The historical exhibition

The history of the City of Czestochowa

 

On October 18th 2006 the historical exhibition „The history of the City of Czestochowa. Stage one: from prehistory to the end of 18th century” was opened at the City Hall of Czestochowa.

The oldest fragment of the Polish lands pre-history began with the arrival of groups of people which took place 500 thousand years ago, in the geological era called the Pleistocene. The oldest traces of human activity in the area of Czestochowa come from the “Castle Cave” in the town of Olsztyn which date 50-60 thousand years back. The Paleolithic population inhabiting our territory was mainly interested in flint. In the older period of the Bronze Age (XV-XIV century BC ) New groups of peoples from today's Silesia reached the north west areas of Czestochowa region. The oldest traces of settlements of this group can be connected with burials in Zbrojewsko and Opatów. In the Middle Bronze Age (about XIII-XII century BC) at the Liswarta River formed another group associated with the Lusatian Culture. In the next centuries this population colonized most of the territory along the river and more to the East – todays Czestochowa and its area. After disappearance of the Lusatian Culture the region of Czestochowa was bereft of any marks of settlements for hundreds of years. Finally in the 2 century appeared here the Przeworsk Culture which lasted up to 5th century. The main source of knowledge of this culture are burial sites.

The aim of the archeological exposition is to show the prehistory of the land of Czestochowa from the beginnings of first settlements to the end of antiquity. Artifacts discovered by archeologists are not able to reconstruct the life of old societies – lack of documents, archives and notes enriching the knowledge - that is why this part of exhibition presented in the first three rooms is arranged in such a manner to help us feel the mood of mystery. Among the most interesting exhibits there are: fragment of tusks, a fragment of the femur, tibia and mammoth shoulder, skull and bones of a cave bear, flint products from the Stone Age - Paleolithic (60-50 thousand years ago), Mesolithic flint chips and flakes of sand dunes in Przymiłowice near Olsztyn in middle stone Age - Mesolithic (8-5,4 thousand years before Christ), hatchets and axes from the Neolithic period (about 5400 to 2200/2100 BC), amphora form the Corded Ware culture, Lusatian culture burials (about the ninth century BC), pottery found in graves of the Lusatian culture population (about XIV / XIII - V century BC), clay pots mad, by the people of the Lusatian culture, treasure containing bronze artifacts from Łobodno (necklaces, knee-pad, bracelet), burials from the Przeworsk culture, hardware and ceramics from the Przeworsk culture.

Other rooms show the history of the city of Czestochowa: a period from the Middle Ages until the end of Republic of Poland. The first reference about Czestochowa was placed in a document of Bishop of Cracow Iwo Odrowąż issued in 1220 and was about the village of Czestochowa located in the area of today's Wieluński Market Square. On the exhibition we can see quotations of documents like the one above mentioned or for example a document of King Casimir the Great from 1356 enabling two brothers Leonard and Kanimir to transform two villages into a settlement with city rights, which is known today as Czestochowa, a document of Prince Władysław II Opolczyk from May 3rd 1377 with the oldest reference about Czestochowa, a foundational document of the Monastery of Jasna Góra issued by Prince Władysław Opolczyk from 1382, in which he gave Częstochówka to the Monastery. Another part of the exhibition show the formation of the administrative system: we can see maps, a scale model of the castle in Olsztyn, tools, coins and other goods.

On the exhibition we can also see Czestochowa from the beginning of 16th century until 1793. Among presented exhibits the special attention deserve: the seals of the city of Czestochowa from 1501 and 1564, engravings presenting the siege of the fortress of Jasna Góra by Swedish Army in 16th century, military artifacts such as breastplates, harnesses, helmets, wooden weapons, firearms, white weapons, a map of the siege of Jasna Góra. In the last room Czestochowa is presented during the period of four year Sejm, along with the list of names of inhabitants who participated in it.

We kindly invite you to visit the exhibition which brings the history of the city, from the prehistory, in a very vivid way – the authors of the presentation are artists: Włodzimierz Karankiewicz, Tadeusz Kosela and Bożena Mszyca, and the authors of screenplay are the employees of the Museum of Czestochowa: Magdalena Wieczorek-Szmal, Maciej Kosiński (archeology) and Andrzej Kuźma (history), under the guidance of the deputy director of researches Elżbieta Miszczyńska.

Janusz Jadczyk and Katarzyna Jezierska