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Lecznictwo Uzdrowiskowe
Monuments and culture
Spa traditions
Obory - the craddle of Konstancin

History of konstancin
written by Józef Hertel


Why Konstancin? The origins of the city.

Any published material about the beforementioone topic, including the Encyclopedia of Polish Cities throuout the Millenium do not explain the origins of the name. Most of the responders, not necessarily wisemen, try to link it to The Great Prince Konstanty, who was supposed to hunt in the area and had his armies stationed here.
That's why there is the solemn silence over the name - claim the supporters of this explanation. Many of the us know the inscription on the stone originating from 1937, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of assigning urban right for the settlement. They would say:
- Konstancin? From the name of the founder, of course.
Well, it should be that way. But the founder was count Witodl Skórzyński.
Some persons try to speculate it's derived from the name of count Konstanty Potulicki, one of the founders of Obory settlement, where the craddle of Konstancin is; others claim it's from the name of the founder's father. No written document seems to contitute that hypothesis, nor any other proof - gravestones on the Słomczyn graveyard; nor does so any of the remaining members of Potulicky family, still alive. The founder's father's name was Zygmunt. And finally the persons who knew the last owner of Obory - countess Maria Potulicka - claims that supposedly Konstancin comes from the name of major domo who served the family. Nice stroy, however completely untrue, like some similar, not worth mentioning. Even if the countess said something similar - it was most probably intended to be a joke.
Konstancin had and still has its own writer, historians, journalists. An old proverd "the shomaker goes barefoot" comes true on that example. Should we ask a fortune-teller to help us find - why Konstancin? There is no such need. Let's allow the scriptures to speak - namely, the testimony of countess Maria Grzymała-Potulicka, dating back to 1898. It states as follows:
2) for my sister, countess Konstancja Zygmuntowa Skórzewska I leave 10.000 rs (...)
6) for countess Maria Skórzewska, daughter of Witold and Maria de domo Radziwiłł Skórzewska - 4.000 rs(...)
The executive of this documents I name to be prince Michał Ogiński and count Witold Skórzewski. They are entire entitled and it is my will, that the aforementioned forest should be sold and used to cover all the expenses on that part, with the help and advice of count Mieczysław Potulicki, whatever the condition may be that the heir to the whole of the goods is underaged count Henryk Potulicki.
Countess Maria Grzymała-Potulicka"

Dated: March, 7th

All clear then! Let us only add what follows: first - one of the executives of the testimony, count Witold Skórzewski, was the founder of Konstancin. Second - the aforementioned forest is the area of future settlement of Konstancin. Third - the sister of the signer of the dokument - Konstancja - is the mother of count Witold Skórzewski. Could the founder of a beautiful summer residence name it better, as after his beloved and beautiful mother?
This sort of historical finding I published first as "Konstancin Riddle" on January, 30th, 1978 in "Sztandar Młodych". I am further ensured that this is true by the finding that the oldest name used was Konstancyja.The name was later only changed to Konstancin.
I need to hereby explain the mystery of my finding. It would not come to it at all, if not for an important fact - the document was written in Russian - at that time the official language in that area. But the author signed it in latin alphabet. That patriotical fact enabled the discovery. I need to add at once that after publishing the aforementioned article somebody was brave enough to lend me a book, written by K. Orthwein, under the auspices of PAN. I say "brave enough", because in the Konstancin society it was shamely hid, due to socrealistic views contain in it. Additionally, it used unreliable sources - it could not serve as a serious clue in my search for the traditions and history of Konstancin.
Until recently any visitor to the city, wanting to buy a postcard with the city scape could not - we have none, was the answer. But not only now - never! To send greetings, one needed to use a postcard with views from Warsaw, Wilanów or Piaseczno. This fgact shoul also be assumed to be discriminator throughout all the years of socialism in Poland.

The creation of Konstancin
Obory are a kind of craddle of Konstancin. Would this not necessarily pretty named place (Obory = Barns) be where the city originated? - one may ask angrily, bearing in mind the noble past. Of course yes! And this is not: Obory near Konstancin, it is: Konstancin near Obory!
From the mansion of Obory, once strongly connected with Wilanów via its owner - Jan Wieloposlki - the Counselor of King Jan III Sobieski, originates the city itself. For the first time in history the name Konstancin (not Konstancin Settlement, as some would want it basing on what appears in an undisputable proof on the historical source - the boulder at the entrance to Park Zdrojowy), but as the Konstancin Farm, a part of the Obory goods. From the inscription, nowadays impossible to be read, we find out it was layed there by the citizens to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the city. The boulder is a proof dating back to 1937, while the earlier sources show the link between Konstancin and the Konstancin Farm, a plan of which was signed by the countess Maria Grzymała-Potulicka, the issuer otf the testimony already mentioned before, and her husband - count Władysław Mielżyński. But this seems a bit ancient.

The Obory Palace - where Konstancin originates.
More modern times in Konstancin are connected with count Witold Skórzyński, the initiator and founder of a modern and elegant sub-capital settlement.
To raise his project, he was well prepared - basing on the special Society For Creation of Better Summer Settlements, with the help of best specialists - architects, engineers, geodeths, builders. The originalyty and scope of the project are crucial in the process of the creation. The oprioginal plans projected the city as a modern, elegant, completely abandoning the popular trends of that time - the chessboard or the star; it was a city with new idea and artistic freedom.
The main axis of Konstancin became the Sienkiewicz Alley. It's worth mentioning that our city was the only one in the whole country - and maybe even abroad - a city in the forest, deprived of streets. How to put it? No streets - alleys only! In a casual but carefully planned way, according to the route of the main Sienkiewcz Alley, run other ones: Moniuszko, Matejko, Mickiewicz, Sobieski, Wilanów, Kopernik, Słowacki Batory, Jagiellons, Piast, Skarga, Kraszewski Alleys. After long years of servitude and imprisonment, Konstancin brought forth the names - symbols of our glorious past, stating clearly that... Poland, still alive...
That tradition was kept with small changes until present times, though the time itself exchanged alleys with streets.
But the plan was not only a proud idea - it was put into being quickly. Thanks to dirt roads, traced and located among the woods, that were later turned into alleys, vast areas were parcelated, regulated, given pavement, linet with trees and hundreds of houses were built.


Autor : Józef Hertel członek stowarzyszenia Autorów "ZAIKS", nr.leg: 1539F, wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone.