N-E corner of Market Sq. with historic houses

 

Below: the southern frontage of Market Sq.

with the former Brauner House (tallest, pink)

HISTORIC MONUMENTS AND OTHER SIGHTS

 

THE CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS
St Nicholas’s, the main church of Chrzanów, is probably the most conspicuous sight of the town. The church was most probably constructed at the turn of the 13th/14th c. Its final architectural shape - as it then seemed, as it survived only until 1912 - had been created in the 15th c. and shortly afterwards by adding annexes. The only part of that Gothic church that has been preserved down to our own times is the presbytery.

 

A detached belfry was erected next to the church most probably around the same time. It is mentioned in the 16th c. documents. In 2003 a memorial plaque was fixed on its wall commemorating the residents of Chrzanów fighting for an independent and free Poland, 1918-1920 and 1939-1989. Thorough reconstruction of St Nicholas’s carried out in 1912-1914 created the church as we know it today. In the 1930s two religious-historical wall paintings were added to its interior decorations: “The Siege of Częstochowa” and “The Battle of Warsaw 1920” by the Chrzanów-born Cracovian painter, Marian Konarski.  The latter work was an artistic vision of the Battle of Warsaw of 1920 with Rev. Skorupka in the forefront of the Polish troops and the enthroned Pope Pius XI (Achille Ratti, 1922-1939), who during historic events of 1920 was a papal nuncio in Warsaw and was one of the very few foreign diplomats who refused to leave Poland's capital facing the Bolshevik invasion. The Germans, who deemed the painting  promote sentiments of an independent Poland, had the fresco painted over in 1939, and after the Second World War when it was uncovered from beneath the layer of paint, the new communist authorities, like the Nazis before them, ordered it to be painted over again, as it could evoke anti-Soviet sentiments.

 

The present interior decorations of the church consist of 19th c. altars and paintings, stations of the Cross - arrestingly beautiful and sculpted with incredible dexterity; the 17th c. black marble altar of St Stanislas and exceptionally beautifully designed stained glass windows from the final years of the Austrian rule (1914) executed by the S. G. Żeleński company from Cracow. Among other interesting items worth seeing in the church are a 15th c. monstrance and an early Baroque chalice (17th c.) and a black Dębniki marble Baroque font (before 1748) and a grand chandelier with a majestic relief of the Polish White Eagle (1930s). Another interesting item in St Nicholas’s is a mosaic picture of Our Lady, a gift of Pope Leo XIII to Henryk Loewenfeld (1888) who bequeathed it to the Church of St Nicholas in Chrzanów. Under the church are vaults where former owners of the town are buried (e.g. Dembiński, Ossolińska), their officials and some outstanding burghers (e.g. members of the Baliś family).

 

Next to St Nicholas’s, at Mickiewicza St. is another sight, the rectory of St Nicholas. It was built in 1844 when Chrzanów was a town in the Republic of Cracow. The building is an example of 19th c. eclecticism with a touch of Renaissance-Revival style and late Classicism. The original façade of the rectory was slightly changed during the 1934 reconstruction and during recent modernization.

 

 

 

 

THE MARKET SQUARE

Residences at the Market Sq. (late 18th and 19th c.). Probably the most interesting of those is a 1905-1907 two-storey, Art-Nouveau house at nr 13 (previously nr 22). It has a façade of glazed bricks opulently decorated with miscellaneous ornaments (mostly chestnut foliage). A Katowice architect, Józef Kutz, was most probably the author of this design. The building had two balconies, but these were removed in 1965. The owner of the house was Jakub Brauner (the owner of a brickyard in Kościelec) and his cyphers “JB” are still displayed on the façade over the balcony door of the 2nd floor. Mr Brauner enjoyed his new house only two years. In 1909 his brickyard had been consumed by fire, and as a result he had to sell the house, which was bought by Szymon Sternfeld. Until the Second World War the ground floor of the house was occupied, among others, by a jewelry shop of Chaskiel Reich. In 1937 the owner was wounded by a gun shot during a robbery. The police never caught the thieves. Jeweler Reich and his entire family perished in a German death camp at Auschwitz.

 

A few words about the buildings which disappeared from the town's silhouette. The first one was the town hall, which until the early 19th century was the most conspicuous building of Chrzanów's Market Square. According to a 1784 description the town hall was a wooden structure, covered with a shake roof. The building had a cellar, an inn and a guest room. The adjoining building housed, among others, a city jail, a court and a waiting room. The town hall was also equipped with a little barn and a stable. Unfortunately wooden architecture had few chances of being preserved for posterity, right from the start. So did some brick architecture as well. In 1949 a historic Classicist house (early 19th c.) at the Little Market Square was demolished, so were three old houses at the Market Square (later a department store The Centrum was built on this site). As their Jewish owners perished during the Second World War, killed by Germans, these houses remained abandoned and neglected, but still could have been renovated and preserved. It was decided, however, to demolish them. Cracovian monument conservators, Dutkiewicz, Jasieński and Świszczowski, protested against this decision, but in vain.

