Wadowice Over the Centuries, Town Museum

Sala z przeszklonymi gablotami prezentującymi stare mapy i dokumenty dotyczące Wadowic.

A colourful map depicting the Duchy of Oświęcim and Zator at the end of the 16th century by an unknown cartographer includes place names such as Kenti (Kęty), Ozwieczin (Oświęcim), Zator and Wadowicze (Wadowice), as well as the topography and characteristics of the land: mountains, forests, rivers and ponds. 16th-century planners, e.g. authors of other maps depicting areas surrounding Wadowice such as Abraham Ortelius, Jani Bussemacher or Stanisław Porębski, took measurements using ‘sznur’, a measurement unit equal to about 45 m, divided into 10 ‘pręt’. According to these measurement, the medieval market square in Wadowice was a small square 1.5 x 1.5 sznur in size or about 70 x 70 m. The 17th century seal of the Wadowice butchers' guild bears the inscription: SIGIL. CIVIT WADOWICE LANIORUM and guild symbols characteristic for the butcher’s profession: a knife, an axe and a knife sharpening tool. In 1592, King Sigismund III Vasa issued a privilege allowing Wadowice to organise additional fairs in town and the right to freely trade in pork, beef, veal and goat on Sundays with no obstacles from the local butchers’ guild. At the beginning of the 17th century the same King approved the statute of the butchers’ guild, which stipulated that should Jews ever settle in the town, they would not be allowed to perform ritual slaughter without the guild's permission. A moneybox of the Jewish Funeral Brotherhood on display was used to collect alms during Jewish funerals. A member of the Funeral Brotherhood walked alongside the procession and rattled a tin can in front of the passing people while intoning the traditional refrain: ‘Almsgiving saves from unexpected death’. Only devout Jews of good repute, having the general confidence of the entire community, could be members of the Brotherhood. The displayed moneybox donated by Rabbi Jecheskel is one of the few that survived to our times. The Austrian Rhenish gulden also known as the guilder or florin was the currency used in the Habsburg monarchy until 1892, including at fairs and markets in Wadowice. It was divided into groshen and kreuzers such as the displayed copper ones from 1800, minted during the reign of Francis II. The fair in Wadowice was traditionally held each Thursday. Its centre was at the Main Square where confectionery, tailoring materials and footwear were traded. Clockmakers and blacksmiths also had their stalls there. Potters would set up their stalls around the parish church and in Kościelna Street where the City Museum is located today, one could also buy coopers', carpenters' and basket makers' wares. One could go to two other markets from the Main Square: ‘Zbożny’ (south of the centre) was a market where cereals and potatoes were traded while ‘Bydlany’ also called Targowica (north of the centre) was a place where one could buy cows, calves, rams, pigs and horses. Trading also took place in the streets adjacent to the markets.



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