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By Pogranicze Media
Published: 20.06.2015

Bastion No. 1
   From among
the seven bastions in Zamość fortress Bastion No. 1 was the least lucky. First Russians destroyed it when  liquidating the fortress. Then in 1916 Austrians cut it in half while laying the rails of a new railway line from Zamość to Hrubieszów. The line is still used, which makes it impossible to rebuild the bastion. However, between 2007 and 2009 the wall of the casemate and a fragment of the orillion adjacent to the bastion as well as a 70-m section of the curtain wall with embrasures were reconstructed.

The curtain wall
- which joins Bastions No. 6 and 7 was blown up during the liquidation of the fortress. At the turn of the 1970s and 1980s the section of the curtain wall between Bastion No. 7 and the postern was reconstructed. Originally,  the curtain wall was an earth embankment faced with brick on the side of the moat. In the 19th century a firing gallery with a row of vertical embrasures was built inside the curtain wall. An Underground Tourist Route leads along the gallery. In front of the postern there are walls of the caponize with semicircular passages and longitudinal openings - remains of locks which regulated the level of water in the ditch. The caponier was used to defend the moat and supported an overpass which joined the postern to the opposite bank of the moat; it also joined the fortress to the area in front of it.

Entrenchment of Bastion No. 7
   The entrenchment is a monumental, two-storey edifice, made from red brick with masonry arcades, rustications and friezes and stone frames of windows and passages. Instead of a roof the building is covered with earth embankment and water is carried away from the building by means of stone gargoyles. The entrenchment was built between 1825 and  1830 in the gorge of Bastion No. 7. In times of peace the building housed barracks and during a siege it became a powerful battery emplacement with embrasures on both floors. Guns were additionally placed on the embankment on top of the entrenchment. Semicircular shape of the building (its concavity faces the bastion) made it possible for the garrison to concentrate the fire on the area in front of the fortress, which constituted the so-called “dead ground” before. The interior of the building on both floors is divided with a corridor into two rows of rooms.
   At present the entrenchment houses several shops, a restaurant and an exhibition. The main gate of the entrenchment leads to the plateau of Bastion No. 7 and the guns placed there remind visitors about the military nature of the building.
   The Underground Tourist Route leads along the firing galleries, casemates and secret passages under the curtain wall and the entrenchment (description under a bookmark entitled “Interesting places in Zamość”).

The Town Hall
   The massive edifice of the Town Hall dominates the Rynek. Its contemporary silhouette, with a 52-m tower and monumental fan-shaped double  stairway date back to the second half of the 18th century. Although it seems to be a perfect structure, the left-hand side of the facade is 130 cm wider than the right-hand side. The difference is so skillfully concealed that only a very careful observer can notice it. In summer, at noon a trumpeter plays a bugle call from the Town Hall tower only towards three directions of the world. Apparently, Jan Zamoyski did not like Krakow and forbade his trumpeters to play the bugle call in the direction of this town.
   The Town Hall was and still is the seat of the town council and on the ground floor there is
Tourist Information Centre in Zamość.

