|May 11th, 2005, 09:54 AM||#1|
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Sandomierz is a city in south-eastern Poland with 27,000 inhabitants
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 Krakow and Wroclaw as one of the main cities of Poland. In the testament of Boleslaw 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 Mongols. 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 Voivodship, 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 the Great. 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, a dark period in the history of Poland. 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.
In 1809 the city was damaged during fighting between the forces of Austria and the Duchy of Warsaw during the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815 it found itself in the Russian Empire (Congress Poland). At this point it had just 2640 inhabitants.
The city again suffered damage during World War I. In 1918 it again became part of independent Poland. In the interwar years the city was proclaimed the capital of the Central Industrial Region, a major effort by Poland to develop its strategic industries. However, the project was cut by the outbreak of World War II, and the city did not become an industrial centre. In September, 1939, following the German invasion of Poland, the city was occupied by Germany and made part of the General Government. The Jewish population of the city, consisting of about 2,500 persons, perished during the Holocaust, mostly in the death camps of Belzec and Treblinka. The city was liberated by the Soviet army in August, 1944.
During the time when the city was part of communist People's Republic of Poland no major industrial development took place in Sandomierz, preserving it as a charming, small city full of historical monuments among unspoiled landscape. In 1999 the city became a county capital.
Pictures come from gorpol.pl and ga.com.pl
Last edited by Luke84; May 11th, 2005 at 10:04 AM.
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