Urban layout, Władysławów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The urban layout of the former town of Władysławów, currently a village, is an example of a well-preserved town whose origins may be traced back to the 18th century. Its spatial structure was strongly influenced by the agricultural and craft activities of its residents. A peculiar layout of the residential plots situated around the market square is typical for textile towns of eastern and southern Greater Poland and stems directly from an old workshop textile production. What is also of significance is the unique functional connection of Władysławów with the village of Russocice, neighbouring on the eastern side, and the 19th-century settlement of Felicjanów from the west.

History

The town of Władysławów was chartered in 1727 in the immediate vicinity of a medieval village Russocice whose origins date back to the 14th century and are linked to the establishment of a parish for which at the beginning of the 15th century a brick Gothic church of St Michael the Archangel was built, replacing an older wooden one. The church in Russocice was first mentioned in 1419, already as an “old” church. It is believed that the significance of the village Russocice is a result of its location on the route connecting Kalisz with Toruń, alternatively leading through Turek to Koło, precisely through Russocice. On the Gilly-Cron map from the turn of the 18th and 19th century, Russocice is presented as a linear settlement situated around the mentioned route. Its centrepieces were the church of St Michael the Archangel situated on the north and an aristocratic residence with a wooden manor house and manor house buildings (removed in the mid-19th century) whose seat in the 19th century was a brick palace called - probably due to its form - a “little castle,” located on the south, at the exit of the road leading to Turek.

In the first quarter of the 18th century, Russocice was owned by Jan Władysław Kretkowski, Voivode of Chełm. On 26 April 1727, he was granted by king Augustus II the Strong a charter for a town in the immediate vicinity of Russocice, named after him. A year later, chartered Władysławów together with Russocie and nearby Wyszyna went into the hands of Melchior Hieronim Furowski, Castellan of Poznań, Starost of Kościan, Koło and Brdów. Craftsmen, mainly dealing with textiles (cloth-makers, linendrapers, bedlinen-makers and fustian-makers) started to settle in the town and their guild was established here already in 1739. They were mainly evangelical fugitives from Silesia who were religiously persecuted at that time. Several settlement waves from Silesia resulted in 1740 in the establishment of an evangelical school and then an evangelical commune and the construction of the first, wooden evangelical church in 1776. According to official descriptions from 1793-94 of towns incorporated into Prussia as a result of the partitions, 72 occupied houses, with a completely wooden or wattle-and-daub structure, were situated at that time in Władysławów. The descriptions also list, among others, an Evangelical church, a pastor’s house, a school, a town hall, two jails, 30 private wells and 3 public ones, 3 saloons, a tavern, 4 Jewish stalls, manor farm brewery and 7 windmills. The town had 513 residents.

In 1815, Władysławów was taken over by the Russians as part of the Kingdom of Poland created by the Congress of Vienna. Thanks to the economic policy of the authorities, manufacture textile industry started to flourish rapidly during the 1970s and the 1980s (like other towns of the regions, e.g. Turek or Dobra). It was a period of another wave of immigration of weavers from Silesia and western Greater Poland, this time for strictly economic reasons, related to the economic policy of the Kingdom of Prussia. At that time, a number of houses of a single architectural type were erected in Władysławów at the expense of the state treasury. They were located on distinctive elongated plots with water ditches behind them, used for bleaching cloths. The estates were given for free to the weavers settling in the town.

Manufacture production in Władysławów slowed down in 1830 due to the development of cotton textile industry in Turek initiated in 1831, the establishment, in 1832, of a textile settlement in nearby Międzylesie, and then a similar settlement in Felicjanów in 1840, created in the immediate vicinity of Władysławów from the west. The development of textile industry in Łódź resulted in the 1980s in a break-down, and later a complete collapse of the textile industry in Władysławów, and in a mass emigration of weavers to Łódź. Despite the architectural development of the town, which was reflected in the construction in 1870 of, among others, first houses, a brick evangelical church, a synagogue or a fire watchtower, the times when the town flourished the most had past.

Władysławów lost its municipal rights in 1933.

Description

The town had a floor plan of a narrow rectangle situated along the east-west axis, whose eastern edge adjoined the existing village Russocice. Its basis was formed by a flat hill, gently falling down in the south and north direction, towards marshy meadows. The central point of the town was its market square, demarcated as a rectangle with sides in the ratio 4:1. Its eastern side was adjoined by a spacious land plot where a tavern was located, from the south and north framed with streets connecting the market square with the Kalisz-Toruń route leading through Russocie. From the south-western corner of the market square, there is a street running to the west whose further section was a road leading to Tuliszków and further to Rychwał, while from the south-eastern corner - a street towards the south leading to Konin through Chylin. From the southern side, today’s Senatorska street runs in the south direction. Around that basic, unchanged up to contemporary times, market square and streets layout, a network of narrow and long land plots was demarcated. They become lower to the north and south, a part of them is earmarked for buildings construction, and there is a garden situated at the back. The land behind the plots was drained with ditches which provided access to water used for utility purposes. The founder of Władysławów intended the town to be a craftsmen’s town, that is why access to fields was not planned during the land plots demarcation. The buildings erected were situated with their gable wall facing the street. With time, they were replaced with side-gabled houses, often due to combining old, narrow land plots or demarcating new, wider ones (Tuliszkowska and Konińska streets).

Among public utility buildings apart from the tavern mentioned, attention should be paid to a wooden one-storey town hall from the mid-17th century, located in the middle of the market square, demolished by the German during World War II, an Evangelical school from 1740 situated on the land plot between a corner of the market square and Konińska street, the original Evangelical church from 1776 which was replaced in 1872 with an impressive brick church (currently, there is a really well-adapted Cultural Centre) occupying the area at the western border of the market square, and a synagogue from the 1970s, located at today’s Senatorska street, also demolished during World War II by the German, or the building of the Fire Brigade from around 19th century, dominating on the market square and situated in front of the church of St Micheal in Russocice, and People’s House, already located in Władysławów from 1938-39.

Today’s Władysławów is a sustainably developing village which serves as the seat for the local commune administration and, despite the passage of centuries, has preserved its original, readable at first glance, 18th-century urban layout.

The site is open to visitors.

compield by Tomasz Łuczak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 14-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, red. Łęcki Włodzimierz, Poznań 2002, s. 394-395.
  • Kulejewska-Topolska Z., Nowe lokacje miejskie w Wielkopolsce od XVI do końca XVIII wieku, Poznań 1964, s. 26.
  • Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, t. 13, Warszawa 1893, s. 693.
  • Wąsicki Jan, Opisy miast polskich z lat 1793-1794, t. 2, Poznań 1962, s. 874-879.
  • Tłoczek Ignacy, Miasteczka rolnicze w Wielkopolsce, Warszawa 1955.

General information

  • Type: spatial layout
  • Chronology: 1727 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Władysławów
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district turecki, commune Władysławów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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