The origins of Grodzisk Mazowiecki should be related to the establishment of a local administrative and military center with a seat in Chlebnia in the early Middle Ages on the outskirts of the Jaktorowska Forest. Its owners built a settlement on the border of the estate, the remains of which are now part of the town area. In 1355 the town proprietors of the Ostoja coat of arms founded a church in it. It was devoured by fire in 1441. A new one was erected in its place in 1460. Grodzisk also became the seat of the parish in the 15th century.
From the end of the 15th century to 1623 the village was owned by Okunia family and then by the Mokrowski family. In 1522 the town was granted a charter and gained a privilege to organize two fairs and a weekly market. In 1540 the fire devastated the town and the church. It was not until the end of the 16th century that the reconstruction started. A new church and a poorhouse were built then. Grodzisk Mazowiecki became a local trade and production centre due to its location on the outskirts of the forest and the local traffic routes with Błonie, Sochaczew and Warsaw. Milling played an important role at that time. For that reason a local guild of millers was created in the 16th century. It operated till the 19th century. In about 1688 a new church was erected. In the mid 17th century during the Polish-Swedish Wars the town was entirely destroyed. Only a few inhabitants survived. The Great Northern War 1700-1721 resulted in further havoc.
In 1708 the town was struck by a cholera epidemic. In the 1770s the town population numbered as few as 370 people. During the November Insurrection (1830-1831) Grodzisk Mazowiecki was the place of fights between the insurrectionists’ forces and Russian army. Railway route connecting Warsaw and Skierniewice which was built in 1846 led to the recovery of the local economy. In 1865 Skarbek County came into the possession of nearby lands. In spite of development tendencies the town lost its municipal rights in 1870. Only in 1915 [or in 1919, there is some uncertainty about the dates] did the town regain its Charter. The end of the 19th century saw a more intense growth of Grodzisk.
Industrial factories were opened (1881) including food industry factories (vinegar factory, mills), light industry factories of cotton and flax products, chemical and pharmaceutical works. After the dividing up of the land of Jordanowice in 1881 Grodzisk became a holiday estate and a spa, which was frequently visited by wealthy inhabitants of Warsaw. In 1884 a Water Treatment Establishment was built. After Poland regained independence (1918-1939) the town started to flourish. The process continued after 1945. The vicinity of Warsaw was a conducive factor. Grodzisk became an important road and rail hub being situated at an intersection of various routes (Warsaw-Vienna railway, Warsaw Suburban Railway from 1927, the Coal-Trunk Line from 1977). During the wartime all the Jewish population was deported and murdered. On 6.08.1944 a transitory civilian camp was established for people evacuated from Warsaw where the Polish insurrectionists were fighting with Germans. The total of people kept in the camp numbered about 4,000. In 1945 during a Russian air raid around 300 town citizens were killed.
At present Grodzisk Mazowiecki is a local industrial center for the area of Warsaw. It is responsible for large pharmaceutical works, disc manufacture, dairy manufacture, and manufacture of control measurement apparatuses. It also performs services for big warehouses of trade and industrial companies as well as administrative and educational functions[1.1].
Geographic and administrative location:
Until the 18th century Kingdom of Poland, Rawa Land, Rawa Province
1807-1815 Duchy of Warsaw
1815-1918 Russia (Kingdom of Poland), Błonie County
1918-1939 Poland, Warsaw Province, Błonie County with the seat in Grodzisk
1939-1945 Germany (The Third Reich), The General Government (German: Generalgouvernement), Warsaw District, Błonie County with the seat in Grodzisk
1945-1998 Warsaw Province
From 1999 Mazowsze Province, Grodzisk County
- [1.1] Miasta polskie w tysiącleciu, vol. 2, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków Zakład Narodowy imienia Ossolińskich Wydawnictwo 1967, s. 469-470; Jerzy Kwiatek i Teofil Lijewski, Leksykon miast polskich, MUZA S.A., Warszawa 1998, p. 215-216; Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945. Informator encyklopedyczny, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa 1979, p. 192.