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Pogoda w Strzyżowie
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English

THE POVIAT OF STRZYŻÓW

 

General Information

 

The Poviat of Strzyżów is situated in the south-eastern part of Poland, and in the central part of the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, approximately 30 km from the cities of Rzeszów, Jasło, and Krosno. The valley of the Wisłok River with the railway and the regional road No. 988 running through it forms a kind of an axis of this region. The transport accessibility of the poviat and its transit importance are determined by the international route which runs through this area, connecting Warsaw and Rzeszów with the border crossing in Barwinek, and further with Slovakia, Hungary, and the Balkan States. Route 9 is also the most popular connection between the capital and the Bieszczady mountains. Communication system complements regional roads, binding Strzyżów with Krosno and Ropczyce. A modern airport, the Rzeszów-Jasionka International Airport, is located within the distance of 40 km from Strzyżów, and it provides its services to a growing number of airlines and passengers.
The poviat has the area of 503.36 km2 and its population is about 63,000. Its capital is the town of Strzyżów with the population of over 8,000. The poviat, which is composed of four rural communes (Czudec, Frysztak, Niebylec, Wiśniowa) and one rural and urban commune Strzyżów, covers 2.8 % of the area of the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, and constitutes 2.9% of its population. It is bordered in the north with the poviats of Dębica, Ropczyce-Sędziszów, and Rzeszów, while in the south with the poviats of Jasło, Krosno, and Brzozów. The average population density is equal to the national average (124 persons / km2) and varies slightly from 103 to 135 persons / km2 within particular communes (excluding the town of Strzyżów, within which the density is higher than 600 people / km2). 
Good geographical location, close proximity to large urban centres, and, primarily, the picturesqueness of piedmont landscapes and the charm of monuments of the region shall entice every tourist. If we add to this the advantages in the form of qualified staff, the tradition of entrepreneurship, possibilities of cooperation and sales of products in the regional market, and combine this all with a wide range of specific investment offers, it opens up horizons for people seeking their own place in the entrepreneurial Poland.

 

History

 

The territory of the Strzyżów Poviat dates back to the fifteenth century in the south - eastern area of the Polish and Russian borders. The acquisition of the territory of Russia by King Casimir the Great resulted in the fact that the Polish border was extended to the East. Around the twelfth century, the town of Strzyżów belonged to the Duchy (later the Province) of Sandomierz, within its borders to Castellan Wiślica, and later to the District of Pilzno. Nowadays, the area of the Strzyżów Poviat is the centre of urban life created among the rural settlements, such as: Czudec, Frysztak, Niebylec, and Strzyżów. The oldest document describing the foundation of the town of Strzyżów dates back to 1279. The exact date of the foundation of Strzyżów is unknown. Strzyżów was granted its town charter in the late fourteenth century. Czudec is mentioned for the first time in a document which dates back to 1282. Czudec was granted its town charter in 1427. The oldest document in which Frysztak is mentioned as a town dates back to 1366. Niebylec was granted its town charter in 1509, however, its foundation took place probably much earlier.

The Poviat of Strzyżów as an administrative entity was under the jurisdiction of the Austrian partition in 1896. At that time, the area of Strzyżów was blooming again, owing to the construction of the Rzeszów - Jasło railway line. After the World War II, the Poviat of Strzyżów as a unit operated from 1954 to 1975 and later since 1999 (within the framework of an administrative reform).

 

Culture

 

In the past, the area of the Poviat of Strzyżów was inhabited by the representatives of three nationalities: Polish, Jewish, and Ruthenian. A great contribution to the tradition of this area was provided by the landowner centres in different towns and also by the peasant and bourgeois culture within the poviat. Nowadays, the evidences of these influences are the existing cultural facilities in different locations in the poviat. Currently, the Poviat of Strzyżów is the area of creative initiatives, as well as the place of great artistic and cultural events embedded in the traditions and the regional heritage. Activity within this field is undertaken by social groups and urban centres, NGOs, artists, teams, and local communities. In Strzyżów there is also the Z. Mycielski First-Degree Music School, and the 'Odrodzenie' cinema.

