The impressive Town Hall building is located at the Market Square. The first record mentioning it dates back to 1608. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed in the 17th century. The current structure of the Town Hall is a combination of several buildings deriving from different periods, which were conjoined during the reconstruction in the 19th century. The Town Hall’s clock tower was designed by Józef Barut and built on after the World War I.
Inside the Town Hall’s foyer your attention will be drawn to the monument of priest Bronisław Świeykowski – a papal chamberlain and the appointed Mayor of Gorlice during World War I. The Monument, designed by Zdzisław Tohl, was unveiled in May 1995 – on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Gorlice.
Another interesting element of the Town Hall is a fresco painting of a Greek goddess Hygieia – the patroness of pharmacists and a portal commemorating the activities of Ignacy Łukasiewicz in Gorlice. The front of the building presents a replica of the world’s first street oil lamp, constructed by Łukasiewicz.
The Market Square and surrounding tenement houses (18th and 19th century)
Gorlice can take pride in its urban layout, which has been preserved since the town’s beginnings in the 14th century. The spacious four-sided market has an area of ca. 90 x 95 m with streets extending from its corners.
The western frontage of the market consists of historic bourgeois tenement buildings. It is worth taking a look at the tenement of the Artwiński Family located on the corner of the Wąska Street and the Market Square(number 6) and at the neighbouring tenement which was built in the 18th century (number 7).
The tenement of the Artwiński Family dates back to the 17th century and was rebuilt in the 19th century. Its entrance portal is decorated with an original low relief of dolphins under the “Tree of Life”. Its windows are enriched by images of eagles and a lion under a tree.
While walking around the Gorlice Market Square, one should venture into the Wąska and Piekarska streets which extend from the Market’s corners. Wąska 7 is the address of tiler Grabiec – Grabczyński ‘s bourgeois house. It was built in 1780 and later on was rebuilt in classical style in 1874. Currently, the building is the seat of PTTK Regional Museum. The tenement’s front wall is decorated with sgraffito titled “The Soldiers of the Battle of Gorlice”.
Another address worth visiting is Piekarska 5, where a tenement built at the end of the 18th century is located. Above its window there is a low relief of lions holding an escutcheon.
One of the most beautiful town’s streets runs from the Market Square – 3rd May Street.
PTTK Regional Museum of Ignacy Łukasiewicz
The Museum was established in 1957 due to Konstanty Laskowski, Alfred Wacławski and Stanisław Gabryel. The Museum is located in one of the town’s oldest tenement houses (dating back to 1780). At that time the building belonged to a tiler Mikołaj Grabiec. The Museum holds many exhibits documenting the history of Gorlice, including: historic documents with seals, town maps and guild statutes from the 15th and 17th century. There are also many memorabilia after Ignacy Łukasiewicz – the precursor of the oil industry: apothecary alembic (a device for oil distillation) and the prototype of the world’s first kerosene lamp. The Museum offers also interesting expositions related to the World War I: a maquette of the Battle of Gorlice which took place on the 2 May 1915 and a room with wax figures presenting the most important figures of the Battle. The ethnographic part of the museum depicts the cultural diversity of the Gorlice foothills: the Polish and Lemko traditions.
Wąska Street 7-9, 38-300 Gorlice
(+48) 18 352 26 15
In the tourist season, from 1 April to 30 September:
Tuesday – Friday: 9.00 – 16.00
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 15.00
Out of the tourist season, from 1 October to 31 March:
Tuesday – Friday: 9.00 -16.00
On Mondays and holidays the Museum is closed
Full price ticket: 5 zł
Half-price ticket: 3 zł
Guide: 20 zł
Karwacjan Manor House
The Karwacjan Manor House is the home to the Museum of Karwacjan and Gładysz Manor Houses. While visiting Gorlice one simply has to go to the family estate of the town founders – the Karwacjan Manor House, also known as “the Arian Church” or “the granary”. These names describe its former functions.
The ground part of the building is what remains from a defensive manor house built by Dersław II Karwacjan at the beginning of the 15th century. The Manor House was almost completely destroyed during World War I and then partially reconstructed in the 1970s. Between 1982 and 1992 it was renovated on the basis of archival photographs.
