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Piotrków Trybunalski

Piotrków Trybunalski
Night view of Old Town, Słowacki Street, Piotrkowska Manufaktura, street in Old Town, Royal Castle, Market Square
Night view of Old Town, Słowacki Street, Piotrkowska Manufaktura, street in Old Town, Royal Castle, Market Square
Flag of Piotrków Trybunalski
Coat of arms of Piotrków Trybunalski
Coat of arms
Piotrków Trybunalski is located in Poland
Piotrków Trybunalski
Piotrków Trybunalski
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Łódź
County city county
Established before 1217
Town rights 13th century
 • Mayor Krzysztof Chojniak
 • City 67.27 km2 (25.97 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • City 77,810
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 200,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 97–300 to 97–312
Area code(s) +48 044
Car plates EP

Piotrków Trybunalski (also known by alternative names) is a city in central Poland with 76,717 inhabitants (2011). It is situated in the Łódź Voivodeship (since 1999), and previously was the capital of Piotrków Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Piotrków County.


  • Etymology and other names 1
  • Location, demographics and statistics 2
  • History 3
    • Premodern history 3.1
    • Modern history 3.2
    • World War II 3.3
  • Economy 4
  • Transportation 5
    • Roads 5.1
    • Airports 5.2
  • Educational institutions 6
  • Politics 7
    • Piotrków Trybunalski/Skierniewice constituency 7.1
  • Sports 8
  • Notable residents 9
  • International relations 10
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 10.1
  • Image gallery 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Etymology and other names

According to tradition, but not confirmed by historical sources, Piotrków was founded by Piotr Włostowic, a powerful 12th century magnate from Silesia. The name of the city comes from the Polish version of the name Peter (Piotr), in a diminutive form (Piotrek, or "Pete"). The town has been known in Yiddish as פּעטריקעװ or Petrikev, in German as Petrikau, and in Russian as Петроков or Petrokov.

Location, demographics and statistics

High Court of Piotrków

Piotrków Trybunalski is situated in the middle-west part (Piotrków Plains) of the Łódź Uplands. The population of the city is approximately 80,000 and its area is nearly 68 square kilometres (26 sq mi). The scenery of the Piotrków region and its geological structure were formed during the glaciation of 180,000–128,000 years ago. There are hardly any forests across the Piotrków Plains.

Two rivers cross the region, the Wolbórka and the Luciąża, which with their tributaries flow into the Pilica River and belong to the catchment area of the Vistula River. The watershed of Poland's two main rivers, the Vistula and the Oder (Odra), runs along the meridional line three km west of Piotrków. Two small rivers, the Strawa and the Strawka flow through the city, and it is between their valleys that the first settlement of Piotrków was founded in the early Middle Ages. Recently two more rivers were included within the boundary of the city area - the Wierzejka, which in the west part of the city forms a reservoir, and the Śrutowy Dołek to the south of Piotrków.

The city is 200 m (656.17 ft) above sea level. The average temperature during the year is about 8 °C (46 °F), the coldest month is January (ranging from −20 to 2.5 °C (−4.0 to 36.5 °F)), the warmest is July (with 18 °C (64 °F) on average). Yearly rainfall is from 550 to 600 mm (22 to 24 in). The sandy soil of the region is not fertile.


Premodern history

In the early Middle Ages the Piotrków region was included in the province of Łęczyca owned by the Piast dynasty. Around 1264 it became part of a separate principality. The foundation of the city and its development were connected with its geographical position and an advantageous arrangement of the roads linking the provinces of Poland in the Piast times. At first a market town and a place of the princes' tribunals (in the 13th and 15th centuries), Piotrków became an administrative centre (the capital of the district since 1418), and in the later centuries it also became an important political centre in Poland. The first record of Piotrków is included in a document issued in 1217 by the Prince of Kraków, Leszek I the White, where there is a mention of the prince's tribunal held "in Petrecoue". Medieval Piotrków was a trading place on trade routes from Pomerania to Russia and Hungary, and later from Masovia to Silesia.

Polish medallion 1978 400th anniversary of the Royal Tribunal, then the highest court of Poland at Piotrków Trybunalski.
Evangelical church near Market Square

During the 13th century, apart from the tribunals, Polish provincial princes made Piotrków a seat of a few assemblies of the Sieradz knights, which according to historical sources were held in 1233, in 1241, and in 1291. It might have been during the 1291 assembly that the Prince of Sieradz, Władysław I the Elbow-high, granted Piotrków civic rights, because in documents from the beginning of the 14th century he mentions "civitate nostra Petricouiensi".

The first foundation certificate and the other documents were burnt in a great fire which destroyed the city around 1400. The privileges and rights were re-granted by King Władysław II Jagiełło in 1404. The city walls were built during the reign of King Casimir III, and after the great fire they were rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. During the reign of Casimir III, many expelled German Jews from the Holy Roman Empire immigrated to the town, which grew to have one of the largest Jewish settlements in the kingdom.

Between 1354 and 1567 the city held general assemblies of Polish knights, and general or elective meetings of the Polish Sejm (during the latter Polish kings of the Jagiellon dynasty were elected there). It was in the city of Piotrków that the Polish Parliament was given its final structure with the division into Upper House and Lower Chamber in 1493. King John I Albert published his "Piotrków privilege" on May 26, 1493, which expanded the privileges of the szlachta at the expense of the bourgeoisie and the peasantry.

