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The district of Piaseczno was established upon 1 July 1952, as one of four districts into which the district of Warsaw was divided. The towns of Piaseczno and Skolimów-Konstancin, as well as the communes of Falenty, Jeziorna and Lesznowola from the former district of Warsaw were incorporated into the district of Piaseczno. The district covered also Góra Kalwaria with the communes of Czersk, Głosków, Jazgarzew, Kąty, Sobików and Wola Wągrodzka, which had formerly belonged to the district of Grójec, as well as the commune of Mroków from the district of Grodzisk Mazowiecki (former district of Błonie). The district was dissolved after the administrative reform of 31 May 1975 and re-established in its former shape excluding the commune of Raszyn upon 1 January 1999.

Czersk is the oldest town in the district. It was conferred civic rights around the middle of the 14th century, which was confirmed in 1386, but lost them in 1869. Piaseczno has civic rights since 1429, Tarczyn – since 1353, while Góra Kalwaria - since 1670. Skolimów-Konstancin became a city in 1952, while Jeziorna - in 1962. Both towns have constituted one city called Konstancin-Jeziorna since 1 January 1969.

Until 1526, the current territory of the district of Piaseczno belonged to the Duchy of Masovia and later it was incorporated into the Masovian Voivodship of the Kingdom of Poland. Until 1795, the northern part of the district belonged to the land of Warsaw and the southern to the land of Czersk (the border was marked along the Jeziorka River) and the districts (court territorial division at that time) of Czersk, Tarczyn and Warsaw.

Czersk, the capital town of the land, was the centre of court meetings called assizes. Assemblies of nobility also took place in the town. Czersk courts, including the court archives, were moved to Góra by Prussians after the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 and the Court of Peace for the district of Czersk was established. Piaseczno and other towns within the district of Warsaw were under the jurisdiction of the Court of Peace for the City of Warsaw. The Court of Peace was moved from Góra to Grójec in 1845.

Before the partitions, the parishes of the southern part of Masovia belonged to the diocese of Poznań (archdeaconry of Masovia), while after 1798, they were incorporated into the newly established diocese of Warsaw. Currently, the territories of the district are in the deaconries of Czersk, Konstancin and Piaseczno within the archdiocese of Warsaw.

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Czersk and Piaseczno, as well as the neighbouring villages, constituted so-called non-city starosties, belonging to the royal property and leased to starosts. The villages of Jeziorna and Okrzeszyn lied within the borders of the starosty of Warsaw. In the years 1670-1795, the town of Góra was a church town, belonging to the Bishops of Poznań and called Nowa Jerozolima (New Jerusalem). All the remaining towns belonged to the nobility.

In the years 1796-1814, Piaseczno belonged to the district of Warsaw, while Czersk and Góra in the district of Czersk with the seat in Grójec. In 1815, all those towns were incorporated into the province of Warsaw and in 1842 – into the district of Warsaw. Such division prevailed until 1867. In the years 1867-1879, Góra Kalwaria was the capital of the district of Góra Kalwaria, while later it was incorporated into the district of Grójec. The remaining towns lied within the borders of the districts of Grójec, Warsaw and Błonie.

In the 19th century, state (formerly: royal) property management authorities – National Economies in Lesznowola and Potycz. Czersk, Piaseczno and Góra became state (national) cities.

After the January Uprising, the tzar government annulled the civic rights of Piaseczno in 1869 and of Góra Kalwaria in 1883. Both towns were conferred civic rights again by the German administration during the German occupation of Poland in 1916. Upon a tzar’s ukase (proclamation) of 1864, serfdom was abolished and villeins were granted the right to own the land they cultivated, which led to the reduction of great land properties of the nobility.

Since the Middle Ages, the territory that currently constitutes the district of Piaseczno was crossed by two communication routes: from Warsaw through Jeziorna to Czersk and from Warsaw through Piaseczno to Warka with a branch leading to Czersk (so-called the Warka Route). In the second decade of the 19th century, the state route to Puławy (since 1845 referred to as the Route of New Alexandria) was led. The contemporary street named Puławska used to be a part of this route. With the introduction of the new route, the Warka Route lost its importance and became a local road.

