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Comune Brzeszcze

Brzeszcze is a small commune, picturesque situated in the valley Kotlina Oświęcimska between two rivers marking its borders, Soła from the east and Wisła from the western side. The commune is located in the border zone of Małopolska and Śląsk regions, therefore the great diversity of the tradition and folklore. It borders with the communes of Oświęcim and Kęty belonging to the Małopolskie Province and Wilamowice and Miedźna included in the Śląskie Province. The commune Brzeszcze occupies the surface of 46 km2, and is inhabited by about 21,5 thousand people. In its administrative frontiers, beside of the town of Brzeszcze there are also 5 village administrator’s offi ces Jawiszowice, Przecieszyn, Skidziń, Wilczkowice and Zasole. Through the commune there runs the province road number 949 connecting the town of Brzeszcze with the province road number 948 on the section Kęty – Oświęcim and province road 933 connecting Pszczyna with Oświęcim and Chrzanów.

According to the verbal records, the name of the place Brzeszcze comes from the word – “brzost” – a tree from the elm family, growing in the ancient areas at the Wisła river. Both Brzeszcze and the near situated villages as well were established in the medieval time on the German law. The oldest village on the territory of the present town and commune is Jawiszowice, mentioned in the Peter’s pence registers in 1326. The information about the other villages come from the 15th century. Brzeszcze appeared the fi rst time in the documents in 1443, Przecieszyn in 1445, Skidziń in 1454 and Wilczkowice in 1457. All the places from the moment of the mentioning in the source documents, shared the lot of the Oświęcimskie Duchy, which was established in the years 1315 – 1317, as a result of the dynastic partitions of the line of Piasts of Śląsk. In 1457, when this Duchy became the property of the Polish king, also Brzeszcze came over to its property, becoming King’s Property. From the very beginning the people of Brzeszcze and the villages situated near it, lived beside of all from the agriculture, cattle and sheep breeding. First the establishing of the ponds, about which the fi rst information come from 1473, changed the character of the people’s activities. As a result of the fi rst partition of Poland in 1772 the territory of the former Oświęcimskie Duchy, and together with it also Brzeszcze, changed under the reign of Austria. The King’s properties had been occupied by the Austrian government, which in 1778 sold Brzeszcze to Friedrich Dunin of the Swan coat of arms and his wife Zofi a of Małachowski. In 1794, after Zofi a Dunin’s death, Brzeszcze was intercepted by Kamil Dominik Gherii – coming from Italy, the court doctor of the Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. After Gherri’s death in 1814 the village changed to the property of his ward Wiktoria Klose, Friedrich Klose’s - the former owner of Przecieszyn, Skidziń and Wilczkowice - daughter. Wiktoria Klose, later Mieroszewska, in a special way wrote herself in the memory of the peasants of Brzeszcze, reducing them the serfdom and teaching the children of the peasants to write and to read. In 1822 Wiktoria Mieroszewska changed Brzeszcze, Skidziń, Przecieszyn and Wilczkowice for the key of Chrzanów with the Archduke Karol Ludwig Habsburg, which on the other hand in 1924 gave his property as a present to the Polish Academy of Skills in Kraków. The academy was vested with Brzeszcze till December 1945. Than the plough grounds were divided between the landless and smallholder peasants, and the ponds were taken over by the new established State Fishery Works.

After the year of 1945 there followed the dynamic development of the town. The mine underwent to the building –up and the quantity of the people increased. In 1954 Brzeszcze was raised to the range of a settlement and on the 07th of July 1962 the settlement received the municipal rights. In the years 1975 – 1998 the commune administratively belonged to the Katowickie Province, and since January 1999 was included in the Oświęcimski District and Małopolskie Province.

Multimedialne obchody 50-lecia praw miejskich Brzeszcz narzędziem promocji gminy Brzeszcze

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