Nowadays, the Karwacjan Manor House serves as a residence of the Museum of Karwacjan and Gładysz Manor Houses. The stone cellars were converted into a stylish café. There is also a large showroom named after priest Bronisław Świeykowski – the appointed Mayor of Gorlice in the years 1914-1915 and a smaller room named after Professor Włodzimierz Kunz – the former rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow and the Honorary Citizen of Gorlice.
In front of the building we can admire the monument of the founder of Gorlice – Dersław I Karwacjan which was unveiled in 2005 on the town’s 650th anniversary.
Wróblewskiego Street 10a, 38-300 Gorlice
(+48) 18 353 56 18, fax (+48) 18 353 56 01
Monday - Friday: 8.00 – 17.00
Saturday: 11.00 – 17.00
Full price ticket: 2 zł
Half price ticket: 1 zł
Sunday: Free admission
A neo-renaissance Minor Basilica of the Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary, designed by M.F Pavoni, with the altar by Marcony and painting by Jan Styka
The church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary was, until 1983, the only temple in Gorlice. It was built in a neo-renaissance style between 1875 and 1890 according to the design of Francesco Pavoni and Maximilian Nitsch. The church was nearly destroyed during the World War I and was rebuilt in the years of 1920-1931.
What is characteristic about the monumental church edifice is its facade, similar to classical forms, decorated with stone sculptures of four Evangelists: Matthew with a book, Mark with a lion, Lukas with a head of a bullock and John with an eagle. There is a Latin inscription on the front of the building GORLICENSES VIRGINI DEIPARAE, which means “From the Gorlice inhabitants to the Virgin Mother of God”.
There are many beautiful stained-glass windows presenting saints, the most impressive one is placed above the loft - picturing St. Stanley. Inside the church, particular attention should be paid to the main altar, designed by Leonard Marconi. It is adorned by a magnificent painting by Jan Styka “The Ascension of Our Mother”. In the left aisle, there is an altar with a painting by Piotr Strachiewicz titled “St. Joseph with the Baby Jesus”, the Figure of Lord Jesus in Prison (probably from the 16th or 17th century) and a painting by Józef Mehoffer portraying St. Theresa.
On 23 May 2009, by the decision of Pope Benedict XVI, the Church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary became a Minor Basilica.
The first in the world street oil lamp
The Shrine of the Pensive Christ (1593) at the Węgierska street – at a place where the world’s first street oil lamp was ignited.
At this place in 1854 the world ’s first street oil lamp, constructed by Ignacy Łukasiewicz, was lit by town councilors. In order to commemorate this epochal event a shrine with the replica of the 16th century sculpture of the Pensive Christ was erected. The original figure can be seen in the PTTK Regional Museum at the Wąska street.
A local legend says that the sculpture was brought to Gorlice by a river during a flood. In 2016 a mural on the building at the intersection of Węgierska and Kościuszki streets, right behind the Shrine of the Pensive Christ, was created. It memorializes the ignition of the first in the world street oil lamp.
The Shrine from 1664 at the Kręta street – the oldest shrine in Gorlice
The oldest shrine in Gorlice is located at the Kręta Street – near the charming stairs leading to the Blich Street. The Shrine was funded in 1664 by one of the townsmen as a votive offering for being saved from conflagration during the raid of George II Rakoczy – the Prince of Transylvania, during the “Swedish Deluge”. The raid was a huge disaster for the town, it took many years to rebuilt all the buildings. 85 houses were destroyed in the fire as well as the town hall, church, manor house of Jan Pieniążek, old Karwacjan Manor House and the mansion of Marianna Rylska.
The Shrine has its own legend of an enchanted manor house with a prince and princess inside. It is said that underground twelve courtiers, changed into white mice, overwatch twelve barrels full of ducats. Whoever guesses the magic spell and says it aloud at midnight will make the manor house come alive again and will receive half of the treasure.
Kromer Secondary School
The school was established in 1906 as the Imperial and Royal State Gymnasium in Gorlice. The first classes were held in the room that belonged to the “Sokół” Gymnastics Association.
