Photographer's Note

On this photo we can see a sanctuary called "Serca Jezusa Milosiernego".


Sometimes Kalisz is called "the oldest town of Poland" because the mention by Ptolemy of a town called Calisia that was situated on the Amber Trail. Although it is still not certain whether the exact spot where the city centre is located nowadays was inhabitated in 2nd century, there are many artifacts of the Roman times in the area, pointing to the fact that it must have been one of the stops of the Roman caravans heading for the Baltic Sea.

Modern Kalisz was most probably founded in 9th century as a castellany and a minor fort. The name itself stems from the Slavic term kał, meaning swamp or marsh. In 1106 Bolesław Krzywousty captured the town and incorporated it into his feudal domain. Between 1253 and 1260 the town was granted with Środa Śląska Law, a local variation of the Magdeburg Law, and soon started to grow. One of the richest towns of Greater Poland, during the feudal fragmentation of Poland it formed a separate duchy ruled by local branch of the Piast dynasty. After Poland was reunited, the town became a notable centre of weavery and wood production, as well as one of the cultural centres of Greater Poland. The economical development of the area was aided by a large number of Protestant Czech Brothers, who settled in and around Kalisz after being expelled from Bohemia. Also, Jewish settlement of Kalisz dates back to 1139.

In 1282 the city laws were confirmed by Przemysł II of Poland and in 1314 it was made the capital of the Kalisz Land, one of the Voivodeships of Poland, by king Władysław Łokietek. A notable centre of trade, Kalisz was also located more or less in the centre of Poland back then. Because of its strategic location, in 1343 king Casimir III signed there a peace treaty with the Teutonic Order. As a royal town, the city managed to defend much of its initial privileges and in 1426 a new town hall was built. Also, it was there that king Mieszko the Old is buried.

In 1574 the Jesuits were brought to Kalisz and in 1584 they opened a Jesuit College there, one of the most notable centres of education in Poland back then. However, with time the importance of Kalisz declined and its place was taken by nearby Poznań.

In 1792 the town was struck by a fire that destroyed much of its centre. The following year, following the II partition of Poland, the town was annexed by Kingdom of Prussia. In 1801 Wojciech Bogusławski built a theatre there, one of the first permanent theatres in the area.

In 1806 Kalisz was joined with the Duchy of Warsaw. During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, following Yorck's Convention of Tauroggen of 1812, von Stein's Treaty of Kalisch was signed between Russia and Prussia in 1813, confirming that Prussia now was on the side of the Allies.


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Additional Photos by Aleksander Liebert (alexlie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 86 N: 775] (5359)
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