A Guide to Zamość

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Information about the town

Famous visitors and natives of Zamość

It is hard to mention all the famous people who came from Zamość or have visited the town.

Jan Sariusz Zamoyski (1542-1605)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Jan Sariusz Zamoyski (1542-1605)

Jan Sariusz Zamoyski was a Chancellor and Great Crown Hetman  as well as the founder of Zamość and Zamość Entail. He was an extremely well-educated man, patron of culture, very good organizer and leader, one of the most eminent people of his day. His career was unique.  He came from relatively well-off gentry  and became the first person in the country after the king. He got 4 and a half village from his father and at the end of his life his property comprised 816 villages, 23 towns  and 2 million hectares of land. Jan Zamoyski is commemorated by a tablet in the University of  Padua, by a monument in Zamość but, first of all, by Zamość itself, a town which is considered to be one of the most outstanding Renaissance ensembles in the world. 

Marek Grechuta (1945-2006)

Marek Grechuta (1945-2006)

Marek Grechuta  was a singer, composer and poet. He was born in Zamość and he lived here, except for a short break, till he graduated from a secondary school.  Then he went to Kraków, to study architecture, and settled down there. His unique interpretations of poetry set to music during his cooperation with Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz when a band called „Anawa” was set up 1967 and later have always appealed to people. There is a commemorative plaque on the wall of the tenement house at 7 Grodzka Street, where Marek Grechuta once lived.

Bolesław Leśmian (1877-1937)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Bolesław Leśmian (1877-1937)

Bolesław Leśmian was one of the most outstanding Polish poets. He spent 13 years in Zamość, from May 1922 till May 1935 and worked as a notary here.  He wrote two volumes of poems entitled “Napój ciernisty” (“Thorny drink”)  and  “Dziejba leśna” (“Forest History and Stories”) during his stay in Zamość. Because he was a man of slight build, he took a horse cab to get from his flat in the “Centralka” house to the court  (300 m) where he worked. People joked about it, saying: “An empty horse cab arrives and Leśmian gets out.”  The poet’s stay in Zamość is commemorated by a tablet placed on the northern wall of the “Centralka” tenement house.

Szymon Szymonowic (1558-1621)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Szymon Szymonowic (1558-1621)

Szymon Szymonowic was the most outstanding poet of Polish Renaissance, who cooperated very closely with Jan Zamoyski in establishing the Zamojska Academy.  He chose the professors who were to work in the academy, participated in devising the syllabus to be implemented in the new school and inspired the research carried out in the school.  The first edition of his famous work entitled “Sielanki” (“Bucolics”) was printed in Zamość; the work confirmed his position of the greatest Polish Renaissance poet. He was also a tutor of the founder’s only son Tomasz Zamoyski, who later became Chancellor. He ordered that after he died the Zamojska  Academy be given all his 1.500 books. He was buried in the Cathedral, where there is his epitaph on one of the pillars. A scientific convention, named after him, was held on the 300th anniversary of the poet’s death  in Zamość. The event is commemorated with a tablet placed next to the portal of the Zamojska Academy.

Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919)

In spite of the fact that Róża Luksemburg spent only the first three years of her life in Zamość, she is the only native of Zamość whose name is mentioned in all encyclopedias. She soon left the town with her family and went first to Warsaw and then to Germany. She was an activist of the international labour movement, a representative of a revolutionary wing of  the Second International but her attitude to Lenin and the Bolshevik party was critical; she accused them of lack of democracy. In 1918 she participated in the establishment of German communist party and was murdered in Berlin a year later.

There is a commemorative plaque at 37 Staszica Street, which says that Róża Luksemburg was born in this house. In fact, she was born and lived in a modest tenement house adjacent to “Generałówka”, in Kościuszki Street.

Walerian Łukasiński (1786 – 1868)

Polish independence activist, a major of the fourth Regiment of Front-Line Infantry (the famous “Czwartacy”) and founder of National Masonry and Patriotic Society.

From 1807 till 1815 he fought in the ranks of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1811 he arrived in Zamość, where he worked as a military payer. He founded National Masonry in Warsaw and then National Patriotic Society. Arrested by tsarist police in 1822 he was first held in a prison in Warsaw and then, beginning from 6 October 1824, in Zamość fortress. At the beginning he was held in the casemate of the Lwowska Gate and then in a small cell in the Lubelska Gate.