The Loewenfeld Mausoleum and the tomb of Elia Marchetti.

 

Below: the eastern gate of the cemetery with visible Loewenfeld Mausoleum

THE PARISH CEMETERY

The parish cemetery (entrances from Marchettiego and Balińska St.) was created on the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries following the Edict of Emperor Joseph II (1783, enforced in Chrzanów after 1795), which for reasons of hygiene forbade burials inside and around church buildings. Probably shortly after 1795 the then existing cemeteries next to St Nicholas's and next to the no longer existing church of the Holy Cross, were closed. The name of the street, ul. Świętokrzyska (Holy Cross St.), is the only remnant after that church, which had been constructed before 1431 when it was mentioned for the first time. At the end of the 18th c. it was no longer used due to its serious decay. It was demolished alongside with the cemetery after 1827.

 

The present parish cemetery, turn of the 18th and 19th c., has numerous interesting graves of the deceased Chrzanovians, including those of town mayors from the late 19th and the early 20th c.: J. Oczkowski and M. Bytomski, also tombs of Polish soldiers fallen in September 1939 and the tomb of Elia Marchetti. It was raised by citizens of Chrzanów on the grave of the Foreign Legion’s Lieut. Elia Marchetti (1839-1863) of Bergamo, Italy, who was also the adjutant of Col. Francesco Nullo. Lieut. Marchetti gave his life for Poland fighting Russian occupiers in Polish January Uprising (1863-64). He had been fatally wounded at the Battle of Krzykawka in Olkusz County and was carried by Capt. Mazzoleni over the then Austro-Russian frontier into Chrzanów in Galicia where, despite receiving medical care, he died of his wounds after a few days. The most conspicuous structure of the parish cemetery in Chrzanów is the Loewenfeld Mausoleum. It was built in 1898-1900 in the Classical-Revival style on the Greek cross plan, according to a design of Teodor Talowski of Cracow. The chapel was raised as the mausoleum of the last owners of the Chrzanów estate, the Loewenfelds. It was founded by Henryk Loewenfeld of London, whose name bears the main street of Chrzanów, the Aleja Henryka (Henry’s Avenue). Interior of the Loewenfeld Mausoleum was decorated with the Ecce Homo, a painting by Hungarian realist painter Mihály Munkácsy.

THE MUSEUM

The castle granary from the 16th c., now the seat of the Chrzanów Museum. The building was originally a part of the manor assembly (called the Castle), which in turn was the residence of the owners of Chrzanów estate (the street leading to it was called until the end of the 19th c. Castle or Court St., now Mickiewicza St.). The main buildin was the Ossoliński Manor House. It was a stone structure built in place of an earlier wooden building, probably where a mediaeval castle had existed much earlier. The Ossoliński Manor House was built before 1783 for the then owner of the estate, Józef Kanty Ossoliński. The house was demolished in the 1940s by the occupying German authorities, who had decided to have a road built across the estate for military use. In this way the estate park was cut in two joining Mickiewicza St. with Śląska St. Due to poor condition of the Ossoliński House, the last owners of the estate decided in the late 19th c. to adapt the former granary as their Chrzanów residence. Since 1960 the building has housed collections of the Chrzanów Museum, including mementos of the last owners, the Loewenfelds. The Museum has an interesting collections on local history divided into several sections. The Ethnographic Dept. has a collection of exhibits on everyday life of local residents, including folk costumes, ancient furniture and accessories etc. The Wygiełzów branch of the Museum (open air museum) focuses on collecting examples of regional wooden architecture. The Local History and Culture Dept. possesses an interesting collection of documents, books and other exhibits on the town’s and region’s past. Particularly interesting is the Judaica collection. The Historico-Archaeological Dept. has a collection of exhibits on primaeval history of Chrzanów region. The Nature Dept. collects examples of local wildlife and has an interesting collection of endangered species. On the façade of the Museum Building there is a memorial plaque to Marcin Borelowski, a pupil of the Chrzanów School (Szkoła Wydziałowa), the later colonel fighting in the January Uprising, who fell in the Battle of Batorze, 1863.

 

The Urbańczyk House in Henry Avenue, nowadays a branch of the Chrzanów Museum, is mainly used as a research and temporary exhibition centre. The building was constructed in the second half of the 19th c. and constitutes an interesting example of urban residential architecture of the period.

 

 

 

THE BUILDINGS IN HENRY AVENUE (AL. HENRYKA):

THE BUILDING OF THE CREDIT SOCIRTY

The Building of the Credit Society in Henry Avenue, with rich eclectic details including two porches with column porticos which make the whole structure look quite handsome. The building had been constructed in 1895 and fortunately survived down to our own times without any serious alterations.

