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ŁOMżA (/ˈwɒmʒə/ ; Polish pronunciation: , Yiddish : Lomzhe) is a city in north-eastern Poland
Poland
, approximately 150 kilometres (90 miles ) to the north-east of Warsaw
Warsaw
and 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of Białystok . It is situated alongside the Narew
Narew
river as part of the Podlaskie Voivodeship
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
Łomża
since 1925.

Łomża
Łomża
is one of the principal economic, educational, and cultural centres of north-eastern Masovia as well as one of the three main cities of Podlaskie Voivodeship
Podlaskie Voivodeship
(beside Białystok and Suwałki
Suwałki
). It lends its name to the protected area of Łomża Landscape Park . The town is also the location of the Łomża
Łomża
Brewery .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Demographics

* 2.1 Historical population of Łomża
Łomża
between 1808 and 1931

* 3 Religion * 4 Education * 5 Sports * 6 Economy * 7 Points of interest * 8 Notable people * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

HISTORY

Łomża
Łomża
was founded in the 10th century, on the site of the present day village called Stara Łomża
Łomża
(Old Łomża). It was first mentioned in official records in the 14th century. Łomża
Łomża
received its municipal rights in 1416, and became an important political and economic center in the mid-16th century. Great Synagogue destroyed in 1941 by the German Nazis

Polish prince 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
Narew
river contributing to its further development. In the 16th century Zygmunt II August gave Łomża
Łomża
the right to hold great fairs three times a year, similar to Warsaw
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 the Cossack
Cossack
raids) resulted in its rapid decline.

References to Jewish residents in Łomża
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 initiative of Rabbi
Rabbi
Eliezer-Simcha Rabinowicz. The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
designed by Enrico Marconi became a centre of the Zionist movement . In 1931, there were 8,912 Jews who lived in the city. Panorama of Łomża
Łomża
from the south-east

During the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921, Łomża
Łomża
was directly in the path of the Russian army's catastrophic retreat following its defeat at the Battle of Warsaw
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 forces.

In September 1939, during the joint Soviet and German invasion of Poland
Poland
, Łomża
Łomża
was largely destroyed by the Nazis during the Battle of Łomża
Łomża
, then held and turned over to the Red Army
Red Army
. It remained in the Soviet hands until Operation Barbarossa
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 Einsatzkommando
Einsatzkommando
under 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
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
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
USSR
recaptured the territory. Following the Yalta Conference the Soviets ceded the city back to Poland
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
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 inhabitants.

DEMOGRAPHICS

DESCRIPTION TOTAL WOMEN % MEN %

Population of Łomża 63,036 32,652 51.8 30,384 48.2

Population density (people/km²) 1,929.5 999.4/km² 930.0/km²

Łomża
Łomża
is the third largest city in Podlaskie Voivodeship
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.

RELIGION

The inhabitants of Łomża
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
Łomża
cemeteries, particularly the two abandoned Jewish cemeteries.

*

Cathedral
Cathedral
of Saint Michael the Archangel by night *

Main Nave
Nave
of the Cathedral
Cathedral
*

Inside the Cathedral, tombstone from 1589 *

Capuchin parish church (18th century) in Łomża
Łomża

EDUCATION

The history of education in Łomża
Łomża
dates back to the early 15th century, when the first parish was founded. In 1614, Jesuits
Jesuits
residing in Łomża
Łomża
created a Collegium . One of its rectors was Andrew Bobola . The educational level has not decreased after the KEN school pijarom in 1774. Łomża
Łomża
has educated a number of dignitaries, among others: Szymon Konarski, Rafał Krajewski, Jakub Ignacy Weight, Wojciech Szweykowski, and Adam Chętnik.

Currently in Łomża
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 central Poland
Poland
school.

*

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
Łomża
*

WSA Students group in the front of the main building

SPORTS

The history of sport in Łomża
Łomża
dates back to the end of the 19th century, when the first amateur races were held in 1897. Two years later, Łomża
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
Łomża
sport is supported by the Society for Promoting Physical Culture and the Łomża
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 *

Stadium of ŁKS Łomża football club from Łomża
Łomża
*

Łomża
Łomża
Orlik Sports Complex
Sports Complex

ECONOMY

Browar Łomża (Brewery)

The economy of Łomża
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 and agro-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
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 ) 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 *

Episcopal Palace *

Łomża
Łomża
Townhall *

Sienkiewicz Street *

Jakub Waga Park *

Monument to Hanka Bielicka *

Post Office *

Farna Street *

Monument to Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
*

The city shell (2006) *

Mother of God Church

NOTABLE PEOPLE

* Julita Fabiszewska , singer/songwriter; participant in Bitwa na głos. * Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog , Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
of Israel
Israel
and father of Chaim Herzog , 6th President of Israel * Samuel A. Levine , influential American cardiologist * Philip L. Rabinowitz, rabbi of Kesher Israel
Israel
Congregation in Washington, D.C. * Zenon Komarczyk , expatriate and American living in California, USA.

SEE ALSO

* ŁKS Łomża * Łomża Landscape Park * Łomża Department * List of cities in Poland
Poland

REFERENCES

* ^ Central Statistical Office (Poland): Population of cities in Podlaskie Voivodeship * ^ A B C D E F Qiryat Tiv'on, " Łomża
Łomża
from its beginnings," translated from Hebrew
Hebrew
by Stan Goodman, original published by Pinkas haKehilot branch of Yad Vashem
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
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. *