More about Kielce

Although the exact date of the city's origins remain ambiguous, archeological research has established that Kielce came into existence as small settlement that rapidly developed as a trade centre of ancient years. Hunters and bee keepers, living in prehistoric forests of the Swietokrzyskie region are known to have bartered furs and meat for grain and other products.

The beginning of Kielce can be traced to a popular legend that goes back to the days of Mieszko, the son of Boleslaw Smialy. In pursuit of game, Mieszko chanced upon the region that is present day Kielce and the tired Prince decided to to rest there for a while. It is said that he regained his strenght on the banks of a small river Silnica (sila stands for strength) and when he happened to catch sight of a pair of boar tusks (kiel in Polish), where he was resting he decided to christen it Kielce. Thus the city of Kielce was born. Today at the site where he rested, is a famouse landmark, renowned with a fortress that houses a famous church. Still others claim that Kielce owes its ancestry to the Kelts (Celts), who made a stop in the region, while wandering through Europe.

During the Second World War, Kielce was known to be an important centre of resistance. In fact the main part of the defenders of Westerplatte, and also the armored brigade of General Stanislaw Maczek, who was the last commander of the First Polish Army Corps under the Allied Army, were from Kielce and is surrounding areas. Like every Polish city, the Jews of Kielce too were severely persecuted during the war. Sadly, the few survivors who remained fled the town after the massacre of the Kielce pogrom.