Tarnów. The pearl of Renaissance.

Ratusz w Tarnowie
A visit to Tarnów, the second biggest city in Małopolska, is the opportunity to get to know many cultures. There are several memorials of Poles and Jews that have lived here for centuries. Another interesting community inhabiting this region are Gypsies. From Tarnów derived many famous people, such as: the famous hetman Jan Amor Tarnowski, the hero of two nations, Polish and Hungarian, general Józef Bem or Jan Szczepanik, referred to as „Polish Edison” as he was the founder of colour photography and bullet proof vest.
Tarnów Old Town preserved its former, deriving from location times in 1330, oval shape with the central, rectangular Market Square. Today, the Market Square is the Renaissance reception room of the city. Owing to Jan Tarnowski in the XVI century, the former wooden houses where changed into beautiful city residences with arcades and decorative attics. In the middle there is Town Hall, reconstructed in the Renaissance style by the famous architect Jan Maria Padovano deriving from Italy. He added to the City Council a high attic, decorated with pinnacles and mascarons. Above the buildings of Old Town in Tarnów appears a massive body of the brick cathedral: a three-nave basilica with a high, 72 meter tower. Its interior houses a museum of a real Renaissance and Manneristic sculpture: you can find here immense gravestones of the Tarnowski and Ostrogowski family. The impressive grave monuments of the Tarnowski Family, including Jan Amor, were also made by Jan Maria Padovano. In the cathedral there are many other precious pieces of art, among others, a XVII century figure of Our Lady of Sorrows. The second famous ruler deriving from Tarnów is general Józef Bem. This Hungarian national hero was also buried in his home town. His mausoleum can be found in the park north from the city centre. General Bem is also linked to a replica of so called Panorama Siedmiogrodzka, which is an immense painting devoted to the battle of Sybin in 1849, in which Bem was in command of Hungarian forces of insurgents. For centuries, Tarnów was a home for many Jews. Today you can walk a municipal trail along former Jewish district. It leads to, among others, the only remained element of Tarnów synagogue, that is bima (a stand, from which fragments of Torah were read), and kirkut (Jewish cemetery). Other very interesting place to visit is Tarnów Ethnographic Museum. You can find here the only exhibition in Europe devoted to Gypsy culture. A visit to Tarnów gives the opportunity to see the two charming, historic wooden buildings found on the Wooden Architecture Route. Near the centre there is the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish from the year 1458. Its shapely, Gothic structure hides a beautiful interior with Baroque polychrome and a marvellous painting of Mother of God from the XVII century. The second church of the Holy Trinity was erected over one hundred years later. The sanctuary is covered with shingle, with bulbous, Baroque tower helm built in 1597.


Worth seeing in the vicinity !
In Bochnia there is the oldest salt mine in Poland.
The historic buildings on the Wooden Architecture Route which leads, among others to Skrzyszów where one can admire the church of St. Stanislaus from 1517, that is, the biggest wooden built heritage in Małopolska. Manor House in Dołęga with original furnishing.  The most beautiful, decorated with colourful paintings, traditional farmer cottages in the painted village, Zalipie.
The knight’s castle in Dębno from the second half of the XV century is the remarkable example of the Gothic style with Renaissance elements.
Tuchów, where at the edge of the town there is an immense monastery of the Most Holy Redeemers from Sanctuary of Our Lady, referred to as the Lady of Tarnów Lands. Gromnik, a Barque, wooden church from the year 1727. Ciężkowice, where by the Market Square you can find a historic buildings complex. In the neighbourhood, on the territory of the „Petrified City” reservoir there is a labyrinth of rocky monadnocks in various shapes, and in the nearby Kąśna Dolna village the classical Manor House of Ignacy Paderewski is available for tourists to visit.


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