History

According to the verbal records, the name of the place Brzeszcze comes from the word – “brzost” – a tree from the elm family, growing in the ancient areas at the Wisła river. Both Brzeszcze and the near situated villages as well were established in the medieval time on the German law. The oldest village on the territory of the present town and commune is Jawiszowice, mentioned in the Peter’s pence registers in 1326. The information about the other villages come from the 15th century. Brzeszcze appeared the first time in the documents in 1443, Przecieszyn in 1445, Skidziń in 1454 and Wilczkowice in 1457. All the places from the moment of the mentioning in the source documents, shared the lot of the Oświęcimskie Duchy, which was established in the years 1315 – 1317, as a result of the dynastic partitions of the line of Piasts of Śląsk. In 1457, when this Duchy became the property of the Polish king, also Brzeszcze came over to its property, becoming King’s Property. From the very beginning the people of Brzeszcze and the villages situated near it, lived beside of all from the agriculture, cattle and sheep breeding. First the establishing of the ponds, about which the first information come from 1473, changed the character of the people’s activities. As a result of the first partition of Poland in 1772 the territory of the former Oświęcimskie Duchy, and together with it also Brzeszcze, changed under the reign of Austria. The King’s properties had been occupied by the Austrian government, which in 1778 sold Brzeszcze to Friedrich  Dunin of the Swan coat of arms and his wife Zofia of Małachowski. In 1794, after Zofia Dunin’s death, Brzeszcze was intercepted by Kamil Dominik Gherii – coming from Italy, the court doctor of the Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. After Gherri’s death in 1814 the village changed to the property of his ward Wiktoria Klose, Friedrich Klose’s - the former owner of Przecieszyn, Skidziń and Wilczkowice - daughter. Wiktoria Klose, later Mieroszewska, in a special way wrote herself in the memory of the peasants of Brzeszcze, reducing them
the serfdom and teaching the children of the peasants to write and to read.

In 1822 Wiktoria Mieroszewska changed Brzeszcze, Skidziń, Przecieszyn and Wilczkowice for the key of Chrzanów with the Archduke Karol Ludwig Habsburg, which on the other hand in 1924 gave his property as a present to the Polish Academy of Skills in Kraków. The academy was vested with Brzeszcze till December 1945. Than the plough grounds were divided between the landless and smallholder peasants, and the ponds were taken over by the new established State Fishery Works. In 1856 Brzeszcze received the railway connection with Dziedzice and Oświęcim, and in the years 1875 – 1879 the road connection with Pszczyna. But first the discovery of the coal deposit on the territory of Brzeszcze at the end of the 19th century changed the character of this spot. In 1903 started the construction of the mine. The influx of the people willing to take the job in the mine caused the establishing of the workers housing estates so called “colonies”. In 1914 was established the Affiliate of the Distrcit National Committee organizing the recruitment to the Polish Legions. In the interwar period on the territory of the present commune acted about 20 organizations with the patriotic character. Among others the Legionnaires Association, Shooting Association or the Anti-Aircraft Protection League. The regaining of the independence in 1918 and the interwar period caused the further development of the mine and settlement.  There were built new mine shafts in Jawiszowice and connected to the siding with the main mine. There also has been built Kolonia Urzędnicza (office colony). After the year of 1945 there followed the dynamic development of the town. The mine underwent to the building –up and the quantity of the people increased. In 1954 Brzeszcze was raised to the range of a settlement and on the 07th of July 1962 the settlement received the municipal rights. In the years 1975 – 1998 the commune administratively belonged to the Katowickie Province, and since January 1999 was included in the Oświęcimski District and Małopolskie Province.

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