History

 

Opole Lubelskie, a town in the western part of the Lublin province, is a rare example of a place where for hundreds of years men have created the great history inextricably intertwined in a simple way of life of residents. This is the place where the great monuments are in harmony with the great past and present in a unique way.
Opole Lubelskie area have been continuously inhabited for thousands of years. Numerous archaeological sites, castles and burial mounds  proves human presence. Opole Lubelskie appears in written sources at the beginning of the fourteenth century. At that time Opole was a village with a  parish church, located on the trade route from Lublin to the crossing of the Vistula river in Solec.
Opole, owned family Słupeckich family (coat of arms Rawa), had been a town by about 1400. The oldest known document of the municipal charter, issued by Casimir in 1450. Earlier round 1418 the burghers of  Opole appear in written sources. Initially, although it was an important center for the local area, Opole was not big or important. Stanislaw Słupecki, the owner of Opole in the sixteenth century, contributed to faster development of the town. He founded a new town with a large market and settled in it many artisans. As historians estimate, the population of Opole at that time exceeded 1,000 inhabitants.
The Swedish wars in the mid-seventeenth century hampered development of Opole However, after the city, thanks to bold and innovative decisions of its owners especially Jerzy Słupecki, a prominent intellectual and friend of the most important scientists of that era Hugo Grotius,  ant then his grandson Jan, the town reached greatest importance in its history. A beautiful parish church existing today was founded then, the palace was rebuilt, and finally in the years 1740-1750 a monastery and school of Piarist order was founded.
Opole Lubelskie has been for centuries not only a center for crafts and trade but also of high culture. The Słupecki family, followed by Tarło and Lubomirski families, created a wonderful gallery of paintings and expanded the library. The Opole palace in the eighteenth century was one of the twomost important aristocratic houses in Lublin Province (apart from Puławy). Lubomirski and Tarło also looked after the development of science and education. Jan Tarło,  the voivode of Sandomierz, brought the Order of Piarist to Opole in 1743. Their primary goal was (and remains to this day) educational training for young people. In 1761 in Opole Piarists opened the first school of craft based on modern principles of teaching. The end of Piarist activities in Opole followed the January’s Uprising, when the tsarist government decided to abandon most patriotic laws in Poland. Today, the Piarist magnificent parish church remains with a portrait of Ignatius Konarski,  rector of the College of Opole,  looking down upon the faithful from the church choir railings.
Well developed, magnificent, "with beautiful palaces," as General Lubowiecki wrote in 1830. Opole, however, when the palace became the property of the tsarist government and Piarist schools was closed, has lost its role as a center of culture and lost their civic rights. It  remained alive economically. In 1914, the population reached almost 7 thousand. people and was maintained at the same level until World War II.
The war put an end to the existence of Opole Jewish community, dating back to the sixteenth century. Germans has not only killed the Jewish inhabitants of Opole, but also removed the material remains of their culture, including the imposing synagogue, built in the seventeenth century.
After the war, the town scarred wounds and reclaimed the civic rights. Today, though Opole, as in any similar town, on a daily basis meets many problems, but the memory of a great history of Opole is still alive, and the outstanding monuments of the town today can become an important factor in tourism development in beautifully located and clean Opole.