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Brzostek [ˈbʐɔstɛk] is a town in Dębica County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, south-eastern Poland (historic province of Lesser Poland). It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Brzostek. The town has a population of 2,597 (02.06.2009). It lies on the Wisłoka river, in the foothills of the Carpathians, approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) south of Dębica and 46 km (29 mi) west of the regional capital Rzeszów. Brzostek is a local center of education and commerce.
Brzostek gained its Magdeburg rights in 1367, but first documented mentions of the town come from 1123-1125, when a list of possessions of the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec was created. Among a number of villages specified in the document, there is Brzostek (spelt Brestek). For centuries Brzostek remained a small town, frequently destroyed in numerous wars and conflicts. In 1657 the town was burned by the forces of the Transylvanian prince George II Rákóczi, who invaded Poland earlier in the year.
On 18 February 1846 the Galician peasant revolt started in the town (see Jakub Szela), and in the second half of the 19th century, Ignacy Łukasiewicz opened his pharmacy here. In 1934 Brzostek lost its town status, as its population was under 3,000, too small to be officially called a town. Its Jewish population was murdered by the Germans in the Holocaust, Brzostek itself was destroyed during World War II in 65%. It regained the town status on 1 January 2009.Among points of interest there are 18th and 19th-century houses in the market square, roadside chapels (18th and 19th centuries), a Classicistic church (1818), and World War I military cemeteries.
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