Not much is known about the beginnings of Frampol. According to data from the second half of the 19th century, the settlement which gave origin to the town was founded in 1705. In 1717, the Radzięcin estate became the property of Marek Butler,[1.1] who a year later decided to establish a new urban centre specialising in weaving. The arrangement of the local road network proved beneficial to the development of the new settlement, as the Radzięcin estate was located on two routes – one connecting Zamość and Zawichost via Szczebrzeszyn and Janów and the other running from Jarosław to Lublin through Biłgoraj and Wysokie.
Frampol was most likely granted city status ca. 1736. In 1738, King Augustus III issued a privilege for the town, giving it the right to hold five fairs a year and weekly markets on Sundays. It was probably around the same time that Frampol was chartered under Magdeburg Law, but this hypothesis does not find confirmation in sources.
Frampol was founded at the site of the villages of Radzięcin, Stara Wieś, and Cokołówka. Its name derives from the name of Marek Butler’s wife – Franciszka Butlerowa. At first, the settlement was known as Franopol, and later as Frankpoll; after 1779, four names were used: Frankpoll, Frankpol, Frampol, and Franopol.[1.2]
Frampol was founded on undeveloped land and has preserved its original spatial arrangement, designed in accordance with the Renaissance concept of ideal city. At the centre of the town was the Market Square with 225-metres long frontages – it used to be the largest marketplace in Poland, bigger even than the central squares in Kraków (200 m) and Zamość (100 m). At present, the frontages of the Market Square in Frampol have the length of 140 m. The spatial arrangement of Frampol is truly unique, even on the international scale. The central square is surrounded with a grid of blocks of increasing area, connected by eight major streets radiating from the centre.
From the very beginning, Frampol was inhabited by Christians (Poles and Ukrainians) dealing with farming and crafts (weaving, pottery, shoemaking) and by Jews, most of whom made a living from trade, lease-taking, and agency services. This small town of a agricultural, commercial, and artisan character soon became an important centre of the weaving industry, as well as of horsehair-making and sieve-making.
At first, the town was supervised by a local governor (vogt). Following the introduction of a privilege issued by Jan and Anna Wisłocki – subsequent owners of the town – on 20 November 1773, the residents would elect municipal councillors. It was not until 1820 that the present name of the town – Frampol – was officially adopted.
Towards the end of the 18th century, a great fire broke out in the town, destroying the municipal charter. After the death of Jan and Anna Wisłocki, Frampol became the property of Ignacy and Antoni Wisłocki. In 1787, the local population amounted to 498 people. On 1 December 1789, Ignacy Wisłocki was granted the privilege to hold seven additional fairs in the town. The largest professional group in Frampol were craftsmen.
In 1795, Frampol was annexed by Austria. At the time, it was a private town owned by the Wisłocki brothers. In 1807, it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw and in 1815, it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland.
Since 1832, Frampol was occupied by the Russian Army. The subsequent owner of Frampol was Leon Niemirowski, who gained control over it in 1835. In 1860, the town started to be governed by Andrzej Brzeziński. The town was famous for its Market Square, which held the title of the largest in Poland until 1860. Among the institutions active in Frampol in 1861 there was a tax office, an elementary school, and a filial church.
In 1869, Frampol was deprived of its city status – the decision formed part of the repressions introduced after the January Uprising. Despite being degraded to a rural settlement, it continued to develop demographically and economically. The rhythm of everyday life in Frampol was dictated by traditional holidays and the weekly markets. A pharmacy was opened in the locality in 1882 – the local hygienic conditions were very good. First credit unions started to pop up in Frampol since 1885. The Frampol Volunteer Fire Brigade was founded on 31 October 1910, followed by the Farming Society in 1913. In the second half of the 19th century, the locality was significantly developed – the Market Square was sized down to accommodate new residential houses, as well as a brick church with a parsonage and a masonry synagogue.
The area of Frampol was not spared from battles during World War I. A justice of the peace court was established in the locality in 1916[1.3] alongside the Company of Frampol Weavers and the Volunteer Fire Guards. Until July 1915, Frampol remained part of the Russian Partition, but the Russian troops started to withdraw from the area as early as June 1915, fleeing from the advancing Austrian offensive. The soldiers were ordered to set fire to the locality upon their withdrawal, but they were unable to carry it out in time. On 2 November 1918, members of the Polish Military Organisation from Frampol disarmed the Austrian military policemen stationed in the town. On 1 January 1923, Frampol was incorporated into Biłgoraj County.
In 1924, the Society of Rural Youth was formed in Frampol, followed by the foundation of the paramilitary Shooting Association three years later. In 1935, the Weaver’s Co-operative was established. In 1928, a steam mill started to operate in the town.
In the interwar period, Frampol was developing as the seat of the Municipality Office and a weaving centre. Most local craftsmen worked in small, traditional workshops, but there were also two large weaving mills and a linen manufacturing plant established in the town.
After the outbreak of World War II, on 13 September 1939, Frampol was the target of an air raid carried out by the Luftwaffe for training purposes – it was to test the effectiveness of a new model of incendiary bombs. The locality suffered significant losses, including 60% of its buildings and many fatalities among both local residents and refugees and soldiers present in the town. The occupying forces took advantage of the particular spatial layout of Frampol, which is why the town was almost completely brought to the ground.
In October 1942, the Germans murdered the local Jews at the Jewish cemetery. They also destroyed the property owned by the community. In July 1943, Polish people residing in the town were displaced.
In 1993, Frampol regained its city status, which it had lost in 1869. The town is listed in the register of the Provincial Monument Conservator.
- Jasiński R., “Dzieje Frampola do września 1939 r.” [in:] Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów 1918 – 1939, ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 2, Frampol 2005.
- Baranowski Z., “Frampol w okresie staropolskim” [in:], Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów do 1918 r., ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 1, Frampol 2002.
- Baranowski Z., “Frampol po rozbiorach” [in:] Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów do 1918 r., ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 1, Frampol 2002.
- Bondyra W., Słownik historyczny miejscowości województwa zamojskiego, Lublin 1992.
- Górak J., Miasta i miasteczka Zamojszczyzny, Zamość 1990.
- Jasiński R., “Frampol na przełomie dwu epok” [in:] Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów do 1918 r., ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 1, Frampol 2002.
- Okoń A., “Frampol w latach 1864 – 1918” [in:] Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów do 1918 r., ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 1, Frampol 2002.
- Trzciński A, Śladami zabytków kultury żydowskiej na Lubelszczyźnie, Warszawa – Lublin 1990.
- [1.1] Baranowski Z., “Frampol w okresie staropolskim” [in:], Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów do 1918 r., ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 1, Frampol 2002, p. 65.
- [1.2] Warchoł S., Nazwy miast Lubelszczyzny, Lublin 1964, p. 53.
- [1.3] Jasiński R., “Dzieje Frampola do września 1939 r.” [in:] Frampol i okolice. Zarys dziejów 1918 – 1939, ed. R. Jasiński, vol. 2, Frampol 2005, p. 11.