Łęczna 2011-05-23
Łęczna District – covering the picturesque terrains in the junction of the Wieprz and Świnka

Łęczna District – covering the picturesque terrains in the junction of the Wieprz and Świnka – it is a gate leading to the Łęczna-Włodawa Lake District. Łęczna, located within this area, is the only town in the Łęczna county. Within the district there is – reaching from Łańcuchów to Zawieprzyce – the so called Łęczna gorge of the Wieprz, the most enchanting part of Nadwieprzański Landscape Park, considered as one of the most beautiful spots in the Lubelszczyzna as far as the landscape is concerned.
The town of Łęczna is the capital of the Łęczna county, the seat for the district and county authorities. The first mentions about Łęczna come from 1350. In 1467, thanks to the castellan of Cracow, Jan of Tęczyn, king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk granted the village on the river Wieprz a town charter – according to the Magdeburg law. Simultaneously, it was also granted the royal privilege to organize two fairs. From that time the town developed rapidly. Th e development was possible due to an attractive location at the intersection of trade routes leading from the areas behind the Bug and the Chełm region to Lublin, but also thanks to the navigable Wieprz. Probably at the beginning of the 16th century a castle was built on the edge of the cliff , at both the Wieprz and the mouth of the Świnka. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries new owners – the Noskowski family – were bestowed with a privilege for another two fairs by king Stefan Batory, which resulted in further development of the town. Th ousands of sellers, merchants and middle men came to these fairs from all over Europe. Trade and craft boom as well as spatial development made the town one of the most important urban centres in the province. Th e trace of its old glamour is an unusual architectonical structure of the old town with three markets. The political situation of the country (wars besetting the Polish Republic from the middle of the 17th century, and next the loss of independence), new trade routes and frequent fi res contributed to the demise of the town.
In the 20th century Łęczna, with circa 3,000 inhabitants, was one of many agriculture and trade towns in the Lubelszczyzna. Only in the 1960s, when Professor Jan Samsonowicz discovered the deposits of hard coal in the vicinity of Łęczna, a new stage in the history of the town began. In 1975 the fi rst mine was built, and Łęczna was chosen to be the capital of the developing Lublin Coal Basin. Today Łęczna is a town with over 20,000 inhabitants, the seat of many offi ces, a regional trade and service centre.

St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Łęczna was built in 1618-1631 in the style of late Renaissance. Its founder was the then squire Adam Noskowski, and the builder – most probably Jan Wolff – the leading builder of the Zamość entail. The temple is in the shape of a cross, with one nave. One presbytery is lower and narrower than the nave. Th ere are also two rectangular chapels – on the northern and southern sides. Inside the church there are fi ve Baroque altars, including the main altar with Rococo elements, monumental paintings and sculptures. In both chapels fragments of Renaissance stuccowork have been preserved, and under the church – a crypt in which some of the Łęczna squires from the Noskowski and Firlej families were buried.

Church belfry – built after 1781 and before 1805 – made of brick, on a quadrangle plan, features of the late Baroque style. In 1805 it had four bells. During wars they were taken by the Russians and the Germans. In 1959 the belfry was equipped with three new bells, the fourth one was installed seven years later.
The building of an old presbytery – wooden, with the decorations in the Swiss style – coming from circa 1858.

The mansioners’ house – late Baroque, made of brick – originally for the mansioners. In 1930 the Polish type of roof replaced with the mansard one. Th e halls have barrel and cross vaults. Nowadays the building serves as a presbytery.

Great Synagogue was built in the middle of the 17th century. In the middle part there is built on a square plan a brick bema, with four Tuscan columns on which there are semicircular arches and a two-storey retable. By the eastern wall a two-column altar has been preserved, which was used to keep the rolls of aron-ha-kodesz. Since 1966 the synagogue has been a seat for the Regional Museum, which exhibits e.g. the mementos after the Jews inhabiting Łęczna till the Second World War. In the 16th and 17th centuries the local Jewish community was the second biggest one in the Lublin province. In the 19th centur y a Hasidic tzaddik Szlomo Jehuda Leib, called Łęczner, lived and worked here.

Minor Synagogue – called the House of Prayer or a Jewish school – built of stone and brick at the beginning of the 19th century. Since 1993 it has been the seat for the Civic and District Public Library. Out of the old equipment there is only a stone basin for ritual hands’ washing, on the western wall.

Town Hall – built at the end of the 19th centur y – originally destined to be a guard house. It is an example of a classicistic building. Made of brick, on a rectangular plan, plastered, one-storey, double-tract. In the facade there is a four-column portico with a triangle top. Since 1971 the seat of the Registry Office.

Inns located in 26 and 37 3. Maja St. and 18 and 26 Kanałowy Square are the remnants of the19th century architecture from the splendour of the town fairs. Wooden, with hip roofs, with a huge inn hall – amounting to the third of the whole surface of the house – during fairs they served as accommodation.

The house with the arcades in 4 Krasnostawska St. – made of brick, on a rectangular plan, double-tract; built in the middle of the 19th century.

Mansion and park complex in Podzamcze is located on a high hill, by the mouth of the Świnka, fl owing to the Wieprz. There used to be a fortifi ed castle but, unfortunately, no visible traces are left after it. Th e park was founded probably in the 17th century. It covers the area of circa 8ha and has almost 2 thousand trees. Some of them are registered as nature monuments. In the park there is a 19th century rebuilt mansion and, next to it, an outbuilding as well as the remnants of farm buildings. A tourist attraction is “Łęczna Dinosaur Valley” situated nearby, by the road to Kijany.

Hill “Brick Pillar” is located circa 2.5km to the southeast of the town (exit in the ravine from the road Łęczna –Ciechanki Łańcuchowskie). Th ere is a view from there onto one of the most beautiful spots of Nadwieprzański Landscape
Park. Loess slopes of the old Wieprz valley with a big inclination – bent in the shape of a horseshoe – favour steppe plants,
unique on a country scale.
“Turkish Wall” is located at the foot of the hill “Brick Pillar”. Among vast marshy terrains a distinct line of a dyke is visible.
According to the tradition, it was built by the Turkish prisoners-of-war who came here with Stanisław Druszkiewicz
(Jan III Sobieski’s colonel and the owner of the estate in Łańcuchów) after the battle of Vienna. Th e dyke goes towards the
forest and links the hill with two ponds called by the locals Endless and Forest Pools.
“Granary Mountain” is situated in Kol. Nowogród, circa 2km to the west of Łęczna, by the road Łęczna – Kijany. Ages
ago there was a granary for the cereal destined for sale. It was built near the Wieprz, which enabled the cereal transport
by the river. Ludwin District. The northern part of the district lies within the Łęczna Lake District Landscape Park and its surroundings