The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Districts of Lublin - Wieniawa

District located in the northwestern part of the city. Originally it was a village, property of, among others, Lubomelski, Tarło and Leszczyński families. It evolved into a small town, which in 1916 was incorporated into the administrative area of Lublin.

The streets leading to Wieniawa were: Czechowska and Stanisława Leszczyńskiego from the east; Długosz Avenue (Pol. Aleja Długosza) from the south and Snopkowska Street from the north.


In the mist you cannot hear the steps,which

bring the Wanderer closer to his native town.

Field paths bulge, swell into roads, and again

they spread wide among billowing cornfields.

The road rolls onwards. A gusty wind whistles

in the ears of corn. Midnight is not far off, and

someone is still drawing the water from the well.

You can hear the gantry. Still countrified here.

Still countrified. The moon scurries through

the clouds. The mist gets thinner.

O, Wanderer, already here are the winding

streets of the old periphery, Wieniawa. In the

old days when vineyards enveloped those hills,

they were called Winiawa, or wine slopes.

Passing through the shadows of slums and

dwellings sunked into the ground, o Wanderer,

the only thing on your mind is that your beloved

city has already embraced you and is giving

you a hug.

Józef Czechowicz, fragment of “A Poem About Lublin”
translated by Małgorzata Sady & George Hyde

Name of the district

The name “Wieniawa” is derived from the name of the coat of arms of Leszczyński family. There is no reason to associate it with vineyards or wine stocks.

Timeline of Wieniawa

16th century - Lubomirski family owns the grounds of today’s Wieniawa

1598 - Wieniawa bought by Wojciech Oczko, a doctor

1612 - Wieniawa bought by Leszczyński family

1740s - Wieniawa bought by Gorajski family

1660 - Wieniawa becomes a jurydyka settlement

1667 - Teodor Suchodolski is the owner of Wieniawa

1768 - Wieniawa is a private town, property of Andrzej Tarło

1823 - creation of the high road towards Warsaw, degradation of Wieniawa’s importance

1826 - Wieniawa as a governmental town

1869 - loss of the town privileges, Wieniawa becomes a settlement, part of Konopnica municipality

1916 - Wieniawa becomes a district of Lublin
1940 - Destruction of buildings by the Nazis

History of Wieniawa

History of Wieniawa reaches as far as the 15th century. In 1455 Jan Krejdlar and Jakub Krejdlar were the proprietors of those grounds, at that time used as gardens. In the 16th century gardens and folwark (a large, serfdom-based farm, producing mostly cereals) were bought by Lubomelski family and later became property of Wojciech Oczko - doctor and royal secretary. In the 17th century Lubomelski family’s large grounds became property of Leszczyński family (which used the “Wieniawa” coat of arms) and later of Gorajski family.
In 1660 Wieniawa appears in documents as a noble jurydyka (settlement adjacent to the city, but independent from its laws and authorities), with 60 houses. The city authorities were unsuccessfully struggling for a long time to cancel jurydyka. In 1768 the parliament declared Wieniawa a land property. In 1826 the small private town of Wieniawa was sold to the government by Potocki. in 1916 Wieniawa was incorporated into Lublin.

The Jewish community in Wieniawa

When in 1918 Majer Balaban, famous historian of the Polish Jewry, was looking at Wieniawa, he described it as follows: Wieniawa resembles a village, with its small one-storey houses, porches in the gardens and wells, one does not feel at all, that it is such an old settlement and, moreover, so close to a big city.

Back then, the only monumental building was the synagogue, built in the early 19th century on a hillock, east of the Market Square. It had a characteristic classicist façade, divided into bays by four pilasters that held the entablature. A triangular pediment was coped with corbie step. A vestibule, that accommodated the women’s section, led to one-nave interior.

Among people connected with Wieniawa, we find one of the most important figures of the Jewry of Lublin - the Seer of Lublin, Yaakov Yitzhak Horowitz, one of the most notable Polish Hasids. He had came to Wieniawa and established his first court, before moving to Podzamcze, into house no. 28, Szeroka Street. Thanks to the Seer, the town “hit its big time” in the history of Polish Hasidism.
During the World War II, the Jewish community living in Wieniawa was compelled to move to the ghetto in Podzamcze. The area of Wieniawa district functioned until 1940, adjacent to the German district. Construction of a sports stadium for the SS members began. It was carried out by Jews from the Podzamcze ghetto, as a task for the Sportplatz work camp. Another work camp in Wieniawa, producing cosmetics, was located in the former Roman Hendl’s cosmetics factory. In 1942 displacement of the Christian population had begun. Nazis began to raze the whole district afterwards.

