Łomża (/ˈwɒmʒə/; Polish pronunciation: [ˈwɔmʐa],
Yiddish: Lomzhe) is a city in north-eastern Poland, approximately 150
kilometres (90 miles) to the north-east of
Warsaw and 80 kilometres
(50 mi) west of Białystok. It is situated alongside the Narew
river as part of the
Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999. Previously, it
was the capital of the
Łomża Voivodeship from 1975 to 1998. It is
the capital of
Łomża County and has been the seat of the Roman
Catholic Diocese of
Łomża since 1925.
Łomża is one of the principal economic, educational, and cultural
centres of north-eastern
Masovia as well as one of the three main
Podlaskie Voivodeship (beside
Białystok and Suwałki). It
lends its name to the protected area of
Łomża Landscape Park. The
town is also the location of the
2.1 Historical population of
Łomża between 1808 and 1931
7 Points of interest
8 Notable people
9 See also
11 External links
Łomża was founded in the 10th century, on the site of the present
day village called Stara
Łomża (Old Łomża). It was first mentioned
in official records in the 14th century.
Łomża received its
municipal rights in 1416, and became an important political and
economic center in the mid-16th century.
Synagogue destroyed in 1941 by the German Nazis
Bolesław IV the Curly (Polish: Bolesław Kędzierzawy)
built a palace there in the 12th century. In 1444 the town was granted
an exemption from the transit tax on
Narew river contributing to its
further development. In the 16th century
Zygmunt II August
Zygmunt II August gave
Łomża the right to hold great fairs three times a year, similar to
Warsaw and Płock. In 1618 a great fire destroyed most of the city,
and six years later, an epidemic killed 5,021 persons decimating its
population. A series of disasters (including the Swedish invasion and
Cossack raids) resulted in its rapid decline.
References to Jewish residents in
Łomża date to 1494. The population
numbers date back only to 1808, when 157 Jews were officially counted.
A magnificent stone synagogue was built there in 1881 on the
Rabbi Eliezer-Simcha Rabinowicz. The Great Synagogue
Enrico Marconi became a centre of the Zionist movement.
In 1931, there were 8,912 Jews who lived in the city.
During the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921,
Łomża was directly in the
path of the Russian army's catastrophic retreat following its defeat
at the Battle of Warsaw. On August 15, 1920, the Soviet General August
Kork of the 15th Army mounted an unsuccessful defence of the town
against the Polish Fourth Army of General Leonard Skierski, before
continuing its retreat eastward under pressure from the Polish
In September 1939, during the joint Soviet and German invasion of
Łomża was largely destroyed by the Nazis during the Battle
of Łomża, then held and turned over to the Red Army. It remained
in the Soviet hands until Operation Barbarossa. In June 1941, at the
onset of the Russian campaign it was taken over by the German forces.
On 12 August 1941, a
Łomża Ghetto was created in the vicinity of the
Old Market Square (Stary Rynek). The Nazi
SS-Obersturmführer Hermann Schaper
SS-Obersturmführer Hermann Schaper committed mass killings of alleged
Soviet collaborators a few days later. The number of Jews herded into
the Ghetto from surrounding villages and towns including Jedwabne,
Stawiski, Piątnica, Rotki, Wizna,
Łomża and others, ranged from
10,000 to 18,000. Over two thousand people were murdered in the
Giełczyn Forest outside of town. Many Jews perished from malnutrition
and diseases such as dysentery and typhus. The rest were shipped to
Auschwitz. The ghetto was liquidated in the final deportation action
on 1 November 1942. Only a small number of the Jews of
Łomża survived the Holocaust; some found refuge with Catholic Polish
families. At the end of 1944, the
USSR recaptured the territory.
Yalta Conference the Soviets ceded the city back to
Poland, with population reduced to 12,500 inhabitants.
In the years 1946-1975 the oldest part of the city was rebuilt. New
housing estates came into existence along with several industrial
plants, among them
Łomża cotton and furniture factories and starch
manufacturing PEPEES, as well as municipal thermal power station. The
city transit system was also established during this time. By the
beginning of the 1970s, the population had reached almost 30,000
Population of Łomża
Łomża is the third largest city in
Podlaskie Voivodeship with 63,036
inhabitants. At the end of 2006, the population growth was positive
and amounted to 1.3% per 1000 inhabitants whereas the balance of
migration was negative (-520). The unemployment rate in May 2008
amounted to 10,2%. According to data from 2006, an average
income per inhabitant amounted to 2,942.31 zł.
Historical population of
Łomża between 1808 and 1931
General population in blue. Number of Poles of Jewish faith in green.
Source: Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel.
The inhabitants of
Łomża are predominantly Roman Catholic, although
over the centuries in addition to the Catholics, followers of other
religions have settled there. There is evidence of many Jewish and
Protestant gravestones at the
Łomża cemeteries, particularly the two
abandoned Jewish cemeteries.
Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel
Nave of the Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral, tombstone from 1589
Capuchin parish church (18th century) in Łomża
The history of education in
Łomża dates back to the early 15th
century, when the first parish was founded. In 1614,
Łomża created a Collegium. One of its rectors was Andrew Bobola.
The educational level has not decreased after the KEN school pijarom
Łomża has educated a number of dignitaries, among others:
Szymon Konarski, Rafał Krajewski, Jakub Ignacy Weight, Wojciech
Szweykowski, and Adam Chętnik.
