Town Hall and market square
|Gmina||Leżajsk (urban gmina)|
|• Mayor||Ireneusz Stefański|
|• Total||20.29 km2 (7.83 sq mi)|
|Population (June 2017)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Leżajsk [ˈlɛʐai̯sk] (full name The Free Royal City of Leżajsk, Polish: Wolne Królewskie Miasto Leżajsk; Ukrainian: Лежайськ, Lezhais’k; Yiddish: ליזשענסק-Lizhensk) is a town in southeastern Poland with 13,871 inhabitants. It has been situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodship since 1999 and is the capital of Leżajsk County.
Leżajsk is famed for its Bernadine basilica and monastery, built by the architect Antonio Pellacini. The basilica contains a highly regarded pipe organ from the second half of the 17th century and organ recitals take place there. It stands as one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated April 20, 2005, and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland. Leżajsk is also home of the Leżajsk brewery. The town is crossed by a forest creek ‘Jagoda’.
The Jewish cemetery in Leżajsk is a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world, who come to visit the tomb of Elimelech, the great 18th century Hasidic Rebbe. From the early 1500s until the advent of World War II and the Holocaust, there was a major Jewish presence in Leżajsk. After the Jewish expulsions from Spain in 1492, many Jews ended up in Leżajsk. According to the census of 1764, the community numbered 909 people, and by the turn of the 20th century, there were 1,700 Jews in the community. When the German Nazis arrived in Leżajsk in September 1939, almost all Jews in the town were brought to the Soviet-Occupied zone, where they were later massacred by the Einsatzgruppen.
The development of Lezajsk was slow, due to numerous and devastating Tatar and Wallachian raids, which took place in 1498, 1500, 1509, 1519 and 1524. Following these raids, Polish kings granted several privileges to the looted town, and finally, on September 23, 1524 in Lviv, King Sigismund I the Old decided to move Lezajsk to a new location, which was easier to defend. The town was moved some 5 kilometers south-west, and its new name was Lezajsk Zygmuntowski. During the reign of Sigismund II Augustus, Lezajsk prospered due to protection of its governor, Krzysztof Szydłowiecki (Odrowaz coat of arms), who was Crown Chancellor. In 1608, Bernadine monks from nearby Przeworsk were brought to Lezajsk by Bishop of Przemyśl, and two years later, first brick church was built. In 1624 Lezajsk was looted and burned by Crimean Tatars and subsequent Swedish invasion of Poland (1655 - 1660) brought more destruction.
Following the first partition of Poland (1772), Lezajsk was annexed by the Habsburg Empire, and remained in Austrian Galicia until November 1918. In 1809, the town was captured by the Duchy of Warsaw, but soon afterwards, it was retaken by Austrians. In 1896-1900, a rail line connecting Lezajsk with Przeworsk and Rozwadow was completed. The town suffered during World War I, as Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies fought here in 1914 and 1915. Lezajsk was occupied by Russians between November 1914 and May 1915.
In the Second Polish Republic, Lezajsk belonged to Lwow Voivodeship. In July 1929, the town was visited by President Ignacy Moscicki. On September 13, 1939, Lezajsk was captured by the Wehrmacht. During World War II, the Home Army was very active in the area, and on May 28, 1943, Germans shot 43 residents of the town. Lezajsk was captured by the Home Army on July 27, 1944.
Mayors and Heads of the city after World War II
- Leopold Zawilski
- Aleksander Schmidt
- Aleksander Schmidt
- Franciszek Urbański
- Kazimierz Gdula
- Jan Płaza
- Eugeniusz Mendyk
- Kazimierz Kuźniar
- Roman Baj
- Józef Samojezdny
- Zbigniew Ząbczyk
- Andrzej Janas
- Tadeusz Trębacz
- Janusz Wylaź
- Tadeusz Trębacz
- Piotr Urban
- Ireneusz Stefański (now)
According to data from January 1, 2011, the city's area was 20.58 km².
According to data from 2006, Leżajsk has an area of 20.6 km², including:
farmland: 51% Forested area: 23% The city is 3.48% of the county's area
- The Holy Trinity and All Saints' Parish Church
- The Bernardine Order Monastery and Church Complex
- The Former Greek Catholic Parish Church under the invocation of Holy Virgin's Rest, currently known as the Succursal Roman Catholic Church
- The Jewish Cemetery at Górna Street, established in the 18th century. In the cemetery is the tomb of Rabbi Elimelech Weissblum.
- The Town Hall, 1 Rynek Street
- The Arsenal, Furgalskiego Street, the 19th century
- The Municipal Public Library. The library was erected before 1914 as a social and culture club of the "Proświta" Ukrainian Association, and has functioned as the library since 1956.
- The Former Palace, 4 Furgalskiego Street
- Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum (1717–1787), one of the Hasidic movement's founding Rebbes.
- Count Jan Potocki (1761–1815), capitan, engineer of the Crown Army, ethnologist, Egyptologist, linguist, and author.
- Boguslaw Szwacz (1912–2009), artist and teacher
- "Leżajsk Official Website". (in Polish) © 2003 Urząd Miejski w Leżajsku. Retrieved 2008-10-22.[permanent dead link]
- BIP Leżajska
- Demographic Yearbook of Poland 2012
- "Jewish Cemeteries in Poland". © 2004-2008, translated by Joanna Kołdras, Andrzej Fister-Stoga. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "YIVO | Leżajsk". www.yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
- Maurycy Horn, Żydzi na Rusi Czerwonej w XVI i pierwszej połowie XVII w. (Warsaw, 1975);.
- Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk
- Lezajsk at Polska.pl
- More about Lezajsk
- Lezajskie Opowiesci - Historical events of the last century
- Virtual Tour 360 panoramas taken by Radoslaw Sobik
- View of monastery in Leżajsk from the drone
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leżajsk.|