jakob Rücker. The town was constructed almost from scratch. First the city walls were erected with three gates and several towers. Then the Market Square was planned on a slope and the Mayor House was constructed. Most of the Gothic architecture was preserved and the town is now considered one of the classical examples of Mediaeval architecture. The town started to grow rapidly. It was granted with several other privileges, among them the right to trade with salt, spices and fabric.
The town initially belonged to the Grafschaft Glatz Duchy of Kłodzko, a fief of Bohemia. It shared the fate of the nearby city of Glatz Kłodzko and developed rapidly until the advent of the Hussite Wars in 15th century. The wars left the town depopulated by plagues, partially burnt and demolished by several consecutive floods. In 1475 a great fire destroyed the town completely. In 1567 the area became a fief of the Habsburg dynasty, though the local dukes retained their powers. It was not until 16th century when the local economy went back on tracks. Both Habelschwerdt and the surrounding villages were gradually repopulated, mostly with settlers from Central Germany and Lesser Poland. Because of major Lutheran influences it became one of the regional centres of Protestantism.
In the late 16th century the new City House was built and many of the houses were rebuilt in Renaissance style. The town also built several facilities like paved roads and sewer system. However, the Thirty Years' War and other conflicts of the counterreformation damaged the city and ended the period of prosperity. On February 14, 1745, Prussian general Hans von Lehwaldt defeated Austrian forces of Georg Oliver von Wallis near the city. During the Silesian Wars Habelschwerdt (together with most of Silesia) came under Prussian rule. In the War of the Bavarian Succession, skirmishers from the Prussian and Austrian armies fought there, and one of the blockhouses caught fire, resulting in the destruction of most of the town in mid-January 1779.
Soon afterwards it was captured by forces of Napoleon Bonaparte and housed a French garrison until 1815, when it returned to Prussia. Although it was made a county capital in 1818, it was also struck by high taxes. It was not until mid-19th century when the city fully recovered. The City House was yet again rebuilt, the city moat and parts of the city walls were leveled and the city expanded into new areas. After 1877 Habelschwerdt Bystrzyca was connected to Glatz (Kłodzko) and Breslau (Wrocław) by a railroad. In 1885, Habelschwerdt had a population of 5,597, while by 1939 it rose to 6,877.
The end of the 19th century saw the whole Glatzer Tal (Kłodzko Valley) turn into one of the most popular tourist regions. Countless hotels, sanatoria and spa were opened to the public in the nearby towns of Kłodzko (then Glatz), Duszniki Zdrój (then Bad Reinerz) and Lądek-Zdrój (then Bad Landeck), as well as in the town itself. The area of former Duchy became a popular place among the rich bourgeoisie of Wrocław, Berlin, Vienna and Kraków.
During World War II Habelschwerdt was spared the fate of other German cities that were levelled to the ground. There were no important industrial centres in the area and most of the Kłodzko Valley was not captured by the Red Army until after the capitulation of Germany. Shortly after the war the Kłodzko Valley became a scene of Werwolf activities. Following the Potsdam conference the town was awarded to Poland as compensation for the areas of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union in the east. The German inhabitants of the area and whole Silesia were expelled by the new authorities.
On 28 June 1972 the Catholic parishes of Bystrzyca Kłodzka were redeployed from the traditional Hradec Králové diocese (est. 1664; Ecclesiastical Province of Bohemia) into the Archdiocese of Wrocław. Between 1975 and 1998 Bystrzyca belonged to the Wałbrzych Voivodeship. It continued to be one of the principal mountain resorts of the area. Thanks to its historical landmarks as well as virgin landscapes, Bystrzyca Kłodzka remains one of the most popular centres of tourism and winter sports in Lower Silesia.
December 26th, 2011, 12:10 PM
Chocianów is a town in Polkowice County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.
The town lies approximately 14 kilometres (9 mi) south-west of Polkowice, and 85 kilometres (53 mi) west of the regional capital Wrocław.
As of 2006, it has a population of 8,215.
It developed from a castle called Chodzenow built in 1297 by Duke from Polish Piast dynasty Bolko I the Strict of Świdnica, who had to secure his lands against the claims of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia.
Before World War II, Chocianów was part of Germany and was known by its German name of Kotzenau.
palace in Chocianow - slowly being revitalized :
January 4th, 2012, 01:52 AM
Jaworzno is a city in southern Poland, near Katowice.
Jaworzno is one of the cities of the 2,7 million conurbation - Katowice urban area and within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people.
The population of the city is 95,520.
