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Polska / małopolskie

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Province:małopolskie / krakowskie (before 1939)
County:limanowski / limanowski (before 1939)
Community:Limanowa / Limanowa (before 1939)
Other names:Ilmenau [j. niemiecki]
49.7062° N / 20.4216° E
49°42'22" N / 20°25'17" E


Anna Rutkowski /

Limanowa – a city in soutern Poland, in Małopolska Province, in Limanowa County. It lies by the Sowlina stream, 63 km southeast of Krakow and 422 km southwest of Warsaw. 



Anna Rutkowski /

Wizyta prezydenta RP Ignacego Mościckiego w Małopolsce-pobyt w Limanowej | Nieznany

The first written records of Jewish presence in Limanowa date back to 1640 in a document that states that the innkeeper Izrael Izaakowicz would no longer be permitted to operate a taproom. The innkeeper was accused of forcing townspeople to buy overpriced beer and vodka of poor quality. It remains unknown whether or not he was expelled from the town. The Jewish population of the town grew steadily, and some Jews converted to Christianity. According to parochial records, a Jew called Michał Różański converted to Catholicism in the middle of the 18th century, as did a young Jewish girl in 1761.

The Jewish population made large contributions to the development and growth of the town, and had a huge impact on its social and economic life. At the end of the 18th century, the domination of the Jewish population in particular occupations, especially in the inn-keeping and brewing businesses, becomes clearly visible. This led to frequent conflicts with other townspeople, as the owners of the Limanowa estate, the Dydyńscy family, clearly preferred to lease rights to own taprooms to Jews. The inhabitants sued the estate owners in 1789 in order to render their taproom rights useless, but the decision of the authorities did not support their case.  The remaining Jews derived their income from fur making, fur preparation, butchery, and baking. According to an official register from the first years of Austrian rule, one Jew was a farmer.

Two influential Jewish families, the Goldfinger and the Blaugrund family, settled in Limanowa at the beginning of the 19th century. About 30 families lived in the town by the middle of the century. Their main sources of income were grain, fur and feather trade at local fairs, and the import of lime from Pogórze near Kraków. Three Jews were innkeepers, and one each a tailor, soap maker, trafficker, tax collector, and cart owner.


Local history

Anna Rutkowski /

Limanowa. Panorama miasta | nieznany

The earliest mentions of Limanowa appear around 1476, but the settlement in that region dates back to the Neolithic Age, At the very beginning Limanowa was called “Ilmanowa”, from the name of a German settler – Ilman. The influx of German settlers there was closely connected with the Tatar invasions that decimated the local population.

Around 1520, the town was bought by a court official from Kraków Achacy Jordan from the Słupski family. The village was granted town rights in a location privilege issued by King Zygmunt August on 12 April 1565. The town was exempted from paying state tax for thirty years. Initially, Limanowa had an agricultural character, but markets and fairs also played an important role in the town’s life. Small crafts, mainly connected with clothing, food, metal works and woodworks also developed. Trade was an important branch of the economy, especially export of the local beer to Hungary. Numerous fires and wars halted the development of the town, but the biggest damage was done by epidemics, especially cholera.

After the partitions of Poland Limanowa was incorporated into the Nowy Sącz district. The Austrian administration proved beneficial for the development of the town and the whole region. The Limanowa county was created in 1866. In 1883, the court administration of the county was divided into two separate counties, one with the seat in Limanowa and the latter one in Mszana Dolna. In the 19th century, Limanowa developed into a typical town, with the brick buildings constructed in the centre. In 1885 the development was further boosted by the opening of a railway station on the Galician Transversal Railway, which connected many towns of Podkarpacie, from Czadca in Slovakia to Husiatyń in the distant Podole; Limanowa was situated along the route from Nowy Sącz to Chabówka. A large crude oil refinery was launched in Swoliny near Limanowa by a French company in the years 1907-1909. Around that time the local brewery was modernized, and the sawmill enlarged. Prior to World War I several cultural organizations were active in the town: The Society for Public School, a library and the Landowner’s Choir and Theatre.

In 1914, at the beginning of military actions, in the region of Limanowa bloody clashes between Russian and Austro-Hungarian armies occurred. Józef Piłsudski’s Polish Legions also participated in tho


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