Skierniewice is a middle-sized town, located halfway between Warsaw and Lodz. It boasts of many interesting monuments, which testify to a rich past of the place. Skierniewice, however, is not only a paradise for enthusiasts of sightseeing, but also a cultural centre. Every year several festivals take place here. They are among others: Rock May Festival, Ethnosfera and Skierniewicki Odcinek Kabaretowy (English: Skierniewice Cabaret Episode).
Skierniewice is a listed town. Among preserved monuments are: palace and park complex with the palace of Gniezno archbishops from 1619, park from the 15th century and classicist gate (1779-1780), Villa Aleksandria from 1841, Larch Manor (Polish: Dworek Modrzewiowy) from 1879-1889, Russian troops’ barracks from the end of the 19th century and train station from 1875. Worthy of visit are also churches, like the church of St. Stanislaus from 1720, the church of St. James the Apostole from 1781 and the church of the Assumption (1899-1903).
Apart from interesting monuments, Skierniewice boasts of a lot music, theatre, literature and art events. Every year several festivals take place here. The most interesting are: Rock May Festival, Ethnosfera, Skierniewicki Odcinek Kabaretowy (English: Skierniewice Cabaret Episode), Festiwal Muzyki Romantycznej (English: Romantic Music Festival) and Skierniewicki Salon Muzyczny (English: Skierniewice Music Room).
Skierniewice is also a paradise for active tourists. In the town and in its neighbourhood there are several trails and foot and cycle paths: three blue (the trail of old manors, the trail Birds of Skierniewice neighbourhood and the trail Following Wladyslaw Reymont), two black (Skierniewice – the Rawka – train station – Nieborow and 44-kilometre long foot trail from Skierniewice Rawka to Radziejowice), one yellow (20-kilometre long trail from Strobow bird sanctuary through Zelazna to Zapady) and one green (the trail of the battles by the Rawka).
Skierniewice is a town in Lodz Voivodeship, located halfway between Warsaw (see tours) and Lodz (see tours), on Lowicz-Blonie Plain. Skierniewice is surrounded by Bolimow Forest in the north, Zwierzyniecki Forest in the west and forest in Strobowa and Pamietna in the south-east. The town lies by the Skierniewka and the Rawka and has the population of 48,696.
First records about Skierniewice are from 1359, when archbishop Jarosław Bogoria from Skotniki met Siemowit III, Duke of Masovia, in Skierniewice. During the reigns of the archbishop Skierniewice developed and grew.
On 19 February 1457 Jan Odrowaz from Sprowa signed Skierniewice’s charter privilege in Uniejow. He rebuilt and populated the town, built a church and set market days on every Thursday and Saturday and a fair on 25 July.
In 1610 an archbishop palace, to which kings of Poland came, was erected. The palace and the gothic church were burnt in the early 18th century. The palace was renovated in 1721 and archbishop Stanislaw Szembek built a new baroque church of St. Stanislaus.
The last primate of Skierniewice was Ignacy Krasicki. It was in Skierniewice that he wrote his tales. He also published his newspaper Co Tydzien here.
As a result of the partitions of Poland, Skierniewice was annexed to Prussia and began to decline. Another changes came with the Napoleonic Wars. At that time Skierniewice was in the borders of the Duchy of Warsaw and after Napoleon’s decline – in the hands of Russian emperors.
When Skierniewice was part of Russia, there were barracks in the town, in which two regiments of Russian forces stationed. For them an Orthodox church was built near the barracks. At present it is the church of the Assumption.
During the First World War, before Germans took the town, there had been fierce fights in Skierniewice. On 24 October 1914, Russians freed the town. They withdrew in December, when the front stabilised on the neighbouring Rawka river. During these fights German troops used toxic gas for the first time.
With the end of the WW1, in 1918, Skierniewice began to develop again. Numerous production facilities, including glass works and plywood factory, came into existence.
On 17 January 1945 Soviet troops entered Skierniewice. After the war the town became an important farm development centre. In 1951 the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture was opened and in 1964 the Research Institute of Vegetable Crops was established. Also the Institute of Plant Genetics Polish Academy of Sciences played an important role in the development of Skierniewice.