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Trip Planner Europe  /  Poland  /  Central Poland  /  Swietokrzyskie Province  /  Kielce

Kielce

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Geologic Formations · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Kielce is a city in south central Poland with 199,475 inhabitants. It is also the capital city of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Holy Cross Voivodeship) since 1999, previously in Kielce Voivodeship (1919 - 1939, 1945 - 1998). The city is located in the middle of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Holy Cross Mountains), at the banks of the Silnica River, in northern part of the historical Polish province of Lesser Poland.The history of Kielce dates back over 900 years and the exact date when the town was founded remains unknown. The name of the city derives from the migrating Celts, who once stopped here during their journey across the European continent. The area was later inhabited at the beginning of the 11th century by hunters and beekeepers, who bartered the fruit of their work for seed grain. It was then that a marketplace was established, where forest products were exchanged for agricultural produce. At the turn of the 12th century, the bishops of Kraków became the owners of the settlement and began constructing a castle on a nearby hill. Under the influence of Vincent Kadłubek, a parish school was established in the town. Kielce was mentioned in medieval documents for the first time in 1212 and obtained a city charter sometime before the year 1295. In the 13th century, Tatar raids on Poland destroyed the city completely, but it was soon rebuilt and surrounded by a high defensive wall, equipped with firing slots for archers.
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