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Castle in Książ Wielki
Książ Wielki [ˈkɕɔ̃ʂ ˈvjɛlki] is a village in Miechów County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Książ Wielki. It lies approximately 13 kilometres (8 mi) north-east of Miechów and 45 km (28 mi) north of the regional capital Kraków. The village has a population of 820.
The settlement of Książ Wielki was for the first time mentioned in 1120, in chronicles of a Cysterian monastery in Jędrzejów. In the late 14th century the village belonged to Spytek of Melsztyn, and it gained town rights some time between 1333 - 1370. At that time, Książ Wielki belonged to Lesser Poland’s Krakow Voivodeship, and until the Partitions of Poland was the seat of a county, which included such locations, as Miechów, Wolbrom and Jędrzejów. In the 16th century, the town had a parish school, and was an important center of the Protestant Reformation, especially of Calvinism. In 1795 Książ Wielki was annexed by Austria (see Partitions of Poland), and in 1815 it became part of Russian-controlled Congress Kingdom. In 1875, as a punishment for participation of its inhabitants in the January Uprising, the Russians reduced Książ Wielki to the status of a village. During World War II, the Germans opened here a ghetto in 1942. Most of Jewish population was killed in the Holocaust, and in early August 1944, the Germans burned down the village, killing 12 people for their support of the Home Army.
Książ Wielki has a Holy Spirit church (1381), and St. Wojciech parish church from the 14th century. There also is a Renaissance palace (1585 - 1595), destroyed during the Kościuszko Uprising, and rebuilt in neo-Gothic style (1841-1846), as well as a syngagogue (1846).
- Jewish Community in Książ Wielki on Virtual Shtetl
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