Nowy Korczyn [ˈnɔvɨ ˈkɔrt͡ʂɨn] is a village in Busko County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Nowy Korczyn. It lies in Lesser Poland, approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Busko-Zdrój and 67 km (42 mi) south of the regional capital Kielce. It is located close to the confluence of the Nida and the Vistula rivers. The village has a population of 1,032, and in the past it was an important administrative center of Lesser Poland. Nowy Korczyn was a town from 1258 to 1869.
Until it lost its city rights, the village was known as Nowe Miasto Korczyn (New Town Korczyn). During its existence, Nowy Korczyn was also known as Khadash, Nayshtut, Neustadt, Novi Kochin, and Novi Kortchin. It was established before 1258 by Boleslaus the Chaste, and used to be an important trade and political center. From the 15th century onwards the General Assembly of Lesser Poland was held there. In the 17th century the town began a decline, and lost its city status in 1869. Up until the Second World War, Nowy Korczyn, by now a village, had a large Jewish community, many of whom perished in the Holocaust.
In the Middle Ages, Nowy Korczyn was a trade village, located on a junction of busy merchant roads from Kraków to Kievan Rus', and from Kosice to Sandomierz. To distinguish it from the nearby village of Korczyn (now known as Stary Korczyn, Old Korczyn), Prince Boleslaus V the Chaste named the town Nowe Miasto Korczyn (New Town Korczyn), when he granted it Magdeburg rights (1258). In 1257, when the Prince stayed here with his wife Kinga of Poland, the pious couple decided to found a Franciscan abbey in Nowy Korczyn. The town quickly developed, due to its location, and proximity both to the Vistula waterway and the city of Kraków, where local princes resided during the fragmentation of Poland (see History of Poland during the Piast dynasty). It had a wooden castle, which, together with the town, was burned by the Rus warriors in 1300. New, stone castle was built here in the 1350s by King Kazimierz Wielki, and it quickly emerged as one of the major royal residences in Poland. A defensive wall was built around Nowy Korczyn, furthermore the town was protected by a man-made lake Czartoria.
Since Nowy Korczyn is located in the center of Lesser Poland, the town was frequently visited by Polish rulers. It was an important political and judicial center of the province, here Lesser Poland’s szlachta organized its meetings. In 1404, King Władysław Jagiełło called such a meeting, to discuss new taxes, needed for the planned purchase of the Dobrzyń Land from the Teutonic Knights. In 1438, also in Korczyn, the szlachta convened to discuss whether King Jagiełło should accept Bohemian crown. On April 25 of the same year, powerful Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, who opposed Polish alliance with Czech Hussites, called a Confederation here. In 1439, Polish supporters of the Hussites gathered near Nowy Korczyn, under Spytek of Melsztyn. On May 4, 1439, royal army under Oleśnicki defeated the Hussites in the Battle of Grotniki.
In the 15th century, several important meetings and events took place at the Nowy Korczyn castle. In 1461, King Casimir IV Jagiellon hosted here envoys of George of Poděbrady, the Crimean Khanate, and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and in 1465, szlachta of both Lesser and Greater Poland gathered here to discuss finances needed to end the Thirteen Years' War. In 1470, Casimir IV Jagiellon met at the Nowy Korczyn castle with papal legate and envoy of Emperor Frederick III. On October 9, 1479, Martin Truchsess von Wetzhausen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights paid homage to the Polish king at Nowy Korczyn.
In the Kingdom of Poland, Nowy Korczyn was one of the most important administrative centers of the vast province of Lesser Poland. Here Lesser Poland sejmiks took place, in which regional senators and deputies of the Sejm met to discuss and coordinate their policies. The Nowy Korczyn sejmiks included representatives from Kraków Voivodeship, Sandomierz Voivodeship, Lublin Voivodeship, Podole Voivodeship, and Volhynian Voivodeship. Furthermore, the town was the seat of a starosta (one of six starostas of Sandomierz Voivodeship), and the seat of court for the Wiślica and Pilzno counties.
In 1474 most of Nowy Korczyn burned in a fire, after which the town was released from its tax duties for 12 years. In 1549, King Zygmunt August funded a hospital, and at that time, Korczyn was a major beer producer, with 19 small breweries. Furthermore, it had waterworks and baths, built in 1578 with permission of King Stefan Batory. Eight times a year grain markets were organized, and the grain purchased in Nowy Korczyn was transported along the Vistula to Gdańsk. Korczyn had a number of granaries, in 1566 a new town hall was built, and in 1568 a canal was completed, which connected the man-made lake Czartoria with the Nida river. In 1589, a weapon manufacturer was opened in Nowy Korczyn, producing gunpowder, cannons and rifles.
The importance of the town diminished in the early 17th century, after the capital of the Commonwealth was moved from Kraków to Warsaw. In 1606, during the Zebrzydowski Rebellion, Korczyn was ransacked by the rebels, and in 1607, almost whole town with its 266 houses burned in a fire. Further and complete destruction came during the Swedish invasion of Poland, when in 1657 the town was burned to the ground, together with its extensive archives. In 1702, during the Great Northern War, Swedish troops destroyed Korczyn once again, and the town never recovered since then. After the Partitions of Poland, Nowy Korczyn briefly belonged to the Austrian Empire, and since 1815, it became part of Russian-controlled Congress Poland. Nowy Korczyn burned in 1811, 1855 and 1857, the town was also frequently flooded both by the Vistula and the Nida. In 1860, Nowy Korczyn had the population of 3,319, including 2,370 Jews. In 1869 Russian authorities stripped it of the town charter.
In September 1914, Nowy Korczyn was the area where Polish Legions operated. Here the headquarters of Józef Piłsudski was briefly stationed, and after the war, the village belonged to Kielce Voivodeship. In the Second Polish Republic it remained a poor village, with a significant Jewish population. In 1944, during Operation Tempest, units of the Home Army attacked German police post in Nowy Korczyn.
Nowy Korczyn does not have a train station. The village is located at the intersection of National Road Nr 79 (Warsaw - Bytom), and local road nr. 973, which goes from Tarnów to Busko. The Borusowa Ferry, a reaction cable ferry, crosses the River Vistula between Borusowa and Nowy Korczyn.
Points of interest
- complex of former Franciscan abbey (1257), with a Gothic church of St. Stanislaus,
- Gothic - Renaissance church of Holy Trinity (16th century),
- ruins of the 18th century synagogue,
- house of Jan Długosz (16th century), which housed the Nowy Korczyn Protestant Academy,
- houses from the 16th, 17th and 18th century,
- 19th century Russian Cemetery, where Russian civil servants and soldiers were buried.
- "Central Statistical Office (GUS) - TERYT (National Register of Territorial Land Apportionment Journal)" (in Polish). 2008-06-01.
- "Prom rzeczny (50.290066,20.801754)" [River ferry (50.290066,20.801754)]. Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nowy Korczyn.|
- Official website of Gmina Nowy Korczyn
- Nowy Korczyn website, focusing on history of the Jewish Community before the Second World War
- Satellite photo from Google Maps