The first known mention of Jaworzno was in the 13th century. Historically linked with Malopolska (Lesser Poland) to the east, the area was originally under the rule of the bishops of Kraków.
After Austria seized Silesia at the end of the 17th century, several coal mines were developed near Jaworzno. After the First World War it was included in newly independent Poland.
Greens, forests, and undeveloped land constitute 60 percent of the town's area. Jaworzno has environmentally valuable areas which as a group present a diversity of landscapes and vegetation as well as a richness of flora and fauna.
January 4th, 2012, 02:40 AM
Tczew is a town on the Vistula River in northern Poland with 60,279 inhabitants.
It is an important railway junction.
The city is known for its attractive old town and the Vistula Bridge, or Bridge of Tczew, damaged during World War II.
Tczew was first mentioned as Trsow in a document by Duke Grzymisław bestowing the land to the Knights Hospitaller in 1198.
In some documents, the name Derszewo appears, which stems from the name of a feudal lord, Dersław. It is unknown whether Trsow and Derszewo referred to the same or two neighboring settlements. By 1252 the settlement was known by the names Tczew and Dirschau, and in 1258 Tczew hosted the first city council in Poland.
It received Lübeck rights from Duke Sambor II in 1260. Tczew was purchased by Heinrich von Plötzke of the Teutonic Knights following the Treaty of Soldin in 1309. It was rebuilt from 1364–1384 and granted Kulm law.
After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), Tczew was transferred from the Teutonic Order to the newly-created Polish province of Royal Prussia.
During the Protestant Reformation most of Tczew's inhabitants converted to Lutheranism. In 1577 the town was burnt to the ground by troops of King Stefan Batory of Poland after they defeated a rebellion by Gdańsk.
Although Tczew was rebuilt, it then suffered during the Polish-Swedish Wars.
The town was annexed from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Partitions of Poland.
It was occupied by Polish troops of General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars, but became Prussian again in 1815. It became part of the German Empire in 1871.
Tczew grew rapidly during the 19th century after the opening of the Prussian Eastern Railway line connecting Berlin and Königsberg, with the Vistula bridge near Dirschau being an important part.
Under the Prussian and German rule, the Polish population suffered from heavy Germanization by foreign rulers of their territory;Polish farmers demanded Polish schools, and refused to teach their children German, German official Heinrich Mettenmeyer wrote that German appointed teachers were treated with highest disdain by Polish children and their parents.
The Prussian census of 1905 counted 15,144 Polish or Kashubian-speaking citizens and 25,466 German-speaking citizens in the town.
After World War I Treaty of Versailles, Tczew became part of the Second Polish Republic when troops of General Józef Haller entered the town on January 30, 1920.
The town became a center of cultural activities of the German minority in Poland, a German-language school and a theater was founded. The regional member of the Polish Parliament represented the German minority.
During the Interwar period, Tczew was famous for its maritime academy which later moved to Gdynia.
According to the city's website, Tczew was the location of the start of World War II when German bombers attacked Polish sapper installations to prevent the bridge from been blown up at 04:34 on 1 September 1939 (the shelling of Westerplatte commenced at 04:45).
The town was occupied by Nazi Germany during the war and liberated in 1945. After World War II Tczew was one of the most damaged cities of Gdańsk Pomerania. Virtually none of its remaining factories were capable of production. There had been considerable loss of population down to around 18-20 thousand people. Residents took the first effort of reconstruction, and revitalization.
Currently, there are several companies in the electrical industry and machine building.
The coat of arms of Tczew depicts a red griffin in honor of Duke Sambor II, who granted the town municipal rights in 1260.
January 6th, 2012, 09:50 PM
Oświęcim (German: Auschwitz, Yiddish Oshpitsin אָשפּיצין, Czech: Osvětim, Slovak: Osvienčim, Russian: Освенцим) is a town in the Lesser Poland province of southern Poland, situated 50 kilometres west of Kraków, near the confluence of the rivers Vistula (Wisła) and Soła.
Following the Fragmentation of Poland in 1138, Casimir II the Just attached the town to the Duchy of Opole in 1179 for his younger brother Mieszko I Tanglefoot.
The town was destroyed in 1241 during the Tatar invasions. Around 1272 the newly rebuilt town created a municipal charter modeled on those of Lwówek Śląski (a Polish variation of the Magdeburg Law).
Throughout much of history, Germans and Poles lived together peacefully in the town. From 1315 the town was the capital of independent duchy. In 1327, John I, Duke of Oświęcim joined with a western part of Galicia (Central Europe), the Duchy of Oświęcim, and Duchy of Zator a vassal state attached to the Kingdom of Bohemia.