The Cathedral of Lord’s Resurrection and St. Thomas the Apostle
   Zamość Cathedral is one of the most magnificent Polish temples. It was designed by Bernardo Morando and founded by Jan Zamoyski as the
 Hetman’s votive offering for his numerous victories; soon the church became the center of religious life in Zamość Estate. Successive Entailers pledged allegiance to the Statute of the Entail, their funerals took place here and soon the temple became the Zamoyski family’s mausoleum. The church performed the same function in “Zamość State” and the Wawel Cathedral in the Republic of Poland.
   The church was built between 1587 and 1598 but decoration work was finished in 1630. The only major alteration took place between 1824 and 1826, when at the order of Russian Grand Duke Constantine, many ornaments, including the Zamoyski family’s coat-of-arms and inscriptions pointing to a votive nature of the temple were removed.
   Although from the outside the Cathedral seems to be squat, the inside strikes with slender proportions. The central nave of the three nave basilica is decorated with magnificent, sculptured entablature. 85 rosettes, each featuring a different pattern, were placed between the trusses of the protruding cornice. It is said that the stoneworker who made them bet that each rosette would be different. However, when it turned out that two rosettes had the same pattern and he lost the bet, he hacked off the one which was at fault. You can get an A for perceptiveness if you find the empty space where it once was.
   In the Baroque high altar, built between 1783 and 1785, there is a painting featuring St. Thomas the Apostle, the patron of the church standing before Christ Arisen. The silver Rococo tabernacle, one of the most magnificent tabernacles in Poland, was made by goldsmiths from Wrocław. At the top of the tabernacle there is the same scene as in the painting in the high altar. Four huge paintings from the 17th century on side walls of the presbytery present scenes from the life and martyr’s death of the patron of the church.
   Above the richly-ornamented organ gallery there is 25-voice organ founded by the fifteenth Entailer Maurycy Zamoyski in1895.
   Out of the eight Cathedral chapels the Chapel of the Zamoyski Family situated to the right of the presbytery is the most interesting one. In its floor
 there is a tombstone of the founder Jan Zamoyski and near it a gravestone made from white Carrara marble, dedicated to the fourteenth Entailer Tomasz Stanisław Zamoyski. Full-size paintings on the walls of the chapel feature gray-haired Jan Zamoyski and his son Tomasz and were painted by Wojciech Gerson. The ceiling of the chapel is decorated with Baroque stuccoes made by John Baptist Falconi in 1635.
   Next to the entrance to the chapel there is a metal floor door with an inscription which reads: Fundatoribus Grata Memoria (To Founders with Grateful Thanks). The door leads to Entailers’ crypt, where all Entailers and their family members were buried.
   Baroque Cathedral bell tower was built between 1760 and 1775 according to Jerzy de Kawe’s design. It is 47 m high being only 5 m shorter than the Town Hall tower. In summer, when the tower is available to visitors, they can see a view of the town and its vicinity from the top as well as three bells named Wawrzyniec, Tomasz and Jan kept in the tower. The Jan bell weighs 4.3 tons and belongs to the largest bells in Poland.
   On the other side of the Cathedral there is infułatka, the house of Zamość deans with a beautiful, richly-ornamented portal. On the first floor of the building there is
The Religious Art Museum.

Armenian houses
   They are the most beautiful and the best-preserved tenement houses of Zamość townspeople.
   The Wilczek House
is closest to the Town Hall. It was named after Jan Wilczek, a town counselor. Most of its decorations are located on the corner. The decorations placed on  the side of the house facing the Rynek feature John the Baptist, the saint patron of the owner, baptising Christ. Below there is Zamość coat of arms, i.e. St. Thomas the Apostle holding three spears and still lower the coat of arms of Stanisław Koniecpolski, who ruled Zamość for a few years. Low-reliefs facing the Town Hall feature the Immaculate Conception of Mother of God, St. John the Evangelist, the second patron saint of the owner and a cartouche with initials IWRZ /Jan Wilczek Zamość Counselor/. Apparently, the owner wanted to make sure everybody knew whose house it was as he placed his initials on this wall as many as four times.
   The second building, called
the Rudomicz House, belonged to a lawyer, physician, writer as well as professor and rector of the Zamojska Academy, Bazyli Rudomicz. He was the author of an extensive journal in which he described the life of 17th century Zamość.
   The next richly ornamented building is Under the Angel House
. Its name comes from a low-relief featuring archangel Gabriel. Above the likeness of the archangel, among the grapevine, there is an image of a dragon and two lions, leaning on their hind legs. The dragon symbolized evil and the lions were supposed to protect inhabitants of the house from it.
   The name of the fourth house -
Under the Married Couple House
- comes from a low-relief placed on the façade, which features a man and a woman. Legend has it that the owner of the house could not stand the company of his quarrelsome wife. When all his appeals for peace proved ineffective, he accused her of practicing witchcraft. As a result, she was burnt at the stake. Hence, a puckish smile on the stony man’s face. This is probably only a legend; nevertheless, many women accused of practicing witchcraft were in fact executed in Zamość. For example, in 1664 six townswomen were first tortured and then sentenced to death at the stake for practicing witchcraft. Finally, the sentence was mitigated and they were beheaded.
   The last of the five splendid houses topped with a parapet is
Under the Madonna House. The façade of the house is decorated with a low-relief featuring the Madonna with Baby Jesus treading on a dragon. The upper frames of first-floor windows are richly ornamented and among the numerous motifs there are initials “SS” belonging to Sołtan Sachwelowicz, an Armenian merchant and the founder of the house. At present the Zamojskie Museum
is located in the first four houses and Secondary School of Fine Arts in the fifth.

