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

Radomierz

Radomierz

390 to 530 m above sea level

Radomierz is situated at 390 to 530 m above sea level, in the valley of the Radomierka stream, and lies in the vicinity of Janowice Wielkie, Komarno and Kaczorów. It is a long chain-type village.

 

The setting of Radomierz, among picturesque vistas over the Giant and Rudawy Janowickie mountains, plus its good transport connections, have contributed significantly to the growth of high quality farm and rural holidays. The diverse range of leisure activities available in Radomierz helps draw in the visitors. Car parks, petrol stations and a period restaurant are all to be found in the village's lower section. Agriculturally, this village continues to function at a high standard, and is home to the Research and Instruction Centre of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences (formerly the Sudetes Experimental Farming Institute), and manages some 286 ha of land. This centre is involved mainly in improving the breeding of beef cattle, although it has also conducted other experiments, including llama breeding. The university which runs this centre uses it for numerous scientific and research projects, while the main brains behind the institute and promoter of its business and research operations is Prof. Aleksander Dobicki.

A distinctive building in Radomierz, and an unquestionable tourist attraction, is the tower constituting the remains of a Catholic church. Since its restoration in 2011 it has served as a viewing tower, commanding beautiful panoramic views over the Rudawy Janowickie, the Giant Mountains, the Izerskie and Kaczwskie Mountains, and the Jelenia Góra Valley. The tower also continues to serve as a bell tower, and the reconstructed building erected next to it now serves as a Tourist Information Point.

History

The year 1889 saw the publication of the book "Liber Fundationis Episcopatus Vratislaviensis", containing notes from 1303 on Radomierz. The locality is described here as the village of Siegfried – SYFRIDI VILLIA. As such, it is presumed to have been established in the 13th century – but this is no more than conjecture. Apparently the first settlers in the Bóbr river valley were the Poborane (part of the Dedosizi tribe), who lived on game hunting, fishing and tillage, and only the next group of incomers in the 14th or perhaps 13th centuries were the Franconians, their leader a knight by the name of Siegfried. These people settled on both sides of the stream known today as the Radomierka, and brought the art of Franconic building with them. This meant two-storey houses roofed with straw and also containing a cowshed and stable. In the 14th century the village belonged to the Falkenstein castle fief. In 1372, Duchess Agnes of Świdnica gave the fief to Clericus Bolze. Some researchers attribute him with the construction of Bolczów castle, while others believe the castle was erected in the years 1163-1201 by Duke Bolko the Tall to defend the homes and mines in the neighbourhood. Just like most of the lands in the vicinity, it frequently changed hands.

On 22 June 1506 the landed property was purchased by Anton Schaffgotsch, and apparently one of his sons is considered the true founder of the Trzcińsko-Radomierz line. The property in Radomierz frequently passed down from father to son. Along came the 17th century, and with it the Thirty Years' War – with terribly consequences for the village. The repeated marching through of armies, and the accompanying plundering, destruction and burning ruined life in the village - which was unable to recover and frequently served as a base for Swedish and French forces. The Swedes forced the locals to pay approximately 200 thalers in contribution for them to leave them in peace. Most, though escaped with their belongings into the forests to stick it out until the war was over. If what man did to man was not bad enough at the time, the ultimate blow came from the plague epidemic, which killed over 150 people.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Radomierz – just like most other localities in the region – survived on weaving. However, wartime riots in France – the main destination for the exported linen – led to a fall in its production, and the weavers fell into poverty. This in turn led to protests and revolt in the form of non-payment of rent and other due payments.

The village also developed agriculturally. There was a catastrophic failure of the potato crop in 1847, which was felt severely by the people of Radomierz; however, the right soil and climate conditions facilitated the further development of farming.

During the period when industry was booming in the neighbouring localities, the people of Radomierz took employment in a paper factory, in mines, and in the quarries. When the railway line through Janowice Wielkie and Trzcińsko was brought to Radomierz, it opened the door for the village's better development.

A public library was opened in 1896, and a few years later a dairy was opened. After World War I Radomierz became one of many stops on the bus route from Jelenia Góra to Wrocław, and the village people – thanks to the good transport connections – could look for other jobs.

