Church in Opole Lubelskie
|County||Opole Lubelskie County|
|Gmina||Gmina Opole Lubelskie|
|• Mayor||Dariusz Wróbel|
|• Total||15.12 km2 (5.84 sq mi)|
|• Density||580/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Opole Lubelskie [ɔˈpɔlɛ luˈbɛlskʲɛ] is a town in eastern Poland. It has 8,879 inhabitants (2004). The town is situated in the Lublin Voivodeship, some 10 kilometers east of the Vistula river. It is the capital of the Opole Lubelskie County. It was founded in the 14th century, and historically belongs to Lublin Land, which is part of Lesser Poland.
The word “opole” comes from Slavic, and means a basic territorial unit of Slavic tribes. Tribal organization, based on opoles, remained in use in Poland until the Middle Ages. There are several places named Opole in Poland, with the most famouus being Opole in Upper Silesia. To distinguish between the two, the adjective “Lubelskie” was added to the name of the town of Opole located near Lublin.
First wooden church in Opole Lubelskie was probably built in the 12th century. In 1368, by decree of Casimir III the Great, Opole received Magdeburg rights, which was confirmed in documents issued in 1419. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Opole Lubelskie was one of centers of Reformation. Several Calvinists were active here. In 1625, a hospital was built outside the town, along the road to Sandomierz. Between 1663 and 1675, a new parish church was constructed, which still stands. In the mid 18th century, Opole Lubelskie prospered, after Piarists came here upon request of Jan Tarło. A new hospital and schools were built, the church was expanded and a monastery was opened. In the late 18th century, Rozalia Lubomirska spent a few years in the palace of her husband Aleksander, located in the village of Niezdów, near Opole Lubelskie.
The town had a significant Jewish minority, which perished during the Holocaust. The Opole Lubelskie Ghetto was created in March 1941, with Jews both from the town, and from such locations, as Kazimierz Dolny and Puławy. Later on, Jews from Austria, France and Slovakia were brought here. The ghetto was liquidated in October 1942, when its 9,000 inhabitants were transported to Sobibor extermination camp.
The town is home to one of the most modern prison in Poland - Zakład Karny Opole Lubelskie, which was opened in October 2009. Among points of interest there are parish Church of Saint Mary (1663-1675, expanded 1748), complex of Piarist Monastery, Lubomirski Palace (today it houses a high school), town hall (1750), tenement houses, cemetery chapel (1790). The cemetery itself was opened in 1772.