 

THE HOUSE OF CRAFTS

The building was raised in the first quarter of the 20th c. as the seat of the local Guild of Artisans and Merchants. It constitutes an interesting example of the early 20th c. architecture with an appealing form enriched by a tower seen from Grunwaldzka St. and a multiplane roof ornamented with small tower-like structures visible from Henry Avenue and making the structure to look pretty fabulous. The main façade is adorned with a couple of balconies and granite plaques bearing symbols of particular crafts. Over the entrance to the building at 26, Henry Avenue, until quite recently was an interesting original art déco metal-work from the 1930s. It consisted of geometrical figures cast in black and an inscription in silver employing the shape of letters typical of the interwar years and the art déco period in particular.

 

THE GAZDA HOUSE AND THE BALIŚ HOUSE

One of the best examples of art déco in Chrzanów is an elegant modernist Gazda House built in the years 1936-38, at the crossroads of Piłsudskiego St and Henry Avenue. The Gazda House, like the attached to it Baliś House (1939, designed by Stanisław Oszacki),  are the finest examples of the streamline style in Polish Modernism in Chrzanów. Both buildings are striped of any decorative details typical of art déco but even without these they are intriguing examples of lightness of the style, elegance of the functionalist forms and even today they do surprise with its modern design.

The main building of the Museum of Chrzanów.

 

Below: the Urbańczyk House, a branch of the Museum.

THE BUILDINGS OF THE SECONDARY SCHOOL

The old building of the Secondary School in Kościuszki St. (nowadays part of the buildings of the St. Staszic First Secondary School) from the early 20th c. Its façade is quite interesting, made of crimson brick with numerous projections and recesses with half-oval arcades. The inner walls of the building are covered with captivating wall paintings from the 1930s featuring coats-of-arms of Polish towns and provinces. In the 1940s these were painted over. During renovation work in October 1976 some of them were uncovered, but after uncovering inscriptions over the doors leading to two classrooms in the old wing reading: “The Marshal Piłsudski Classroom” and “The President Mościcki Classroom”, they all were painted over immediately (in communist Poland the leaders of the independent Polish Republic 1918-1939 were taboo). After 1989 almost all wall paintings were uncovered and painstakingly renovated. In the hall of the new 1920s building at the intersection of Kościuszki and Piłsudskiego streets, there is a dashing art déco plafond featuring the Polish White Eagle.

 

On the wall in the entrance hall there is a 1920s memorial plaque to the pupils of the Chrzanów Secondary School who fell during the Great War 1914-1918 and during the Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920. It reads:

They gave their lives for the Fatherland:

Henryk Kieszek, born 2nd July, 1900, Form VI, volunteer, +10th January 1920 at Zgniły Ruczaj near Dźwinsk.

Remigiusz Kościński, born 28th January 1898, Form VII, Platoon Leader, + 31st August 1917 at Brestowica, Italy

Jan Urbański, school janitor, +1917 in the Alps.

Glory to the Fallen!

The Pupils

 

In 2010 r., following 71 years of absence, the White Eagle of Poland, reappeared on the main façade of the Secondary School building. The White Eagle (a symbol of Polish statehood) was removed by the Germans in the first months of German occupation of Poland in 1939. The act had been witnessed by Ms Agata Święcicka née Baliś, who watched it from her parents' house situated at Foch St., just across an empty stripe of land stretching between the house and the Secondary School buildings. In secrecy a photograph of the event was taken from the balcony of the Baliś House by a friend of her father's.

 

 

A RESIDENTIAL HOUSE

A residenctial house from the early 19th c. at 35, Krakowska St. is a typical example of the small-town brick architecture of the 19th c. Chrzanów.

THE TWO BRIDGES

The Two Bridges, a part of the Cracow-Vienna railway line (1856), officially called The Northern Privileged Emperor Ferdinand Railways, with two arcade bridges for a non-collision traffic, crossing under a high railway embankment (at the confluence of  Podwale and Fabryczna streets with Sienna, Stara Huta and Świętokrzyska streets, just opposite the Jewish cemetery). The bigger bridge was destined for vehicular traffic, while the smaller one for pedestrians (and this was happening in the mid-19th c., which today makes us wonder at the ingenious sagacity of its architects!). Not far from the Two Bridges, walking up Świętokrzyska and Podwale streets, is a similarly designed single bridge of white sandstone erected in the same period.

 

 

 

THE JEWISH CEMETERY

The Jewish cemetery from c. 1763 with the 19th and 20th c. tombstones. Initially it had consisted of two cemeteries, the small one (which was destroyed by the Germans in 1941) and the big one which has been preserved down to our own days (small part of which, however, was destroyed by the Nazis). The oldest and the most historic tombstones used to be in the small cemetery. These were used by the Germans for paving Podwale St. which was prolonged to join Fabryczna St. over the destroyed part of the cemetery. Nowadays this site is occupied by Podwale St. and a 1970s petrol station. During the construction of the station, bones of the buried were unearthed. The remaining part of the cemetery embraces c. 1500 tombstones. The oldest one comes from 1802. Almost all tombstones have exclusively Hebrew inscriptions. Very few of them (from the 19th c.) have German inscriptions (the tombstone of Moses and Beila Bienestock), and probably the only one with a Polish inscription is the 1953 Werner tombstone raised by Dr Jakub Werner from Belgium in memory of the Werner family murdered by the Germans in the death camp at Auschwitz. In the cemetery there are also two chapels (ohel tombs) where local rabbis were buried.

