Zamość is a fortress town; it was founded in 1580 by Jan Zamoyski, Great Crown Chancellor, designed by the Italian architect Bernard Mornado and is an outstanding achievement of the late European Renaissance urban planning.
Known persons in the history of the town
Zamość is a town of great historical traditions in many fields: in the field of the science, education and culture. Many prominent people were associated with the town, among them: statesmen – the chancellor and the hetman Jan Zamoyski, the chancellor Andrzej Zamoyski, commanders and military specialists – Eng. A.dell ‘Aqua, Gen J.Ch.Mallet-Malletski, fighters for national independence – W. Łukasiński, political activists – M. Rataj. Famous writers and poets acted here – S.Klonowicz, Sz.Szymonowicz, K.Koźmian, S.Młodożeniec and B.Leśmian. Zamość was also a stage of the pilgrimage to the homeland of the Pope John Paul II. Zamość is a town decorated with the Cross of Grunwald of III Class for the outstanding contribution to the fight for the national and public liberation against Nazi invader in 1947.
The Old Town
The Zamość Old Town as well as entire Zamość is an example of a “perfect town” with the Italian Renaissance urban planning, so it is not strange that it appears on the list of The World Cultural Heritage. The building development and the urban planning are the work of Bernard Morando from Padua, who created them to the order of the hetman Jan Zamoyski in 1580. It refers to the construction of the human body – the head was supposed to be represented by Palace of Zamoyski, the spine by Grodzka street, which crosses the Large Market from the east towards the west in the direction of the palace and arms were supposed to be represented by crosswise streets Solna and Moranda. The Large Market dates back to 16th century and is one of the most wonderful European squares – very beautiful tenements and overshadowed arcades. The Great Zamosc Town Hall and Cathedral are also worth seeing.
It is in the centre of the Large Market that there is the town hall surrounded by numerous picturesque, unusually colourful tenements, decorated arcades thanks to which Zamość is also known as a town of arcades. A 52-metres high town hall tower surpasses tenements. These are exactly the tenements, which have their own names, stories and peculiar climate that characterize the town. There are several dozens of them here and among them the most known are: wilczkowska, “pod aniołem”, abrekowska, szczebrzewska, turobińska, linkowska and a lot of others.
Zamość is a town abounding with stylish, historic churches. One of the most interesting is probably the Franciscan Church, built in the 17th century in the Baroque style. At the moment of the construction, it was the largest church in the town but unfortunately after the liquidation of the order, it was lowered and deprived of its sacred functions for many years. The St. Nicholas Church is a former Greco-Ruthenian Orthodox church. The picturesque form of the former orthodox church combines the elements characteristic for Moldavian Orthodox churches with elements of Latin architecture. It is in the porch that a late Renaissance arcade portal with rosettes is preserved. The Church of St, Catherine was built the 17th century according to the project of J. Linka. During the war, it was destroyed and rebuilt in 90-ties of the last century. XVI-century Cathedral belongs to most impressive and most beautiful sacred buildings in Polish modern architecture. It kept its original decor of insides and the variety of Renaissance decorations.
Besides the old tenements in Zamosc, one may find also a lot of other monuments here. There are a few old and new municipal gates, elements of municipal walls such as Arsenal, water gate, Bastion VII, built in the shape of the pentagon in the corner of the walls. There are also many churches, monasteries, a synagogue, Jewish shambleses and famous Generałówka, which is a Renaissance palace built for the Russian commander in the 19th century, in Zamość.
Zamość tries to use so well as possible its history. The stronghold established by Jan Zamoyski preserved a lot of its magnificence. It is in spring and summer that Zamość monuments, especially Large Market, become scenery for sport, commercial and cultural events being held here to raise the attraction of the town. The history merges here with the present time and creates the shape of the future. The town invites also to the salt cave, skate park, offers flights above Zamość and also rides in britzska. From the view tower at the Cathedral, it is possible to look at the panorama of the town.
Zamość is a town, which many interesting events are associated with. Above all, it is here, where the oldest Polish drugstore is, which was established by a doctor of medicine Szymon Piechowicz in 1616. It is also in this town, where the first woman Joanna Żubr lived, which was decorated with the Virtuti Militari during the French-Austrian War. The woman, disguised as a man, joined the army, and then while besieging the town, as the first person forced her way with the troop through the hidden gate opening the doors for other troops. Another event related to the town is the famous breakfast of the king Charles X Gustav and Jan Zamoyski, which took place at the city walls, but in order to humiliate the king, Zamoyski did not let give chairs. Guests had to eat standing keeping plates in their hands. Since then, the style of eating and standing is described as Swedish buffet.
There are numerous cyclical artistic events of lower and higher format here. Throughout a year there are music concerts here, during which it is possible to listen to classical music performed by the Karol Namyslowski Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra also runs a year-long program teaching children music in the form of the cycle of the programmes. Four times a year. It is in Sandomierz that it is possible to listen to the music performed by pupils of the National School of Music of the I and II degree in Zamość. The Summer Art Salon presents drama and it is in the local hotel “Carskie Koszary” – that there are Cultural Meetings on the First Thursdays. There are also many artistic exhibitions in Zamość. There are several cultural sites in the town, in which it is possible to see periodic exhibitions of paintings or photographs performed by local artists. The collections are presented among others by: Galeria Młodych “Okrąglak” (Gallery of Youngs “Okrąglak”), Galerie Młodzieżowego Domu Kultury (Galleries of the Youth Club), Książnica Zamojska (Zamość Library), Gallery of Photography, The Zamość Museum and The Zamość Gallery under the auspices of the Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions.