Piotrków Trybunalski

Piotrków Trybunalski

Infobox Settlement
name = Piotrków Trybunalski

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Old Town

image_shield = POL Piotrków Trybunalski COA 1.svg

pushpin_label_position = bottom
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = POL
subdivision_type1 = Voivodeship
subdivision_name1 = Łódź
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = "city county"
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Krzysztof Chojniak
established_title = Established
established_date = before 1217
established_title3 = Town rights
established_date3 = 13th century
area_total_km2 = 67.27
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 79367
population_density_km2 = auto
population_metro = 200000
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 51 | latm = 24 | lats = | latNS = N | longd = 19 | longm = 41 | longs = | longEW = E
postal_code_type = Postal code
postal_code = 97-300 to 97-312
area_code = +48 044
blank_name = Car plates
blank_info = EP
website = http://www.piotrkow.pl

Piotrków Trybunalski [IPA-pl|'|p|j|o|t|r|k|u|f IPA-pl|t|r|y|b|u|'|n|a|l|s|k|i] (also known by alternative names) is a city in central Poland with 80,738 inhabitants (2005). It is situated in the Łódź Voivodeship (since 1999), and previously was the capital of Piotrków Voivodeship (1975-1998). It is the capital of Piotrków County.


According to tradition – not confirmed by historical sources – Piotrków was founded by Piotr Włostowic, a powerful 12th century magnate from Silesia. The name of the city comes from the name Peter translated into Polish ("Piotr"), in a diminutive form ("Piotrek", or "Pete"). The town has been known in Yiddish as פּעטריקעװ or "Petrikev", in German as "Petrikau", and in Russian as Петроков or "Petrokov".

Location, demographics and statistics

Piotrków Trybunalski is situated in the middle-west part (Piotrków Uplands) of the Łódź Uplands, on the border of historical provinces of Poland. The population of the city is 80,000 and its area is nearly 68 km². The scenery of the Piotrków region and its geological structure were formed during the glaciation of 180,000-128,000 years ago. There are hardly any forests across the Piotrków Plains.

Two rivers cross the region, the Wolbórka and the Luciąża, which with their tributaries flow into the Pilica river and belong to the catchment area of the Vistula. The watershed of Poland's two main rivers, the Vistula and the Oder (Odra), runs along the meridional line three km west of Piotrków. Two small rivers, the Strawa and the Strawka flow through the city, and it is between their valleys that the first settlement of Piotrków was founded in the early Middle Ages. Recently two more rivers were included within the boundary of the city area- the Wierzejka, which in the west part of the city forms a reservoir, and the Śrutowy Dołek to the south of Piotrków.

The city is 200 m above sea level. The average temperature during the year is about 8'C, the coldest month is January (from -20'C to -2,5'C), the warmest is July (with 18'C on average). Yearly rainfall is from 550 mm to 600 mm. The sandy soil of the region is not fertile.


Premodern history

In the early Middle Ages the Piotrków region was included in the province of Łęczyca owned by the Piast dynasty. Ca. 1264 it became part of a separate principality. The foundation of the city and its development were connected with its geographical position and an advantageous arrangement of the roads linking the provinces of Poland in the Piast times. At first a market town and a place of the princes' tribunals (in the 13th and 15th centuries), Piotrków became an administrative centre (the capital of the district since 1418), and in the later centuries it also became an important political centre in Poland. The first record of Piotrków is included in a document issued in 1217 by the Prince of Kraków, Leszek I the White, where there is a mention of the prince's tribunal held "in Petrecoue". Medieval Piotrków was a trading place on trade routes from Pomerania to Russia and Hungary, and later from Masovia to Silesia.

During the 13th century, apart from the tribunals, Polish provincial princes made Piotrków a seat of a few assemblies of the Sieradz knights, which according to historical sources were held in 1233, in 1241, and in 1291. It might have been during the 1291 assembly that the Prince of Sieradz, Władysław I the Elbow-high, granted Piotrków civic rights, because in documents from the beginning of the 14th century he mentions "civitate nostra Petricouiensi".

The first foundation certificate and the other documents were burnt in a great fire which destroyed the city ca. 1400. The privileges and rights were re-granted by King Władysław II Jagiełło in 1404. The city walls were built during the reign of King Casimir III, and after the great fire they were rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. During the reign of Casimir III, many expelled German Jews from the Holy Roman Empire immigrated to the town, which grew to have one of the largest Jewish settlements in the kingdom.

Between 1354 and 1567 the city held general assemblies of Polish knights, and general or elective meetings of the Polish Sejm (during the latter Polish kings of the Jagiellon dynasty were elected there). It was in the city of Piotrków that the Polish Parliament was given its final structure with the division into Upper House and Lower Chamber in 1493. King John I Albert published his "Piotrków privilege" on May 26 1493, which expanded the privileges of the szlachta at the expense of the bourgeoisie and the peasantry.

Piotrków became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. When the seat of the Parliament was moved to Warsaw, the town became the seat of the highest court of Poland, the Royal Tribunal, and trials were held there from 1578-1793; the highest Lithuanian court was held in Hrodna (Grodno). Piotrków's Jewish population was expelled in 1578 and only allowed back a century later. The town became a post station in 1684. Ca. 1705, German settlers (often Swabians) arrived in the town's vicinity and founded villages; they largely retained their customs and language until 1945.

