Church and belfry
|• Mayor||Wacław Adamczyk|
|• Total||9.62 km2 (3.71 sq mi)|
|• Density||330/km2 (860/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Biała Rawska [ˈbʲawa ˈrafska] ( ) is a town in Rawa County, Łódź Voivodeship, Poland, with 3,233 inhabitants (2004). The World's Strongest Man competitor Mariusz Pudzianowski was born in Biała Rawska.
Biala Rawska is one of the oldest Slavic settlements of historic Mazovia. In the 12th century, it probably was an administrative center and the seat of a castellan, but first written document which confirms the existence of Bela, as it was called, comes from 1246. The gord of Bela was protected by a wooden rampart, as it did not have a defensive wall. The castellany of Bela was in the 14th century transferred to Rawa Mazowiecka.
It is not known when Biala Rawska received town charter, but it happened before 1498. At that time, the town was property of Bishops of Chelm, and was an important administrative center, seat of Biala County of Rawa Voivodeship. Located along busy merchant trails to Mazovian Czersk, Leczyca and Sandomierz, Biala prospered. Good times ended in the 1650s, during the disastrous Swedish invasion of Poland, after wbich the population of Biala was reduced to only 100 people. The town never recovered from Swedish destruction: in 1777, its population was only 186.
In 1870, following January Uprising, Biala lost its town charter, recovering it in 1925. In 1900, the population was over 2,000, with a significant Jewish element. In 1921, Biala’s population was 2328, with 38% Poles and 61% Jews. During World War Two, Biala lost 1,800 people, including almost all Jews, who perished in the Holocaust.
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