Olawa is a town in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, located approximately 26 km from Wroclaw. The town may be a good starting point for those who wish to sightsee this capital of Lesser Poland; however, it itself is very interesting. Numerous local monuments attract lots of tourists every year.
Olawa is a listed town. According to the register of the National Heritage Institute, the list of monuments covers: the church of Saint Mary the Consoler from the 13th century, the church of St. Peter and Paul from 1833-35, the church of St. Roch from 1602-04, Jewish cemetery from the mid 19th century and the Sobieski family castle from the second half of the 17th century (the current seat of Olawa authorities).
Other worthy of visit places in Olawa are: the church of St. Joseph from 1877, the pranger in front of the town hall and the water tower from the early 20th century.
Olawa is a town and seat of the county in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It lies by the Olawa and the Oder, 26 km from Wroclaw, 54 km from Opole and 165 km from Poznan.
Olawa has the population of approximately 32,100.
The first records about Olawa are from 1149. At first it was inhabited by Walloonian weavers, whom the town owes its coat of arms – a white Gallic rooster in a red background. In 1241 Olawa was destroyed by Mongols and in 1282 obtained a privilege of building 12 cloth hall stalls and of using meadows, waters and soil.
In 1437, as a result of plague epidemic and famine, the town was desolated. In 1502, on the other hand, a half of the town was burnt in a great fire. Olawa suffered from the next plague epidemic in 1588.
After three Silesian wars Olawa together with a great part of Silesia was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia. Germanization started.
On 1 September 1939 Nazi planes that attacked Poland took off from Olawa-Stanowice airport. The next day one Polish PZL. 23 Karas bomber plane threw a bomb on a German factory in Olawa. It was the first attack on German territory during the Second World War.
The approaching of the Red Army in January 1945 made German population escape from the Pomerania and Silesia. Many people died then – it was a result of both the warfare and a great cold.
In 1946 Olawa was joined to Wroclaw Voivodeship and its whole German population was expelled.