History

The origins of the city are from the first half of XIII century. Name Koscian probably comes from a name of a swamp plant called ‘koszczki’ which grew on a marshy terrain of Obra valley- ‘koszczki’ have been meaning a sieve grass. The first historical source notation giving the name of a city as a ‘Costan’ appears in the year 1242 in a Benedictine abbeys document in Lubin. City laws obtained in the second half of XIII century were confirmed in 1400 by king Wladyslaw Jagiłło. From 1332 Kościan was a royal city. For that reason it had a special car from the next rulers. It had many privileges guaranting good development. During the XV and XVI century city transformed from a medieval production-trade village to a huge city. Medieval and Renaissance Koscian was a craftsman’s-trade city. Among craftsmans the strongest group were cloth hallers, clothers and cloth cutters. Kościan cloth hallers were famous in all Poland, Prussia and in Russia for their high quality products. But high quality of cloth hall resulted in many trys of imitating and forgery. To prevent this petition for protection of this products had been given to kings office. So in 1472 the king Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk gave a protection sing to the guild, presenting  a tower with eagle and a letter ‘C’ (Casimirus). It was surely the first trademark in Poland. Koscian craftsmans were associated in guilds. Second current of a economic life of Koscian was trade. Because Koscian was laying on an important trade route connecting Silesia with Greater Poland and Pomerania. So years from 1400 to 1655 were the ‘golden’ age in history of Koscian. The development age of Koscian was stopped by Swedish invasion (1655-1656) and next wars in XVII and in half of XVIII century. City had experienced a painful loss, the work and achievements of a many generations have been lost. After a short period of peace, in a result of a second partitioning of Poland in the beginning of 1793 was occupated by Prussian army. A 125 year period of annexation and fight for survival and for keeping a polishnes had began. The people of Koscian had been taking part in national exulations: Kosciuszko Rise (1794), November (1830-1831), Greater Poland (1846-1848), Peoples Spring (1848), January 1861. In times of II Republic of Poland Koscian was an important economic and cultural centre of Greater Poland. Koscian was famous also abroad by companies like: cooked meat factory ‘Jodemka’, sugar rafinery ‘Koscian’ vodka factory of Wawrzyniec Czajka. Twenty year period of independence was interrupted by a raid of German army in September 1939. In a result of war and occupation city have experienced a painful loss.


Wrocławska street in 1910



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