The St. Kazimierz Tenement House
   In the eastern frontage of the Rynek, adjacent to the
 Grodzka Street, which cuts across the eastern frontage, there are two very interesting tenement houses. Around the second-floor windows of the houses stone decorations have been preserved; they used to be part of the parapets, which topped the houses when they were lower, one-storey houses. The one on the right, called The St. Kazimierz Tenement House is additionally decorated with a sculpture featuring St. Kazimierz. This is how the owner of the house, Zamość alderman, Kazimierz Lubecki, honored his patron saint over 300 years ago.

The Morando House
   The house was named after Bernardo Morando, the author
 of the architectural concept of the town and designer of its most important building, who lived here. Intended to have been a model Zamość house it is distinguished by beautiful proportions, low-reliefs, friezes, rustications above the arcades and an ornamental portal

The Link Tenement House
   What distinguishes the house from other houses situated
 along the western frontage of the Rynek is its red brick elevation. It was given its Baroque appearance at the end of the 17th century by its owner, Jan Michal Link, an artillery major and architect. The fact that the owner was connected with the army is shown by a frieze under the windows which features elements of armor and arms. The facade of the building is decorated with the bust of Roman goddess Minerva, wearing a basinet (left) and that of Hercules, dressed in lion skins (right). Legend has it that Minerva and Hercules were to protect the inhabitants of this Baroque house against Moran do's ghost, which haunted the house because Zamość residents disturbed the Renaissance harmony of the Rynek.

The Wodny Market
   The market owes its name to a close vicinity of a water
 body called Zalewa Wielka, which used to prevent access to the fortress from the south. The market was probably never used as a marketplace. Originally, its shape was that of a square, whose side was 50 m and Moranda Street divided it in half. Tenement houses with arcades inhabited by eminent Zamość residents, such as Jan Zamoyski’s secretary, used to stand here. At present the Wodny Market is a green square with a fountain and the houses which surround it were built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Solny Market
   It is one of the three market squares in Zamość Old Town.
 For many years, till 1942, it had been a marketplace. It owes its name (solny means salt) to salt brought from Wieliczka, Poland and Russia, which was stored in Zamość during the first years of the town’s existence. In the eastern and northern frontages of the Solny Market tenement houses with arcades have been preserved. Unfortunately, their parapets have not survived; they were pulled down in the 19th century. The original decorations of the facades were also destroyed. Only in the so-called Rabbi’s Tenement House situated in the northern frontage, a beautiful frieze with a grapevine motif has been preserved. The Lucerne's and plaster fine patterns on the facades of the other tenement houses are a work of their present owners.

The Synagogue
   Built at the site of a wooden building in 1610 the
 Synagogue was the centre of a former Jewish quarter. Adjacent to the main hall, where, pursuant to Jewish tradition only men prayed, there are two smaller women’s halls. During the Second World War the Nazis vandalised the Synagogue which then housed stables. After the war the southern women’s hall was reconstructed. At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s thorough conservation work was carried out in the building and its parapet was reconstructed. Inside the synagogue a stone Aron ha Kodesh, an altar, where liturgical books were stored, has been preserved. Another preserved element is the polychrome stuccoes on the ceiling and the main wall of the northern women’s hall. The stucco frames were once filled with quotations from the Bible.
   West of the Synagogue there is a house which used to be the seat of kahał, i.e. a Jewish commune. Mykwa, a ritual Jewish bath was once situated in the basement of the tenement house at 5 Zamenhofa Street, a few meters from the Synagogue.

The Church of St. Catherine
- used to be part of a monastic complex of the  Order of the
Reformate and was built between
1680 and 1686, according to Jan Michał Link’s design. After the monastery was dissolved as a result of implementation of the so-called Josephine reforms, it was pulled down and the church was converted into a military storehouse. Stripped off its ornaments the building was converted into a theatre after 1918. In 1922 it was given back to the Church and after a major refurbishment it became the Church of St. Catherine. For the first three months of WW II a famous painting by Matejko entitled “The Prussian Homage” was hidden in church vaults never to be found by the Nazis. The church has undergone a major repair recently; as a result it has regained its former appearance.
   Inside the church there is a Baroque painting of the patron saint of the temple from the first half of the 18th century, which was brought here from a wooden church of St. Catherine once located in Przedmieście Lubelskie Street.