 

MONUMENTS:

THE GREAT WAR CROSS

A cross commemorating the Great War 1914-1918 at the Świętokrzyska St near the Two Bridges, set in place of an ancient church and cemetery of the Holy Cross. It was brought from Jerusalem by Leon Piechowski prior to the First World War and unveiled here to commemorate the victims of that first of horrible world wars which marked the twentieth century, not sparing the citizens of Chrzanów. The inscription on the monument reads:

To the greater glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ and in memory of the terrible war F. J. K. O. 1918.

 

THE MONUMENT TO OUR SAVIOUR

An effigy of Jesus Christ raised on the palace wall at the crossing of Dworska and Główna St. at the turn of 19th and 20th c. The inscription on the monument reads:

Come to me all.


THE HEALTH CENTRE MEMORIAL PLAQUE

A 1945 memorial plaque to the two employees of Chrzanów’s Health Centre (the Ubezpieczalnia): a Silesian insurgent and a graduate of the John Casimir University in Lwów, Mr Karol Moliński, and Mr Julian Starzycki, who were murdered by Germans in concentration camps at Dachau (Bavaria) and at Mauthausen (Austria). The plaque is placed inside the hall at the entrance to the building from Sokoła St. An interesting historic detail concerning Mr Moliński is that his own brother, First Lieutenant Zygmunt Moliński, was a RAF pilot in Great Britain during the Second World War and was killed in 1944 making airdrops for the Warsaw Uprising.

 

THE MONUMENT TO MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

Next to the church of Our Lady of Ostra Brama (Borowcowa St.) the first Polish monument to Father Maximilian Kolbe had been raised following his beatification in 1971 by Pope Paul VI. The monument was raised thanks to efforts of the then parson Rev. Michał Potaczało. It features the future saint (canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982) with the Rosary and dressed in a blue-and-white stripped uniform of a prisoner in Auschwitz, where Father Kolbe was murdered by the Germans in 1941, giving his life for one of a co-prisoners.

 

THE VICTORY AND LIBERTY MONUMENT
The Victory and Liberty Monument at the Tysiaclecia Sq. (known as The Eagle) by the Chrzanovian sculptor Marian Konarski. It was raised in 1971 in memory of the residents of Chrzanów Country who fell during the Second World War.

 

THE JEWISH MEMORIAL

At confluence of Grunwaldzka St. and Swietkorzyska St. there is a memorial to seven Jews hung on this spot by Germans in 1942 for illegal baking of bread and dealing in food. A previous, more humble memorial from 1962, was replaced by the present and more sumptuous one after 1989. Its design resembles a Jewish tombstone displaying inscriptions both in Polish and in Hebrew.

THE CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST IN KOŚCIELEC

The Church of St John the Baptist in Kościelec had been built probably in the 14th c. in Gothic style and it was preserved as such until 1843/45 when a decision was made for a general reconstruction of the church due to its rather poor shape. Most of the church, save the apse - which now constitutes the oldest part of the church, was torn down then and a new, bigger church was raised. It survived, without any serious alterations until the late 20th c. when a side chapel was added to the church and the interior decoration was drastically altered. In the centre of the church there is a Gothic tombstone of the owner of Kościelec, the knight Ścibor Baliński (+1507) with a Latin inscription: Hic iacet nobilis Stiborius Balinsky sub anno millesimo 507 obiit - orate pro eo (Here rests the noble Scibor Balinski who died in the year thousand 507 - pray for him).

The tombstone had been covered with a tile floor in 1900 and - unfortunately - was not left uncovered for all to see when a new tile floor was laid here a few years ago.

 

Among other interesting furnishings of the church are the 19th c. high altar and black Dębniki marble epitaphs of the former owners of Kościelec, which until the renovation in the 1990s were placed on the walls of the presbytery. Especially handsome was the epitaph of Florentyna Rembowska née Szembek from 1837. The church has a richly adorned bell of 1484. The bell’s decoration represents St John the Baptist, a miner sign and a sumptuous inscription. The remaining bells were confiscated by the Austrians in 1917 and by the Germans in 1942. The church also has ancient stained-glass windows from the interwar period. The most interesting of these is the one in the presbytery, featuring Christ. It was made by the S. G. Żeleński Company in Cracow in 1936. It is a donation of Julia Otrębska.

 

CHAPELS:

THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF OSTRA BRAMA
Ostra Brama has been qualified here as a "chapel", because when it had been built the present parish did not exist (the area constituted a part of Kościelec parish) and prior to the creation of a new parish the present church used to be called "the Rospuntowa chapel", although its size was more that of a church rather than a chapel. The Church of Our Lady of Ostra Brama at Rospontowa was built in the years 1935-1939 according to a modernist design by the architect St. Oszacki from Chrzanów. The church became a parish church following the creation of a new parish here  in November 1939.


