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Wislica

Wislica

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Wiślica w is a village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 in Busko County
Busko County
Busko County is a unit of territorial administration and local government in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, south-central Poland. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and only town is Busko-Zdrój, which lies...

, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship
Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship
Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, or Świętokrzyskie Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is presently divided. It is situated in central Poland, in the historical province of Lesser Poland, and takes its name from the Świętokrzyskie mountain range...

, in south-central Poland. It is the seat of the gmina
Gmina
The gmina is the principal unit of administrative division of Poland at its lowest uniform level. It is often translated as "commune" or "municipality." As of 2010 there were 2,479 gminas throughout the country...

 (administrative district) called Gmina Wiślica
Gmina Wislica
Gmina Wiślica is a rural gmina in Busko County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland. Its seat is the village of Wiślica, which lies approximately south of Busko-Zdrój and south of the regional capital Kielce....

. It lies on the Nida River
Nida River
Nida is a river in central Poland, a tributary of the Vistula river , with a length of 151 kilometres and a basin area of 3,865 km2. This includes the protected area called Nida Landscape Park.Towns and townships;...

, approximately 14 kilometres (9 mi) south of Busko-Zdrój
Busko-Zdrój
Busko-Zdrój is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. It is the capital of Busko County. As of 2004, its population is 17,363.-History:...

 and 60 km (37 mi) south of the regional capital Kielce
Kielce
Kielce ) is a city in central Poland with 204,891 inhabitants . It is also the capital city of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship since 1999, previously in Kielce Voivodeship...

. In 2006 the village had a population of 680.

History


Wiślica, though today only a small village, is one of the most ancient settlements in Poland, and has played an important role in Polish history. The town was founded more than 1000 years ago, close to the important commercial routes, running from Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 to Sandomierz
Sandomierz
Sandomierz is a city in south-eastern Poland with 25,714 inhabitants . Situated in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship , previously in Tarnobrzeg Voivodeship . It is the capital of Sandomierz County . Sandomierz is known for its Old Town, a major tourist attraction...

. At that time it was probably the capital of the famous tribe Vistulans
Vistulans
Vistulans were an early medieval West Slavic tribe inhabiting the land of modern Lesser Poland.From the 1st century and possibly earlier, the Vistulans , were part of the Carpian Tribe, which got its name from the area that they lived in, which was beside the Carpathian Mountain Range...

. The land of Vistulans, after coming under temporary rule of Great Moravia
Great Moravia
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. There is some controversy as...

n and Bohemia, was incorporated into Poland by Mieszko I in 990. The first guarded settlement was probably founded at the end of the [9th century]. The remains that survive today are of the settlement which was erected at the end of XIIth century. The city had regular streets, the well was inlaid with stones, and a water cistern and the remains of 47 wooden houses have been found. The area compromised ten sub-settlements, whose inhabitants worked for the needs of the city. It is very likely that the city was burnt down by Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 during famous invasion of 1241 and it was never again inhabited by settlers.

In the late 1950s, archaeologists discovered the foundations of the st. Nicholas
Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas , also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra . Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker...

 church, dating back to the Xth or XIth century, which is exposed at the museum pavilion. The church was small: 6.65 m long and 3.40 m. wide, with one aisle, and a semicircular apse
Apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

. It is one of the oldest churches in market settlements of the Malopolska
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

 region.

The famous gypsum baptismal font located under the foundation of the church became a scientific sensation and the subject of heated discussions after its discovery. Probably it was served as a font for collective baptising in IXth century. If so, it would be the place of the earliest baptism on Polish grounds. This event is mentioned in Life of st. Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 as, so-called Pannonian Legend.

In the XIIth century Wislica became an important centre of court, intellectual and political life. It was given the status of outstanding cultural centre by the wife of prince Casimir the Just
Casimir II the Just
Casimir II the Just was a Lesser Polish duke at Wiślica during 1166–1173, and at Sandomierz since 1173. He became ruler over the Polish Seniorate Province at Kraków and thereby High Duke of Poland in 1177; a position he held until his death, interrupted once by his elder brother and predecessor...

. In the years 1166-1173 the town was the capital of the duchy of Wislica. This is probably when the truly royal, unique in Poland, residential complex consisting two big palaces and the additional round chapels was erected. Also another church was founded. Its remains are hidden in Basilica
Collegiate church in Wislica
The Collegiate church in Wiślica is a Gothic church, erected in 1350 in the southern Polish village of Wiślica, during the reign of King Casimir III of Poland...

 vaults among the relicts of third Wislica's sanctuary. Their discoveries turned out to be a great sensation, especially the floor of the burial crypt of the first romanesque church built in this place around 1170. It is the priceless work of the art and monument of Romanesque style
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

.

Located in the burial crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 of the XIIth century church, so-called Slab of Orants is a gypsum panel with engravings filled with black paste mixed with charcoal. It's showing two fields with plain figures separated and surrounded by decorated strips fringes, showing mythological creatures: griffin
Griffin
The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle...

s, a female centaur
Centaur
In Greek mythology, a centaur or hippocentaur is a member of a composite race of creatures, part human and part horse...

 and the tree of life
Tree of life
The concept of a tree of life, a many-branched tree illustrating the idea that all life on earth is related, has been used in science , religion, philosophy, mythology, and other areas...