Church, monastery and hospital of the Knights Hospitallers
   It was built between 1756 and 1773 and founded by the
 Ninth Entailer Jan Jakub Zamoyski. In 1784 Zamość Knights Hospitallers suffered the same fate as Saint Clare sisters, Franciscans and members of the Order of the Reformat, i.e. their monastery was closed down. For some time the building housed the “Pod Karpiem” inn, hence the common name of the building is “Podkarpie”. In the one-storey, four-wing building with a yard inside the southeastern corner stands out a little; this part housed the Knights Hospitallers’ monastery once.
   At present the former church, monastery and hospital house flats.

The Franciscan Church
- used to be the largest temple in Zamość and one of the
 largest churches in Poland. Its construction started in 1637 and the first Mass was celebrated here eighteen years later. The church was founded by the second Entailer Tomasz Zamoyski and his wife Katarzyna from the Ostrogski family. After the monastery was dissolved in 1784, the church was converted into a military storehouse and then into barracks in 1840. After 1918 the building housed different institutions, such as a museum and the “Stylowy” cinema and a theatre, to name just two. After the war part of the building housed State Secondary Art School. The Church started to make efforts to recover the temple before WW II and finally, in 1993, after two hundred years, Franciscan monks got their original seat back. Unfortunately, alterations carried out in the 19th century mutilated the building significantly. However, the preserved stone elements, the Corinthian pilasters and Baroque portal in the western wall (the former main entrance) in particular remind about the former splendor of the edifice.

The Church of St. Nicholas
- was built between 1618 and 1631, at the site of
 a former Greek Orthodox Church. In view of a close vicinity of fortress walls, the tower of the church was used as an observation deck and a shooting range. The first owners of the church were members of the Russian Orthodox Brotherhood. In 1706 the church was taken over by Basilica monks, in 1865 by Orthodox Christians and since 1917 Roman Catholics have used the church as a place of worship. At first it used to be a school church and since 1934 it has been taken care of by Redemptory's Fathers.
   The church has a very interesting appearance but many alterations made by successive owners have changed its interior so much that very little of its original furnishing has been preserved. In the vestibule there is a Renaissance portal decorated with rosettes and next to it a modest, Baroque stoup made of black marble. The ceiling of the nave and apses is decorated with fine stuccoes.

St. Clare Sisters’ convent and church
   The small, one-nave Baroque church was founded by Anna
 Zamoyska, née Gnińska, the wife of the fourth Entailer Marcin Zamoyski in 1696 and designed by Jan Michal Link. The adjacent three-winged convent was built between 1769 and 1774 and founded by the seventh Entailer Jan Jakub Zamoyski. St. Clare Sisters did not have a chance to use their convent for too long; after the convent was dissolved, the building was taken over by Franciscan monks and then by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1817 the building housed a military hospital. Between the two wars it was a seat of the police.

The Seminary
- was founded in 1640 by Katarzyna Zamoyska, maiden name
 Ostrogska, the wife of Tomasz Zamoyski, the Second Entailer. In 1784 the Seminary was closed down and the building was taken over by the military. At the time of the Congress Kingdom of Poland the building was a seat of the Corps of Engineers, who were engaged in major modernization of Zamość fortress under Jan Mallet-Mallet ski's supervision. The Baroque facade of the building is decorated with six Corinthian pilasters, which bind together the second and the third floor. At present the building houses Higher School of Management and Administration.

