Zamosc is a town located in southeastern Poland, not far from the Polish-Ukrainian border. It was founded by Jan Zamoyski, Great Crown Chancellor and Hetman over 400 years ago. Together with Bernardo Morando (the Italian architect) they built the “perfect city” from the very start. It was supposed to be not only beautiful but also useful. It was a fortress with seven bastions and only three gates leading to the city. Zamosc has never been captured by enemy troops in the battle. City walls were 2,5 km long and they surrounded a luxurious housing estate. What is interesting, the plan of Zamosc resembles a lying man. It’s an outstanding example of a Renaissance town of late 16th century and that is why it’s often called Padua of the North. In 1992 the old city of Zamosc was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Fortunately it was not destroyed during the Second World War but it became the SS special laboratory for germanisation. In 1941 the Nazis renamed Zamosc “Himmlerstadt” and began to replace Poles with German colonists. At the same time around 30 000 children from that region were taken from their families and if “racially valuable” were chosen for germanisation and sent to German Reich. Others found themselves in concentration camps where they usually died of starvation or disease. Also Jews were victims of the Nazis. In 1939 Zamosc had a Jewish population of 12 000 which was almost wiped out during the Holocaust but the synagogue survived the war. It’s unique because until the 18th century it was the only religious centre of the Sephardic community in Poland. Its architecture is sophisticated and it’s the most splendid Renaissance synagogue in Poland.
There are a lot of valuable monuments in Zamosc such as the Town Hall, the Cathedral complex, Market Square encircled by shadowy arcades and of course Jan Zamoyski Monument. In Zamosc you will also find the oldest pharmacy in Poland. Zamosc is a truly charming town of a great artistic and historical value.