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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:47 AM   #101
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Pszczyna (Пщина)



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).













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Old April 11th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #102
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Poland, please accept my condolencesю It personally hurts me... I can not imagine it at all.
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Mій LJ Фотографії та розповіді з мандрівок по Україні та закордону. Ціни, корисні поради, купа емоцій. Постійно оновлюється
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Old April 17th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #103
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Paczków (Пачкув)



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.























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Old April 17th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #104
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Byczyna (Бичина)



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.











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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:01 AM   #105
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Krasnystaw (Красностав)



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















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Old April 18th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #106
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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.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelesHomais View Post
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
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Old April 18th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #108
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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.























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Old April 18th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #109
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Ustka (Устка)



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.



























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Old April 19th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #110
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Karpacz (Карпач)



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".







Karkonosze Mountains





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Old April 20th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #111
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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.















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Old April 20th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #112
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Kórnik



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.

















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Old April 21st, 2010, 03:03 PM   #113
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Brzeg (Бжег)



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.











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Old April 22nd, 2010, 12:19 PM   #114
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Golub-Dobrzyń (Голюб-Добжинь)



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.













The Castle

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.







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Old April 22nd, 2010, 01:18 PM   #115
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Absolutely amazing towns! I'm very very like it!
Big thanx, DocentX
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 07:57 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oranger View Post
Absolutely amazing towns! I'm very very like it!
Big thanx, DocentX
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).
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 08:32 PM   #117
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Chęciny (Хенціни)



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 Castle

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.

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Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:19 AM   #118
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Wigry



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.

















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Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:22 PM   #119
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Choroszcz (Хо́рощ)



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.















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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #120
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Ostrołeka (Остроленка)



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

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