While the importance of Piotrków in the political life of the country had contributed to its development in the 16th century, the city declined in the 17th and 18th centuries, due to fires, epidemics, wars against Sweden, and finally the Partitions of Poland.

Modern history

In 1793, the Kingdom of Prussia annexed the town in the Second Partition of Poland and administered it in the Province of South Prussia. During the Napoleonic Wars, Piotrków became part of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-15) and was a district seat in the Kalisz Department. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Piotrków became part Congress Poland, a puppet state of the Russian Empire. The town was made the seat of an oblast.

When the Warsaw-Vienna railway was built in 1846, there was a slight increase in the economic and industrial development of Piotrków. In 1867 Russian authorities formed the Oblast (province) of Piotrków, which included within Łódź, Częstochowa, and the coal fields of Dąbrowa Górnicza and Sosnowiec. The province had the best developed industry of all of Congress Poland until 1914. Many Poles demonstrated and went on strike during the Russian Revolution of 1905.

During World War I, Piotrków was occupied by Austria-Hungary. From 1915-16, it was a centre for Polish patriotic activity. The city was a seat of the Military Department of National Committee, and headquarters for the Polish Legions, which were voluntary troops organized by Józef Piłsudski, Władysław Sikorski, and others to fight against Russia. Piotrków was made part of the Second Polish Republic following the defeat of the Central Powers in the war.

In the interwar period, Piotrków was the capital of Piotrków County in the Łódź Voivodeship, and it lost its previous importance. In 1938 the town had 51,000 inhabitants, including 25,000 Jews and 1,500 Germans. The town had a large Jewish settlement and a thriving Hebrew printing and publishing industry until the Holocaust.

During the invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II, Piotrków was the setting for fierce fighting between the Polish 19th Infantry Division and the 16th Panzer Corps of the German Wehrmacht on September 5 1939. The town was occupied by Nazi Germany for the following six years.

Piotrków had the first ghetto for Jews in occupied Poland, built as early as October 1939. Approximately 25,000 people from Piotrków and the nearby towns and villages were imprisoned there. During the Holocaust 22,000 were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, while 3,000 were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps.

From the first months of the war, Piotrków was a centre for underground resistance. Since the spring of 1940, it was the seat of the district headquarters of the Armia Krajowa, or Home Army. In the summer of 1944, the 25th infantry regiment of the Home Army was formed in the district; it was the biggest military unit of the Łódź Voivodeship, and it fought against Germans until November 1944. In the city and in the district, there were also other partisan groups: Military Troops (connected with the Polish Socialist Party), People's Guard and People's Army (Polish Workers 'Party), Peasants' Battalions (Polish People's Party), National Military Organization and National Armed Forces (National Party).

On January 18, 1945, the Soviet Red Army entered the city, dislodging the German troops. Anti-communist partisans continued to fight in the vicinity in the following years. From 1949-70, Piotrków was built into an industrial center.

Piotrków was the capital of the district, within the Łódź Voivodeship, until 1975. Then, following the changes in the administrative division of the country, the city became the capital of the new Piotrków Voivodeship, thus regaining the status of an important administrative, educational and cultural centre of Poland. In 1999, the Piotrków Voivodeship was dissolved and Piotrków became the capital of Piotrków County within the Łódź Voivodeship.


* Piotrcovia Piotrków Trybunalski - women's handball team playing in Polish Ekstraklasa Women's Handball League: 2nd place in 2006/2007 season.
* Concordia Piotrków Trybunalski - men's football team playing in 3rd league: 3rd place in 2006/2007 season.
* Focus Park - Kiper Piotrków Trybunalski - men's Handball in Poland team playing in Polish Ekstraklasa Men's Handball League : 5th place in 2006/2007 season.

Educational institutions

* Wyższa Szkoła Handlowa
* Wyższa Szkoła Kupiecka in Łódź, branch in Piotrków
* Akademia Świętokrzyska in Kielce, branch in Piotrków


Piotrków Trybunalski/Skierniewice constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Piotrkow/Skierniewice constituency

* Antoni Macierewicz, PiS
* Dariusz Seliga, PiS
* Krzysztof Maciejewski, PiS
* Robert Telus, PiS
* Elżbieta Radziszewska, PO
* Włodzimierz Kula, PO
* Jacek Zacharewicz, PO
* Stanisław Witaszczyk, PSL
* Artur Ostrowski, LiD

Notable residents

* Ernestine Rose (1810-1892), feminist writer
* Chaim Elozor Wax (1822-1887) famous rabbi
* Stefan Rowecki (1895-1944), general
* Yisrael Meir Lau (born 1937), rabbi
* Wioletta Janowska (born 1977), runner

Twin cities and partnerships

Twin towns:
* - Esslingen am Neckar (1992 r.)
* - Maladzyechna (1996 r.)
* - Rivne (1997 r.)
* - Velenje (1998 r.)
* - Mosonmagyaróvár (2001 r.)
* - Marijampolė (2002 r.)
* - Vienne, Isère (2005 r.)
* - Neath Port Talbot (2007 r.)

* - Udine
* - Schiedam

Image gallery

External links

* [http://www.piotrkow.pl/portal.php?lang=en Official website]
* [http://www.astrojawil.pl/piotr_zab.htm Photos] pl icon
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&ll=51.411199,19.69047&spn=0.050858,0.11707&t=k Satellite image]

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