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Ropa commune (Poland)
Last modified: 2005-11-26 by jarig bakker
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image by Jens Pattke, 7 Oct 2004
Ropa commune flag
Here is the flag of Ropa commune (voj. Malopolskie, Gorlice County).
The Ropa Commune
Area: 49,09 km2; Inhabitants: 4 896 people. Main spots of the commune:
Klimkówka, Łosie, Ropa
The Ropa Commune was created after the separation of the village of
Ropa from the Gorlice Commune, and the village of Łosie from the U¶cie
Gorlickie Commune. Before that, the commune existed from the mid-19th century,
but it was got rid of during the 1975 administrative reform. In the year
2000 (1st of January) the commune was extended by adding the village of
Klimkówka to it.
Ropa is situated by the river called Ropa as well, in the place where
its waters suddenly turn to the east. In 1359 King Kasimir the Great gave
the lands in the river Ropa valley to Jan Gładysz of Szymbark. Gładysz
founded the village of Ropa, and his sons- villages called Klimkówka and
These lands were the property of the Gładysz family for the next 169
years. During that time, 13 villages and the town of Gładyszów were initiated.
In 1528 the village was taken over by Spytko Jordan who built the St Michael
Archangel Parish here. His descendants were Arians, and so during the Swedish
invasion they supported the enemy. In the years of the Barska Confederacy,
the insurgents often stayed in the local villages, and you can still find
graves of many soldiers from that period in almost every cemetery. Between
1772 and 1869 Ropa belonged to the Siemieński family. Count Wilhelm Siemieński
set up a tanning workshop, also called "the factory of English leather".
Siemieński also built a beautiful palace and a new one-aisle church, extended
by his son Stanisław. The first school in Ropa was open in 1859.
The development of Ropa in the 19th century was connected with the
discovery of oil pools in the whole region. "Rock oil", as oil was often
called, had been known and widely used much earlier though. The liquid
was simply gathered from holes in the fields, and it was used in the production
of lubricants and liniments. Above all, the inhabitants of Łosie were known
for liniment production (called "maziarstwo" in Polish). In the
second half of the 19th century Mikołaj Fedorowicz Ogiński became the owner
of Ropa, and he was the one to establish an oil refinery by the bank of
the Ropa River. The location of the refinery proved to be badly chosen
as the flood destroyed it in 1894. The mines and the refinery attracted
many people, often coming here from distant corners of Poland and Europe.
In 1888 there were 140 foreigners in Ropa, including many Jews, Germans,
and even two Englishmen. The First World War did not affect the commune,
even though there are some military cemeteries scattered here and there.
The Ropa Commune is an agricultural area, with typical in this part
of Poland little farms. Nevertheless, there are perfect conditions to host
tourists here. It is the place of clash of two cultures and ethnic groups:
Pogórzanie and Łemkowie. There are so many monuments to be seen, and of
course the mountains, forests and the Klimkowskie Lake. The farms, perfectly
adjusted to the requirements of agrotourism, are waiting for those who
seek relaxation in beautiful surroundings.
Information from this
Jens Pattke, 7 Oct 2004
image from this