WAYSIDE CHAPEL IN KĄTY

A wayside chapel at Kąty suburb. The old chapel from 1848 burnt down in 1895. The present chapel (Our Lady’s Chapel) was founded by the former owner of Chrzanów estate Brunon Loewenfeld. It was built in 1896-1897 in eclectic style with the dominant Gothic-Revival elements imitating the English perpendicular Gothic, which may be a hint that the idea might have come from Brunon's brother, Henryk Loewenfeld, who in those times resided in London.

 

WAYSIDE CHAPEL IN KOŚCIELEC

A wayside chapel in Główna St. in Chrzanów-Koscielec from the first half of the 19th c. It was reshaped in 1871.

The church and the palace in Bobrek

THE SIGHTS WITHIN CHRZANÓW COUNTY WELL-WORTH VISITING

(beyond Chrzanów)

 

ALWERNIA (Chrzanów County):

THE BERNARDINE MONASTERY founded in 1616. The founder of the monastery was royal secretary and the owner of a nearby village of Poręba-Żegoty, castellan Krzysztof Koryciński who, upon his journey to Italy and a visit to a 13th century hermitage of La Verna in Tuscany (Latin: Alverna; it is situated in the mountains between Arezzo and the Republic of San Marino) decided to have a similar one built in his estates. He had his idea materialized in present-day Alwernia, which owes her name to Tuscan Alverna/La Verna. Around Koryciński’s foundation a settlement was developed in 18th c., present-day Alwernia, where a couple of wooden arcaded houses from the late 18th and the early 19th centuries have been preserved. The present monastery buildings consist of a church and a cloister. Its undoubted pièce de resistance is the Baroque church of the Stigmata of St Francis which has kept much of its original interior decorations. On its site a wooden church had been built first in 1616, which in turn was replaced by a brick aisleless church in the years 1630-1676. The church tower was added in the years 1897-1900. Inside the church a portrait of the Christ, Ecce Homo, has been hanging since 1686 (according to tradition it was brought to the court of Emperor Ferdinand III from Constantinople and later via Košice to Poland. The church has a high altar and six Rococo side altars, Rococo organ from 1789 and a Baroque pulpit. Other monuments include: two black marble tombs shaped as coffins and containing the remains of Krzysztof (+1636) and Jan Koryciński (+1667); an alabaster-marble tomb of Aleksander Szembek (+1806; general of the Royal Polish Forces and the knight of the orders of the White Eagle and St Stanislas) and his wife Urszula née Wielopolska (+1803) displaying their portraits painted on copperplate; and the new Gothic tomb of Eleonora Karwicka (+1846), most probably the work of Parys Filippi. Apart from that there are two interesting epitaphs inside the church: a marble one bearing a portrait of Franciszek Szwarcenberg-Czerny (+1764) and a similar one, double epitaph of Aleksander and Teresa Laszowski from 1749. The cloister building, originally wooden from 1616, was replaced with a brick one in years 1625-1656, remodeled in the years 1889-1903.

 

THE LESSER POLAND FIRE-FIGHTING MUSEUM (Małopolskie Muzeum Pożarnictwa) in Alwernia is the oldest institution of a kind in Poland. It was founded in 1953 and now it safeguards c. 25.000 exhibits on fire-fighting from 19th and 20th centuries, with an amazing collection of fire cars and carriages, including an Austrian Knaust from 1918, German Mercedes from 1926, Polish Fiat from 1936, British Bedford from the 1930s, American Dodge from the 1940s and Polish Star 20 and Star 25 and many, many more.

 

 

BOBREK

(Chełmek Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Oświęcim):

 

THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, Classicist church (1780-1789) with florid western elevation, founded by Count Potulicki and Countess Wielopolska. The church was consecrated in 1804. In the high altar an 1874 painting by Feliks Księżarski representing the Holy Trinity can be seen. Side altars include paintings by Wojciech Stattler and Wojnarski. The church has a late Classicist pulpit, too.

 

THE POTULICKI PALACE, a Classicist palace from the early 19th c. with a florid façade. The palace was built by the Potulickis on the site of a much older castle from 14th/15th c. The castle had been raised by the Ligęzas and was burnt down in 1655. The present palace is surrounded by an English garden which already in 1925 was recognized as natural reserve due to fine trees growing in it, including among others 102 monumental oaks. In the early 20th century the palace was renovated in Baroque Revival style. During German occupation of Poland (1939-45) the palace was taken over by the German police and military. In 1945 the last owners of the palace, the Sapiehas, had been expropriated by the communist authorities and the building was turned to a school and since 1968 to a kindergarten. The palce burnt down in 1979 and nowadays is half-ruined but roofed. In 2002 it was purchased by a private investor. Reconstruction works are under way.

