is one of the oldest Mazovian towns. First time chronicled in a
document- Boguslaus de Rava which comes from 1228 and was written
in Grzymisława - duchess of Sandomierz manuscript. But up to now
we do not exactly know when Rawa medieval town appeared. It is high
probability that the town was placed within the areas, which is
called today "Angel" Mount, the hill covered with woods,
where 13th century timber and earth medieval settlement existed.
The 14th century
brought Rawa the civic rights (1321-"Rava oppido"; the
first town in Rawa land), as well as a large brick castle of mazovian
Princes (built in 1355-1370). During that period Siemowit III ruled
the region. He was a vital ally for King Casimir the Great. Up till
1370 the town itself was functioning as the capital of the whole
Mazovian district. Unfortunately the ruler -Siemowit was unlucky
in his private life. Hence,
the most popular Rawa legend tells the story that the prince ordered
unjustly to wall up his wife- Ludmiła, for imaginary unfaithfulness.
Certainly, the cruel ruler was not right and the ghost of the innocent
princess wanders in the castle ruins until the present day. The
motif was used by William Shakespeare in one of his masterpieces
"The Winter's Tale". In 1462 Rawa was a host of Casimir
the Jagiellon, and after its incorporation into the Crown the town
became the capital of Rawa province and grew to be the biggest town
in Mazovia. The 14th and 15th centuries were a prosperous period
in the course of Rawa history. Wars to a minor extend destroyed
the surroundings and trade and agriculture were developing rapidly.
Rawa was an important center, which was proven by the fact that
it was here that in Rawa castle so called "skarb kwarciany"
(quarter treasure) was kept. The treasure to which "quarter"
- the tax for maintaining the Polish Republic Army was paid. Worth
noticing is also the information of coming Jesuits to Rawa. They
had their own church of Virgin Mary in 1613, and up to 1622 completed
the building of a college where Jan Chryzostom Pasek
(a famous Polish chronicler) was educated. In the second half of
the 17th century the Swedes sized the town. The castle and town's
building structure were completely damage which was proven by the
document of one of the regional councils gathering estimating the
town condition: " ...again and again the enemy soldiers devastated
and laid waste to the town". In 1795 Rawa was incorporated
to Prussia, and since 1807 was the capital of Rawa province of the
Grand Duchy of Warsaw. The years of Polish Kingdom brought the development
of the town. In the result of the municipal regulation plan, the
streets were ordered; the Neo-Classicist Town Hall was erected as
well as a complex of tenement houses surrounding the market place.
The English style park creating with the market place a common architectural
enterprise dates back to the same period. According to the Polish
government's intention of industrialization a new cotton manufacture
was placed here. Economic development was stopped by the November
uprising. In1882 the Voluntary Fire Guard came into existence-at
present OSP (Voluntary Fire Brigade) Which is probably the oldest
Rawa organization with its own orchestra and the section of trained
divers. The 20th century was the age of ups and downs for the town.
World War I completely destroyed the town; the period between the
wars was the time of rebuilding and intensive investments, regrettably
drastically stopped by the Second World War. Rawa again lay in ruin.
Today Rawa Mazowiecka is a county town inhabited nearly by 20,000
people located at the meeting point of transport routes: Warsaw-Łódź
and Warsaw-Katowice-Prague. It is the place especially worth visiting
in a summer season owing to "Tatar" water reservoir. The
lake is divided into the recreational part with a touristy infrastructure
(a hotel, a sports hall, a marina and gastronomic areas etc.) and
the second part - the sanctuary. A delightful riverside walk along
lanes in Rawa Old Park, an excursion to the Museum of Rawa Region
or compulsory visit of Piast Mazovian ghost who lives in the 14th
century castle tower can be wonderful extra activities. These are
only few of many attractions waiting for tourists, which certainly
won't allow anybody to forget about Rawa.