In the town of Góra, called Góra Kalwaria since 1867, there was a military unit since the beginning of the Congress Poland until 2001. Numerous military formations were stationed there and in the second decade of the 20th century, it was also the seat of the Central School of Border Guard.

For centuries, handicraft, farming and trade were the most common activities of the local citizens. There were watermills along the Jeziorka River. In 1760, a grain/paper mill was built in Jeziorna, which later developed into a paper factory. There were also breweries, distilleries and brick kilns, satisfying the needs of the local market.

On the turn of the 20th century, narrow gauge railroad lines were constructed, leading from Warsaw to several destination places, including the line to Góra Kalwaria, preserved until today and included on the list of historic objects and the line to Piaseczno through Grójec to Nowe Miasto nad Pilicą in the district of Grójec, of the length of 72 km (regular passenger rail transport was suspended in 1991, while the rail transport of goods – in 1996).

In the 20th century, in the current territory of the district of Piaseczno, two new railway lines were constructed: Warsaw - Radom - Krakow in 1934 and Skierniewice - Łuków (with the bridge on the Vistula River in Góra Kalwaria) in 1953.

The towns and cities of the district were seriously devastated during the Swedish Deluge (the castle in Czersk was destroyed), the Great Northern War in the beginning of the 18th century and the Kościuszko Uprising. The greatest battle in the history of this land, which did not end with a victory of any of the armies, was the battle of Gołków between the Polish and the Russian army on 9-10 July 1794.

Heavy fights took place in this area also during World War I. In all parts of the district, there are numerous military cemeteries with graves of soldiers killed in battles between Russia and Germany in the fall of 1914 and in summer 1915.

The territories that currently constitute the district of Piaseczno suffered losses and damages also during World War II. During the September Campaign (the invasion of Poland in 1939), both Polish and German armies moved through this area. In the fall of the 1940, local Jews were imprisoned in ghettos in Piaseczno and Góra Kalwaria. In February 1941, all Jews were moved to the Warsaw Ghetto and their place was taken by Polish families displaced by the Nazis from the region of Pomerania, which was incorporated into the Reich. The Forests of Chojnów was used as a refuge by partisan units and as a subsidiary base during the Warsaw Uprising. There are numerous monuments and plates commemorating the tragic episodes of the war.

Among the most important historic sites and monuments in the district, there are ruins of the castle in Czersk of the 15th century, churches in Piaseczno, Góra Kalwaria, Prażmów and Słomczyn, town halls in Piaseczno and Góra Kalwaria, 19th-century manor houses, e.g. in Piaseczno - Chyliczki, Głosków, Wola Gołkowska, Brześce, Turowice, Obory, Prażmów and Wola Prażmowska, windmills in Linin and Łęg, the oldest Roman Catholic cemeteries in Piaseczno and Góra Kalwaria, Jewish cemeteries in Piaseczno and Góra Kalwaria, the old paper factory in Konstancin - Jeziorna, several villas in Piaseczno – Zalesie Dolne, Konstancin – Jeziorna and Zalesie Górne. Czersk is particularly interesting for its well-preserved medieval urban arrangement.

Until the Partitions of Poland, the territory of the current district of Piaseczno belonged to the Masovian Voivodship. In the years 1796-1806, it belonged to the Warsaw department within the province of Southern Prussia and remained within the Warsaw department in the period of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807 – 1814). In the years 1815-1837, it belonged to the Masovian Voivodship within the Congress Poland, in the years 1837-1845 – to the Masovian governorate (guberniya) and in the years 1845-1915 – to the Warsaw governorate. In the period of German occupation of Poland during World War I (1915-1918), the territory was incorporated into the Warsaw General Governorate. Between the wars, it belonged to the Warsaw Voivodship and during World War II – to the Warsaw district of the General Governorate. Between 1945 and 1975, the territory was a part of the Warsaw Voivodship and in the years 1975 – 1998 – the Voivodship of the Capital City of Warsaw. Since the beginning of 1999, the district of Piaseczno has been the part of the Masovian Voivodship.

Ewa Bagieńska & Włodzimierz Bagieński

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