The City of Bread - The City of Peace
The town is situated by the River Nysa Szalona, in the middle part of Lower Silesia, on Jawor Plain, part of Chojnowska Wysoczyzna. It is a typically rural land. The town derived its name from a maple tree (Acer pseudoplatanus). It is found in Poland in, among others, Sudety Mountains. The colonization of this terrain goes back 5000 years before Christ.
The name Old Jawor indicates Slavonic settlement in the early Middle Ages, nowadays a part of the town. The earliest the town was mentioned was in a document issued by the office of prince Bolesław Rogatka in 1242.
The Church of Peace
The Churche of Peace in Jawor, the largest timber-framed religious building in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churche of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church.
The colonization of this terrain goes back 5000 years before Christ. The name Old Jawor indicates Slavonic settlement in the early Middle Ages, nowadays a part of the town. The earliest the town was mentioned was in a document issued by the office of prince Bolesław Rogatka in 1242. Valentine, a parson from Jawor is named as a witness. The town was founded in the 13th century.
The urban form it assumed at that time was preserved till contemporary times. A document from 1300 marked with a municipal seal names the first mayor, Walter, a red man (a craftsman dealing in skin dyeing). Being one of the biggest towns in this part of Silesia, it became the capital of princedom founded by prince Henry V the Fat in 1274. Piast rule and later Czech subprefects was marked by economic development and granted economic charters.
Jawor was surrounded by defense walls with four entry gates. In 1510-1538 a second ring of fortifications was built, quite modern for that time, adapted to firearms. A water conduit was built by the municipal government in the same century. It conduced water to a well in the town square. In 1542, a new bridge was built over Nysa Szalona, on the way to Piotrowice. The 16th century saw great religious disputes.
The man who initiated it was Samuel Frenzel, a priest giving sermons in the spirit of Martin Luther in the Church of St Martin from 1527. New faith quickly found its followers among the townsmen. The development of the town was curtailed by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).
From 1626 the town had been frequently conquered by imperial soldiers, Saxon and Swedish soldiers. Each conquer ended with contributions imposed on the inhabitants and plunder. The Peace of Westphalia Treaty signed in 1648 ended the adversities. Life slowly returned to normal. After four years of persuasions the protestants from Jawor were given the emperor’s permission to build the Church of Peace, which was raised in 1654-1655. In 1656-1665 the castle was rebuilt on the initiative of Otton von Nostitz. The state of streets was improved. Crafts guilds developed. In 1683, Johann Oeckel founded the first printing house.
Silesian Wars disrupted the peaceful period in the town’s history – the capital of the princedom. The wars raged mainly between Prussia and Austria and ended with the annex of Silesia to Prussia in 1742. As a result of conducted administrative reforms the town was degraded to a county town. In the 19th century the town flourished as a county town. Its development was prompted by the fact that a railway link from Jaworzyna Śląska to Legnica was opened and the next year to Marciszów and Malczyce.
An array of small factories were founded. Horse carriages became the town’s export product and in the 20th century kitchen ranges and gas cookers. On the tables found itself Jawor sausage and gingerbread which was baked in local bakeries from at least half of the 18th century. Year 1945 saw the breakthrough in the town’s history. During Potsdam conference it was convened that Silesia was to be part of Poland. On 28 April came here plenipotentiary of Polish government, Ryszard Czarnecki, accompanied by group of 16 people. Their task was to seize the town from the Russians and create Polish administration. Józef Bartosiewicz became the first mayor of the town.
Mainly the inhabitants of the southern part of the II Republic of Poland came to Jawor, nevertheless, the influx was also from other regions of our country. The 70s saw a boom in investment. Former Silsesian Soap Factory was developed and Jawor Household Chemistry Factory “Pollena” emerged. In 1973-1976 Smithy Factory and Agricultural Machines Factory were built. A housing estate “Piastowskie” was created and works started on other housing estates, such as “Metalowiec” and “Przyrzecze”.