Namysłów (pronounced NAMI-swoof [naˈmɨswuf] (listen), German: Namslau) is a historic town located in southern Poland, within Opole Voivodeship. The town is situated along the Widawa River and is the capital of Namysłów County. With a population of 16,551 in 2019, Namysłów is a charming destination that offers a glimpse into Poland’s rich history.
Namysłów began to develop during the 13th century, but was destroyed in 1241 during the first Mongol invasion of Poland. It was refounded by Polish Duke Bolesław II the Bald in 1249. During the medieval Ostsiedlung, it was colonized by Germans, who used the Germanized name Namslau. According to German linguist Heinrich Adamy, the town’s name is derived from the Polish name namysł, which means thinking. According to another theory, the name of the city comes from the old Polish name Namysł. In medieval manuscripts and documents such as the Liber fundationis episcopatus Vratislaviensis, it appeared under the Latinized name Namislavia.
Namysłów has a rich and complex history, having been part of various duchies and kingdoms throughout the centuries. It was briefly an independent city during the 14th century and was enriched by the trade route from Wrocław to Kraków, especially with linen. The town was unsuccessfully besieged by Hussites in 1428. A privileged riflemans guild was established in the town in 1434. Besides Wrocław, it was the only Silesian town which refused to pay homage to King Ladislaus the Posthumous in 1453. It passed to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1469 and back to the Bohemian Crown in 1490, ruled by the Jagiellonian dynasty until 1526, and by the House of Habsburg afterwards becoming part of the Habsburg monarchy of Austria. After a lengthy siege, the town was sacked by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years War.
Namysłów has many sights to offer visitors interested in history and architecture. Among the Medieval landmarks of Namysłów are defensive town walls with the Krakowska Gate (Brama Krakowska) and numerous towers, Saints Peter and Paul church built in years 1405–41 (Gothic), Saints Francis of Assisi and Peter of Alcantara church and the former Franciscan monastery, dating back to the 14th century (Gothic), Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dating back to the 13th century, Namysłów Castle, dating back to the 14th century, and Town Hall at the Market Square. Other sights include the Park Północny (Northern Park), the old brewery, numerous historic townhouses, and the monument of Sorbian poet Jan Skala.
Namysłów is also home to the Namysłów Brewery (Browar Namysłów), which is located in the town. The local football club is Start Namysłów, which competes in the lower leagues.
Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply want to experience the charm of a small Polish town, Namysłów is a destination that should not be missed. Come and discover the many treasures of this hidden gem and experience the rich history and culture of Poland.