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Biłgoraj county (Poland)

Powiat biłgorajski, Lubelskie voivodship

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
Keywords: bilgoraj |
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[Bilgoraj county new flag] image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 11 Feb 2009
adopted Jan 2008; design: Henryk Seroka

Gminy (districts) in Biłgoraj county:
  • Aleksandrów
  • Biłgoraj town
  • Biłgoraj rural district
  • Biszcza
  • Frampol
  • Goraj
  • Józefów
  • Księżpol
  • Łukowa
  • Obsza
  • Potok Górny
  • Tarnogród
  • Tereszpol
  • Turobin
See also:

Biłgoraj county new flag

Biłgoraj County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Lublin Voivodship, eastern Poland. It was created on January 1, 1999 as a result of the Local Government Reorganization Act of 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Biłgoraj, which lies 79 kilometres (49 mi) south of the regional capital Lublin.
The county contains three other towns: Tarnogród, lying 21 km (13 mi) south of Biłgoraj, Józefów, lying 24 km (15 mi) east of Biłgoraj, and Frampol, 16 km (10 mi) north of Biłgoraj.
Area: 1,677.79 sq.km (647.8 sq.mi); Population: 104,267 (2006).

"The area of Bilgoraj District was a borderland over which there were wars between Poland and Kiev Russia and Halicz-Wlodzimierz Russia.
In 1366 King Kazimierz the Great attached the land permanently. The oldest places in the district are: Turobin, Goraj, Obsza and Zamch. In the Middle Ages the terrain of the present district was invaded by Tatars, in XVIIth c. by Bohdan Chmielnicki's Cossack-Tatar army, Karol X Gustaw's Swedish army and Jerzy II Rakoczy's army. At the beginning of XVIII c. the march pasts of the armies during the Northern War caused a lot of damage. During the partitions of Poland the area of Bilgoraj District first was in Austrian partition, next in Ksiestwo Warszawskie (the Duchy of Warsaw) and since 1815 in Congress Kingdom being part of Russian partition.

During the January Uprising in the terrain of the district there were a number of battles and skirmishes: of Kobylanka, Józefów, Tarnogród, Jedlinki, Ciosmy, Panasówka.
During World War I the district became located in the terrain of an operation called the battle of Galicya. There were some bigger battles in the vicinity of Frampol. In 1939 during the September Campaign Gen. Antoni Szylling's "Cracow" Army, Gen. Tadeusz Piskor's "Lublin" Army, Gen. Stefan Dab Biernacki's Northern Front fought here. Since the second half of September, 1939 Biłgoraj District was under Soviet occupation. Bilgoraj ground suffered a great loss during World War II. The inhabitants were taken away to extermination camps, to forced labor in Germany, to Germanization centers. A lot of places were pacified, e.g. Panasówka, Szarajówka. In the district a strong resistance of Armia Krajowa's and Bataliony Chlopskie's guerrilla units was born. Within the confines of the operation "Wicher II" one of the biggest guerrilla battles in Europe took place, of Osuchy, where 3 thousand guerrillas commanded by Edward Markiewicz pseudonym "Kalina", and next by Konrad Bartoszewski "Wir" fought against 10 times more numerous German forces.

Until the Jagiellonian times Równina Bilgorajska had been a wild area covered by a primeval forest.
Both disadvantageous terrain conditions (wide swamps) and political situation (Polish - Russian warfare and Tatar invasions) were not conducive to the development of settlement.
The rise of a huge complex of podskarbi koronny /in former Poland a clerk managing the treasury/, Dymitr from Goraj, had an important meaning on the development of settlement. In the edges of the western part of the primeval forest a lot of villages developed thanks to Dymitr's and his sonś actions. On one side of the considered terrain Polish population from Mazury, Mazowsze and Małopolska settled and on the other Russian population and groups of woloski (Vlachs) /an ethnic group / shepherds. The settlement was the most intensive in XV and XVI c. With woloski settlement the most connected is the surname Woloszyn or the elements of Bilgoraj - Tarnogród dress like clogs, a wooden hoop worn on the head called chamelka and the leather belt as well. Until the Lublin Union through the region of Bilgoraj ran the Polish and Russian border, which was reflected in the name of the rivers Biala Lada called Polska Lada (Polish Lada) and Czarna Lada called Ruska Lada (Russian Lada). The Catholics lived in the north and the Orthodox and unitas /members of an eastern religion / in the south.

The factor accelerating permanent settlement was the more intense need for crops, of which surpluses were transported by navigable rivers to Gdansk, to which forest products also went. The Ordination of the Zamojskis was another large latyfundium / in former Poland big estates/ next to Gorajski.

The names of the villages located around Bilgoraj refer to the forest itself and forest industry like e.g. Dabrowica, Bukowa, Bukownica, Bukowina, Budziarze, Ciosmy, Smólsko, Korytków /all the names are connected with the forest/.
The development of rural settlement entailed the uprise of towns." (website)

In January 2008, the County Council submitted for approval a set of new symbols to the Heraldic Commission and relevant Ministry.
As these new symbols were consulted with the Commission prior to submission, it is a forgone conclusion they would be accepted.

The old Arms were showing the crown on the necks of the animals - half bear and half eagle, above the three silver bars.
New Arms have the crown lifted above the heads of the animals and the Latin cross added to the crown to signify the Christian past of the area.
The flag changes follow the redesigning of the Arms.

Author of the new concept is Dr.Henryk Seroka from the Lublin branch of the Polish Heraldic Society.

There are some worries that the Orthodox Christians and Jews would demand the additions of their religious symbols to the new Arms as they were an important ingredients of the ethnic make-up of the county.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 11 Feb 2009


Biłgoraj county new Coat of Arms

[Bilgoraj county new Coat of Arms] image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 11 Feb 2009
adopted Jan 2008; design: Henryk Seroka

Biłgoraj county flag

[Bilgoraj county flag] image by Jens Pattke, 29 Oct 2001
adopted 27 Jun 2000

Flag adopted 27 June 2000.
Source: FLAGA - Biuletyn Polskiego Towarzystwa Weksylologicznego Nr.13/14 (2001)
Jens Pattke, 29 Oct 2001