CZERNA

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

THE CARMELITE MONASTERY AND THE CHURCH OF ST ELIAS (1631-1640), founded by Agnieszka Firlej née Tęczyńska, with rich Baroque interior decorations executed mainly in black marble of Dębnik. The monastery is attractively situated inside a landscape park. The monastery buildings consist of four wings creating a quadrangle with a church inside it. The church has three early Baroque marble altars: the high altar (1640) and two side altars (1657). In the high altar a marble tabernacle and a painting by Tommaso Dolabella An Angel feeding St Elias can be seen. The most noteworthy tombs inside the church include: marble tombs of Wawrzyniec Gębicki (+1652) and the foundress and benefactress of the monastery Agnieszka Firlej née Tęczyńska (+1644). In the sacristy there is a portrait of Agnieszka Firlej and the view of the Czerna Monastery in the background. Inside the monastery the tomb of St Rafał Kalinowski (+1907, canonized 1991) can be seen as well. His remains, previously buried in the cemetery by the cloister, were translated to one of the chapels inside the monastery and laid to rest in a sarcophagus in front of an altar.

 

MONASTERY GRAVEYARD

In the cemetery by the monastery there is a tomb of a Polish general Aleksander Błendowski (+1831). A Classicist tomb by Ferdinand Kuhn was executed in black marble and sandstone and topped with a Roman helmet. The tomb had had inscriptions in Polish and in Latin contents of which was not particularly favourable about the Russians and that is why due to Russian pressures they were removed. The original inscription was - alongside the gereral’s portrait - recreated on the cemetery wall by the tomb:

D.O.M.

Here rests

ALEKSANDER BŁENDOWSKI

General of the Polish Forces

whom enemy’s bullets bypassed, but the cholera,

the inseparable companion of the Muscovites, brought about his death.

For the posterity his friend Stanisław Klicki

put up this monument.

Lived 43 years. Died on 25th July 1831.

 

 

GORZÓW CHRZANOWSKI

(formerly County of Chrzanów, now County of Oświęcim):

 

BORDER MEETING POINT

The Confluence of the Przemsza and the Vistula rivers in Gorzów Chrzanowski is a meeting point of the western and southern boundaries of Chrzanów Country. Until 1975 it used to be the border of the County of Chrzanów as well. Earlier (1815-1846) it was a meeting point of the boundary of Free City of Cracow with those of Austrian Galicia and Prussian Silesia. Then from 1846 to 1918 it was a domestic administrative boundary between the provinces of the Austrian Empire: the Kingdom of Galicia and the Grand Duchy of Cracow. On the right (see the picture) is Chrzanów Country, on the left is Oświęcim Country and the peninsula in-between belongs to Upper Silesia.

The Czerna Monastery and the tomb of

General Aleksander Błendowski

The Papal Church at Mętków

and the Chechło estuary meeting the Vistula

KRZESZOWICE

(formerly County of Chrzanów, now County of Cracow):

 

POTOCKI PALACE built 1850-1858 according to a design by Francesco Lanci, with a landscape park from 1849. The construction of the palace was launched by Count Adam Potocki (+1872). In the late 19th c. the palace was thoroughly reconstructed by Zygmunt Hendel. During German occupation of Poland (1939-1945) the palace was a country retreat of governor general Hans Frank, who had the palace remodeled in 1940. After the war the palace served as a seat of miscellaneous institutions. Nowadays it is closed and abandoned.

 

VAUXHALL, a Classicist palace of Princess Izabella Lubomirska, built in 1783-1789 according to a design by architect Szczepan Humbert. Rebuilt in the late 19th c. and adapted for administrative purposes.

 

ST MARTIN'S CHURCH: mentioned in the early 14th century. In the second half of 17th c. the church was relocated. The present, new Gothic church, was constructed in 1832-1874 according to a design by a Berlin architect Karl Schinkel. The church was consecrated in 1874. In the high altar a 1579 painting by Santi di Tito The Homage of the Three Kings can be seen. In side altars there are paintings by Leopold Kupewieser and Franciszek Paszkowski (early 19th c.). Inside the church there is a marble font from 17th c. and a tombstone of red marble of Sebastian Lubomirski (1613) featuring a resting knight. It was brought here from Cracow in the late 19th c.

 

THE MAUSOLEUM OF GENERAL CHŁOPICKI: a Gothic-Revival style chapel in the local cemetery. In its crypt General Józef Chłopicki was buried following his death in 1854 in Krzeszowice. Since the fall of the November Uprising in the Kingdom of Poland (1831) the general had lived in exile in the Free City of Cracow, to which Krzeszowice belonged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MĘTKÓW

(Babice Municipality):

 

THE PAPAL CHURCH (18th c., larch wood) with Baroque interior decoration. The church was transferred from its original site in the village of Niegowic near Bochnia. In this very church the future Pope John Paul II began his clerical service. In 1974 the Pope-to-be visited Metków to consecrate the church in its new location.

 

THE ESTUARY OF THE CHECHŁO RIVER

In Mętków, near the former ferry-station on the Vistula, there is the estuary of the Chechło River, which is splitting Chrzanów in two. The Chechło joins the Vistula here on the final, 26th kilometre of the river's length. The Chechło river is formed in a peatbog in the Dulowska Forest and has the biggest drainage bassin within Chrzanów County comprising 112,2 km2. The river flows westwards at first, turning towards south-west just before reaching Chrzanów, and then southwards, right towards its confluence with the Vistula.

