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A bike ride to Sochaczew and the surroundings

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Muzeum Ziemi Sochaczewskiej i Pola Bitwy nad Bzurą, Nasz Zamek Association and the Association have the pleasure of inviting you to the last bike ride, which has been scheduled for 1 September 2013. The bicycle trip has been organised as part of the 10th Singer’s Warsaw Jewish Cultural Festival.


The trip to Sochaczew will be led by Tomasz Karolak, an archaeologist, local history expert, worker of the Museum in Sochaczew and co-editor of the Polish translation of the Sochaczew Yizkor Book. This publication is a Jewish testimony of the past of the city, released by the Lokalna Grupa Działania Nad Bzurą Association in partnership with the Nasz Zamek Associatin last year. The history of the castle in Sochaczew will be told by Łukasz Popowski, historian and a longtime researcher of the local fortress, and the President of the Nasz Zamek Association.

Sochaczew is one of the oldest cities in the Mazowsze region. It dates back to the settlement that was founded in the early Middle Ages near the wooden-clay stronghold, which was the headquarters of a castellan prior to 1221. At the end of the 13th century or at the beginning of the 14th century, the locale was conferred municipal rights. Afterwards, from the mid-14th century onwards, it enjoyed a brick castle, which replaced the former stronghold. In 1476, Sochaczew and the surrounding land was incorporated into the Polish Kingdom.

The first records which prove the existence of Jews in the city date back to 1463. Sochaczew Jews traded primarily in leather, tallow and cotton, which frequently caused conflicts with local artisans. In the second half of the 16th century, the Reformation and counter Reformation movements gave rise to anti-Jewish incidents, such as the execution of several Sochaczew Jews accused of host desecration in 1556. In the 17th century, the Jewish community in Sochaczew significantly dwindled. Thanks to privileges granted by the Polish kings Jan III Sobieski and August III Sas, the community survived. In the second half of the 19th century, Sochaczew became an important Hasidic centre which revolved around the court of Tzadik Abraham Bornsztajn.

According to the 1931 census, Sochaczew numbered 10822 inhabitants, 3011 of whom were Jewish. In  1939, the Jewish community there had circa four thousand members. The war put an end to almost five hundred years of the presence of Jews in Sochaczew. Today, very few places remind us about the Jewish past.

During the trip, we will talk about former Sochaczew residents, look at pictures of the pre-war city in the Museum in Sochaczew and will visit former places of the synagogue, kehilla, Tzaddik’s court, Jewish schools and a market. We will also visit the Jewish cemetery.

All day trip. Access to starting point by train. Limited number of places – reservations required. You must be 18 years or older to participate.

Contact: 22 471 03 01; 604 452 946;

Upon advance booking, you will be emailed a detailed schedule of the trip.

Click here for the terms and regulations of the bike ride.