The current building of the school was constructed between 1912 and 1914 according to Tadeusz Mostowski’s design. It is one of the most beautiful school buildings in Poland. Its attic is adorned with heads of rulers who were known to put special emphasis on youth education: Casimir the Great, Jadwiga of Poland and Władysław Jagiełło.
The outbreak of World War I stopped classes and the school building was taken over, first by the Austrian and then by Russian troops. Initially, it served as the Austrian military hospital but later on, when the front line moved, it was captured by the Russians.
In 1915, the artillery bombardment destroyed the left wing of the building which was designed as a gym and chapel. After hasty and provisional repair the classes resumed on 30 October 1915. In 1953, the State Gymnasium was transformed into a General Secondary School. In 1986, on its 80th anniversary, the Secondary School was named after Marcin Kromer.
Gorlice Region is a place where people of different religions, cultures, traditions or even nationalities live. Despite many differences, they respect and help each other on a daily basis. In Gorlice next to the members of Roman Catholic Church, also Greek Catholics and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church dwell. Until 1991 members of the Orthodox Church could not take part in religious rituals in their own town – they had to visit churches in Bielanka, Bartne or Hańczowa. In 1991 – after 5 years of construction – His Eminenece the Metropolitan Bazyli blessed the temple under the invocation of the Holy Trinity. Different historical sources tell us that already in the 15th century an orthodox church existed in Gorlice. An ikon of St. Nicholas from this church can currently be viewed in the Museum in Lviv.
The present orthodox church was erected upon the Greek cross layout in Byzantine-Ruthenian style. Its coping consists of one main cupola and five smaller ones. It constitutes a certain kind of memorial devoted to the martyr’s death of Maksym Sandowicz who was executed without a trial by Austrian soldiers on 6 September 1914. In 1994 ceremonies connected with Maksym’s canonization took place.
An iconostas derived from a destroyed church in the Bieszczady Mountains can be seen inside the church. It was severely damaged but in 1998 it was renovated and gold-plated.
In 1999 the Diocesan Museum was opened. In the same year, painting the church interior was completed, which combined the Byzantine style and secular art. Visible frescos depict some biblical scenes of the Old and New Testament.
Sklarczykówka – the memorial house of Wilhelm Mach
At the crossroad of Legionów and Krasińskiego streets there is a Memorial House of Wilhelm Mach, the so-called “Sklarczykówka”. The building was built between 1932 and 1933 due to Józef Szklarczyk.
During the occupation the building was used as Gestapo headquarters. In Sklarczykówka 2780 people were arrested and 293 of them were killed. Others, in large part, were deported to different concentration camps. In the building ‘s cellars some writings, graved by the prisoners, are visible. On the facade there is a plaque commemorating the martyrdom of Gorlice ’s inhabitants during the Hitlerian occupation.
Sklarczykówka was the residence of the Border Police in Jasło, the so-called Nebenstelle Gorlice. It was sequentially managed by SS-UnterscharführerHovelmayer, SS-Oberscharführer Otto Friedrich and SS-Hauptscharführer Ernst Fundheller. On 30 June 1968 in Nuremberg a trial against Gestapo servicemen from Nebenstelle Gorlice: Paul Baron, Ernst Piecha i Otto Fridrich took place. All of them were sentenced to life imprisonment. During the trial Ernst Fundheller was testifying as the defence witness. He was recognized as the Gestapo leader in Gorlice by some of the prosecution witnesses (M.Boczoń, M.Szwarc, J.Matelles). As a result, he was arrested and presumably died before or during his legal case.
After the war, Sklarczykówka building served as a place where residents of Gorlice were interrogated by NKVD. The German torture chamber turned into the Communist one. After the investigation in Gorlice all of the detainees were forced to go on foot to Nowy Sącz. Any escape attempts were punishable by death.
In 1985 the building was turned over to the Polish Teacher ’s Union on the occasion of its 80th anniversary and 20th anniversary of Bronisław Sartorius ‘s death. Nowadays, inside the building there are living quarters and offices of private businesses.
Military Cemetery no. 91 on the Cemetery Hill
Gorlice region is stained with blood of soldiers of three armies which were fighting here during the World War I. Every single war is terrible and unfair. However, the main pathos of WWI stems from the fact that many times in the opposing armies people of the same nationality fought against each other.
