Villages in the Rudawy Janowickie
Rudawy Janowickie Mountains
tourism, mystery, dreams...

Łomnica

Łomnica

350-370 m above sea level

The village of Łomnica, situated at an altitude of 350-370 m, lies at the foot of the Rudawy Janowickie mountains and is one of the larger villages within the commune of Mysłakowice (Jelenia Góra poviat).

The Łomnica river flows through the village, the houses of which stretch for approximately 4 km. It adjoins the village of Wojanów, is served by pubic city transport, and has a primary school, junior high school, nursery schools, library, two palaces and a church. Worth a mention is the railway line, built in 1882, which cuts through the village on its way from Jelenia Góra to Kowary and Kamienna Góra. The road from Jelenia Góra to Janowice Wielkie, Trzcińsko, Karpniki and Mysłakowice also runs through Łomnica.

History

Łomnica was probably established as a settlement in the late 13th century. A documented fact is that in 1366 the owner of Łomnica was Hans von Schilde, who sold the property to Nitsche von Erdmannsdorf. The village's next owners hailed from the multi-branched von Zedlitz family, as confirmed in records up until the year 1597. During the von Zedlitz dynasty's rule the village was split into three sections. There was already a church in the village in 1368, which was most probably destroyed during the Hussite wars. Another was erected in its place around the 15th century. Later on, just like most Catholic churches, it was taken over by the Evangelicals, and remained in their hands until 15 February 1654. Hans Rischmann, a prophet well-known in his day (you could say a local Nostradamus) and a man obsessed, lived in Łomnica at the turn of the 17th century – although his fame reached far beyond his home. According to accounts he was a mute, and he delivered his prophecies during visions he had on a peak of the Łomnica hills, Mount Witosza in Staniszów. He foretold a fire in Jelenia Góra around the year 1634, the collapse of the Town Hall in 1739, and many other historical events in Silesia, Germany and Poland. Much could be written about Hans Rischmann, so we'll recount some stories in the section 'fun facts'.[JdW1]

To return now to the history of the village, following the Thirty Years War (in 1650) it passed into the hands of the Imperial Austrian lieutenant colonel Mathias de Tomagnini. He was the husband of Anna Elisabeth von Zedlitz, from the family owning Łomnica in centuries past. In 1720 the family commissioned further building work on the palace, and Martin Frantz – a well-known master builder from Legnica – was responsible for converting it into a Baroque style palace.

In 1726 the property was bringing in 1,077 thalers in taxes, while the peasants paid an additional 1,285 thalers. During this period Łomnica was a large, affluent estate.

1738 saw the property change hands once again, and this time the new owner was a merchant from Jelenia Góra, Christian Mentzel. As a person lacking noble birth, he had to obtain the emperor's permission to purchase the estate. In 1742 Menzel donated the land on which a timber Evangelical church was erected. The site is in the middle of the village, and today not a trace is left of the church; only two flank buildings are still standing: the former parsonage and the Evangelical school. In 1748 Łomnica was inherited by Mentzel's son, who in 1750 paid for the masonry base of the church and the adjacent buildings. On 9 May 1742, Ehrenfried Liebich became the first pastor of Łomnica.

In 1765, the estate of the well-known Jelenia Góra merchant's son was estimated to be worth 25,599 thalers. Łomnica was then home to 32 peasants, 58 serfs, 33 crofters, 19 craftsmen and 51 freemen. There were four weaving workshops there which produced voile, muslin, linen, and cotton fabric decorated in colourful patterns. A peat processing plant operated in the village from 1751, employing 4 foremen and 18 labourers, and producing approximately one million slabs of peat a year. However, it was not the only peat plant in the vicinity, with nearby Trzcińsko also known for peat extraction.

The pits left from the harvesting of peat were transformed into breeding ponds, of which as many as 36 were established; they were mainly used for breeding carp. There are accounts of significant quantities of trout and gudgeon in the Łomnica and Jedlica rivers.

In 1786 Łomnica had 3 granges, 2 schools, 2 churches, 2 parsonages, 4 weaving workshops, a bielnik, mangle, 2 water mills and a coffeehouse. The village was praised not only for its prophet, mentioned earlier on, but also for the artist Balzer Grimming. He was a multi-talented man, creating furniture, four-poster beds, and English style wallpapers. He also involved in printing on canvas and gilding, and was famed for his knowledge of and working of wood.

Łomnica remained in the hands of the Mentzel family until 1809, when the last male heir handed the property over to his former wife. She in turn sold the property in 1811 to the merchant George Flauch. Following his death, his widow gave the estate to her son-in-law, the Baron Moritz von Roth. The village then numbered 185 homes, 3 granges and 2 palaces. A cow shed, where oxen were bred, was a local attraction – recommended to tourists due to its usage of the English system of insulated cavity walls. Visitors were told that half the heat was thereby recovered. Documents from this time list a brickworks and 3 mills, one of which was for grinding oak bark, and 3 linen-cloth workshops. In 1835 Łomnica was bought by the Prussian envoy to the Sicilian court, Carl Gustav Ernest von Kuster, and the palaces remained in this family's hands up until 1945.

In 1840, following numerous conversions, the manor part comprised 12 buildings – among which there were 2 palaces and 3 granges. Over 1000 merino sheep and oxen were bred in the granges. The village by then had 178 houses, 2 churches, 2 parsonages, 2 schools, 3 mills and a dyeworks. Not far from the village was a thriving feldspar quarry, owned by Vielhamer and Seifert. They supplied over 100 tons of raw materials a year to the royal porcelain factory in Berlin and other manufacturers, at 6 thalers per ton. A paper mill was built in the upper section of the village in the 19th century. Towards the end of the 2nd World War it belonged to a company (?)[JdW2] . One paper-making machine was in use, producing up to 12 tons of paper a day. For some time after the war the plant was out of action, and only after 1946 was work restarted following the assembly of a new drive.

In 1861 the von Kuster family's property covered 1824 morgens of land, and brought in income of around 2,190 thalers. In 1880 there were two inns offering accommodation, and in the years between the wars there were already 5 such places. During this period the lower section of Łomnica was split off and joined to Jelenia Góra as a detached housing development. After 1945, when the von Kuster family was dispossessed of their palaces and granges, the palace was used first of all as a farming school, then a primary school which functioned there until 1978 – a year when some of the building's floors collapsed. The school was rehoused, and the palace looted bit by bit right up until 1991, when the building was purchased by a Polish-German community of owners, including its last owner –  Constanze von Kuster.

Translation Jonathan Weber

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