The area of Wieniawa

Detailed information covering Wieniawa and its buildings appears in 18th and 19th centuries. The town distinguished itself by mostly wooden buildings, accompanied by the brick synagogue and town hall at no. 50, Leszczyńskiego St.

In “Description of the Town of Wieniawa”, published in 1821, one reads: The town was not cobbled, appeared poor (...) neither it grows, nor falls, for in the same condition it always remains. 578 people inhabited Wieniawa back then, living in 71 houses.

80% of the inhabitants were Jews, working as tanners and taverners. Four fairs took place in Wieniawa every year.

Seven years later - in 1828 - population of Wieniawa reached 675 people, living in 75 wooden houses. The aforementioned synagogue was the only brick building.

The town was gradually developing. In 1869, there were 1642 people living in Wieniawa, four taverns and two factories, producing oil and vinegar. In the 1880s, the Kuczyński’s pumps and vises factory was functioning in Wieniawa, along with two tanneries, vinegar factory, oil factory, slaughterhouse and a wine shop. In 1905, 3879 Jews lived here, among total population of 5592.

Until the end of the 18th century, Wieniawa was a town of completely shaped layout, with buildings concentrated around the market square, from which four roads diverged. One of the roads passed the former gallow (today’s Długosz Avenue), connecting the town with Lublin and areas located south of it. It was cobbled in 1841. Another road leading from Wieniawa to Lublin ran through a canyon, across the Dominican fields, which were later turned into the public park called the Saski Garden (Pol. Ogród Saski). The third road, also leading towards the city, partially lined up with the lower course of today’s Leszczyński St. The fourth entry on the market square was a junction with the road leading to the route towards Snopków and Kurów (today’s Snopkowska St.).

The centre of the district was constituted by the market square, called Wieniawski. with a narrow passage next to it, called the Alley (Pol. Zaułek). Streets: Dawna, Ogródkowa and Przy Stawie, formed the spatial layout of the area. Buildings were mainly wooden. Northern border of the present-day district runs along Czechówka river, while western and southern are formed by, respectively, Leszczyńskiego and Długosza streets.

Historic southern borders of Wieniawa reached all the way to the Rury district, i.e. areas located south of Racławickie Av. Old buildings in Wieniawa were mostly wooden, typical for a small town.

From “The Catalog of Cultural Resources of Lublin”


Arachaeological findings:


Lublin, Wieniawa

treasure coins

early modern period (half of the 16th century onwards)


Lublin, Wieniawa


modern period


Lublin, Wieniawa

settlement traces

Roman influence period (early years CE - 375 CE)/unknown cultural origin


Lublin, Wieniawa


early Middle Ages (6th/7th century CE - half of the 13th century)


Lublin, Wieniawa

stone and flint material, settlement traces

unknown cultural origin


Lublin, Wieniawa

basteja (small fortified tower)

modern period


Lublin, Wieniawa

town buildings

modern period


Lublin, Wieniawa

settlement traces

modern period


Lublin, Wieniawa


modern period


Town planning:


Layout of the Wieniawa town (original name: Winiawa), 1636-1866; after 1826 - government town, after 1866 - settlement in Konopnica municipality


Streets and objects in Wieniawa

Leszczyńskiego Street

Former road leading across Lubomelszczyzna (today’s Wieniawa) towards Mazowsze (Mazovia) region. It passed the no longer existent market square - the Wieniawa Market Square.


Jan Długosz Avenue (Pol. Aleja Jana Długosza)

The road towards Wieniawa came into existence after the final shape of the Municipal Park’s borders had been laid out. A small octagonal building, covered with tented roof, is located in Długosz Av. It is called “baszta” (Polish name for a fortified tower). In the early 19th century it housed a gunpowder storage.


Lubomelska Street

Name of the street is derived from the term “Lubomelszczyzna” which was the name of the suburban area that later evolved into Wieniawa. The street leads towards Czechów district.


Snopkowska Street

Incorporated into Lublin in 1916, together with the whole Wieniawa.

Descriptions of Wieniawa

Stanisław Krzesiński, actor from Lublin, who had seen Wieniawa in 1827, described it in his booklet called "Two Impressions, or Lublin as it was in 1827 and as it is in 1877":

This little town, mostly Jewish, scattered on the hills, had its mayor and all the little town privileges, fairs were taking place here, there were markets and a few Jewish shops, namely the famous mead manufactures, visited by those who used the local bath house, which, although dirty and sloppy, was the only one in Lublin.


“Gazeta Lubelska” (“The Lublin Gazette”) from 1892

I have seen many Jewish towns in our province, appalling because of their sordid appearance, but none of them made such a miserable impression on me, like Wieniawa near  Lublin. (...) Not to mention the impassable sludge during the spring melt and in autumn, because this could be solved by cobbing or paving roads. Today, they still throw and spill all the sewage right on the street, where it decays, and the smell that taints the air, spreads all over the town. Some of the deserted houses are in danger of collapsing, many others are uninhabited because of their age, others are without roofs - in short, wieniawa makes a miserable impression (...)