In the 14th century the population declined. The portion of ethnic Germans in the town shrank and in 1457 the Polish king Casimir IV bought the rights to the town, which was attached afterwards to the Cracow Voivodeship. Jews, invited by Polish kings to settle in the region. The town also became one of the centres of Protestant culture in Poland.
The town was destroyed again during the 1655 Swedish Deluge. In 1772 it was annexed by Austria in the First Partition of Poland.
After the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the town was close to the borders of both Russian-controlled Congress Poland, and the Kingdom of Prussia.
After World War I, the city became part of the Second Polish Republic. On the eve of World War II there were about 8,000 Jews in the city, over half the population.
In October 1939, Nazi Germany immediately annexed the area to Germany in the Gau of Upper Silesia, which became part of the "second Ruhr" by 1944. In 1940, Nazi Germany used forced labor to build a new subdivision to house Auschwitz guards and staff.
After the territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II, new housing complexes in the town were developed with large buildings of rectangular and concrete constructions. The chemical industry became the main employer of the town and in later years, a service industry and trade were added.
Tourism to the concentration camp sites is an important source of revenue for the town's businesses.
Auschwitz concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Auschwitz) was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II.
It was the largest of the German concentration camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the Stammlager or base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the Vernichtungslager or extermination camp); Auschwitz III–Monowitz, also known as Buna–Monowitz (a labor camp); and 45 satellite camps.
Auschwitz had for a long time been a German name for Oświęcim, the town by and around which the camps were located; the name "Auschwitz" was made the official name again by the Germans after they invaded Poland in September 1939.
The camp's first commandant, Rudolf Höss, testified after the war at the Nuremberg Trials that up to three million people had died there (2.5 million gassed, and 500,000 from disease and starvation), a figure since revised to 1.3 million, around 90 percent of them Jews.
Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Roma and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, some 400 Jehovah's Witnesses and tens of thousands of people of diverse nationalities.
On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops, a day commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 1947, Poland founded a museum on the site of Auschwitz I and II, which by 2010 had seen 29 million visitors—1,300,000 annually—pass through the iron gates crowned with the infamous motto, Arbeit macht frei ("work makes free").
January 9th, 2012, 09:53 AM
Great thread! Thank you DocentX for your efforts to keep it alive and so interesting!
January 9th, 2012, 09:19 PM
Great thread! Thank you DocentX for your efforts to keep it alive and so interesting!
January 10th, 2012, 02:02 AM
Wołów (German: Wohlau) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland. It lies approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) north-west of the regional capital Wrocław. As at 2006, the town has a population of 12,286.
In 1157 a wooden castle founded by Senior Duke of Poland Władysław II the Exile is mentioned, which developed into a castle complex, which was again mentioned in 1202. Two villages developed near the castle, one of them called Wołowo. Probably in the second half of the 13th century the town was founded near Wołowo and partially on the soil of the second village.
Wołów received a town law about 1285.
At that time Wołów belonged to the Duchy of Głogów, after 1312 to the Duchy of Oleśnica ruled by Polish Piast dynasty. With the duchy it passed to Bohemia in 1328.
In 1517 Johann Thurzo received Wołów. From shortly before, 1473, dates the oldest known seal of the town, which already shows an ox, as do all later seals. The town's name is derived from the Polish word wół ("ox"). In 1523 the town passed to the Duchy of Legnica and remained there until the dukes of Liegnica-Brzeg-Wołów died out in 1675.
The Protestant Reformation was introduced to the town in 1522 by duke Frederick II. After the extinction of the local Polish Piasts dynasty the duchy passed to the House of Habsburg, which opposed the Protestant denomination in the town, as part of the Counter-Reformation.
In 1682 the town's parish church was closed and given to the Catholics. According to the Treaty of Altranstädt the church however was already returned to the Protestants in 1707 and stayed Protestant until 1945. The small Catholic minority in return received a Josephinian curacy.
In 1742 Wohlau was annexed by Prussia. The duchy was divided into two districts and the town became county seat of one of the districts. The structure of the town was, until 1700, defined by craft, especially clothiers. As the seat of a duchy and a district administrative function however became more and more important. The industrialization played only a minor role and mostly affected smaller companies of the timber industry.
In January 1945 – just before town was taken by the Red Army – the Wehrmacht evacuated the German population westwards. In the May 1945, Poles – expelled by the Soviets from the eastern part of pre-war Poland – started to settle in Wołów and Lower Silesia.