 

MŁOSZOWA

(Trzebinia Municipality):

 

THE FLORKIEWICZ PALACE: a Gothic-Revival castle from 1859 with Renaissance-Revival elements, constructed by architect Zygmunt Hendel and a historical landscape park from the early 19th c. In the palace loggia there is a statue of Kajetan Florkiewicz by F. M. Wyspiański (1870). The castle has the following towers: The Peacock’s Foot Tower, The Trumpeter’s Tower and The Florkiewicz Tower. After the Second World War the castle was used as a school.

 

 

NAWOJOWA GÓRA

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

THE MONUMENT TO THE LEGIONNAIRES is an art-déco monument from 1934 raised to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Piłsudski’s Legions who initiated struggle for an independent Poland. It stands on the very rallying point from which on 6th August 1914 young soldiers of the Grand Duchy of Cracow had marched towards the frontier of the Russian-occupied Kingdom of Poland initiating the struggle that brought Poland back her independence. The original monument was destroyed in the 1940s. Rebuilt in 1991.

 

 

NOWA GÓRA

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

THE PARISH CHURCH OF THE PENTECOST is a Romanesque-Revival structure. The original church was built in 1313. The present church was founded by the Potockis in 1876-1895, which is marked by the presence of the Potocki coat-of-arms, the Pilawa, on the façade of the church. The present building was erected in site of a former church mentioned in 16th c. and destroyed by fire. The church was consecrated in 1896 by the bishop of Cracow Jan Puzyna. In the high altar there is an early Baroque crucifix. Next to the church there is an old belfry from 1778.

 

 

PACZÓŁTOWICE

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY was mentioned firstly in 1335. The present wooden structure (1518-1520) is aisleless and treasures details of a 17th c. polychrome and a precious painting of Our Lady from 15th c. in the high altar, as well as late Renaissance altar with a painting of St Nicholas (probably originating from the Wawel Cathedral in Cracow). The church has a bell from 1535, bronze font from 1533 and a pulpit from before 1728.

 

THE MONUMENT TO POLAND'S INDEPENDENCE is close to the church , situated by the very road along which Piłsudski’s Legionnaires marched towards the nearby frontier of the Kingdom of Poland in August 1914. The monument is topped with a Legionnaire Eagle and on its frontal facet there is a commemorative plaque featuring Commander Józef Piłsudski’s bust and the following inscription:

1867-1935/Commander Józef Piłsudski/Monument to Poland’s Independence in Paczółtowice/On 7th August 1914 the riflemen’s units led by Commander Józef Piłsudski crossed over the boundary of the Russian-occupied Poland at Paczółtowice-Racławice. To the memory of the soldiers of Paczółtowice, Dębnik andŻary who fought for an Independent Poland in the years 1914-1918-1921 - by grateful compatriots/The glory of the sons are their fathers/August 1992/This monument was raised thanks to the efforts of the committee of building of the monument of the Society of the Lovers of the Krzeszowice Country.

The Florkiewicz Palace at Młoszowa

and the effigy of Kajetan Florkiewicz

PŁAZA

(Chrzanów County):

 

THE CHURCH OF THE ELEVATION OF THE HOLY CROSS from 16th c. (finished in 1576) with Baroque-Classicist interior decorations consisting of: early Baroque high altar, late Baroque side altar (18th c.) Baroque-Classicist pulpit and an oak font (before 1783) and others. In the church there is a marble epitaph of Romuald Chojecki and a plaque commemorating the construction of the church in 1576 and a couple of religious paintings.

 

STARZEŃSKI PALACE is an 18th century residence, early Classicist with later changes applied during thorough reconstruction in 1900-1901 by architect Zygmunt Hendel. Now home for the aged. The entrance gate bears the Lis coat-of-arms of Counts Starzeński, the former owners of the palace.

 

 

PORĘBA-ŻEGOTY

(Alwernia Municipality):

 

SAINTS MARTIN AND MARGARET CHURCH an 18th c. church  founded by Castellan of Wojnice Franciszek Szwarcenberg-Czerny has two marble altars transferred from the Wawel Cathedral in Cracow at the turn of the 19th and 20th c. The first church on this site was mentioned in 1325-1327. The present one built in 1762 was reconstructed in 1898 according to architect Zygmunt Hendel’s design.The church has a high altar and four side altars displaying among others a portrait of St Vincent by Michał Stachowicz. Other items of interest are: a Rococo pulpit, late Baroque organ loft and a marble epitaph of Marianna Szembek née Czerny (after 1764), as well as a bell from 1593.

 

SZEMBEK MANOR HOUSE (nowruined), a brick manor house of the Szembek family (2nd half of 18th c., remodeled by architect Tadeusz Stryjeński) with a family mausoleum topped with an effigy of Our Lady (1921-22 by architect Karol Stryjenski) situated in the surrounding park. The manor house was looted and burnt down in 1945.