The Zamojska Academy
   The former academy is a spacious white building built on a square plan with a roomy yard inside. As a result of successive modifications carried out in the 18th and the 19th centuries the building was deprived of its parapets, portals and window frames whereas the arcades which
 surrounded the yard were walled up. The academy was opened on 15 March 1595 and although it was the third Polish higher education school (the first two being the universities in Krakow and Vilnius) the level of education offered by the academy was higher than in the other two. It was the apple of Jan Zamoyski’s eye had a very good reputation not only in Poland but also in Great Britain, France and Germany. The activity of the academy was closely connected with the activity of the printing house. Unfortunately, the glory days of the academy did not last long. It started to fall into decline in the middle of the 17th century to be finally closed down by Austrian authorities in 1784. Austrians established the Royal Secondary School in the building; the name of the school was later changed to The Zamoyski Family Province School. After Zamość was captured by the troops of the Duchy of Warsaw, the building housed barracks. Soldiers remained in the building till the time when the fortress was closed down permanently in 1866. Then the building housed a school again. During the Nazi occupation of Poland the military police had their seat in the academy. At present the former academy houses three schools: The Jan Zamoyski Secondary School of General Education (since 1916).

The Zamoyski Palace
   It was the residence of Jan Zamoyski, his successors and their families. It was here that the decisions of major importance to the town and the Entail were taken and distinguished guests were received; accounts of these visits describe the affluence of the hetman’s court.
    The construction of the palace started even before the town foundation charter was issued. It was erected between 1579 and 1586, pursuant to Bernardo Moran do's design. Originally, it was much smaller and two-wing stairway led to the first floor of the one-storey building. A view of the town could be seen from the stairs and from the tower, which dominated the palace. It is said that the Great Hetman’s grandson, the Third Entailer Jan Sobiepan Zamoyski liked this view very much, especially when beautiful townswomen chose to take a walk. Those whom he fancied most extended their walk by visiting his bedroom. Nobody really knows whether this was really the case. One thing is certain, though; Sobiepan died of French disease. He was said to love his country and his sword as much as he loved women. It is mainly thanks to his steadfast attitude that during the Swedish Deluge Zamość was not captured by enemy troops; besides Zamość fortress only two other Polish fortresses managed to withstand the invaders.
   Since that time the palace has been modified many times. The biggest alterations were carried out in the 19th century, when the building was converted into a military hospital. Since 1918 the palace has housed the town court.
   In front of the palace there is a monument to Jan Zamoyski.

The Rotunda
   It is a fortification structure built on a circular plan between 1825 and 1831. Originally it was situated on a small island surrounded with
 swamps, 500 m from fortress walls, at the site of an 18th century earthwork, which protected Zamość from the south. External diameter of the circular plan on which the Rotunda was built is 54 m and the diameter of the internal yard is 34 m. The height of external walls of the building is 10 m. The yard was surrounded with 20 cells with embrasures and arcades. The structure was connected to the town by means of a road and the road was protected by embankments and a moat. After the fortress was liquidated in 1866 the internal arcades were walled up and the building was converted into a weapons and ammunition storehouse.
It performed this function till 1939.

The New Lwowska Gate
   It was built in 1820 according to
Jan Paweł Lelewel’s design and took over the function of the Old Lwowska Gate, walled up two years earlier. The  former passage is marked on the Classicist façade. Above the passage there is an initial “AI” of Alexander the First, the then reigning Russian Tsar and king of the Kingdom of Poland. The keystone features a tsarist miter.
   After the fortress was closed down and a street was marked out near the gate, the building performed different functions. From 1919 it housed the first power plant in Zamość for a few years and now it houses the Karol Namysłowski Symphonic Orchestra.

The Old Lwowska Gate
   The gate was built about 1600 and designed by Bernardo Morando. The passage has a tunnel vault and embrasures in the walls, which were
 used for observation and shooting. Masonry finial of the facade is decorated with a low relief featuring the patron saint of the town, St. Thomas with Christ Arisen. On both sides there are cartouches with three crossed spears, i.e. the coat of arms of the Zamoyski family called “Jelita”. An inscription in Latin, situated under the low-relief reads: “Winner of sin, hell and death repel fierce attacks of all our enemies” and another inscription situated below reads: “In the year of Our Lord 1580 the Great Chancellor of the Polish Kingdom started to fortify this place and collect settlers here and gave it the name of ‘Nowy Zamość’.
   Next to the gate there is Łukasiński’s prison cell with a tablet commemorating Walerian Łukasiński, the founder of National Masonry and Patriotic Society, who was kept prisoner in Zamość fortress from 1824 till 1825.

