The Historical Personages Trail

The Historical Personages Trail follows the footsteps of persons to whom we owe credit for their contribution to the history of Poland and their local communities. They worked for a local community, captivated by the beauty of the area spent some time here, or they might also have had local roots. Thus, for example, King Casimir the Great founded Skawina. It is also believed King Jan III Sobieski  set off for the battle of Vienna from here. St Queen Jadwiga, on the way to Kraków, was said to be enchanted by the view stretching from Świątniki Górne. Stanisław Wyspiański stayed in Świątniki on holidays and made some drawings of wooden cottage. He also paid visits to the manor house in Korabniki. The manor house in Przeginia Narodowa is connected with another outstanding painter, Jan Matejko, and his family. The history of the manor in Mogilany is connected with Wawrzyniec Spytko Jordan, Józef Nowina Konopka and Mikołaj Rej, who probably wrote his Żywot człowieka poczciwego, (The Life of the Honest Man). Oskar Kolberg wrote one volume of his work Lud (The People) here. The history of Poland  is inextricably connected with the meritorious Haller family which was settled in a small manor house in Jurczyce and made a significant contribution to the nation and their little homeland. Generał Józef Bem who spent his childhood in a small manor house in Gaj, no longer extant, fought “Four Your Freedom and Ours”. Henryk Jaskuła, an outstanding sailor born in Radziszów, was the first Pole to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. Franciszek Stefczyk, the initiator of Saving Funds, and Adam Prażmowski, a prominent microbiologist, were once teachers at Poland’s first agricultural school in Czernichów. The drama writer and poet Karol Rostworowski came from Radziszów.

The Haller Family from Jurczyce

General Józef Haller, the co-founder of the Polish scouting movement, the Commander of the 2nd Brigade of Piłsudski’s Legions and the Commander in Chief of the Blue Army, was the most prominent personage of the Haller family. He spent his childhood in Jurczyce, and often returned here after leaving his native village. Jurczyce owe a lot to the General’s brother Cezary (an MP), because the road to Radziszów was built thanks to him. Together with his mother he also founded the Rola cooperative in Skawina. Lady Olga, along with her two daughters Anna and Ewa have stayed in the grateful memory of local residents. In 1908 they founded a school in  Jurczyce. They also generously supported the local parish. A small chapel for family use was built at the manor. Children from the entire village used to gather here for prayers in May and June. They knew well that there would always be a treat for them afterwards. A special gingerbread was baked for them. Lady Anna was particularly sensitive to the need of the poor and supported those in need as much as she could. Thanks to her, Poles persecuted by the Germans found a shelter in the manor house. She also organised holidays for research and administration staff of the Jagiellonian University at the manor. After Ewa’s death in 1930, and later their mother Olga’s death in 1940 , Anna, her brother Karol, (known as “Major”) and their son Kazik still lived in the estate. Kazik paid the highest price for bearing Haller’s name. He was arrested in Kraków and died in Auschwitz in 1942. After the war, the Hallers were deprived of their property. They were forced to leave their manor and settled in Kraków. In recognition of Anna Haller’s life’s work, her funeral at the Radziszów parish in 1969 was a great cermony. She was led to the place of her final rest by a funeral procession including crowds of people, among whom there was also the then Archbishop Metropolitan of Kraków, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who later became Pope John Paul II. It was the last burial ceremony in the Haller family grave, because Karol – the last owner of Jurczyce – is buried in Kraków.

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