Previously published in PGS-CA Bulletin (Issue #80, October 2006)
Translated from the Słownik Geograficzny (1880-1902)
by Helen Bienick
Baranów, a small town in the county of Tarnobrzeg, had 272 houses with a population of 1965 people, of whom 930 were men and 1035 women. There was a military police base stationed in the town, a pharmacy, a two-classroom school and a post office. The Roman Catholic church and parish belonged to the deanery of Mielec. This deanery totaled 5484 souls. The remarkable old style church was blessed in 1440 and dedicated in honor of St. John the Baptist and Martyr.
Baranów lies on a sandy terrain, not far from the Wisła (Vistula) river, on the main road which leads from Tarnobrzeg to Dębica, a town 58 kilometers (approx. 35 miles) distant. Besides a distillery, there was a thriving shoe making industry. Baranów has a very interesting historical background. The local palace was built by war prisoners from other countries.
During the reign of King Bolesław Krzywousty (Bolesław III, the Wrymouth), circa 1135, Paweł (Paul) Gozdawa, the owner, gifted the palace to the aforementioned king, after entertaining the monarch during a royal visit. Later, King Bolesław donated the estate to Pietraszów from Małochowa. He granted the village privileges, raising it to the status of “town”. By 1354 Baranów was well established and permission was given for holding a trade fair and market on All Saints Day, Nov. 1st. In the year 1376, Kiejstut, the Duke of Trock, Lubart, the Duke of Łocka and Jerzy, the Duke of Bełz (these three towns are presently in the Ukraine) crossed the San and Wisła rivers and mounted a sneak attack on the town. It was heavily plundered and much damage was sustained.
Eventually the town became the property of the Baranowski family, whose coat of arms was Grzymała. By the year 1575, it was owned by the Leszczynski family. In the year 1604, it was the scene of a church synod held by members of the Lutheran church from Switzerland and Augusburg.
A printing business was opened in the town in 1628 by Jędrzej Piotrowczyk. In this epoch, the local people had a thriving business in the production of corn and grain. There were many granaries and they contributed to the prosperity of the townspeople.
King Carl Gustav of Sweden attacked the area on April 3, 1656 and decimated the scant defenses of Paweł (Paul) Sapieha, the governor of Wilno. After the Leszczynski family, Baranów passed on to ownership by the Wisznowiecki clan, and later to the Lubomirski nobles. Joseph Lubomirski was a marshal of the royal court. In 1695, he remodeled and repaired the palace and adorned the ornamental interior. The palace was maintained in excellent condition by the Krasicki noble family who were the later heirs. Unfortunately, in the late 1800s the palace experienced a disastrous fire.