The Szczebrzeska Gate
   The gate was used by travelers heading for Szczebrzeszyn and Kraków and, after the Old Lubelska Gate was walled up, also by those who were
 going to Lublin and Warsaw. It was built between 1603 and 1605 and designed most probably by Bernardo Morando. The Szczebrzeska Gate differed significantly from the remaining two gates since it was a three-axial and two-storey building. After the fortress was closed down in 1866 and a new street was marked out next to the gate, it was walled up. Its passage was opened during a major renovation carried out between 2007 and 2009; a fragment of the adjacent curtain wall with a firing gallery was also reconstructed. The stone and brick external facade is decorated with interesting entablature and the keystone features a tsarist miter.
   East of the gate there are ruins of a flank of Bastion No. 2.
   A small, one-storey Classicist building covered with an embankment overgrown with grass in the car park is a guard house. It was built in 1825. Its brick elevations with a row of embrasures in the western wall, masonry rustications, arcades and gargoyles are very similar to the other fortress facilities erected in Zamość in the second quarter of the 19th century.

The New Lubelska Gate
   It was built between 1821 and 1822 as one of the two gates erected during the modernization of the fortress. From the side of the town the
 passage is supplemented with two smaller arcades, leading to guard rooms. The gate is distinguished by architectural details, with a monumental brick and stone facade. Crude stone blocks form not only the frames of the arcade passage with a mighty keystone but also the beautiful, Doric entablature, which crowns the façade. Oak sprigs carved in stone on the exterior elevation symbolize courage. Above the keystone there are traces of a hacked off initial of Tsar Alexander the First.
   A wooden bridge supported by the remains of a caponize joins the bridge to an earthwork called a raveling, on which there is a monument to King David (description under a bookmark entitled “Monuments”). The gate is joined to the entrenchment by means of a section of a curtain wall reconstructed between 2007 and 2009.

The Old Lubelska Gate
   It was one of the three town gates. Its Mannerist elevation is topped with a low relief featuring a personification of Polonia sitting in a throne.
 On its sides there is an inscription in Latin, edited by Jan Zamoyski, which reads: Welcome, Life-Giving Mother Poland! We should defend you not only with our walls but we should be ready to give you our blood and lives. Welcome, Mother Poland, Star of Nobleness and Freedom. Another inscription placed in a frieze divided with the Zamoyski family’s cartouche reads: “The gate was founded by Jan from Zamość, Chancellor and Great Hetman of the Kingdom of Poland, the chief commander of Polish army”.
   The Old Lubelska Gate has been walled up since the very beginning. Some say that Jan Zamoyski ordered to do it to commemorate the fact that Austrian Archduke Maximilian the Second, a claimant to Polish throne, taken captive by the Hetman during a victorious battle of Byczyna was led through the gate in 1588. Others say that the gate impaired the defensive potential of the fortress. Be that as it may, after the gate was walled up road traffic from Lublin and Warsaw was taken over by the Szczebrzeska Gate and pedestrians had to use the non-existent Janowicka Wicket Gate.
   At the end of the 18th century in order to improve the transportation system in the town the gate was opened. However, after the New Lubelska Gate was built the old gate was walled up again. The passage of the gate was opened and glazed during renovation work carried out between 2007 and 2009. Now the gate houses a restaurant and a gallery.
   Adjacent to the Old Lubelska Gate there is a fragment of a curtain wall with a postern which joins the inside of the fortress to a caponize and a raveling situated below.

The Arsenal
- was built about 1630, most probably according to Andrea dell’Agua’s design. Zamość Arsenal is one of few military buildings of this  type preserved in Poland. At present the 63-m long, white, two-storey edifice houses The ARSENAŁ Museum of Weapons Branch of the Zamojskie Museum (description under the bookmark entitled “Museums”). Opposite the Arsenal, on the other side of Zamkowa Street, there is a red brick building of a former powder magazine, built on the plateau of Bastion No. 3. Since the soil was marshy, originally two small bastions were built here. At the end of the 17th century Jan Michał Link erected a very modern bastion with two levels of artillery stands. Only earth escarpments of the faces of the bastion have been preserved.

Tourism... photo...


Bohdan Zhukiewicz

Roztoczański National Park in Zwierzyniec