The memory of the past is cultivated by active regional associations and by the museums in the area, including: the State Museum of the Strzyżów area (named by Zygmunt Leśniak, 'How our ancestors lived and worked,') a Parish Museum in Szufnarowa, the Julian Przyboś Biographical Museum in Gwoźnica Górna, the Połomia Regional Museum, the Social Museum of Niebylec, 'Mountains of Freedom' Ecological Museum in Frysztak, and many others. The most interesting historical buildings in the Poviat of Strzyżów include: the fifteenth century church with an ancient bell tower in Strzyżów, the eighteenth century Dydyński Manor House, the Wołkowicki - Konopka Palace and Park Complex in Strzyżów, the eighteenth century Mycielski Palace and Park Complex in Wiśniowa, the sixteenth century Bylicki Palace and Park Complex in Żyznów, the eighteenth century Grabieński Palace and Park Complex and the Wasilewski Manor House in Czudec, the nineteenth century Jarochowski Manor House in Babica, wooden churches in Lutcza, Greek-Catholic churches in Gogołow, and wooden churches in Brzeżanka and Oparówka. An unusual attraction of historical significance is a complex of fortifications in Stępina and Strzyżów, dating back to the Second World War.

 

Natural Environment

 

The Poviat of Strzyżów is situated on the border of two physical-geographical mesoregions: Foothills of Strzyżów and Foothills of Dynów, divided by the Wisłok valley. Within this area a strongly meandering river crosses several hills that are running transversely in relation to it, forming numerous picturesque gorge sections of the rivernear Frysztak and Babica, called here "the gates" (respectively the Frysztak and Babica gates). Especially the first one has its own particular character as the Wisłok River flows here through the highest ranges of both foothills: the Klonowa Góra range within which the highest hill of the poviat and the Foothills of Strzyżów (Bardo, 534 MASL) is situated, and Jazowa and Królewska Góra ranges (Czarnówka, 491 MASL). In parallel to this set of hills, other ranges and isolated massifs run from the north-west to the south-east, among others Czarny Dział (Kiczora 516 MASL), Brzeżanka (477), Biała Góra (412), Wielki Dział (404), and Patria (506), divided by the valleys of further tributaries of the Wisłok River (i.a. Wysoka, Stobnica, Gwoźnica, Różanka, and Pstrągówka).

The mosaic of cultivated fields diversifies the undulating landscapes of the region, mainly filling the bottom and valley slopes, as well as patches of forests, survived in compact complexes on the plateaus. 25% of the area of the poviat is covered by forests, often representing the communities of natural character, which increases their environmental value. In most cases, these are hornbeam and Carpathian beech forests, with fir and the significant percentage of old growth beech forests. In the forests and in forest areas you can find numerous protected and endangered species of plants, among others ostrich fern, common ivy, giant horsetail, white butterbur or Turk's cap lily.


Forest areas undisturbed by man and wet meadows provide also a mainstay for valuable animal species, especially birds (including lesser spotted eagle, honey buzzard, thrush nightingale, black stork, eagle owl) and amphibians, such as fire salamander and Carpathian newt. To preserve natural values of the region, the Czarnorzecko-Strzyżowski Landscape Park (25.8 hectars) was established in 1993, a significant part of which is situated within the Poviat of Strzyżów. Moreover, the north-western part of the poviat includes also the Strzyżowsko-Sędziszowski Protected Landscape Area, and within the Niebylec commune there is a part of the Hyżniańsko-Gwoźnicki Protected Landscape Area.

 

Agriculture and Economy

 

The Poviat of Strzyżów is mainly a rural area with the dominant type of agriculture being the family-owned agriculture. In 2002 the poviat had 12,000 individual farms with an average size of cultivation area of approx. 2 ha. Currently, this area has slightly increased, and there are also fewer farms with a domination of plants, especially cereals, but also potatoes, soft fruits (strawberry, raspberry), breeding of pigs, poultry, cattle, or production of milk and dairy products. A large part of the population is also employed in non-agricultural employment establishments, often benefiting from the natural values of the area. Currently, more than 3,000 business entities operate in the area of the poviat: most of them are private entities. The largest companies in the poviat are the following: 'Roksana' Confectionery Cooperative of Strzyżów, 'Asprod' - a manufacturer of indoor and garden appliances, 'Neobus' - a transport company in Niebylec, 'MARMAX' - a grocery store chain, meat processing companies, such as 'Leśniak' and 'Fiołek', 'Rembud' - a construction company, 'Strzyżowska Fabryka Mebli' - furniture company, 'Food Machinery Europe' -  food processing equipment company, etc.