Piotrków became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. When the seat of the Parliament was moved to Warsaw, the town became the seat of the highest court of Poland, the Royal Tribunal, and trials were held there from 1578–1793; the highest Lithuanian court was held in Grodno. Piotrków's Jewish population was expelled in 1578 and only allowed back a century later. The town became a post station in 1684. Around 1705, German settlers (often Swabians) arrived in the town's vicinity and founded villages; they largely retained their customs and language until 1945.

While the importance of Piotrków in the political life of the country had contributed to its development in the 16th century, the city declined in the 17th and 18th centuries, due to fires, epidemics, wars against Sweden, and finally the Partitions of Poland.

The first official inventory of important buildings in Poland, A General View of the Nature of Ancient Monuments in the Kingdom of Poland, led by Kazimierz Stronczynski from 1844–55, describes the Great Synagogue (Piotrków Trybunalski) as one of Poland's architecturally notable buildings.[1]

Market Square on Old Town panorama

Modern history

In 1793, the Kingdom of Prussia annexed the town in the Second Partition of Poland and administered it in the Province of South Prussia. During the Napoleonic Wars, Piotrków became part of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807–15) and was a district seat in the Kalisz Department. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Piotrków became part Congress Poland, a puppet state of the Russian Empire. The town was made the seat of an oblast.

When the Warsaw-Vienna railway was built in 1846, there was a slight increase in the economic and industrial development of Piotrków. In 1867 Russian authorities formed the Oblast (province) of Piotrków, which included within Łódź, Częstochowa, and the coal fields of Dąbrowa Górnicza and Sosnowiec. According to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 30,800, Jews constituted 9,500 (around 31% percent).[2] The province had the best developed industry of all of Congress Poland until 1914. Many Poles demonstrated and went on strike during the Russian Revolution of 1905.

During Józef Piłsudski, Władysław Sikorski, and others to fight against Russia. Piotrków was made part of the Second Polish Republic following the defeat of the Central Powers in the war.

In the interwar period, Piotrków was the capital of Piotrków County in the Łódź Voivodeship, and it lost its previous importance. In 1938 the town had 51,000 inhabitants, including 25,000 Jews and 1,500 Germans. The town had a large Jewish settlement and a thriving Hebrew printing and publishing industry until the Holocaust.

World War II

During the invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II, Piotrków was the setting for fierce fighting between the Polish 19th Infantry Division and the 16th Panzer Corps of the German Wehrmacht on September 5, 1939. The town was occupied by Nazi Germany for the following six years.

Piotrków had the first Jewish ghetto of World War II set up in occupied Poland as early as October 1939. Approximately 25,000 people from Piotrków and the nearby towns and villages were imprisoned there. During the Holocaust 22,000 were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, while 3,000 were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps.

From the first months of the war, Piotrków was a centre for National Party).

On January 18, 1945, the Soviet Red Army entered the city, dislodging the German troops. Anti-communist partisans continued to fight in the vicinity in the following years. From 1949–70, Piotrków was built into an industrial center.

Panoramic photo of northern part of Piotrków.

Piotrków was the capital of the district, within the Łódź Voivodeship, until 1975. Then, following the changes in the administrative division of the country, the city became the capital of the new Piotrków Voivodeship, thus regaining the status of an important administrative, educational and cultural centre of Poland. In 1999, the Piotrków Voivodeship was dissolved and Piotrków became the capital of Piotrków County within the Łódź Voivodeship.


Piotrków, thanks to its location, is known as second biggest "logistic center" after Warsaw. There is high concentration of warehouses and distribution centres around the city. The biggest distribution centres are:

  • Prologis Park Piotrkow I and Prologis Park Piotrkow II owned by ProLogis
  • IKEA Distribution Centre owned by IKEA
  • Logistic City – Piotrków Distribution Center owned by local concern Emerson
  • Poland Central
Focus Mall shopping center.

In Piotrków are also located:

  • Emerson Polska – self-copying computer paper
  • Häring – facility producing engine injections (producing for Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, Volkswagen)
  • Metzeler Automotive Profile Systems – car profiles
  • Kiper brewery
  • FMG Pioma S.A. – mining machines, conveyor belts
  • Sigmatex Sp. z o.o. – knitted fabrics

many small and medium sewing factories.


Eastern bypass.

Piotrków lies almost in the center of Poland.


One expressway and two national roads cross through Piotrków:


In Piotrków is located small airfield for light passenger aircraft. Nearest airport is Łódź Władysław Reymont Airport in Łódź. Two big international airports are Warsaw Frédéric Chopin Airport about 133 km (83 mi) from Piotrków and Katowice International Airport about 137 km (85 mi) from Piotrków.

Educational institutions


St. James Church

Piotrków Trybunalski/Skierniewice constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Piotrków/Skierniewice constituency


Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Piotrków Trybunalski is twinned with:

Piotrków Trybunalski is also partnered with:

Image gallery


  1. ^ Heaven's Gates; Wooden synagogues in the Territories of the Former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka, Wydawnictwo Krupski i S-ka, Warsaw, 2004, p. 174
  2. ^ Joshua D. Zimmerman, Poles, Jews, and the politics of nationality, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, ISBN 0-299-19464-7, Google Print, p.16
  3. ^


  • Official website
  • Photos (Polish)
  • Satellite image
  • Piotrków Trybunalski at DMOZ

External links

  • "Here Their Stories Will Be Told..." The Valley of the Communities at Yad Vashem, Piotrków Trybunalski, at Yad Vashem website.

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