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History of Jabłonna

The origins of the modern-times settlement within the territory of the Jabłonna commune date back to the early fourteenth century, a fact which is attested by the following documents:
- “Spominki Płockie II” (“The Chronicles of Płock”) of 1339 mention that beekeepers from the settlement of Jabłonna were obliged to deliver fourteen large pitchers of honey (nearly 20% of all honey deliveries) to the Płock bishopric;
- the 1374 foundation act of the parish of Wieliszew specifying that the territory of the newly established parish was excluded from the parish of Chotomów.

The villages of Jabłonna (Jabłonowo at the time, thus named after numerous apple orchards, with the Polish word jabłoń meaning apple tree) and Chotomów (Chotomowo at the time) were founded in accordance with the German (Magdeburg) law in 1418 by the Bishop of Płock, Jakub of Korzkiew, of the Syrokomla coat of arms. Soon afterwards, being “a healthy and peaceful locality”, Jabłonna became a residence of the bishops of Płock and an administrative centre of extensive lands. As a parish seat, Chotomów also played an important role as the spiritual centre of the area.

Initially, the territory of the present commune of Jabłonna was rather sparsely populated; its development was inextricably linked with the increased importance of Warsaw and the more frequent visits of the bishops of Płock. The local economy was primarily based on agriculture, horticulture and forest beekeeping: Jabłonów was the only known church estate in Mazovia to enjoy the right to engage in forest beekeeping.

The first significant mansion was founded here in the early sixteenth century: in 1509 Bishop Erazm Ciołek signed a contract with Jerzy, a builder from Warsaw, for the construction of stone cellars and underpinnings, probably supporting a wooden building (mentioned as existing during the construction of a new residence). In 1646 a private chapel was founded by Bishop Karol Ferdynard Vasa, which is commemorated by a marble tablet placed on the western wall of the present palace. Based on that, we assume that the chapel was built of brick or stone. In 1648, Bishop Karol founded a new mansion and, a year later, an Italian garden. It is very likely that those projects were related to his endeavours to ascend the Polish throne, following the death of Władysław IV.

In 1774 Jabłonna was purchased from the Płock Chapter by Bishop Michał Jerzy Poniatowski, who used his income from the Cracow bishopric to develop the estate and build a palace with outhouses, pavilions, a Chinese bower and a grotto. Under his wise management, the layout of the village was adjusted, buildings for villagers were erected and the road linking Jabłonna with Warsaw was improved. He also transformed the local economy: forest beekeeping was gradually replaced by hive beekeeping, charcoal kilns were established, and timber was floated from the local woods.

After the death of Michał Poniatowski in 1794, the Jabłonna estate was taken over by his nephew, Prince Józef Poniatowski, who usually spent the summers between 1798 and 1806 there, and in winter he stayed at the Copper Roof Palace in Warsaw. On the ground floor of the Jabłonna palace he would receive guests, whereas his living quarters were on the second floor, in rooms equipped with modest English style furniture and decorated with items from his weapons collection, as well as sketches by Orłowski. According to the chroniclers, “this was his favourite residence, where he personally supervised the layout of the gardens, thus giving vent to his soldiers’ energy”. Prince Józef Poniatowski designed the so-called “Jabłonna uniform” worn by his friends. It consisted of a light-green tailcoat lined with a yellow fabric, with a red collar and gilded buttons with the inscription “Jabłonna”, and a straw yellow vest.

In his will, Prince Poniatowski bequeathed the Jabłonna estate to his sister Maria Teresa Tyszkiewicz on the condition that it would later be transferred to his niece, Anna née Tyszkiewicz, 1st married name Potocka, 2nd married name Dunin Wąsowicz. Following the transfer in 1822, Anna commissioned a thorough remodelling of the palace and garden, as well as the construction of a triumphal arch, walls with a gate, stables and coach houses. The transformation of the residence was possible to a large extent owing to the financial and artistic support of Anna’s first husband, Aleksander Potocki, the owner of Wilanów.

Later Jabłonna fell into the hands of the Potocki family, namely August Potocki, a great horse lover. In 1867 he established huge stables for racing horses there. It was not a breeding stud though, as August only purchased them. Many times horses from Jabłonna won the famous Służewiec races. August’s son Maurycy, the last Potocki to own Jabłonna, was a renowned patron of the arts. In 1906, he also inherited the vast estates of Nieporęt and Białobrzegi, covering 7,800 hectares.

As an active member of the Polish Hunting Association, Maurycy organised famous hunts in Jabłonna. Business was another source of his income: one of the businesses he established was the Jabłonna Glassworks employing 250 people. The site where it existed now belongs to the municipality of Legionowo.

By that time, Jabłonna had already become a popular holiday resort for the residents of Warsaw. In 1925, a new parish was founded in response to the needs of holidaymakers and the increasing number of permanent residents. Another important event of the interwar period was the development of the garrison located within the commune of Jabłonna into a new (and subsequently independent) town Legionowo.

During the Polish defensive war of 1939, the “Modlin” Army Headquarters were briefly located in the Jabłonna palace. Under the German occupation, partisan groups were very active in Jabłonna. Owing to his good relations with the occupying authorities, the palace owner himself was able to lend support to imprisoned patriots (many of whom were released owing to his intercession). In July 1944, with the Front approaching, Potocki moved the most valuable works of art from Jabłonna to Warsaw, thus managing to preserve a part of that art collection. A month later, German troops blew up the palace and the parish church in Jabłonna. The fierce fighting in October 1944 added to the devastation.

In the first years after the war, the Jabłonna commune was recovering from the ravages of war. The parish church and, owing to the efforts Polish Academy of Sciences PAN, the palace were rebuilt, the latter to become a PAN Conference and Convention Centre. A large part of the commune was incorporated into Warsaw in 1951 and again in 1977. That is when the Jabłonna commune took its present shape.
  • Centrum Kultury i Sportu
  • Gminne Centrum Informacji
  • Jezioro Zegrzyńskie
  • Gminny Ośrodek Pomocy Społecznej w Jabłonnie
  • Gminna Biblioteka Publiczna w Jabłonnie
  • Bezpłatna Szkoła Rodzenia
  • Wojewódzki Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej w Warszawie
  • Legion Klub HDK PCK
  • Planowane Wyłączenia Prądu
  • Turystyczny Szlak Patriotyczny Polski Walczącej
  • 32 Wieliszewski Dywizjon Rakietowy Obrony Powietrznej
  • Gaz System
  • Powiatowe Centrum Integracji Społecznej w Legionowie
© 2002-2015 Urząd Gminy w Jabłonnie
Zawartość merytoryczna: MICHAŁ SMOLIŃSKI, e-mail: promocja@jablonna.pl
Projekt: INFOSTRONY - ADAM PODEMSKI, e-mail: adam.podemski@infostrony.pl
Aktualizacja tech: INFOSTRONY - MONIKA MILLER, e-mail: monika.sowa@infostrony.pl