Opoczno is a n urban gmina in central Poland, on the eastern edge of Łódź Voivodeship. It is the seat of Opoczno County. The gmina covers an area of 110.6 square kilometres (42.7 sq mi), and as of 2006 its total population is 48,901 (out of which the population of Opoczno amounts to 17,711, and the population of the rural part of the gmina is 31,190). Gmina Opoczno is bordered by the towns of Koło and Zgierz, as well as by the gminas of Brzeziny, Koło County, Zgierz, Oporów and Zduny.
The first written mention of Opoczno comes from 1237, in a document of Leszek I the White, in which he awarded land around Opoczno to the Premonstratensian Abbey in Mogilno. In 1317 the area was subject to a invasion by the forces of Władysław I the Elbow-high, who looted and burned the town. In 1327 Opoczno was again attracting attention, when as a result of the partition of Władysław’s heritage by his sons, Opoczno and the surrounding area became part of the heritage of Kazimierz the Great. By a document of 6 June 1327, Kazimierz the Great issued a charter to the town, bestowing upon it the Magdeburg Law. The 14th century was marked by the construction of a castle on a hill overlooking the town, and by fire in 1370 which almost completely destroyed the town. The mid-15th century spelled hard times for Poland, as the country was embroiled in a series of wars with the Teutonic Order and with neighboring countries. As a result, Opoczno was devastated by fire several times, and in 1424 it was plundered by the Czech Hussites.
After the fire of 1432 the town was rebuilt, and in 1444 Brygida, daughter of Władysław Jagiełło, granted it a new coat of arms. The 16th century was a period of economic prosperity for the town, as it became an important center of trade. This was also a period of religious tolerance, as Opoczno became a refuge for Lutherans, Calvinists and Arians. In 1564 the first printing press in Opoczno was established, and in 1567 the first Lutheran church was built. The town’s golden era came to an end in the mid-17th century, when it was ravaged by fire, plundered by the Swedes, and affected by a series of epidemics. The 18th century was a period of stagnation for Opoczno, as the town failed to recover from the disasters of the previous century.
10 Fun & Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Opoczno, Poland
1. Visit the Arkadia Shopping Centre – The Arkadia Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping centres in Poland and is a great place to bring the kids. There are over 200 shops and restaurants, as well as a cinema, bowling alley, and laser tag centre.
2. Climb the Chevron Towers – The Chevron Towers are two of the tallest buildings in Opoczno and offer great views of the city. There is an elevator that takes you to the top, or you can take the stairs for a bit of a workout.
3. Play in the Park – Opoczno has several parks that are perfect for kids to run around and play in. There is also a playground in the Arkadia Shopping Centre.
4. Ride the Train – Opoczno has a small railway that runs through the city centre. You can ride it for a short trip, or take a longer journey to one of the nearby towns.
5. Learn about WWII – Opoczno was occupied by the Nazis during WWII and there are several memorials and museums dedicated to this period in history.
6. Visit the Zoo – The Opoczno Zoo is home to over 1000 animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. There is also a petting zoo, where kids can get up close and personal with some of the animals.
7. Go Swimming – Opoczno has several public swimming pools, as well as a water park, which is perfect for a hot summer day.
8. Try Polish Food – Polish cuisine is hearty and delicious, and there are plenty of restaurants in Opoczno that serve it up. Some of the most popular dishes include pierogi (dumplings), bigos (stew), and golabki (cabbage rolls).
9. See a Show – Opoczno has a small theatre that puts on regular performances. Check the schedule to see what’s playing during your visit.
10.Explore the Old Town – Opoczno’s Old Town is full of cobbled streets and historic buildings. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere.