Sandomierz

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Sandomierz
Town Hall
Town Hall
Flag of Sandomierz
Flag
Coat of arms of Sandomierz
Coat of arms
Sandomierz is located in Poland
Sandomierz
Sandomierz
Coordinates: 50°41′N 21°45′E / 50.683°N 21.750°E / 50.683; 21.750
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Świętokrzyskie
County Sandomierz County
Gmina Sandomierz (urban gmina)
Town rights before 1227
Government
 • Mayor Jerzy Borowski
Area
 • Total 28.8 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
Elevation 200 m (700 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 24,621
 • Density 850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 27-600
Area code(s) +48 15
Car plates TSA
Website http://www.sandomierz.pl

Sandomierz (pronounced: [sanˈdɔmʲɛʂ] ( )) is a town in south-eastern Poland with 25,714 inhabitants (2006), situated in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (since 1999). It is the capital of Sandomierz County (since 1999). Sandomierz is known for its Old Town, which is a major tourist attraction. In the past, Sandomierz used to be one of the most important urban centers not only of Lesser Poland, but also of the whole country.

Etymology[edit]

The name of the city might have originated from the Old Polish Sędomir, composed of Sędzi- (from the verb sądzić "to judge") and mir ("peace"), or more likely from the antiquated given name Sędzimir, once popular in several Slavic languages.[1] Sandomierz is known in German: Sandomir; Latin: Sandomiria; Yiddish: צויזמיר; Hungarian: Szandomir; Ukrainian: Сандомир or Судомир; Russian: Сандомир; and Czech: Sandoměř.

Early history[edit]

Sandomierz is one of the oldest and historically most significant cities in Poland. Archeological finds around the city indicate that humans have inhabited the area since neolithic times. The city came into existence in the early Middle Ages, taking advantage of an excellent location at the junction of Vistula and San rivers, and on the path of important trade routes. The first known historical mention of the city comes from the early 12th-century, when the chronicler Gallus Anonymus ranked it together with Kraków and Wrocław as one of the main cities of Poland. The testament (ca 1115-1118) of Bolesław Krzywousty, in which he divided Poland among his sons, designated Sandomierz as the capital of one of the resulting principalities, the Duchy of Sandomierz.

In the course of the 13th century the city suffered grievous damage during raids by Tatars in 1241, 1259 and 1287. The old wooden buildings of the town were completely destroyed. As a result, in 1286 the High Duke of Poland Leszek Czarny, effectively refounded the city under Magdeburg Law. The city archives preserve the founding document. (An important note: in 1260, as the Tartars invaded Christian Sandomir, a community of Dominicans was praying Matins while a novice read the martyrology for the next day: "the 49 martyrs of Sandomir". When the friars realized they were being warned of their death, they spent the remainder of the night and all the next day preparing to meet the Lord. At last, after the brethren had finished praying Compline, and as they processed singing the Salve Regina to Mary, the Tartars broke through the church door. While the Tartars intended to bring death to these Dominicans, they actually brought them great gifts - crowns of martyrdom. Ever since, at the death of every Dominican a song to his Beloved Mother is sung to usher him into her arms - the Salve Regina (or Hail, Holy Queen).[2])

Modern Era[edit]

After Polish lands were reunified in the 14th century, the former principality became the Sandomierz Voivodeship, incorporating large areas of southeastern Poland. Until 1474, it was one of two voivodeships of Lesser Poland, together with Krakow Voivodeship. In 1474, Lublin Voivodeship was created from eastern part of Sandomierz Voivodeship. At this time Sandomierz had about 3,000 inhabitants and was one of the largest Polish cities. In the middle of the 14th century the city was burned again during a raid by the Lithuanians. It was rebuilt during the rule of king Casimir III of Poland. The layout of the city has survived practically unchanged since that time until the present day.