RUDAWA

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

THE CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS (15th-16th c.) with rich interior decorations consisting of: high altar (before 1617), two side altars (early Baroque and Rococo, before 1783), a marble font from 1707, stalls and two late Baroque confessionals, as well as valuable tombs: a stone Renaissance tomb of Elżbieta Pisarska née Giebułtowska (after 1578) and a marble one of Elżbieta Zagórowska from 1709. The church safeguards several paintings, including: The Holy Family with the saints by Michał Stachowicz and a bell from 1763 with the inscription which reads: Balthasar Polonus me fecit.

 

 

RUDNO

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

TENCZYN CASTLE (14th c.) built by the Palatine of Cracow Andrzej Toporczyk (+1368), a former seat of the Tęczyński family, from 1638 owned by the Opaliński family. In April 1518 the new Queen of Poland, Bona Sforza of Milan, spent a night in the castle en route from Naples to her coronation in Cracow. In 1570 the Renaissance-style reconstruction of the castle was commissioned by Jan Tęczyński. The castle was burnt down during the Swedish invasion in 1656 and then rebuilt by the Lubomirski family. After another fire caused by a lightning in 1718, the castle was left waste. King Stanislas Augustus of Poland who visited the site in 1787, could only admire the ruins of the castle. The Potockis, who had taken it over in 1795 had plans concerning the restoration of the castle, but these were thwarted by the Austrian government who rejected such plans (the Potockis had then a palace built for themselves in nearby Krzeszowice).  During uprisings of 1846 and 1863 weapons were hidden in the ruins of the castle. In 1912-1914 Countess Krystyna Potocka of Krzeszowice had remedial works carried out in the ruins. These were repeated in 1949 and in the 1990s. Nowadays all that is left of the castle are well-preserved ruins.

 

 

TENCZYNEK

(Krzeszowice Municipality, formerly County of Chrzanów, since 1999 County of Cracow):

 

ST CATHERINE'S CHURCH, a Baroque church (1728-1742) on site of an earlier wooden church mentioned in 1470. In the vaults of the church rest the remains of the last of the male descendants of the Teczynski family, Jan. The church is surrounded by an 1818 wall. In the church we can find the high altar (18th c.) with a painting brought from Rome in 1723 The Transfiguration, two Baroque side altars, late Baroque organ loft and organ from 1733, as well as a marble font. Of other monuments of interest worth mentioning are the marble Classicist tomb of Franciszka Szopska née Giersz (after 1833) and a marble epitaph of W. Roman from 1783. Next to the church stands a belfry (before 1748), renovated in 1885.

THE THREE EMPERORS’ TRIANGLE

(formerly Chrzanów-Jaworzno County, now Sosnowiec County, Province of Silesia):

 

THE THREE EMPERORS’ TRIANGLE is a place at the confluence of the Biała Przemsza and the Czarna Przemsza where frontiers of the countries which once had divided Poland among themselves: Austria, Prussia and Russia met between 1846 and 1914. This place is visible from the Cracow-Katowice train passing by Jaworzno-Szczakowa at the point where the train line crosses over the once frontier river, the Przemsza. Near the Jęzor settlement the Biała Przemsza and the Czarna Przemsza create a confluence in shape of the “Y” letter. Until 1914 the left bank of the Przemsza belonged to Germany (Upper Silesia), the right bank to Austria (Grand Duchy of Cracow and Galicia) and the foreland in the middle to Russia (Zagłębie in the Kingdom of Poland).

 

 

 

 

TRZEBINIA

(Chrzanów County):

 

ZIELENIEWSKI MANOR HOUSE (late 18th c.), bricked, storeyed with a mansard roof. Remodeled in c. 1925 and renovated in the final years of 20th c.

 

 

 

 

WYGIEŁZÓW

(Babice Municipality):

 

LIPOWIEC CASTLE (13th c.), now a well-preserved ruin. The construction of the fortress was initiated by Bishop Jan Muskata, a supporter of the Bohemian rule in Poland. His troops installed in the castle were used to assault political opponets of the bishop. Following the coronation of King Ladislaus the Short of Poland (1320) the castle had been captured by the royal troops and given over to Bishop Prandota, who was responsible for reconstructing and building the present structure of the castle. Once Lipowiec was a country retreat of bishops of Cracow, later it served as a prison. During the so called Swedish "Deluge" (the Swedish invasion of Poland in 1655) the castle fell in Swedish hands and the leader of Swedish troops, Wirtz, resided here for the next two years. Lipowiec had been set on fire by Swedish troops in 1657 and rebuilt in 18th century, only to burn down again in 1800. King John III of Poland spent a night in the castle en route to relieve Vienna from the Ottoman siege in 1683. A memorial plaque inside the castle commemorates this event.

 

THE NADWIŚLAŃSKI ETHNOGRAPHIC PARK (branch of the Chrzanów Museum) is an open air museum displaying historical buildings and the culture of western Cracovians. The museum was created in 1969-1973. Now it comprises over 20 architectural structures from the Chrzanów Country and its neighbourhood.