Among Gorlice ‘s necropolis the Military Cemetery no. 91, situated on the Cemetery Hill, is a very important and special place. Soldiers who died between November 1914 and May 1915 rest here. Most of them died on 2 May 1915 during the so-called “Operation of Gorlice”.
The Cemetery, designed by architect Emil Ladewig, resembles a fortress. A stony Latin cross, designed by captain Gustaw Ludwig, is the central part of the cemetery. On its frontal wall two plaques are placed: one from 1928 funded by people of Gorlice and one funded by the Association of Disabled Soldiers. The whole necropolis is surrounded by a high stony wall fortified with bastilles. On its exterior wall, on the left side of the entrance gate plaques with the names of the fallen Russian soldiers are placed.
The entrance of the cemetery is guarded by a great stony gate covered by hipped roof, which resembles an ancient triumphal arch. The gate also has plaques with names of the fallen soldiers. At the cemetery there are many steles – gravestones surmounted by Latin crosses. Soldiers, who fought in the hostile armies and in foreign uniforms, but in the Polish matter rest in 161 common graves and 140 single ones.
WORLD WAR I CEMETERY NO 87 designed by H.Mayr
The cemetery is located on the Łokietka street, on the yellow tourist trail from Gorlice to Bielanka village. It is commonly called the cemetery ‘on Pocieszka’ from a popular name of this part of the town. 205 soldiers from the Austrian, German and Russian armies are buried there. Also Polish names can be found on the graves. A tall Latin wooden cross with a tin roof is the central element. The grave sections are situated on both sides of the main path. Concrete vertical gravestones and crosses with plates were placed on the graves.
WORLD WAR I CEMETERY NO 88 designed by H.Mayr
The cemetery is situated in the district called Sokół, on the green tourist trail from the Dukielska Street to Wapienne village, 200 meters from the road. It is called the cemetery “on Magierka” from the name of the hill it was built on. 20 soldiers from the Austrian army and 100 from the Russian army were buried here. The design, based on the shape of a Latin cross, is very simple. The cemetery is surrounded by a concrete wall with two symmetrical entrance gates. A huge concrete Latin cross, visible from a distance, is the central element. The graves, majority of which are collective, are topped with metal Latin or two-armed patriarchal crosses.
WORLD WAR I CEMETERY NO 90 designed by H.Mayr
The cemetery is located on the Stróżowska street. Originally it constituted a separate section of a Jewish cemetery, which was built on the steep western slope of the Cemetery Hill. 6 soldiers of Jewish faith, 5 soldiers from the Austrian army and 1 from the Russian army are buried there. The graves are situated about 30 meters to the south of the lower wall of the ohel. Matsevahs with the six-armed star of David were placed on the graves.
WORLD WAR I CEMETERY NO 92 designed by H.Mayr
The cemetery is located about 250 meters to the east of the Stróżowska Street. 98 soldiers from the Russian army were buried here. Its design is based on a lengthened rectangular with a risalto. The cemetery is surrounded by a concrete wall from three sides and a fence from the gate side. A wooden Latin cross, placed next to an oak, is the central element of the cemetery. The two-armed metal crosses on the graves are fixed in concrete pedestals.
WORLD WAR I CEMETERY NO 98 designed by H.Mayr
The cemetery is located in a district of Gorlice called Glinik, about 100 meters from the Biecka street, which is the town ring road. 254 soldiers from the Russian army were buried here. Its design was based on a square. The cemetery is surrounded by a concrete wall with a semicircular gate topped with a ball and two-armed cross. The main entrance marks out a path on which end there is a low monument with a inscribed plaque. On the tombstones there are cast-iron tow-armed crosses with leaf wreaths hanged on the lower arms.
Originally, it was the town’s main market square. In 1700 a 11 meters deep well was built here. In the 19th century Dworzysko was a Jewish district, as Jewish people represented half of town’s population at that time. There were two synagogues: at Strażacka street (transformed into a fire station) and at Piekarska Street (transformed into today’s bakery). In 1941 a ghetto was formed at the Dworzysko Square. In 2011 the monument of Tereska Kosibianka, symbol of women fighting in the town’s defence, was relocated here from the Square Market. Nowadays, the Square serves as a place where groceries, agricultural products and handcraft are sold.
