Inowłódz is one of the oldest towns in Poland. It lies in central Poland, approximately 60 km south-east of the regional capital Łódź. It ist located on the banks of Pilica river. The river was the border between two historic provinces of Poland - Lesser Poland and the Land of Łęczyca. Furthermore, a few kilometres to the northeast lies the province of Mazovia. The Inowłódz river crossing was an important element of an international merchant route from Torun towards the Kingdom of Hungary.
The history of InowłódzInowłódz was first mentioned in documents from 1145 but the village was granted town rights in the mid-14th century. In 1370, the town was surrounded by a defensive wall, and a stronghold was built. For the first time, the castle is mentioned in the 14th-century chronicle as a fortress founded by the Casimir III the Great (Kazimierz III Wielki). Casimir III the Great was the Polish king from the Piast dynasty - the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. Castle origin dates back to 1356-1366. The Inowłódz castle was a part of the defensive system of the Kingdom of Poland. It protected the ford (crossing) over the river Pilica and customs chamber located on the trade route.
Inowłódz quickly developed, and in the 14th and 15th centuries was an important centre of brewing and grain commerce. The period of prosperity ended during the Swedish invasion of Poland in the 1650s when castle and town were destroyed by Swedish soldiers. After the Partitions of Poland, the town belonged to the area controlled by Russian Empire, and following the January Uprising, lost its town charter in 1870.
In the late 19th century, Inowłódz became a spa, popular among residents of Łódź and Warsaw. The development of the Inowłódz spa ended during World War I, when the village was almost completely destroyed. During the Word War II the area of the village once again saw heavy fighting, between the German Wehrmacht and the Polish Army.
The former town of Inowłódz, today is a village in Tomaszów Mazowiecki County, Łódź Voivodeship. There are some very important historical monuments in Inowłodz.
Romanesque church of Saint Giles
The most important historical monument in Inowłodz is a beautiful Romanesque church. The history of Roman Catholic church of Saint Giles probably dates back to the year 1082. Most likely, however, the church was founded during the reign of king Boleslaus III Wrymouth (Boleslaw III Krzywousty), in the 1130s. In 1520, the church of St. Michael was built, which brought about the decline of the Saint Giles church. In 1790, the ancient church was renovated, but three years later, it was ransacked by Prussian soldiers and turned into a grain storage. The Saint Giles church was completely renovated in the 1930s.
Reconstructed Piast castle
The next tourist attraction of Inowłódz is the reconstructed Piast castle. The castle was destroyed during the Swedish invasion in the mid 17th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, some parts of the castle have been restored and reconstructed. The project was implemented with financial support from the European Union. The reconstructed castle is a seat for municipal institutions such as a cultural house, a library, a tourist information point and the Museum of Inowłódz.
At the banks of Pilica river is located former synagogue. It was erected at the beginning of the 19th century. During World War II its interiors were completely destroyed by the Germans. After the war, the building was used as a warehouse for many years. Between 1978-82 it underwent major repairs so that it could be used as the local library. Currently, the building houses a library and there are several shops on the lower floor. Unfortunately, only some fragments of polychromic floral decorations and Hebrew inscriptions remained on the walls.
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