Łomża there is a well-developed network of public and
private schools at all levels. There are seven primary schools, eight
schools, ten secondary schools, six universities (including three
non-public) and two schools of art. The educational level in Łomża
is high, based on the results of the exams and countrywide lists. For
example, I Liceum Ogólnokształcące rates as a top national and
College of Computer Science and Business Administration in Łomża.
A building of the 1st grammar school, named after Tadeusz Kościuszko
A building of a seminary school in Łomża
WSA Students group in the front of the main building
The history of sport in
Łomża dates back to the end of the 19th
century, when the first amateur races were held in 1897. Two years
Łomża Rowing Society was established, and initiated its
activities on January 26, 1902.
The first football club was founded on April 16, 1926, currently known
as ŁKS Łomża. There are several sports clubs in town including
volleyball, basketball, athletics and martial arts. The most
successful Łomżanie would be Athletics, Sports Fighting and
Kulturystyce. On June 2009 in Łomża, the Nationwide Finale
Gimnazjady football (soccer) for boys was held. The local football
team from Public High School No. 8 took third place.
Łomża sport is
supported by the Society for Promoting Physical Culture and the
Łomża School Sports Association. 1998 saw the opening of an indoor
sports arena for national and international sporting events, including
indoor football matches and Eastern martial arts tournaments.
In 2009, a contract was signed for the construction of a municipal
swimming pool to open in 2011, which will be the second such facility
in the city. Construction of the swimming pool was co-financed by the
EU's regional operational programme for the Voivodship for the years
2007-2013, and its total cost will be 35,200,000 PLN.
ŁKS Łomża Stadium
ŁKS Łomża football club from Łomża
Łomża Orlik Sports Complex
Browar Łomża (Brewery)
The economy of
Łomża is closely connected to its natural
environment, with agricultural and forestry industries at the
forefront of the region's economic development. The economy is
ecologically friendly, including the food industries, brewing,
electronics, the manufacture of building materials and furniture, the
production and processing of agricultural crops, as well as tourism
Even the largest companies employ less than 1,000 workers, even though
a number of firms are listed on the Podlasie Top One Hundred
Entrepreneurs. Among them, the
Łomża Brewery (large scale
producer of beer), DOMEL (producer of unleaded windows), FARGOTEX
(importer of upholstery fabrics), Konrad (importer of farm animals),
Łomża furniture factory (Łomżyńska Fabryka Mebli), PEPEES
(producer of potato starch), Purzeczko (the personal and property
protection). On top of that, the city is a registered office of the
Podlasie Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture.
By the end of 2007, the number of people steadily employed in Łomża
was 13,408, including 7,170 women, however, the unemployment rate
(as of 2009[update]) remained considerably high at 14.1 percent.
The number of businesses registered by the end of 2008 was 6,421 of
which 6,280 belonged to the private sector.
Points of interest
Tenement houses on the (Stary Rynek) Old Market Square
Monument to Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński
Eastern Orthodox Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
Regional Court in Łomża
Jakub Waga Park
Monument to Hanka Bielicka
Julita Fabiszewska, singer/songwriter; participant in Bitwa na głos.
Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Chief
Israel and father of Chaim
Herzog, 6th President of Israel
Samuel A. Levine, influential American cardiologist
Philip L. Rabinowitz, rabbi of Kesher
Israel Congregation in
Zenon Komarczyk, expatriate and American living in California, USA.
Adam Grajko, the world's premier alcoholic beverage expert
Łomża Landscape Park
List of cities in Poland
^ Central Statistical Office (Poland): Population of cities in
^ a b c d e f Qiryat Tiv'on, "
Łomża from its beginnings," translated
Hebrew by Stan Goodman, original published by Pinkas haKehilot
branch of Yad Vashem
^ a b c Marian Bagiński, Ph.D., "A Different View on the Łomża
Region," published by PolishNews.com, 2010
^ Zamoyski, Adam (2008).
Warsaw 1920 Lenin's failed conquest of
Europe. Harpercollins Pub Limited. ISBN 9780007225521.
^ Chaim Shapiro, "Go, My Son: A Young Jewish Refugee's Story of
Survival", New York: Feldheim, 1989.
Łomża webpage at www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org Archived November 1,
2011, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Edelheit, Hershel; Edelheit, Abraham J. (1991). A World in Turmoil
An Integrated Chronology of the Holocaust and World War II. Greenwood
Publishing Group. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-313-28218-8.
^ "Liczba mieszkańców Łomży, world-gazetteer.com". Archived from
the original on 2012-05-15.
^ a b c (in Polish) Central Statistical Office,
Poland - data of 2007
year Archived September 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
^ (in Polish) County Labour Bureau in Łomża: Statistics of the local
job market Archived September 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
^ (in Polish) "Raport o sytuacji społeczno-gospodarczej miasta
Łomża," Urząd Miejski w Łomży, November 2006 (77 pages)
^ a b Bank Danych Regionalnych Głównego Urzędu Statystycznego,
^ Statystyka Lokalnego Rynku Pracy, Powiatowy Urząd Pracy w Łomży
Archived September 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Łomża.
Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Official website of
Official website of
Łomża City for mobile devices
Łomża City in old documents
Łomża City in "Geographical Dictionary of Polish Kingdom and other
Slavic countries, Vth volume" p. 699-704
The website about monuments in Łomża
"Lomza". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
Water Tower Sikorskiego street
Poland at JewishGen
Counties of Podlaskie Voivodeship
Seat (not part of the county)
Coordinates: 53°11′N 22°05′E / 53.183°N 22.083°E /