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The earliest documentation of the village of Góra was in 1252 when it was recorded as  the seat of an extensive parish. It was destroyed in 1657 during the Swedish invasion by the allied Hungarian armies of Siedmiogród and Cossack. In 1666, the Górski brothers sold the village to the Bishop of Poznań, Stefan Wierzbowski, for 6,000 zlotys. The bishop then founded a sanctuary of the Passion of the Christ, which included Dominican and Piarist monasteries modelled on Jerusalem. This sanctuary was one of the first religious institutions in Góra, which would gradually develop into a center for religious life.

In 1670, King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki founded the town on Magdeburg Law and named it Nowe Jeruzalem, reserving settlement exclusively for Catholics. Another privilege granted by the Bishop of Poznań in 1672 allowed teh town to expand further. During the period of its greatest development, the sanctuary included 35 chapels, 6 churches and 5 monasteries. A Piarist college and monastic school were built. In 1755, Franciszek Bieliński, the Grand Marshal of the Crown, founded a parish church. During the 18th century, the town's religious growth made it a pilgrimage site. However, the war of 1794 destroyed the city -- including the Dominican convent and monastery -- abruptly cutting short all development.

The Prussians secularized church properties in 1795, and Góra Kalwaria was taken over by the state. Thus, Góra Kalwaria gradually became more multicultural, as German, Jewish and Russian settlers began to immigrate and settle in the town. In 1807, the town was a part of the Duchy of Warsaw and in 1815 it was included in the Kingdom of Poland.

Throughout the 19th century, Góra Kalwaria was rapidly reorganized. A petty offence court was moved to Góra Kalwaria from Czersk in 1815. The streets were regulated and paved, town gates were built. In 1834, a classical town hall was constructed. The Piarist college was closed.  The Dominican monastery was transformed into barracks. An Orthodox church was built. In the middle of the 19th century, the street network was reorganized, destroying its original Baroque layout. Kalwaria ceased to exist; only the Oratorian monastery survived.

In 1867-79, Góra Kalwaria was the capital of the county. In 1898, the town gained access to a narrow-gauge railway from Warsaw to Baniocha, which existed until 1971. In 1883, Góra Kalwaria lost its town priviliges, and would  regain them only in 1919. Half of the town was destroyed by fire in 1901. In the Second Polish Republic, Góra Kalwaria was electrified and subsequently the water and sewage systems were imported.

German air raids of the town in 1939 destroyed the bridge over the Vistula river. The Jewish population was expelled to Warsaw in 1941. In mid-1944, the Germans displaced the whole Polish population as well.

After World War II, several large enterprises were established in agricultural, construction chemical and light sectors. In 1954, a railway connected Góra Kalwaria with Łuków and Skierniewice. Today, it is the center of the agricultural region that supplies  the Warsaw area. Góra Kalwaria has been a part of Piaseczno County (Mazovian Province) since 1951 with the exception of the 1975-1998 period.



  • M. Borkowska, Dzieje Góry Kalwarii, (2009).
  • E. Marchocki, Góra Kalwaria, (1986).
  • L. T. Tripplin, Góra Kalwaria czyli Nowe Jeruzalem..., (1854).

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