Koscian is a town of about 24 000 inhabitants, situated in south-western part of the Greater Poland province, only about 40 km from Poznan. Located on international route E-261 connecting the town with Poznan and Wroclaw helps make the place attractive for business visitors, but there are also some tourist attractions in the area as well.
Koscian is mainly an industrial town and an important place for people who want to stop while driving to Poznan or to Wroclaw, plus there is also a railway connection with these same two major cities.
Koscian has several historical sights to visit, including the 14th century Gothic parish church, the town hall and the chapel of Lord Jesus. In the vicinity of Koscian there are also numerous interesting places to be discovered, such as Racot where you can see the pretty palace of Jablonowski, designed by Domenico Merlini, architect of the Lazienki Palace in Warsaw. There is a renowned horse stud in Racot, too, while in Nowy Debiec there is Lake Wioniesc and a small resort, willingly visited by people from Koscian. A cycling trail leads from Koscian to Racot and Debiec. One of the most precious historical monuments in the area is the Benedictine monastery in Lubin from the 11th century. A bit farther on is the town of Grodzisk Wielkopolski, where trips are organised on an ancient handcar (the line connects Grodzisk and Koscian).
Koscian is situated in the Greater Poland Voivodship, in the south-western part of the province. It lies on the lowland, near the Obra River. In the neighbourhood of Koscian there are few forests, but some 20 km north of Koscian is the entrance to the Greater Poland National Park.
Koscian was first mentioned in the 12th century, it received city laws in 1310 which were later confirmed by King Wladyslaw Jagiello in 1400. The best period in Koscian’s history started in the 15th century, and then finished with the Swedish-Polish wars in 1655. During those times, Koscian was the second most important town after Poznan in the Greater Poland province. Cloth produced in Koscian became famous and consequently it was given a trade mark from King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk, which is believed to be the first trademark in Poland.
From the mid-17 century the town’s economy could be seen to be in decay. Ruined by Swedes, Koscian lost its economical importance, and then from 1793 Koscian belonged to Prussia.
During the 19th century Koscian underwent industrialisation, a process speeded by the construction of the Poznan-Wroclaw railway in 1856.
In 1918, after Greater Poland Uprising, Koscian became a part of the Polish Republic. Years of prosperity during 1920s and 1930s came to an abrupt halt with the coming of World War II. During the war Koscian was destroyed again and its inhabitants experienced a number of horrific events. Among the most gruesome was the murdering of over 500 mentally ill patients from the local hospital in 1940; and then another 3 000 people was brought to Koscian from mental hospitals and old people’s homes and given lethal injections.
After the war Koscian has gradually developed as an industrial town, with the pre-war factories re-opened and the new ones built. There were several chemical and food plants (meat and sugar production) created, and today the natural gas deposits in the area are being exploited.