Płock

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Płock
Stołeczne Książęce Miasto Płock
Princely Capital City of Płock
Ratusz, XIX w. Płock, Stary Rynek.jpg
Plock62 DSC1031.JPG
Plock, Poland - panoramio (30).jpg
Wzgorzetumskienoca.jpg
Płock, zespół klasztorny mariawitów, pocz. XX.JPG
Flag of Płock
Flag
Coat of arms of Płock
Coat of arms
Motto(s): 
Virtute et labore angere
Płock is located in Masovian Voivodeship
Płock
Płock
Płock is located in Poland
Płock
Płock
Coordinates: 52°33′N 19°42′E / 52.550°N 19.700°E / 52.550; 19.700Coordinates: 52°33′N 19°42′E / 52.550°N 19.700°E / 52.550; 19.700
Country Poland
Voivodeship Masovian
Countycity county
Established9th century
Town rights1237
Government
 • PresidentAndrzej Nowakowski
Area
 • Total88.06 km2 (34.00 sq mi)
Elevation
60 m (200 ft)
Population
 (31 December 2018)
 • Total120,000 Decrease (32nd)[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
09-400 to 09-411, 09-419 to 09-421
Area code(s)+48 024
Car platesWP
WebsitePłock City Hall

Płock (pronounced [pwɔt͡sk] (About this soundlisten)) is a city on the Vistula river in central Poland. It is located in the Masovian Voivodeship (since 1999), having previously been the capital of the Płock Voivodeship (1975–1998). According to the data provided by GUS on 31 December 2018 there were 120,000 inhabitants in the city.[1] Its full ceremonial name, according to the preamble to the City Statute, is Stołeczne Książęce Miasto Płock (the Princely or Ducal Capital City of Płock). It is used in ceremonial documents as well as for preserving an old tradition.[2]

Płock is now a capital of the powiat (county) in the west of the Mazovian Voivodeship. From 1079 to 1138 it was the capital of Poland. Its cathedral contains the sarcophagi of a number of Polish monarchs. Later on, it was a royal city of Poland.[3] It is the cultural, academic, scientific, administrative and transportation center of the west and north Masovian region.[4]

The first Jewish settlers came to the city in the 14th century, responding to the extension of rights by the Polish kings. They built a community and constituted a large portion of the population through the 19th century, sometimes more than 40%. Jews contributed to expansion of trades and crafts, and helped the process of industrialization. In 1939, they made up 26% of the city's population. After the 1939 invasion of Poland, the German Nazis established a Jewish ghetto in Płock in 1940. They deported many of the Jews to other areas but exterminated most of them in the Holocaust. By the war's end, only 300 Jewish residents were known to have survived, of more than 10,000 in the region.

History[edit]

Middle Ages[edit]

Płock Diadem, 13th century.

The area was long inhabited by pagan peoples. In the 10th century, a fortified location was established high of the Vistula River's bank. This location was at a junction of shipping and routes and was strategic for centuries. Its location was a great asset. In 1009 a Benedictine monastery was established here. It became a center of science and art for the area.

During the rule of the first monarchs of the Piast dynasty, even prior to the Baptism of Poland, Płock served as one of the monarchial seats, including that of Prince Mieszko I and King Bolesław I the Brave. The king built the original fortifications on Tumskie Hill, overlooking the Vistula River. From 1037 to 1047, Płock was capital of the independent Mazovian state of Miecław. Płock has been the residence of many Mazovian princes. In 1075, a diocese seat was created here for the Roman Catholic church. From 1079 to 1138, during the reign of the Polish monarchs Władysław I Herman and Bolesław III Wrymouth, the city was the capital of Poland, then earning its title as the Ducal Capital City of Płock (Polish: Stołeczne Książęce Miasto Płock).[5] It was also a seat of several of the dukes of Masovia. In 1180 the present-day Marshal Stanisław Małachowski High School (Małachowianka), the oldest still existing school in Poland and one of the oldest in Central Europe, was established.[6]

Modern era[edit]

Płock in 1852, by Wojciech Gerson
Expanded representational Coat of Arms of Płock

In the early modern period it was a royal city of Poland[3] and capital of the Płock Voivodeship.[6] The 16th century was the golden age of the city,[6] before it suffered major losses in population due to plague, fire, and warfare, with wars between Sweden and Poland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. At that time, the Swedes destroyed much of the city, but the people rebuilt and recovered.[4] In the late 18th century, it took down the old city walls, and made a New Town, filled with many German migrants.[4]

In the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 the city was annexed by Prussia.[6] From 1807 it was part of the short-lived Polish Duchy of Warsaw and in 1815 it became part of Congress Poland,[6] later on fully annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1831, the last sejm of Congress Poland was held in the Płock town hall.[6] It was a seat of provincial government and an active center; its economy was closely tied to major grain trade. It laid out a new city plan in the early 19th century, as new residents continued to arrive. Many of its finest buildings were constructed in this period in the Classical style. It had a scientific society before mid-century, and in the late 19th century began to industrialize.[4]

During World War I, Płock was occupied by Germany from 1915 to 1918.[6] In 1920, the city became famous for its heroic defense against the Soviets during the Polish–Soviet War.[6]

Germany invaded Poland in 1939, and began to take over its government annecting the town to the Reich as part of the Regierungsbezirk Zichenau. It impressed people as forced laborers for German factories, treating them harshly. The Germans renamed the city in 1941 to Schröttersburg, after the former Prussian Upper President Friedrich Leopold von Schrötter.[7]

Culture and religion[edit]

The Museum of Mazovia provides exhibits and interpretation of the city and region's history. Płock is the oldest legislated seat of the Roman Catholic diocese; the Masovian Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral was built here in the first half of the 12th century and houses the sarcophagi of Polish monarchs. It is one of the five oldest cathedrals in Poland.