As it was explained to us, goats are the only asset of local Jewish women, who breed them and in the summer take them to Lublin every day. Jewish women visit people’s houses, trying to sell goat milk as a drink for frail children. In the early 20th century, Jews of Wieniawa constituted nearly 70% of settlement’s population and were still trying to maintain their municipal independence, despite the town being separated from Lublin only by the Saski Garden. It was then that Wieniawa saw a cobbled road, built on request from the headquarters of the Russian Army, which had some units displaced in Lublin.

“Głos Lubelski” (“The Lublin Voice”), Nov. 19, 1924

Yet again, out of necessity, we have to take on the Lubomelska Street (reportedly, this is the correct name). Passing over the fact that the street is not cobbled we will go on to its biggest current issue, namely sewage. Instead of one main sewer, quite many smaller or bigger gutters run across the street.

Wieniawa in guidebooks to Lublin

Seweryn Zenon Sierpiński, “Obraz miasta Lublina” (“The View of the City of Lublin”, 1839)

Wieniawa. Town which has had a separate jurisdiction until today, while being strictly connected with Lublin as far as location and buildings are concerned. It spreads on a hill, built on municipal grounds around the year 1400, on the grounds of the gardens called Niwa, property of burgher Jan Krydlar. In 1532 it belonged to Jan Lubomelski. Inhabited mostly by Jews; it has a market square, a few streets and a beautiful brick synagogue. Years ago Wieniawa was famed for its quality wines. I reckon that this was the location of wine gardens called winnice and that is how the name of Wieniawa came into existence. An agreement from 1419, preserved in its original form among the town privileges, is a convincing evidence that  vineyards existed in Lublin. Pursuant to this agreement, Mikołaj Górecki sold his vineyard, former property of Klosman, located outside the city walls, to Mikołaj Brandylanty, along with four adjacent houses located to the left. In a field near Wieniawa, which today is the public garden, there is an ancient brick gallows in the shape of high octagonal tower. In recent years it was adopted for a gunpowder magazine. The date 1595 is inscribed over the door, yet in the town privilege the gallows is mentioned already in the year 1468. On top of the building, there was a scaffold where, under Polish and Austrian governments, criminals were being hung.”


Majer Bałaban, The Jewish Town of Lublin (1919)

"West of Lublin, by the large pond called Czechówka, lays the Wieniawa suburb. (...) Up until the current war, Wieniawa was a separate urban municipality with hundreds of years of history. Now it is incorporated into Lublin. Amidst little wooden houses, there is a small square, where the old, beautiful synagogue stands, reminding of town’s one-time splendour (...). Today its roof is full of holes and wind and rain complete the act of destruction. Next to the synagogue stands the beth midrash and a little bit farther there is a cemetery with small, simple gravestones."

Memories of Wieniawa

Wieniawa appears in Lublin citizens’ memories. Marek Wyszkowski, for instance, recalls the market in Wieniawa. Moshe Handelsmann recounts his memories of Wieniawa in detail. Whereas Jerzy Więch recalls the extermination of the population of Wieniawa.

People associated with Wieniawa

The Seer of Lublin - Yaakov Yitzhak haLevi Horowitz

Iconography of Wieniawa

We recreate the layout of Wieniawa on the basis of preserved maps and city plans. Those are, among others: Odrys jurydyki Wieniawy z Cechówką Górną i Dolną z Mappy Miasta Lublina przez Geometrę Leckiego w roku 1783 sporządzony (Sketch of the Wieniawa jurydyka, with Upper and Lower Cechówka, taken from the Map of the City of Lublin, made by geometer Lecki in 1783), fragment planu Lublina z 1928 roku (fragment of the city plan of Lublin from 1928), Szkic regulacyjny Rynku na Przedmieściu Wieniawa w m. Lublinie (Regulatory Sketch of the Market Square in Wieniawa Suburb, in the City of Lublin).

Appearance of houses and streets is known thanks to drawings by Karl Richard Henker, photographs by Józef Czechowicz, Stanisław Magierski and other, unknown photographers.



Compiled by Agnieszka Wiśniewska, Joanna Zętar
Archive query by Tadeusz Przystojecki
Translated into English by Jarosław Kobyłko

Literature on the subject

Cholewiński W., Przewodnik po Lublinie i jego okolicach, Lublin 1923.

Studium historyczno-urbanistyczne do planu szczegółowego śródmieścia Lublina, praca zbiorowa pod red. A. Kurzątkowskiej, Lublin 1969, mps.

Related articles