Tomaszów Mazowiecki (pronounced [tɔˈmaʂuf mazɔˈvjɛt͡skʲi] (listen)) is a town in central Poland with 61,960 inhabitants (2019). It is situated in the Łódź Voivodeship (since 1999); previously, it was part of Piotrków Voivodeship (1975–1998). Tomaszów occupies an area of 41.3 square kilometres (15.9 sq mi) as of 2002.
The town is situated on the banks of three rivers, the Pilica, Wolbórka, and Czarna Bielina, and is near the Sulejow Reservoir and the edge of the Puszcza Spalska wilderness area.
Early 20th-century view of the town
Tomaszów Mazowiecki was formed in 1788 in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland by owner these lands – Tomasz Ostrowski based on local supply of the iron ore. Ostrowski invited the first miners and metallurgists from the Old-Polish Industrial Region. The settlement fell into the Prussian Partition in 1793 during the Second Partition of Poland. In 1807 it was regained by Poles and included within the short-lived Duchy of Warsaw, and since 1815 it was located in the Russian Partition. The metal industry was expanded around 1820. Tomaszów received city rights in 1830 during the Polish November Uprising against the Russian Empire. The first weavers came to Tomaszów from Zgorzelec. The first Lutheran church was established in 1823. In 1825, Antoni Ostrowski transferred from the village of Tobiasze to Tomaszów a Catholic parish with the church of St. Wenceslas – Duke of Bohemia, which was located at Wieczność St., in the area of the first Catholic cemetery (nowadays Słowackiego St). In 1831 Qahal was founded.
During World War I, Tomaszów was occupied by Germany, which policies led to poverty and hunger among the population. During the war, local Poles organized secret resistance in the town, including the Polish Military Organisation. After the war, on November 11, 1918, Poland regained independence, and the Poles disarmed German troops, who afterwards left the town. In mid-November 1918, the town's first Polish military unit was organized. Within interwar Poland, the Polish Army was stationed in the town, and it administratively belonged to the Łódź Voivodeship. By 1931 the Jewish population of the city grew to 11,310 inhabitants, or about 30% of the general population of Tomaszów.
World War II
Memorial plaque to local synthetic fiber factory workers murdered by the Germans in 1940–1944
On September 1, 1939, the first day of the German-Soviet invasion of Poland that started World War II, the Germans air raided the town twice, killing seven people. Further air raids were carried out in the following days, forcing many inhabitants to flee. The Germans bombed houses, factories and fire engines. On September 6, the Battle of Tomaszów Mazowiecki was fought between Poland and Germany. On September 7, the Germans entered the town and the Einsatzgruppe III arrived to commit various atrocities against the populace. The Germans then looted the town, burned houses, and committed some murders of its inhabitants. The Great Synagogue was burned to the ground as first on 16 October 1939; the remaining two synagogues were destroyed on 7–14 November.
Before the Polish Independence Day (November 11), in 1939, the German police carried out mass arrests of about 300 Poles, including priests, teachers, doctors, judges, workers and activists. Most were released after November 11, but some, including the pre-war mayor, were imprisoned in Piotrków Trybunalski. Further mass arrests of Poles were carried out in January, June and August 1940. On 12–13 June, the Germans arrested 280 people, while on 12–13 August they arrested many women. The victims were then interrogated by the Gestapo, and most were afterwards deported to the Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück and Buchenwald concentration camps, while some were murdered on the spot. A ghetto for the imprisonment of 16,500 Polish Jews was created in December 1940 and closed off from the outside in December 1941. Hunger was rampant, followed by the typhus epidemic. In December 1942, 15,000 Jews were deported aboard Holocaust trains to the Treblinka extermination camp. Some 200 Jews from Tomaszów are known to have survived World War II. The Germans carried out further executions of Poles, among which was priest Wojciech Dionizy Bryndza-Nacki, and also established and operated a Nazi prison in the town.
According to 2006 data, Tomaszów has an area of 41.3 square kilometres (15.9 sq mi); about 45 percent of the land is put to agricultural use, 13% is forested, and the city itself covers about 4.03% of the area.
In the valley of the Pilica river in the south-eastern part of the town, there is a unique natural karst spring of water containing calcium salts, that is an object of protection in Niebieskie Źródła Nature Reserve in Sulejów Landscape Park. The origin of the name of the reserve Niebieskie Źródła, which means Blue Springs, comes from the fact that red waves are absorbed by water and only blue and green are reflected from the bottom of the spring, giving that atypical colour. The reserve is situated near the end of Saint Anthony Street (in Polish: ulica świętego Antoniego) that begins in the centre of Tomaszów Mazowiecki, in proximity to the central Kościuszko Square.
Tomaszów Mazowiecki incorporates the Łódź Special Economic Zone, which is one of the 14 special economic zones in Poland. The city is home to a variety of industries: ceramics, construction, chemicals, plastics producers, electrical machinery manufacturers, upholstery, food, logistics and service.
