The first written reference of the existence of Myślenice is contained in the Tyniecki Code of 1253–1258 which mentions the dwelling of Myślenice as a strategic defensive point on the Raba River[1.1]. However, the first information indicating that not only a stronghold but also a dwelling of Myślenice existed at the time, is the document of 1301 in which Marcin from Myślenice, the owner of the settlement, was brought before the court as a witness. During the fragmentation of Poland Myślenice were probably to defend access from the south to the capital of Małopolska. This was the period of constructing the first castle, located on Uklejna mountain.

On 11th November 1342 Myślenice village was sold to Paweł and Wilhelm Hynek from Wieliczka with the right to adopt Magdeburg Law. King Kazimierz Wielki granted the young town a number of privileges and properties in order to accelerate its development; a new venue for the centre was marked and a rectangular square, which exists until today, was delimited. The descendant of the Hyneks, Jordan, due to his marriage to Jadwiga from the Lanckoroński family from Brzeź, was the basis of the magnitude of the Jordan family [1.2]. The fate of Myślenice was connected with that family until the second half of the 16th century and under the Jordans reigns the town thrived. Its expansion was increased, despite transient difficulties such as those of 1457–1458 when Myślenice were pillaged several times by the rebellious Czech and Silesian mercenary troops who had not received promised pay and were rummaging the borderland. In 1557 Spytek Jordan gave the castellany of Cracow the lordship of Myślenice with neighbouring villages "for all times".

Starting from the 16th century two public markets a week were held there. The markets and the fairs (on 8 February and 8 September) attracted many merchants and vendors to Myślenice. In time the number of fairs increased to a dozen or so a year. Craft, such as tannery, shoemaking and soap making, thrived in the town. Hat making was especially popular. Vicinity of the new "royal" route, connecting Vienna with Lviv, also contributed to the economic boom of Myślenice.

As a result of partitions, in 1772 Myślenice became a part of the Austrian Partition. In 1777 the Austrians put the town up for auction and its new owner was duchess Franciszka Krasińska. Almost 100 years later, in 1874, her granddaughter, Augusta de Montleart, sold the town to duchess Cecylia Lubomirska. In the 19th century the seat of starosty was located in Myślenice. There also were: tax and construction offices, municipal cadastre, the offices of the guild, district court, notary, poviat council, school council for Myślenicki and Nowy Targ poviats, a post office, fire brigade, four-class school for boys and two-class school for girls, a hotel, pharmacy and a few smaller inns[1.3]. In 1866 Myślenice district was established.

At the beginning of the 20th century the first grammar school was opened in the town. At the time a private bus line, which connected Krakow with Myślenice, was set up. Residents of the former capital city of Poland frequently chose this place as their holiday destination. When in 1921 a weir was constructed on the Raba River, Myślenice became a popular summer spot.

At night of 22nd to 23rd June 1936 Myślenice was captured by an armed gang led by with Adam Doboszyński, a member of the National Party. There were about 70 attackers but other sources state the number as above 100 [1.4]. The operation was conducted against the Jews living in Myślenice. The attackers cut the telephone line and took over the police station, demolished shops located around the square and tried to burn down the prayer house. The leader of the pogrom was captured and brought before court. His trial was widely reported in the entire country.

On 5.09.1939 Myślenice were occupied by the Germans and on 12.10.1939 the town was annexed to the General Governorate. In February 1942 Myślenice became the headquarters of "Murawa" Unit of the AK (Home Army). The first commanding officer was Władysław Grodzicki aka Bronisław, and after his arrest – Wincenty Horodyński aka Kościesza. In retaliation for actions conducted by the Polish guerilla the Germans pacified the town twice in 1940 and 1942. 1942 was the year of final extermination of about 1300 Jews from Myślenice, who were gathered on 22nd August in the square by the Germans and then transported to concentration camps or shot. In September 1944 in the region of Łysina mountain one of the largest guerilla battles of the Second World War in Poland was held. The Germans suffered major losses and in retaliation destroyed the villages of Zasań, Lipnik and Wiśniowa. On 21.01.1945 units of the Russian Army under the command of general Kirił Moskalenko entered the town.

During the interwar period the town expanded. An important investment was extension of the Krakow - Myślenice road, conducted in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the dam in Dobczyce and a water reservoir for the city of Krakow were set up. Since 1999 Myślenice has been the seat of the district in Małopolskie Province.

Bibliographic note

  • Historia Myślenic, Urząd Miasta i Gminy Myślenice, [DOA: 20.08.2015].
  • Kiryk F., Monografia powiatu myślenickiego, Kraków 1970.
  • Myślenice, [in:] Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, vol. 6: Malczyce – Netreba, eds. F. Sulimierski, B. Chlebowski, W. Walewski, Warszawa 1885, p. 828.
  • [1.1] Kiryk F., Monografia powiatu myślenickiego, vol. 1, part 3: Dzieje powiatu myślenickiego w okresie przedrozbiorowym, Kraków 1970, pp. 29–32.
  • [1.2] Kiryk F., Monografia powiatu myślenickiego, vol. 1, part 3: Dzieje powiatu myślenickiego w okresie przedrozbiorowym, Kraków 1970, pp. 49–50.
  • [1.3] Myślenice, [in:] Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, vol. 6: Malczyce – Netreba, eds. F Sulimierski, B. Chlebowski, W. Walewski, Warszawa 1885, p. 828.
  • [1.4] Jakubowicz D., The Doboszynski Pogrom (Doboszynski's March on Myślenice), [in:] Sefer zikaron le-kehilot Wadowice, Andrychow, Kalwarja, Myslenice, Sucha. Memorial Book of the Communities Wadowice, Andrychow, Kalwarja, Myslenice, Sucha, ed. D. Jakubowicz, Ramat Gan 1967.