Marcin Kromer Square Biecz

Marcin Kromer – bishop, historian geographer, diplomat, musicologist – was born in Biecz in 1512. He entered the Kraków Academy at sixteen. In 1530, he achieved the first academic level – Bachelor of Liberal Arts. Around 1537, he went to Padua, and then Bologna, where he studied law and received a doctorate. In 1542 he was a parson in Biecz. After leaving the city in 1544, he became a secretary to Zygmunt August and acted as an envoy to various European courts. In 1552, he was ennobled by the last king of the Jagiellon dynasty. In 1579, he was appointed Bishop of Warmia and governed Warmia as bishop and prince for over 20 years. Kromer became famous for writing the geography and history of Poland. He was also one of the first Polish authors of texts on music: the treatise ‘Musica Elementa’ was published in 1532 and ‘De Musica Figurata’ in 1534. Kromer was connected to Biecz his entire life. In 1569, he funded a scholarship for poor students from Biecz with the condition that after their education was completed, they would return and work in their hometown. He also helped with the rebuilding of the town hall tower, which was destroyed due to structural errors. He died on 23 March 1589 in Lidzbark Warmiński and was interred in the cathedral in Frombork. Behind Kromer's statue are defensive walls. Situated on the southern borderlands of the Polish state, Biecz had long ago had an important strategic and defensive role. It was a centre of economic exchange and was a good place to prepare for an attack on enemy states and a good position for defence.. It had favourable conditions for development because of its advantageous location at the crossroads of trade routes that ran east and west. The fortification system of Biecz dates back to the 14th century. The walls were expanded in the 16th and early 17th centuries, when they were reinforced with 17 towers operated by artisans' guilds. However, with the change of military techniques in the 17th century, the towers lost their importance and fell into disrepair. Few have survived to modern times. A walkway was built along the walls.

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