The village continued to develop in farming after 1945. A collective farm was organised in the grange buildings, and by 1988 there were 50 individual farms functioning there.

Lonely church tower

When driving through Radomierz, visitors' attention is drawn to a lone-standing tower, surrounded by walls and with an adjacent building: a fragment of forgotten history. The first records of a Catholic church standing in this spot date back to 1312. Its interior was decorated with gravestones of members of the Schaffgotsch family. Years passed by, and the church fell into ruin. Gravestones were brought here in 1849 from Cieplice, and built into the wall by the church. For over 150 years only the old Gothic tower stood here, ringing silently with the bells left behind. The largest is from 1612, and bears the inscription Bernhard von Schaffgotsch, while the middle bell dates from 1576, and the small one from 1595.

The tower underwent thorough renovation in 2011, when the building attached to it was erected – now housing the Tourist Information Point. The tower itself has two functions: it is a beautiful view point overlooking the Jelenia Góra Valley and the mountains surrounding it, while the sound of the old, historical bells from inside commemorates its history.

Protestants and the church

In the 16th century the teachings of Luther led to the people of Radomierz converting to the Protestant faith. The old Catholic church (its tower all that remains today) became their house of prayer then. The religious wrangling led to the church being transferred from the Protestants back to the Catholics on 20 March 1653. When relations between the two faiths eased a little, a Protestant church was erected in Jelenia Góra from 1709 to 1718, and in 1748 the village population gained a license to build their own house of prayer. The site for the building cost 6 Reich thalers, 13 pieces of silver and 7 pfennigs, and an intense period of building began in 1749. The people of Radomierz and nearby villages were deeply involved in the church's construction – for example the pulpit was a gift from a Maciejowa gardener, while the alter was made by a resident of Radomierz. The new temple suffered during the Silesian wars, and so the locals sought donations for its renovation. Ultimately the church was ready, in all its glory, in 1803. 74 years later the location for the new Evangelical cemetery was consecrated. When the church celebrated its 150th anniversary, a starry sky was painted on its ceiling, the altar was renovated, new murals were added in the gallery and a lot of other decoration work was carried out. The church in Radomierz was a place of Protestant worship up until the end of World War II.

Memorial in the fields

On a hill not far from Radomierz, in the direction of Janowice Wielkie, stands a reminder of a most terrible crime. The event was described thus in an 1828 issue of the monthly Schlesische Provinzialblatter: "On 20 February, the farmer Oessler of Janowice Wielkie in the Szunów district sent his seventeen-year-old son to Jelenia Góra with a wagon of timber. At six in the evening the horses returned with the wagon but without their driver; the latter lay dead, face down with a rope around his neck, his left arm tied to the wagon's ladder, his throat and windpipe cut. The transport fee of one thaler collected by this young person, and his leather purse, had vanished. However, there was old, ripped clothing and a pipe holder of unknown origin in the wagon. The perpetrator – farmhand Gottlieb Beyer of Karpniki who was tarrying in the vicinity without a job – was found and captured. He committed his crime on the road between Radomierz and Janowice." Today nothing more than a sandstone plaque mourns the lad, and the once busy road is all but forgotten. Only stone road signs show the way for stray tourists.

 

Translation Jonathan Weber

Sources:

„Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów. Rudawy Janowickie". Red. M. Staffa. Wyd. I-BIS. Wrocław 1998Kapałczyński W., Napierała P. „Zamki, pałace i dwory Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej". Fundacja Doliny Pałaców i Ogrodów Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej. Wrocław 2005."Dolina Zamków i Ogrodów. Kotlina Jeleniogórska - wspólne dziedzictwo". Red. O. Czerner, A. Herzig. Muzeum Okręgowe w Jeleniej Górze. Berlin i Jelenia Góra 2003Doś K. „Historia parafii i kościoła pw. Matki Bożej Różańcowej w Radomierzu w latach 1945-1995". Praca magisterska. Seminarium naukowe Papieskiego Wydziału Teologicznego we Wrocławiu. Wrocław 1996.Kwaśniewski A. „Historia pewnego pomniczka".

SiteLock