In the 13th century a market settlement on a trade route between Wielkopolska and Śląsk; granted town rights before 1283; from 1396 a king’s town; between the 16th and 18th c. a district governor’s office, seat of the county and land tribunals; also a centre of crafts and trade; destroyed in 1655 by Swedes; 1793-1919 under Prussian partition (1807-15 in the Duchy of Warsaw); in the second half of the 19th c. introduction of ceramic and food industry, from 1875 a railway link; at the turn of the 19th c. activity of Polish economic and cultural-educational organizations (People’s Bank, agricultural-trade cooperative “Rolnik”, among others); 1906-7 school protests; town’s inhabitants took part in the Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918-19; in the interwar period a town of agricultural and service character. Under the German occupation of 1939-45 incorporated into the Third Reich, deportations to the General Government; in the years 1939-45 a civil camp (imprisoned were, among others, the Franciscans from Niepokalanów, including fr. Maksymilan Kolbe), a prisoner-of-war camp for Poles and people of other nationalities – until 1943 for non-commissioned officers and privates, later for officers; centre of conspiracy movement of the Secret Military Organization and the Home Army. A county seat in the following periods: 15th c.-1932, 1954-75, 1999-.

The entry was prepared on the basis of source materials of PWN (Polish Scientific Publishers).

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