Daleszyce [dalɛˈʂɨt͡sɛ] (listen) is a town in Kielce County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Poland, with 2,800 inhabitants (2006). It became a town at the start of 2007. Daleszyce lies among the hills of the Malopolska Upland, in the historic province of Lesser Poland. The area of the town is 15,50 km2., and due to proximity to Kielce, it is served by buses of Kielce Transit System. Origins of its name are not known, probably Daleszyce was named after its founder, a man named Dalesz or Dalech.
First mention of Daleszyce comes from Jan Długosz’s chronicle Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae. Długosz wrote that in 1222, Bishop of Kraków Iwo Odrowąż funded St. Michael church here, which means that the village must have existed before that year. Daleszyce was located near two merchant routes - east-west (from Sandomierz and Opatów to Wieluń and Opole), and south-north (from Wiślica and Nowy Korczyn to Sieradz and Piotrków). In 1241, after the Battle of Chmielnik (see Mongol invasion of Poland), Daleszyce was burned, together with the church.
During the reign of King Kazimierz Wielki, Daleszyce, which was property of Bishops of Kraków, remained a village, but it had a parish church, which elevated its status. In 1569, Bishop Filip Padniewski received from King Zygmunt August permission to grant Magdeburg rights to the village of Daleszyce, located in Chęciny County, Sandomierz Voivodeship. The new town was given a coat of arms, and its market square was expanded, with streets stemming from it. The 16th century shape of town’s center has not changed since then. Daleszyce had a town hall and a local government, together with a wójt. Every Tuesday there was a fair, and bishop Padniewski allowed town’s residents to collect timber in nearby woods. Daleszyce was a trade center of local importance, there also were artisans, such as blacksmiths, tailors, butchers and potters. Furthermore, the town had a brick manufacture, two water mills and open pit iron ore mine.
Daleszyce prospered until the mid-17th century, when, during the Deluge, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was invaded by the Swedish Empire. During the siege of Chęciny, the invaders ransacked and burned Daleszyce, and the town never recovered from the destruction. In the 18th century, Daleszyce remained a poor town, with most houses made of timber, as it was the cheapest building material. After the Partitions of Poland, Daleszyce briefly belonged to the Austrian Empire, and in 1815, it became part of Russian-controlled Congress Poland. In 1820, the town had 232 houses and 1270 inhabitants, and its role as a local trade center was taken over by the quickly developing nearby city of Kielce. Since the mid 19th century, the number of Jews grew, and in 1894, a wooden synagogue was built. Daleszyce officially remained a town, but it looked like a large village.
Residents of Daleszyce took active role in January Uprising, forming a local unit under Wawrzyniec Cedro. They camped in a nearby forest, where graves of the 1860s Polish rebels can still be found. In 1865, as a punishment, Tsar Alexander II stripped Daleszyce of its town charter, and imposed a fine on the village. In the Second Polish Republic, Daleszyce remained a poor village, without industry, and located away from railroads. Unemployment was common, and jobs scarce in the overpopulated region. In 1932, street fighting erupted after a police officer killed a local resident. On September 5, 1939, first Wehrmacht units entered Daleszyce, burning 20% of houses. During the Holocaust, almost all Jews were murdered by Germans, and the occupiers executed a number of Poles, including whole families.
During World War II, Daleszyce was an important center of Polish resistance. Local Home Army platoon was part of Kielce’s 4th Home Army Legions Infantry Regiment. Its members took an oath at Daleszyce’s market square (August 9, 1944), singing Polish anthem together with residents. After the oath, Home Army units headed towards Warsaw, to help in Warsaw Uprising, but were halted by the Wehrmacht. On August 26, 1944, whole village was burned to the ground by the Germans and their Ukrainian collaborators, while residents ran away to the forests
Daleszyce was rebuilt in the late 1940s. It remained a village until January 1, 2007.
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