 

Tourism and Leisure

 

The foothills of the Strzyżowsko - Dynowski Region with the Wisłok River valley constitute a great place for tourists and nature lovers. The Poviat of Strzyżów has a well-developed tourist infrastructure - recreation facilities: ski slopes: 'Oaza Ski' in Strzyżów, 'Pod Dziedzicem' in Gogołów, and 'Lodowiec' in Babica; an indoor swimming pool 'Otylia' in Strzyżów and an outdoor swimming pool in Frysztak (GOSiR). The tourist offer has been developing dynamically in the recent years.

The picturesque landscapes and charming foothill slopes of the valleys, as well as large areas of the forests famous for an abundance of game and birds are the pride of the tourism in the region.

A large part of the poviat is a location of various forms of nature, including the Protected Areas within the Natura 2000 European Network. These include: the Czarnorzecko - Strzyżowski Landscape Park, two Protected Landscape Areas: Strzyżowsko - Sędziszowski and Hyżniańsko - Gwoźnicki, as well as three nature reserves: Herby, Wielki Las and Góra Hełm. Mineral water intakes are located within the area of the Poviat of Strzyżów, among others in Lutcza, Stępina, and Strzyżów. A recent project includes the development of a rich source of geothermal water in the commune of Wiśniowa.

 

Backpacking, Travelling by Car, Skiing...

 

Picturesque and idyllic landscape of both foothills, unpolluted by big industry environment, easy availability, and a  constantly extending range of recreational, catering, tourism, and agro-tourism services shall encourage all of those who want to come here and relax for a while from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Wanderers will find a network of marked tourist trails leading through the most interesting places of the region from the natural, historical and, scenic points of view, including the black trail from Rzeszów to the massif of Brzeżanka and the blue one from Dębica through the highest parts of the foothills to the "Prządki" reserve and the ruins of the castle in Odrzykoń.

Many of the historical facilities have survived in the poviat, testifying about the centuries-long history of this region. And the history was both glorious and tragic. The first traces of settlement date back to the 9th century, when the area of the central basin of the Wisłok River constituted the eastern part of the Vistula State and later the part of the united state of Mieszko I. Since the 11th century, the region remained under the direct authority of Bogoriowie family who endowed Cistercian monastery of Koprzywnica with the part of the lands. In the 13th century the Strzyżów Land was still falling prey to the Tartar hordes, but in the fourteenth century the borders of the kingdom moved further to the east. Using the location on an important trade route of the Wisłok River, leading from the inland parts of the land towards the Dukla Pass, the region which was already safer began to develop intensively. The trade flourished and the crafts, especially the drapery developed in the cities established here (Czudec, Frysztak, Niebylec, and Strzyżów) . The end of this prosperity came in the seventeenth century, when as a result of the march of many armies, plundering expeditions of Prince Rakoczy, fires and epidemics, the cities fell. They raised in the 19th century, supported by the construction of the rail road and the establishment of the poviat in Strzyżów (1896-1932), but only the latter was able to maintain civic rights to the present times. Also the war history of the region was tragic - numerous fortifications, erected by Germans stopped the front line for a long time, contributing to serious destruction. But the greatest tragedy was the Nazi repression against the local population which supported the active resistance movement here. Almost the entire Jewish population was killed during the Holocaust and its rich culture became extinct along with it. Only the tangible mementos of those nations survived. So it is worth to have a look into the old Jewish synagogues in Strzyżów or Frysztak and visit the old Greek-Catholic Orthodox churches in Gwoździanka, Blizianka, Bonarówka or Oparówka. Many shall also be impressed by the charm of the local Catholic churches, the Gothic stone churches in Połomia or Strzyżów, and the wooden churches in Lubla, Lutcza or Gogołów. The palatial residences (among others in Strzyżów or Wiśniowa) and numerous old Polish manor houses also certify the splendour of the local noble families.

You can find these and many other interesting architectural curiosities in the Poviat of Strzyżów, which offers also the possibilities of leisure and recreation (ski lifts, swimming pools, agro-tourism services) as well as taking advantage of a rich list of cultural offers, which include cyclical reviews and festivals: children's theatres (Strzyżów), amateur cabarets (Niebylec), and folk bands (Wiśniowa).