. Probably the figures represents prince Henry of Sandomierz
Henry of Sandomierz
Henry of Sandomierz was a Duke of Sandomierz since 1138 or 1146 until his death....

 and Kazimir the Just
Casimir II the Just
Casimir II the Just was a Lesser Polish duke at Wiślica during 1166–1173, and at Sandomierz since 1173. He became ruler over the Polish Seniorate Province at Kraków and thereby High Duke of Poland in 1177; a position he held until his death, interrupted once by his elder brother and predecessor...

 with their families. It is also a burial place of Henry of Sandomierz. The church with Slab of Orants was replaced in 13th century by bigger, three-aisled Basilica. Its remains are still visible in the vaults and are represented by decorative ceramic floor.

Around half of XIVth century another church was erected by king Casimir the Great. It is a beautiful example of the gothic style in architecture while the most precious buildings of its kind in southern Poland. Also, it is a finest example of very rare two-aisled type churches. The Basilica
Collegiate church in Wislica
The Collegiate church in Wiślica is a Gothic church, erected in 1350 in the southern Polish village of Wiślica, during the reign of King Casimir III of Poland...

 interior is richly decorated by precious and unique wall paintings. They were commissioned around yr 1400 by king Vladislau Jagiello
Jogaila
Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

 in his favourite Ruthenian-Byzantine style. Next to the Basilica two buildings founded by Jan Dlugosz has been preserved. In 1442 he became a cantor in the Wislica church and two years later its curator. Around 1460 he founded the belfry and a building for 12 canons an 12 assistant curates, which is today a rare monument of medieval residential architecture.

Wislica was granted charter rights by king Vladislau the Elbow-high in yr 1326. Since this time it was a place of frequent political gatherings, as well as the place of reading out of Wislica Statutes
Statutes of Casimir the Great
Statutes of Casimir the Great or Piotrków-Wiślica Statutes - a collection of laws issued by Casimir III the Great, the king of Poland, in the years 1346-1362 during congresses in Piotrków and Wiślica...

. His son, King Casimir the Great built the towns fortified walls with three gates and the castle which was later pulled down. The town spacious layout changed in those years. The new center of Wislica was located on the commercial route, so-called Via Salis. New bridges on the river Nida were constructed. Wislica was granted important privileges, toll customs on the bridges, the exemption of towns people custom duties and the right of storing salt. The brewery of Wislica was known as producing the excellent beer, which was delivered to Krakow
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 for the royal table.

From the XIVth century Wislica was the capital of a land, from the XVth century it was a county capital and the seat of starosta
Starosta
Starost is a title for an official or unofficial position of leadership that has been used in various contexts through most of Slavic history. It can be translated as "elder"...

. In 1528 king Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I of Poland , of the Jagiellon dynasty, reigned as King of Poland and also as the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until 1548...

 granted Wislica the right to build municipal water works. By the end of XVIth century, the town was destroyed by successive fires, floods and epidemic, began to fall into the oblivion. The towns ultimate destruction took place in 1657 during the Swedish Deluge. Even the Wislica remains the county capital until the end of 18th century, never regained its previous splendor. In 1795 it became part of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 as a result of the Third Partition of Poland
Third Partition of Poland
The Third Partition of Poland or Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1795 as the third and last of three partitions that ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.-Background:...

.

From 1809 it was in the Duchy of Warsaw
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony...

, then from 1815 in the Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 under Russian
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 rule, and again in independent Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 since 1918. Wislica lost its city charter in 1870, and it was again destroyed in the course of the First World War, in 1915.

In 1939 during the Invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 heavy fighting occurred near the village. In the course of the German occupation that followed, Wislica's Jewish community perished in the Holocaust. Unfortunately, today Wislica is still forgotten and marginalised by bigger intellectual centres, but remains as a charming town which offers monuments of great artistic merit, of long traditions and memories of important historical events.

Sights

  • Collegiate Basilica of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wiślica
    Collegiate church in Wislica
    The Collegiate church in Wiślica is a Gothic church, erected in 1350 in the southern Polish village of Wiślica, during the reign of King Casimir III of Poland...

     was erected by king Kazimir the Great in yr 1350. It's the oldest and biggest two-aisled church in Poland. Inside, there are original wall paintings founded by king Vladislau Jagiello
    Jogaila
    Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

     in yr 1400. Today, it's the Sanctuary of Smiling Madonna, half-sculpture, given to Wislica by king Vladislau I the Elbow-high, dated back to 1270-1300; http://www.panoramio.com/photo/27189546


  • The vaults of gothic Basilica with the remains of two romanesque
    Romanesque art
    Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre-Romanesque...

     churches, which are dated back to XIIth and XIIIth century;


  • The house for the canons and assistant curates, so-called House of Jan Dlugosz
    Jan Dlugosz
    Jan Długosz was a Polish priest, chronicler, diplomat, soldier, and secretary to Bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki of Kraków....

     dated back to yr 1460, with beautiful original wall-paintings; http://www.panoramio.com/photo/11515271



  • The Jewish cemetery
    Jewish cemetery in Wiślica
    Jewish Cemetery in Wiślica is the cemetery of the Jewish community which lived in Wiślica till 1942. The cemetery was created in the 17th century. It is located in the northwest part of the village, near the Złota street, on a woody terrain....

    , created in the 17th century, destroyed during and after the second World War

External links