Ceramika Paradyż, factory in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, by Expressway S8
The major minerals companies in the area are Ceramika Paradyż a manufacturer of ceramic tiles and Sacmi which specialises in ceramic tile production machines. The Wagran factory (built on the area of the former Artificial Silk Company of Tomaszów), is a producer of granite sinks
Within the construction sector Balex Metal produces high quality steel construction components. Ezbud-Budownictwo focuses on the construction of residential and service premises, sales and management of constructed properties and also produces ready-mixed concrete and other building materials. The company has been engaged in the construction of several housing estates in Tomaszów and Łódź from 1989 onwards and since 2019 has been the main sponsor of Tomaszów's largest football club - "Lechia 1923".
EcoHydroCarbon in Tomaszów
Major chemical companies in Tomaszów include Sicher Bautechnik which is a producer of construction chemicals, EcoHydroCarbon which specializes in polymer waste processing and Toma a plastics processing company that also operates a private clinic at its plant for employees to use.
The region has several specialist equipment manufacturers that include Markom, a producer of welding and transport equipment, and Glass Product, which manufactures automatic fertilization and raw material transport systems.
Carpets and upholstery industry
Toyota Boshoku factory in Tomaszów Mazowiecki
The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has a base in Tomaszów, specializing in the production of upholstery for its range of premium vehicles. Weltom, a producer or carpets and rugs, also has a base in the city. The company was founded by Eleonora and Jan Roland. Their son, Edward Roland, began the business in 1848 from a small workshop consisting of a spinning mill and a weaving mill operated by three people. The workshop was located on Kaliska Street (today Piłsudskiego). In 1905, the company had expanded to employ a hundred and thirty weavers. The company quickly made a name for itself and became known throughout the Russian Empire. After World War II, the company was nationalized and renamed the "Weltom". In the 1990s, the plant underwent a transformation into a joint-stock company. Today, in addition to carpets, the company produces upholstery and coconut wipers. The entire western district of the city (Rolandówka) has been named after the company's founders.
PepsiCo factory in Tomaszów Mazowiecki
Within Tomaszów's food and beverage sector PepsiCo produces the famous Cheetos crisps, Chipita produces croissants and Roldrob (Drosed) produces poultry products for customers such as KFC. Additionally, Las Vegas is a producer of energy drinks where the group also own the "Bulwary" shopping center in the city.
Logistics and Services Sector
Other companies in the region specializing in logistics and services are FM Logistic, serving Carrefour and Makro Cash and Carry, and Syntom, a recycling company.
The sports venue Ice Arena Tomaszów Mazowiecki hosts main international speed skating competitions; including ISU Speed Skating World Cups. It is also an ice hockey venue.
Branch of University of Łódź in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (four departments)
There are seven high schools in Tomaszów Mazowiecki as well as branches of notable universities including:
Points of interest
In the city there is first in Poland year-round ice skating rink that serves for speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey, short track and roller skating. It is located near Pilica River.
During the occupation of Poland in World War II, several strategic bunkers were built by Nazi Germany near Tomaszów Mazowiecki. The construction of the two large air-raid shelters was started in early 1940.
The so-called Konewka Bunkers (now a tourist attraction) were a complex of various concrete structures hidden in the woods, including an enormous 380 metres (1,250 ft) long bunker capable of protecting an entire trainset from the possible air raid. The shelters in Konewka and in Jelen, built of reinforced concrete, served as unloading stations for military cargo.
The Sulejow Lake is a large reservoir built from 1969–1973 in order to help meet the demand for fresh drinking water in the city of Łódź and the city of Tomaszów Mazowiecki. The reservoir is situated on the territory of three gminas: Tomaszów, Piotrków and Wolbórz. It is a popular place for water sports, including windsurfing, canoeing and sailing.
Since 1929 in the city exist bus public transport. Now, this is 773 routes during weekdays and 375 at the weekend. Since 2018, public transport in the city is free of charge.
Several national and regional routes cross each other in the city:
Twin towns — Sister cities
Tomaszów Mazowiecki is twinned with:
- Oskar Lange (born 1904), Polish economist
- Bolesław Mołojec (born 1909), Polish communist activist, prominent commander in The International Brigades during War in Spain
- Michael Sela (born 1924), Israeli immunologist; President of the Weizmann Institute of Science
- Maria Ciach (born 1933), Polish javelin thrower
- Heidi Knake-Werner (born 1943), German politician (Die Linke)
- Bogusław Mec (born 1947), Polish singer
- Wanda Panfil-González (born 1959), Polish long-distance runner
- Jaromir Radke (born 1969), Polish speed skater
- Izabela Kuna (born 1970), Polish actress
- Karolina Bosiek (born 2000), Polish speed skater
List of olympic winners from Tomaszów Mazowiecki
Hotel Mazowiecki in the city center
The oldest secondary school (AD 1903) Listed in the rank of the top 500 schools in Poland
The largest shopping center on the Wolbórka river - "Galeria Tomaszów"
Parish church of St Anthony
The Ostrowski Palace, built in 1812. Now, regional museum.
The Knothe Family house. Now, children's library
Modern block of flats, 14st Brygady Street
One of telecom retail stores
100 meters high television mast in the telecommunications complex in the city center
One of stadiums of city football club "Lechia 1923"
Electric kick scooters on the street
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