The heritage of the Old-Polish Industrial Region
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
The heritage of the Old-Polish Industrial Region

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The heritage of the Old-Polish Industrial Region

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The heritage of the Old-Polish Industrial Region

The Old-Polish Industrial Region, sometimes also called the Old-Polish Basin, was the oldest, and until the end of the 19th century — the largest mining-ironworks and metallurgic region on the Polish land. It encompassed the central, northern, and eastern part of the region currently known as Świętokrzyskie, and it has gotten the name (Region or Basin) after the First World War as a result of the gaining momentum of repatriation and strengthening of national traditions.

Foundation and development of heavy industry in this region was possible due to advantageous natural conditions — abundance and availability of deposits of mineral resources (basic and auxiliary); — expanses of forests (giving a supply of wood for baking); — numerous rivers and favourable land form (allowing creation of water-powered systems). For ages, millennia even, people used this area for mining and manufacturing. Initially, it was mining and bloomery smelting, later on — self-sufficient metallurgic facilities based on blast furnace smelting with various water-based systems providing power, which then transformed into complex industrial plants, mainly metallurgic. The bloom of early modern industry began in the second half of the 18th century — mainly in the northern and central part of the region (due to dynamic activity of kings, magnates, and bishops), and lasted in the first half of the 19th century — primarily in the eastern and also central part of the region, where by the initiative of Stanisław Staszic and Duke Drucki-Lubecki (and later the Bank of Poland) the task of industrialising the country was undertaken (by locating or rebuilding many factories within the Region), the most interesting of which was the plan of a "continuous founding of iron factories on the Kamienna river" implemented since 1818. Some of these factories have remained and were operational until very recently (the metallurgical plant with a blast furnace in Starachowice, the metal plant in Maleniec, the workshops and mill in Wąchock); and the plant in Białogon is operational until present day, with a related production profile (as Kielce Pump Factory), in new facilities and with the use of new technologies.

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