|Motto: Dla Boga, Ojczyzny i społeczności
For God, Country and community
|• Mayor||Artur Ludew|
|• Total||21.93 km2 (8.47 sq mi)|
|Elevation||260 m (850 ft)|
|• Density||550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+48 48|
Szydłowiec [ʂɨˈdwɔvjɛt͡s] ( listen) (Hebrew: שידלוביץ, Yiddish: שידלָאווצע) is a town in Szydłowiec County, Mazovian Voivodeship, Poland, with 15,243 inhabitants (December 31, 2005). It is the seat of Szydłowiec Commune (Gmina Szydłowiec). Previously, from 1975 to 1998, it was in the Radom Voivodeship. Szydłowiec historically belongs to Lesser Poland, from its beginnings until 1795, it was part of Lesser Poland's Sandomierz Voivodeship.
In the 13th century the site of the present castle was occupied by a stronghold on an artificial island with wood and earth defences and by a village called Szydłowiec. The present town came into being in the early 15th century and together with the neighbouring estate was the property of the Szydłowiecki and Radziwiłł families until the 19th century.
The town flourished in the 16th and the first half of 17th centuries. It was then an important centre of trade and crafts, mainly stone-masonry based on the exploatition of the local sandstone which was easy to work. This stone was used to carve architectural sculptural elements and to make tools for agriculture. It was also a building material for the local Saint Sigsmunt Church, Castle in Szydłowiec and the Town hall in Szydłowiec; moreover, it was sent to Kielce, Cracow and Warsaw.
Among the goods traded in were agricultural products.
The period of wars 1648-1717 and numerous epidemics and fires brought about a decline of Szydłowiec, which persisted for centuries, its state being yet aggravated after the partitions of Poland. The town owes this present character to transformations in urban design and architecture which took place in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century.
Szydłowiec also had a strong Jewish community until World War II.
At one point it had a population that was of a Jewish majority. It was home to Grand Rabbi Nathan David Rabinowitz (d. 1865), the grandson of Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshischa, and the father of the Biala Hasidic dynasty.
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