Monday, October 21, 2013

Cieszyn, Poland

Cieszyn is on the other side of the Olza River.  It is home to around 35,000 people.  While lots of Poles live in Český Těšín, not many Czechs live in Cieszyn.
Same flag as Český Těšín

Well of the Three Brothers

According to legend the city was founded in 810.  The sons of a prince - Bolko, Leszko and Cieszko, met at a spring, after a long pilgrimage, and found a new settlement.  If the legend is true then this is the oldest town in Poland.

The Market Square dates back to 1496.  It is home to the 500 year old town hall.

The Neoclassical Hunting Palace was the residence of the Habsburgs.  It was built from 1838 to 1840.  Since 1947 it has been home to the Cieszyn Music School.  In front of the palace is a monument to the Silesian Legionnaires who've died for Poland.

Behind the palace is Castle Hill.  The tower dates back to the 12th century and you get a great view of the town.  The Romanesque Rotunda of St. Nicholas and St. Václav is from around 1180.  It is one of the oldest churches in Poland.

The Museum of Cieszyn Silesia is the oldest, continuously opened, museum in Central Europe.
Cieszyn is famous for the Cieszynka, a small-caliber hunting riffle used to hunt birds.  They were produced from the 16th to 17th centuries.  Only about 300 of them can be found in museums and collections around the world.

There is only one synagogue still standing in town.  The Nazis were not able to destroy it during the war due to its proximity to residential buildings.

The Old Jewish Cemetery was established in 1647.  There are over 1,500 graves.  The last burial was in 1928.

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