The second half of the 19th century was a time of a dynamic development and fast industrialization of the town. Jewish entrepreneurs and bankers started pouring in together with their capital. With time, the Jewish community arose along the Dworzysko Square and the adjacent streets. Piekarska, Blich and Garbarska streets together with the above mentioned Dworzysko turned into a separate religious and ethnic district of the town.
Until 1939, half of the population of Gorlice was Jewish. At the outbreak of the World War II, some of the Jews from Gorlice escaped to the east, to the areas taken over by the Soviet Union.
In October 1941 the Germans established a ghetto in Gorlice which was made of two parts: Dworzysko and Garbarnia districts. On 17 August 1942 the final liquidation of Gorlice Jews was commenced. The action was preceded with murders aimed at terrorizing the Jewish community and preparing them for the transport to Bełżec concentration camp, where they were brutally killed.
In 2012 at the square in front of the former synagogue, at the crossroad of Krzywa and Strażacka streets, a ceremony unveiling a plaque commemorating the holocaust of Gorlice Jews was held.
The traces of Jewish presence can now be found in the former synagogue building (today’s bakery) at the corner of Piekarska and Cicha streets and at the Jewish cemetery at the Stróżowska street.
Former synagogue (today’s bakery) at the corner of Piekarska and Cicha streets
A big synagogue (Piekarska 3) was erected at the end of the 19th century, at a place where originally a wooden temple was located (built at the turn of the 18th and 19thcentury – it burnt down in 1847). It is situated in the northwestern part of the town at the Piekarska Street, which runs out from the western frontage of the Market Square.
Initially, the synagogue was comprised of two parts: of a square, man-oriented prayer chamber and of a storied penthouse with a vestibule and women ‘s gallery at the ground level.
During the World War I, in 1915, the building was severely destroyed. During the World War II, after the liquidation of Gorlice’s ghetto, the Germans devastated the interior of the synagogue, turning it into a stable. After the war it served as a warehouse. In 1967 a bakery was formed inside, which functions until this day. Pending the conversion the inside of the building was thoroughly remodeled. Above other things, a ceiling above the man chamber was built on.
In the facade of the building a plaque commemorating the martyrology of Gorlice Jews from the WW II was built-in.
Former synagogue at the corner of Strażacka and Krzywa streets
This synagogue was built at the end of the 19th century. Its creation was initiated by one of the town’s Hasidic groups. During the World War II the interior of the building was devastated by Hitlerites. After the war it was transformed into a fire station.
Initially, the synagogue had an eclectic character. It was formed of two parts: of a square, man-oriented prayer chamber and of a side wing at the Strażacka street.
The elevation‘s decoration was completely reshaped during the building’s adaptation into a fire station. Unfortunately, it fell into ruin and was demolished in 2016.
Gorlice’s Golgotha on the Castle Hill at the Zamkowa street
In the past, the Castle Hill had a cross with a plate from the 1980s that said “Pope John Paul II”. It is possible that the father of the Polish Pope, Karol Wojtyła senior, was stationed in the trenches as an Austrian sergeant during the World War I in the area of the hill and participated in the fights that took place from November 1914 to May 1915. The first Way of the Cross was held here in 1994 by the initiator of the Calvary construction – the parish priest of St. Andrew Bobola parish.
Golgotha – the place of suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The place of excruciating struggle of God-Human with manlike pain, helplessness and fear. But most of all, Golgotha is the place of God’s victory over sin and death. It is a hope for all of us - contemporary people: lost, fearful and often doubtful.
The Gorlice inhabitants have their own Via Dolorosa, where they go on pilgrimages, where they take their friends and which they show to the tourists with pride. It is situated on a hill located over a kilometer from the Church of St. Andrew Bobola. Once we cross the stony gate, we enter almost a completely different reality. Walking pensively down the paths of Via Dolorosa in Gorlice, we admire the figure of Christ in the Gethsemane, the tower with Christ as the Man with Sorrows, the respective stations of the Way of the Cross, and finally, the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. The incredibly impressive 4-meter Figure of Christ Ascension, standing on a 12-meter plinth overlooks not only the hill, but also the entire town. It can be seen from very far away. It welcomes and blesses the inhabitants of Gorlice who return to their homes, as well as the visitors and tourists.