Since he was one of initiators of a mutiny in the prison, which started on 28 August 1825, he was sentenced to death by firing squad but the penalty was changed to 14 years’ imprisonment, public flogging and putting in fetters. He was moved to the casemate of the Szczebrzeska Gate. Soon afterwards he was taken to Warsaw.

During the November Uprising he was transported by withdrawing Russian troops to Shlisselburg fortress as a prisoner of state. He spent 46 years there, wrote a memoir and died in the fortress.

Icchak Lejb Perec (1852-1915) (Isaac Leib Peretz)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Icchak Lejb Perec (1852-1915) (Isaac Leib Peretz)

Isaac Leib Peretz was born in Zamość in a merchant family. He was a writer  and belonged to the most outstanding authors who wrote in Yiddish. When he was 4 years old he started reading religious books and when he was 18 he was familiar with world literature. He worked as lawyer and for some time performed the function of a legal advisor in Zamość Entail; he was also an excellent speaker. In 1888 he moved to Warsaw, where he died and was buried. It is said that 100 thousand people participated in his funeral. A street in Zamość Old Town has been named after him, although in fact he lived in Jerozolimska Street in the Nowe Miasto district of Zamość. 

Papież Jan Paweł II (1920-2005) (Pope John Paul II)

Foto: wikipedia.org

Papież Jan Paweł II (1920-2005) (Pope John Paul II)

Karol Wojtyła visited Zamość as a priest and then six times as a cardinal in 1948, 1949, 1966, 1968, 1971 and, finally, on 12 June 1999 as Pope John Paul  II. During his last visit he prayed in the Cathedral, looked at the Rynek and went across the town to the Church of  Mother of God Queen of Poland, where he celebrated the Mass. This is what he said to a 230-thousand congregation: It is a place where the blue of the sky, the green of forests and fields and the silver of lakes and rivers speak with a unique power. The singing of birds sounds perfectly familiar here, sounds Polish”. During his stay in Zamość the Pope was granted the title of an Honorary Citizen of the town, he consecrated the crowns of a painting of Mother of God and a hospital named after him.

Near the Cathedral there is a monument to Pope John Paul II and in the floor of the central nave of the church, where the Pope prayed, there is a commemorative plaque. A similar plaque is also situated next to the entrance to the Town Hall.

Piotr Linek (born in 1964)

A poet, teacher and native of Zamość. Since 1991 he has been a member of Teachers’ Literary Club in Zamość, the J. Czechowicz Teachers’ Literary Club in Lublin and Zamojski Literary Club in Zamość Community Centre. He was a member of the editorial staff of Zamość Cultural Quarterly, Literary Chronicle (supplement of Weekly Chronicle, 1992-1995) and of Note (literary supplement of Zamość Weekly since 1995). He made his debut in 1985 with a poem entitled "Awakening" published in Zamość Weekly. He has won many poetry competitions. He was given honorary mentions in the Anna Kamieńska Competition for his collections of poems entitled "Conversations with J,” "In the Stomach of Great Fish " and “chemistry of surprise”. The third one was nominated for the Nike literary award. His latest collection of poems is entitled “closer to the skin.”

Marek Pasieczny (born in 1980)

A native of Zamość, a classical guitar player and composer of worldwide renown. He is one of major guitar players and composers in the world. He started to learn how to play the guitar in The K. Szymanowski State School of Music of the First and Second Degree in a guitar class of Andrzej Fil when he was 10. He has been composing guitar pieces since he was 15. Between 2000 and 2005 he was a student at The K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław in the guitar class of Prof. Piotr Zaleski. He graduated with honours in 2005. He continued his musical education in The Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow in the guitar class of Allan Neave. He gives concerts all over the world and receives enthusiastic reviews. His works are performed by the best guitar players in the world.

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski (born in 1980)

A native of Zamość, a very talented painter and graphic artist recognized and appreciated in the international arena. He received a diploma in painting in the workshop of Prof. Leszek Misiak  in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. He is bound with the Foksal Gallery Foundation. His works are in the collection of “Znaki Czasu” Małopolska Foundation of Culture. He has exhibited his works in London, Paris, Munich, Nuremberg, Vienna and in many important galleries in Poland, such as the “Zachęta” Gallery in Warsaw. 

The project was co-financed by the EUROPEAN UNION - EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND under REGIONAL OPERATING PROGRAMME OF THE PROVINCE OF LUBELSKIE FOR 2007-2013© Zamość Town Office