Zamosc - The Pearl of Renaissance - Town and History

Zamosc is an amazing town. It has several characteristics which make it really unique not only in Poland but even in the world. Zamosc is one of the most outstanding examples of Renaissance architecture in Europe. It was founded in 1580 by Jan Zamoyski (Zamojski), a powerful magnate, the great crown chancellor and hetman. Zamoyski chose a site for the town and also designed it. Zamosc was built since scratch as a fortress town in less than twenty years! Zamosc is also called "Padua of the East".

Within the defensive walls there was the founder residence, a university, a few churches and temples, courts, other public buildings and tenement houses. Another uniqness of this town is its multinational atmosphere. Zamosc is famous for its Armenian tenement houses, but it attracted also Greeks, Jews, Germans, Italians, English, Dutch and more. Zamosc was included on the list of the World's Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1992 for its significant historical and artistic value since this is one of the classical monument of Renaissance urban layout in Europe.

Zamosc Cathedral & the Pope monument in the front (click inside the photograph to see it magnified).

Zamosc cathedral under invocation of Lord's Insurrection and St Thomas Disciple (pw. Zmartwychwstania Panskiego i sw. Tomasza Apostola) is one of the most beautiful temples in Polish architecture. It was erected as a collegiate church and it functioned as it till 1992. The outside of the church did not change too much through the centuries. The basilican church designed according to Italian plan was erected at the end of XVI century. The presbiterium and the main altar were originally built in Renaissance style (slender shape, tall altar and pillars). the altars are equipped with rich baroque altars and paintings of Italian and Polish masters. On the cathedral graveyard there is a monument of the pope, John Paul II. By the way - it is very common to see in Poland churches built originally in the Renaissance (Gothic) style but with the interior from a different epoch, mainly Baroque. The most beautiful chapel is the Zamoyski's chapel - with hetman Zamoyski and many members of his family buried there as well as some other prominent figures - artists or university professors.

Cathedral's Belfry.

Zamosc' Cathedral belfry was built in XVIII century. It is equipped in one of the biggest bells in Poland.

Sculpture of Madonna - next to the Catheral.

In Poland Madonna cult is very strong. This beautiful figure of Madonna (above) was made in 1966.

Zamosc is definitively one of the towns which should be visited. Unfortunately it is situated outside of the main roads in the present time since it is so close to the Easter boarder, although originally it was created on the crossroad linking Western and the Northern Europe with the Black Sea. Originally Zamosc was not created as a frontier town, but the Polish boarders changed and Poland as a state became shifted to the West, especially after World War II.

Photographs done by Basia Samulak

Read the second part of the article about Zamosc - Its Market Square, Town Hall Tower, Arcades & Armenian Tenant Houses.

Check all articles devoted to Travel to Poland, check also links to external sites devoted to travel and hotel sites.

Check Zamosc on the map of Poland and a satellite picture with main roads. For more information check also the Official website of Zamosc.

I recommend Eyewitness Travel Guide to Poland (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by Teresa Czerniewics-Umer, Malgorzata Omilanowska, Jerzy S. Majewski, DK Travel Writers

This comprehensive book about Poland, showed below, may also be useful for you:
The Rough Guide to Poland by Mark Salter, Jonathan Bousfield

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