Divine Mercy[edit]

The city is famous for the Divine Mercy Sanctuary where the apparition of Jesus to Saint Faustina Kowalska took place.[8]

Mariavite Church[edit]

From the visions of Feliksa Kozłowska in 1893, the Mariavite order of priests originated, originally working to renew clergy within the Roman Catholic Church. Despite repeated attempts, they were not recognized by the Vatican and in the early 20th century established a separate and independent denomination. This site is the main seat of the Mariavite bishops. Their most important church was built here in the beginning of the 20th century; it is called Temple of Mercy and Charity and is situated in a pleasant garden on the hill on which the historical centre of Płock is built, near the Vistula river. Poland in total has about 25,000 members of the Old Catholic Mariavite Church, as it is now named, with another 5,000 in France. A smaller breakaway church, the Catholic Mariavite Church, which has an integrated female priesthood (since 1929), has 3,000 members in Poland.

Jewish history[edit]

The Jewish presence in Płock (Yiddish: Plotzk) dates back many centuries, probably to the 13th and 14th centuries, when records include them. The Polish kings extended rights to them in 1264 and the 14th century, and provided continued political support through the centuries.[9] At the beginning of the 19th century, their more than 1200 residents comprised more than 48% of the city's population in what is considered the city's Old Town; through the century, their proportions ranged from 30s and 40 percent.[10] It varied as German migrants were arriving in the region, and the area was becoming urbanized, as more people moved to the city. As in other parts of Poland, they were restricted to employment in trades and crafts.[9]

In the late 19th century, Jews established two factories to produce farm machines and tools, and the first iron foundry in the city. They had two synagogues and two cemeteries (dating to the 15th century), religious and secular schools, and established a library and hospital. They contributed strongly to the economy and culture of the city. In the early 20th century, they had two newspapers, representing active political parties.[9]

In 1939, Płock had a Jewish population of 9,000, an estimated 26% of the city's total.[10] It had one of the highest proportional Jewish populations in Poland. After the 1939 invasion of Poland, German Nazi persecution began, about 2,000 Jews fled the city, with half going to Soviet-controlled territory. They were assigned to locations far from the front. In 1940, the Nazis established a ghetto in Płock. They started actions against the Jews, killing those in an old people's home and sick children, and transporting others to be killed at Brwilski Forest. Ultimately, they transported the Jews to 20 camps and sites in the Radom district, where most died.[9] By 1946, only 300 Jews survived in Płock. While they were active in the new politics, gradually the Jews left, and by 1959 three remained.[10] Herman Kruk, a survivor and notable chronicler of life inside the Nazi concentration camps, was born in Płock in 1897.[11]

The small synagogue, built in 1810, was one of the few to survive World War II in the Masovia region of Poland. The Great Synagogue was destroyed during the Holocaust. The small synagogue was designated as a historic building about 1960, but deteriorated in physical condition while vacant. It was renovated and adapted for use as a museum, opening in April 2013 as the Museum of Masovian Jews, a branch of the Museum of Płock Mazowiecki.[12]

Economy[edit]

PKN Orlen headquarters

The main industry is oil refining, which was established in 1960. The country's largest oil refinery (Płock refinery) and parent company, PKN Orlen, are located here. It is served by a large pipeline leading from Russia to Germany. Associated industrial activities connected with the refinery are servicing and construction. A Levi Strauss & Co. factory is located in Płock and provides manufacturing jobs.

Education[edit]

The Mazovian Museum

Mass transit[edit]

  • KM Płock - Komunikacja Miejska Płock[13]

Bus service covers the entire city, with 41 routes.

  • PKS Płock - Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Samochodowej w Płocku S.A.[14]

Bridges in Płock[edit]

Sport[edit]

Politics[edit]

Market Square with the Town Hall

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Płock constituency

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Płock is twinned with:

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Retrieved 2 June 2019. Data for territorial unit 1462000.
  2. ^ (in Polish)(Statut Miasta Płocka) Załącznik do Uchwały Nr 302/XXI/08 Rady Miasta Płocka z dnia 26 lutego 2008 roku (Dz. Urz. Woj. Mazowieckiego z 2008 r. Nr 91, poz. 3271 Archived 20 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine)
  3. ^ a b Adolf Pawiński, Mazowsze, Warszawa 1895, p. 37 (in Polish)
  4. ^ a b c d Płock : Local History, Virtual Shtetl website, accessed 28 October 2013
  5. ^ "Get to know Płock". From official Płock website.en. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Z dziejów Płocka". Małachowianka OnLine (in Polish). Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  7. ^ de:Landkreis Schröttersburg
  8. ^ Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Plock
  9. ^ a b c d Plock: Jewish Community before 1989, Virtual Shtetl, accessed 28 October 2013
  10. ^ a b c Płock: Demography, Virtual Shtetl, accessed 28 October 2013
  11. ^ Kassow, Samuel D. "Vilna Stories". Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  12. ^ Samuel D. Gruber, "Poland: Płock Synagogue Reopens as a Museum", Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments blog, accessed 28 October 2013
  13. ^ kmplock.eu
  14. ^ Pksplock.com
  15. ^ Mostwplocku.blogspot.com
  16. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften und Internationales". Büro für Städtepartnerschaften und internationale Beziehungen (in German). Retrieved 26 July 2013.

References[edit]