Wojciech Biechoński Town Park
A place definitely worth seeing is Wojciech Biechoński Town Park which lies at a place where the Ropa and Sękówka rivers fork. It is one of the oldest and the most beautiful town parks in Poland. The Park was established in 1900 by Wojciech Biechoński, the Mayor of Gorlice and the participant of the January Uprising.
The Park covers an area of 24 acres, a substantial part of which is covered by an ancient forest of the so-called Sokół Woods i.e. the Park Hill (347 m a.s.l.) with the escarpment of sandstone blocks. In the park’ s lower part we can admire 100 and 150 years old trees with exotic specimen and interesting bushes e.g. liriodendron tulipifera. The park has a 2,5 km long cycle path. There is also a nature-educational path with flora and fauna descriptions as well as geological information explained on large boards in Polish and German.
Gorlice’s park also offers a lesson of history through some important monuments: the bust of Wojciech Biechoński – the Mayor of Gorlice and the park’s founder, the monument of the Polish national poet Juliusz Słowacki and the monument of Kazimierz Pułaski – the national hero of Poland and the United States of America. Whereas, the most photographed monument in the park is the stony one of two cuddling bears. Several generations hold a photo with the park bears in their albums. The best thing is, that we make photos with them regardless of our age.
Długosz Family Palace in Siary
The architectural gem of the Gorlice region is the Długosz Family Palace. It was owned by Władysław Długosz who built it to replace a small manor house purchased from Władysław Dembowski. The today’s palace is a replacement of two former ones, which burned down during fires in 1916 and 1923. The Art Nouveau palace is located on a steep escarpment which descends towards the Sękówka river.
It was built according to the design of Fellner and Helmer ‘s architectural studio from Vienna, which also prepared designs for the reconstruction of the castle theatre in Łańcut. What is truly delightful about the Długosz Family Palace is its interesting mass, as well as the oval dormers, the mansard roofs and windows which stretch almost to the floor. The rich architectural forms of the palace combine perfectly with the design of the elevations and the interior – the bright and spacious rooms, the large entrance hall, stairs with a marble balustrade, the ballroom, as well as the beautiful tile stoves and fireplace.
In the charming park which surrounds the palace, one can see not only the age-old oaks, the slender spruces and the stately plane trees, but also the garden sculptures by Piotr Wójtowicz – a famous sculptor from Lviv, who made ca. 60 stone sculptures ordered by Długosz. The pond with a bridge, the creek, the fountain and the impressive pergola with a row of poles, on which plants of several species climb – it all adds to the park’s charm.
During the war, the palace was the seat of Wehrmacht. In the 1980s, it was the location of a training and recreational center for agricultural workers, as well as a branch of the Wapienne sanatorium. Nowadays, it is a private property and serves as a hotel.
The Open-Air Museum of the Oil Industry „Magdalena” in Gorlice
The Open-Air Museum of the Oil Industry was established in the former “Magdalena” mine at the Lipowa street in Gorlice. The museum was designed to faithfully present the history of Gorlice‘s oil industry and to preserve its remnants. The Museum is in constant development.
Inside, you may not only see the tools used for drilling petroleum more than 100 years ago, but also have a try at lighting fire with bellows in the forge, forge a horseshoe for good luck, bow to St. Barbara, see the beautiful panorama of Beskid Niski mountains from the drilling tower or excavate the ‘black gold’ from the reconstructed “Ćwiartka mine”, which is guarded by a “łebak” (oil industry worker). You can also visit a reconstruction of self-outflow of crude oil, which used to be accumulated in the so-called “bęsiory”.
The Museum has an educational and historical character and says a lot about traditions of the region. Museum visitors can also use the barbecue area, play sports and recreation games. This unique place is a magnet not only for Gorlice residents, but also for tourists who visit our region.