The following three hundred years, running until the middle of the 17th century, were quite prosperous for the city. The most important historical buildings were built during this period. This golden age came to an end in 1655 when Swedish forces captured the city in the course of the Deluge. After briefly holding out in the city, the withdrawing Swedes blew up the castle and caused heavy damage to other buildings. In the next 100 years the economy of Poland suffered a decline, which also affected the city. In 1570 an alliance of non-Catholic Polish Churches, the Lutherans, the Reformed, and the Bohemian Brethren, drew up what is known as the Consensus of Sandomir, effecting a confederation of the work in order to stave off defeat at the hands of the Roman Church. A great fire in 1757 and the First Partition of Poland in 1772, which placed Sandomierz in Austria, further reduced its status. As a result Sandomierz lost its role as an administrative capital.

In 1809 the city was damaged during fighting between the forces of Austria and the Duchy of Warsaw during the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815 it found itself in the Russian Empire (Congress Poland). At this point it had just 2640 inhabitants.

Sandomierz Cathedral and St Paul's Church blood libel myth[edit]

This cathedral contains a series of paintings built into the church's wooden panelling depicting the Martyrologium Romanum. The third painting shows the scene which, it is claimed:[3] "...depicts ritual murders committed in Sandomierz by Jews on Christian children. The inscription above the painting reads filius apothecary ab infidelibus judaeis sandomiriensibus occisus (son of an apothecary, by infidel Sandomierz Jews killed) [4]

The St Paul's Church contains a different series of paintings including one in the chancel, depicting the torment of Jerzy Krassowski who was allegedly strangled by the Jews. Discussion on these pictures has taken place with the participation of the Polish Jewish Community. "The Polish Council of Christians and Jews has offered to finance a plaque with explanations of the blood libel and information about the official statements by various Popes rejecting the accusation".[5] This proposal has not been accepted and to date the pictures remain in the Cathedral and Church without plaque explaining or contradicting the myths portrayed.

The world wars[edit]

The city again suffered damage during World War I. In 1918 it again became part of independent Poland. In the 1930s, due to the massive public works project known as Central Industrial Area, Sandomierz began to grow quickly. It was projected to become capital of the Sandomierz Voivodeship, and local authorities planned fast development of the city. The Greater Sandomierz was to turn in the 1940s into a city of 120 000.

In September 1939, following the German invasion of Poland, the city was occupied by Germany and made part of the General Government. The Jewish population of the city, consisting of about 2,500 people, perished during the Holocaust, mostly in the death camps of Bełżec and Treblinka. The city was captured by the Soviet army in August, 1944.

No major industrial development took place in Sandomierz during the communist era, thus preserving its look of a charming, small city full of historical monuments among unspoiled landscape.

Points of interest[edit]

Education[edit]

  • Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczno-Przyrodnicza Studium Generale Sandomiriense
  • Wyższe Seminarium Duchowne w Sandomierzu
  • 1 Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace Collegium Gostomianum
  • 2 Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Tadeusza Kościuszki
  • Zespół Szkół Gastronomicznych i Hotelarskich

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Sandomierz is twinned with:

Panorama[edit]

Panorama of Sandomierz

Gallery[edit]

Webcams[edit]

Virtual walks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stanisław Rospond, Słownik etymologiczny miast i gmin PRL, Wrocław 1984, ISBN 83-04-01090-9.
  2. ^ Blessed Sadoc and Companions "the 49 martyrs of Sandomir" http://www.sistersofmary.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=105&Itemid=76
  3. ^ Fr Edward Górecki Ph.D, A Guide to Sandomierz Cathedral.
  4. ^ Joanna Toarska-Bakir Ph.D., Sandomierz Blood-Libel Myths. Final Report 2006 by University of Warsaw.
  5. ^ Poland and the Jews p.199, Stanislaw Krajewski, Kraków 2005
  6. ^ a b "Home". newarktwinning.co.uk. 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°41′N 21°45′E / 50.683°N 21.750°E / 50.683; 21.750