Although Rzeszow is the second most important city of south-eastern Poland after Krakow, a walk through the centre is more like that through a small, peaceful (or even sleepy) town. In fact Rzeszow is a progressive economic, academic and cultural centre, the capital of the Subcarpathian Province and one of the largest cities in the region.
For centuries Rzeszow took advantage of its location on a major east-west route linking Krakow, Przemysl and Lwow (L'viv) with the Black Sea. Even today, this route still plays an important role in city life, as Rzeszow is situated on International Road No 4, running from Germany to Ukraine along Poland's southern and eastern borders.
Rzeszow is situated in Subcarpathia, the southeastern corner of Poland, adjoining the territories of Ukraine and Slovakia. The city itself is about 100 km from the border with each neighbour. Geographically, Rzeszow's location can be described as borderland Sandomierska Basin and Carpathian Foothills. The Wislok River passes through the city, and forms a wide valley.
The first recorded reference to Rzeszow dates from 1354,when it was granted a town charter by King Casimir the Great. Thanks to the trade routes to the territories of today’s Slovakia, Hungary and Russia it was able to develop rapidly. This period of prosperity did not come to the end even when a major fire in the 15th century destroyed the old town, together with 14th-century parish church. The city was soon rebuilt and received several privileges, including permission to sell beer, wine and sa... ( more >>)