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History & Culture

Due to its convenient location, presence of rivers, mineral resources and adequate conditions for growing plants the settlement of  Olkusz developed very early.

The first written records of the places in the area come from the 12th  - 13th century.

 

Human activity has changed the image of the area through centuries, the development of industry has had a huge impact on the natural environment, many historic buildings and facilities have been erected and the local culture has developed. Therefore, each commune of the LGD area has valuable cultural and educational sites and monuments, traditions, customs, which may be a crucial factor in socio-economic development of the area. Particularly important for the development policy are the number and the condition of  the historic buildings and monuments, which together with the values of the natural environment, have been attracting visitors for many years and have been an important element of the cultural heritage of the region and the whole country.

 

The head of the commune - village Bolesław, was founded in the 13th century by Prince Boleslaw the Chaste. Its legislative document dates from 1279. The most famous sights of the commune include:

  • the neo-Gothic church and the old cemetery in Bolesław
  • the 19th - century manor house in Bolesław
  • Jewish cemetery in Krzykawka
  • old Polish manor house in Krzykawka
  • the historic battlefield with the monument commemorating the battle with the tsarist army in which on the 5th May, 1863 Francesco Nullo died heroically
  • a well-preserved cemetery - the historic Jewish cemetery, located on the border of the Bolesław commune and Sławków

Numerous roadside chapels, characteristic elements of local tradition and local sacred art are equally notable.

 

The oldest settlement centers in the Klucze commune, and in the entire area of the LGD, are Bogucin and Chechło first mentioned in 1243. Most of the rest of the villages in the commune were established in the second half of the 14th century. There are many historic buildings and sites in the commune, the most important are included in the register of historic preservation sights:

  • watermill from 1884, the ruins of the Church of St. Cross from the 16th, 17th century  in Bydlin parish church, fence with towers, bell tower in Chechło
  • St. Mark’s Church, timber forest, bell tower in Rodak
  • residential-defensive tower in Kwaśniów Dolny

In 2006 the commune took possession of the historic Dietl’s Palace, market square and park.

 

Written records of the settlement of the village come from the late  12th and early 13th century. The autonomy under a set of German town laws was acquired in 1275. The official register of monuments and historical sites in the commune include:

  • the manor from the 18th-19th century in Glanów (mansion, park, granary, barn) parish church of St. Benedict from the 18th century in Imbramowice (church, bell tower, mortuary, cemetery fence)
  • the Norbertine Convent in Imbramowice from the 18th (convent, an outbuilding, chaplain’s house, priests’ outhouse, granary, fence with gates, gardens)
  • Roman Catholic cemetery “The Old” from the 19th century in Imbramowice
  • parish church of St. John the Baptist in Jangrot (with a bell tower)
  • manor from the second half of the 19th century in Ściborzyce (mansion, two outbuildings, park)
  • manor and farm from the 18th – 19th century in Tarnawa (mansion, outhouse, barn, stable, cowshed, hen house, granary, park).

 

In 1327, Ladislaus the Short gave the brothers, Wolfram and Hilary, the right to  deforest the land of  the royal village Dłużec. This led to the development of a settlement area, which soon was established as a town and named in honor of one of the founder’s civitas Wolwrami.

There are following historic buildings in Wolbrom and the commune:

  • St. Catherine’s Church in Wolbrom from the 14th century (or the late 15th and early 16th century) rebuilt in the years 1638-64 and rectory originally functioning as a monastery and being connected to the church
  • Church of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception (St. Mary’s Church) in Wolbrom from 1638 r. (formerly a church by a hospital)
  • the market square in Wolbrom. Other sites and buildings which have historic value include: numerous figures scattered throughout the town and the roadside crosses from the late 19th and 20th century, the ruins of the old Jewish cemetery in the Skalska Street, the graves of victims of the Holocaust. (parish church of St. Nicholas and Lawrence from the second half of the 18 century, the Chapel of St. Joseph from the 18th century and the Chapel of St. Barbara of the 18th century in Dłużec.
  • Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Strzegów from the end of the 15th century and the wooden bell tower from 1875.
  • Church of St. Martin in Poręba Dzierżna – wooden construction from 1766, rebuilt out of bricks in 1870, wooden bell tower, mansion from the second half or the end of the 18th century, 4 ha-park, which is a nature reserve
  • Church of John the Baptist in Poręba Górnicza from the 14th century, the vestry from 1887, a tower from 1900 r. and bell tower from 1876
  • St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Gołaczewy – the parish apparently dates back to the 12th or 13th century. The present church was built in 1490, and expanded in 1873. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1914 and rebuilt in 1922.

 

Olkusz is historically famous for its mining exploitation. It has gained the nickname "Silver Town” due to the mining of silver and lead. In the 15th century the city was surrounded by a fortified wall over 1100 meters long and with 14 towers. Up to this day there are well-preserved ruins of the wall and tower which can be viewed by tourists.

At the time of its greatness, the city had 300 active mines of lead ores. In the 16th century a royal mint was opened in Olkusz.

 

 

 

At the end of the 17th century, plagues of diseases, conflagration, and the Swedish invasion destroyed the economic well-being of the town – the mines ceased exploitation. The mining traditions revived only in the 19th century, and the postwar period was defined as the period of the most rapid development (the railway connecting Sławków with Olkusz, Hrubieszów, Moscow and Magnitogorsk was built and the largest enamel pots factory "Emalia" was modernized).

 

The townhouses located around the main market are the landmark of Olkusz. In the oldest one called “Batorówka” from the 17th century there is the Antoni Minkiewicz’s Regional Museum PTTK (Polish Tourist Society). The museum contains collections in the field of ethnography, numismatics, mining and history. The most interesting exhibits include the old mining tools, the minerals extracted from the Olkusz land, part of the municipal book from the 17th century, and municipal coats of arms and seals. In total, the museum displays 212 exhibits.

 

There are several hiking, biking and horse riding trails which interconnect the most attractive places in the area of LGD. The most famous trails include the Trail of Eagles’ Nests (Szlak Orlich Gniazd), the Trail of Jurassic Stronghold, (Szlak Warowni Jurajskich) Partisan Tourist Trail (Szlak Partyzantów Ziemi Olkuskiej), the Trail of Wooden Architecture (Szlak Architektury Drewnianej).

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