The village of Smoleń lies in the Kraków-Częstochowa
Upland, on the eastern edge of Silesia, near the village
of Pilica. Smoleń is known primarily for the castle,
which, although much ruined, is one of the most
picturesque and attractive fortresses located on the
Eagles' Nests Trail. Its tower dominating over the forest
is the landmark of the local landscape. The castle is
situated with the area of the nature reserve also called
The first Jews settled in Pilica, an old town which lies east of Zawiercie, in the sixteenth century. Before the Holocaust, they represented the vast majority in the town. In the twenty-first century, the only trace of their presence is a large cemetery located on the edge of the town. This is the other Jewish cemetery in Pilica founded in 1842. It occupies an area of approximately 1 hectare. It is fenced. 327 typical tombstones with inscriptions mostly in Hebrew have survived to this day.
In Zarzecze, a small town adjacent to the Pilica river, there are ruins of the stone church dedicated to Saints Valentine and Stanislaus. The church was built in the sixteenth century as part of the hospital buildings. In the seventeenth century, a brick church was built where the ministry was exercised by the fathers of the Order of Canons Regular of Saint Augustine. The property fell into disrepair after the partition of Poland, in the second half of the nineteenth century.
In Pilica, which lies in the Kraków-Częstochowa, a clear urban layout has been preserved to this day. It is associated with the location of the town on the Magdeburg Law in the late fourteenth century. The center forms a trapezoidal market square, of whose corners main streets run out, which in the past were parts of major routes. Noteworthy are the traces of the former town hall, municipal wells, and above all, old churches.
The church of John the Baptist of Pilica combines many
styles. It results from different architectural concepts.
The original sanctuary was built in the Gothic style at the
turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It was
founded by the Pilecki family. About a century later, the
church was rebuilt by the Padniewskis, local landowners.
At that time, a lot baroque elements were introduced
into the church building.
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