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Czestochowa

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Częstochowa (pronounce: Missing image
Ltspkr.png
Image:Ltspkr.png

[ʧε̃stɔ:xɔva]) is a city in south Poland on the Warta River with 248,894 inhabitants (2004). Situated in the Silesian Voivodship (since 1999), previously capital of Częstochowa Voivodship (1975-1998).

This town is known for the famous Paulite monastery of Jasna Góra that is the home of the Black Madonna painting, a shrine of the Virgin Mary. Each year, thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to Częstochowa to see it. There is also a Lusatian culture excavation site and museum in the city and ruins of a medieval castle in Olsztyn, approximately 15 kilometres (ca. 10 mi.) from the city centre.

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Contents

City name

The name of Częstochowa means Częstoch's place and comes from a personal name of Częstoch mentioned in the mediaeval documents also as Częstobor and Częstomir. The original name was mentioned as Częstochowa, spelled Czanstochowa in 1220, or Częstochow in 1382 and 1558. A part of today's city called Częstochówka was a separate municipality mentioned in 14th century as the Old Częstochowa (Antiquo Czanstochowa, 1382) and Częstochówka in 1470-80.

History

The village of Częstochowa was founded in 13th century. Before 1377 it received a town charter, which was later changed to the Magdeburg Law in 1502. In the 17th century the local monastery was turned into a fortress, which was one of the pockets of Polish resistance against the Swedish armies during The Deluge in 1655. After the Third Partition of Poland it was annexed by Prussia and incorporated into the Neue Schlesien province. During the Napoleonic Wars, in 1807 it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw and since 1815 the Kingdom of Poland. This started a period of fast growth of the city. In 1819 renown military architect Jan Bernhard planned and started the construction of Aleja Panny Marii - the Lady Mary Avenue, which currently is the main axis of the modern city. The two existing towns of Częstochowa and Częstochówka (the latter received the city rights in 1717 as Nowa Częstochowa) were finally merged in 1826. In 1846 the Warsaw-Vienna railway line was opened, linking the city with the rest of Europe. After 1870 iron ore started to be developed in the area, which gave a boost to the local industry. Among the most notable investments of the epoch was the Huta Częstochowa steel mill built by Bernard Handtke, as well as several weaveries and paper factories.

During the World War I the town got under German occupation, and in 1918 it became a part of the newly-reborn Republic of Poland. The new state acquired large deposits of good iron ore in Silesia and the mines in Częstochowa became inefficient and soon were closed. This brought the period of prosperity to an end. At the same time a bishopry was relocated to the city in 1925. After the Polish Defence War of 1939 the town was annexed by Nazi Germany, renamed to Tschenstochau and incorporated into the General Government. During the World War II approximately 40.000 of Częstochowa's Jews were murdered by the Germans, almost the entire Jewish community living there.

After the war Częstochowa was returned to Poland. Due to communist idea of fast industrialisation, the inefficient steel mill was significantly expanded and named after Bolesław Bierut. This, combined with the growing tourist movement, led to yet another period of fast city growth, concluded in 1975 with the creation of a separate Częstochowa Voivodship. Currently the city is one of the main tourist attractions of the area and is sometimes called the little Nuremberg because of the number of souvenir shops and the historical monuments. It also attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year.

Education

The Black Madonna of Czestochowa
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The Black Madonna of Czestochowa
  • Politechnika Częstochowska
  • Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna
  • Akademia Polonijna (previously Wyższa Szkoła Języków Obcych i Ekonomii)
  • Wyższa Szkoła Hotelarstwa i Turystyki
  • Wyższa Szkoła Lingwistyczna
  • Wyższa Szkoła Zarządzania

Sports

Politics

Częstochowa constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected Częstochowa constituency

  • Giżyński Szymon, PiS
  • Grzesik Andrzej, Samoobrona
  • Janik Ewa Maria, SLD-UP
  • Kasprzyk Jacek, SLD-UP
  • Maniura Edward, PO
  • Polak Danuta, SLD-UP
  • Ratman Zygmunt, SLD-UP

See also:


 
Poland
Flag of Poland
Voivodships of Poland
Greater Poland | Kuyavia-Pomerania | Lesser Poland | Łódź | Lower Silesia | Lublin | Lubusz | Masovia | Opole | Podlachia | Pomerania | Świętokrzyskie | Silesia | Subcarpathia | Warmia and Masuria | West Pomerania
Principal cities
Warsaw | Łódź | Kraków | Wrocław | Poznań | Gdańsk | Szczecin | Bydgoszcz | Lublin | Katowice | Białystok | Częstochowa | Gdynia | Gorzów Wlkp. | Toruń | Radom | Kielce | Rzeszów | Olsztyn
bg:Ченстохова

de:Częstochowa fr:Częstochowa lv:Čenstohova nl:Czestochowa nds:Częstochowa pl:Częstochowa ro:Częstochowa

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