Nowy Sacz


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Nowy Sącz is a town in southern Poland with 84,400 inhabitants (2003).



Nowy Sącz is situated in what has been since 1999 the Lesser Poland Voivodship. Between 1975 and 1998 it was the capital of Nowy Sacz Voivodship. The town is on the river Dunajec, twenty kilometres from the Slovak border, in the Sadecka Valley (Kotlina Sadecka). It is surrounded by mountains: Beskid Sadecki to the South), Beskid Wyspowy to the West, Beskid Makowski to the East, and Pogorze Ciezkowickie to the North.

The geological basis is Carpathian flysh – an undifferentiated grey-banded sandstone – with alluvial sediment from the Dunajec, Poprad, and Kamienica rivers in the valley basin.

The climate is temperate, with an average annual rainfall of about 700 millimetres.

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Nowy Sacz was founded in 1292 by the Czech king Vaclav II, on the site of a village named Kamienica. An ancient trade route called the Amber Route passed through the town, connecting the Mediterranean with the Baltic.

In the 17th century the town slumped in importance as a result of Swedish aggression known by historians as the Swedish Flood. Nowy Sacz rose to a new prominence in the 19th century when the Austrian authorities built a railway conecting it with Vienna (then the Habsburg capital). World War II brought considerable losses, especially to the local Jewish community; before the war, nearly a third of the town's population had been Jewish; ninety percent of them died or didn't return [1] (


During the communist regime, Nowy Sacz was the capital of Nowy Sacz Voivodship (1975–98). In the 1950s the Polish authorities applied a special economic programme for the town, called the "Novosadecky Experiment". The plan was to provide improvement and acceleration of the region's economic development, but it was only partially completed. The town was an important centre of the railway industry, and now contains one of the biggest railway engineering works in Poland. Since the social and political changes in Poland that started in 1989, the industry has faced economic problems.

Nowy Sacz is also important in the food industry, specialising in processing fruits, especially apples. Most of the factories were in the Biegonice district. Now the local government is trying change the structure of the industry, restructuring old factories and encouraging new companies to start up. This initiative also includes a move to hi-tech industry (the town has the biggest computer factory in Europe). The building trade is also represented in the town, which has a major European window-manufacturer.

The main economic problem now is the high level of unemployment which, at about 25%, is one of the highest in the European Union.


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The town is rich in historical features, including:

  • one of the largest marketplaces in Europe
  • Saint Margareta's basilica (15th century)
  • a 15th-century house containing a museum
  • the synagogue
  • Saint Roch, a church of wooden construction from the 15th century, in the Dabrowka district
  • the ruins of a mediæval castle from the 14th century, and the remains of the city walls
  • the Skansen museum (Sadecki Park Etnograficzny), containing an historical village representing old architecture, customs, and culture.

The mountainous country around Nowy Sacz is also popular with tourists, especially the Beskid Sadecki mountains (part of the Carpathians), of which the highest peak is Radziejowa (1,262 metres). Popular mountain resorts include Krynica-Zdroj and Piwniczna-Zdroj ("Zdroj" means "health spa").

Fifteen kilometres south of Nowy Sacz is Jezioro Roznowskie, a water reservoir (with a capacity of 190 million cubic metres, and covering an area of sixteen square kilometres), with many dachas and camping sites.


  • Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu (National Louis University) — a small business school
  • Sądecka Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa
  • Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa


See also

de:Nowy Sącz lv:Novi Sonča ja:ノヴィ・ソンチ pl:Nowy Sącz



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