Obelisk commemorating the 1944 catastrophy
Barwałd Średni pronounced [ˈbarvau̯t ˈɕrɛdni] is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, within Wadowice County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) west of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, 8 km (5 mi) east of Wadowice, and 33 km (21 mi) south-west of the regional capital Kraków.
The growing settlement of Barwałd was divided in the 16th century into three separate villages: Barwałd Górny (Upper), Barwałd Dolny (Lower) and Barwałd Średni (the Middle Barwałd). The wooden parish church of St. Erasmus was built in the second half of the 18th century. It was financed by the district landlord, Jan Biberstein-Starowieyski. The spire is a remnant of the previous 16th-century church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The layout, in which the spire is located to the east of the chancel, is unusual and rarely found. There is polychrome decoration dating from the end of the 18th century, which features figurative, vegetative and geometric motifs. On the chancel ceiling you can see a painting of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, while in the nave there is The Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor. The main altar contains an 18th-century painting of St. Erasmus.
World War II
On 24 November 1944 two trains (one German with military cargo, and one Polish) traveling at regular speeds collided head-on in Barwałd Średni. It was the biggest train collision of World War II in occupied Poland with both locomotives and nearly half of their trainsets destroyed completely. Some 130 people from the Polish passenger train were killed and over 100 wounded.
- "Central Statistical Office (GUS) - TERYT (National Register of Territorial Land Apportionment Journal)" (in Polish). 2008-06-01.
- Adam Dyląg. "Barwałd: W rocznicę tragicznych wydarzeń". Archiwum: W rocznicę tragicznych wydarzeń. Portal dwutygodnika Wolna Droga - Pismo Sekcji Krajowej Kolejarzy. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- J. Studnicki et al. (2011-10-20). "1944-11-24, Barwałd Średni (śląskie)". Największe katastrofy kolejowe. Towarzystwo Kontroli Rekordów Niecodziennych. Retrieved 8 February 2014.