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Alwernia

Polska / małopolskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere

Summary

Province:małopolskie / krakowskie (before 1939)
County:chrzanowski / chrzanowski (before 1939)
Community:Alwernia / Alwernia (before 1939)
Other names:
 
GPS:
50.0596° N / 19.5395° E
50°03'34" N / 19°32'22" E

Location

Katarzyna Pabis

The town is located in Małopolskie Voivodeship, Chrzanowski district. It is the seat of municipal and country commune. Alwernia is situated on Regulanka river, on Podskale Hill (316 metres above sea level) in Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Before the administrative reform of 1999 it belonged to Krakowskie Voivodeship.

Alwernia commune belongs to the so-called Jurrasic Ring, a car route leading from Kraków through the most interesting regions of the southern part of Kraków Upland. 780 national road and A4 highway (Kraków-Oświęcim) run relatively close to Alwernia.
 

Translated by Sławomir Kułacz

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History

Katarzyna Pabis

Basing on the description of 18-20th century Alwernia’s social and work profile it is possible to extract some information on the Jewish inhabitants.

In 1795 there were 33 houses in Alwernia – 44 Christian and 4 Jewish families – with 208 inhabitants; 183 Roman Catholics and 25 Jews. As far as their class and profession is concerned, the population comprised 10 priests, 1 nobleman, 8 craftsmen, 1 farmer, 33 minor craftsmen (chałpnik), 40 zarobniks and 114 women and children. In 1809 there were 48 houses, 278 inhabitants. In 1870 79 houses, 524 inhabitants, among them 49 Jews. In 1880 75 houses, 559 ihbabitants, among them 70 Jews, finally in 1910 69 houses, 504 inhabitants and among them 74 Jews. Nearly all of the inhabitants earned their living as craftsmen. In 1869 there were 7 butchers, 6 bakers, 3 stallholders (2 Jews), 2 publicans, 3 leatherworkers, 15 potters, 2 weavers, 9 blacksmiths, 3 tailors, 3 shoemakers, 3 carpenters and 1 wheelwright http://www.alwernia.pl/20090806110/alwernia.html.

According to “Directory of Poland” from 1929 two of the three bakers in Alwernia were Jews: E. Rosenfeld and I. Siegel. One of the general stores was owned by A. Fisher, O. Fischer was a butcher and the only licensed restaurant belonged to M. Fischer Directory of Poland 1929, s. 323, cf. http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/bizdir/tableofcontents.htm[[refr:]

We do not have any verified data concerning the number of Jews in Alwerna on the eve of World War II at our dispisal. The material mentioned earlier, which is available from Yad Vashem website (cf. List of names) shows that the numbers were not great. Their fate is probably similar to the fates of Jews from neighboring towns like Chrzanów, Trzebinia and Krzeszowice.

 

Translated by Sławomir Kułacz

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Local history

Katarzyna Pabis

Alwernia - widok ogólny, rynek i klasztor; 1918 | nieznany

During a field research conducted in 1960s a cemetery ascribed to the Lusatian culture was found but because of the nature of the research the object was only partially examined .

The name of the town derives from the name of St Francis’ hermitage (Italian La Verna, Latin Alvernia) and was given to the Bernardine Monastery founded in 1616 by Krzysztof Koryciński, castellan of Wojnicz and starosta of Gniewków who travelled to Tuscany and after his return decided to found a similar place in Poland, referring to religious traditions of St. Francis but also enchanted by Tuscany’s beauty. The construction of the monastery started in 1625, inspired no doubt by the building of the first Polish Calvary and the monastery in Zebrzydów, and ended in 1656. The baroque church was built in the years 1630-1676 (in 1627 formal donation and foundation documents were issued). In 1676 king Jan III Sobieski of Poland visited the monastery. In the years 1703-1708 a chapel was added to the church in order to accommodate the miraculous painting of Merciful Jesus, founded by a farmer, Jan Kuciel from somewhere around Alwernia and a miller Jan Para from Okleśna. In 1897 the guardian, Fr. Stefan Podworski had a 55 metre high belfry erected which was funded by the Silesians.

On the eastern side, near to the monastery a settlement rose which was the beginning of Alernia. It was a part of Aleksander Szembeka’s estate. Year 1776 or 1778 was decisive . It was when the settlement was granted a “fair charter” by king Stanisław August Poniatowski of Poland. In 1796 Alwernia was mentioned as a town, an economic and administrative centre, owned by Szemberks. It was probably when the town’s layout developed including a big, rectangular market square. Every year approximately twelve big fairs would take place which had its result on the town’s development. By the end of 18th century there were 33 brick houses and 208 inhabitants. The most numerous professions included potters, bakers, stallholders, shoemakers, carpenters and weavers. The first school, which was a one class school, opened in 1859. It was also when on the initiative of Feliks Florkiewicz a Beekeeping School was open. In 19th century there were already 77 houses and 524 inhabitants, including Jews. In 1896 the construction of a railway line from Trzebinia to Oświęcim began.

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