For the title of the ruler of Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu) in the Xiongnu language, see Chanyu.

Town view, Top: Areal view of the San River and Wojtostwo town centre area, including the Old Market Square, and Franciscan Monastery. Middle left:Teseusza Kosciuszki Street, Middle right:Three Maja Street, Bottom left:Przemienienia Panskiego Cathedral, Bottom middle:Franciscan Cathedral, Bottom right: Autosan headquarters in Sanok.


Coat of arms
Motto: Libera Regia Civitas
Free Royal City
Coordinates: 49°33′N 22°13′E / 49.550°N 22.217°E / 49.550; 22.217
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Subcarpathian
County Sanok County
Gmina Sanok (urban gmina)
Established before 12th century
Town rights 1339
  Mayor Wojciech Blecharczyk
  Total 38.15 km2 (14.73 sq mi)
Population (2008)
  Total 39,588
  Density 1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 38-500
Area code(s) +48 13
Car plates RSA

Sanok [ˈsanɔk] (in full the Royal Free City of Sanok - Polish: Królewskie Wolne Miasto Sanok, Ukrainian: Cянік, Latin: Sanocum, Yiddish: סאניק, Sonik) is a town in south-eastern Poland with 39,110 inhabitants, as of 2 June 2009.[1]


It is the capital of Sanok County in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship. Previously, it was in the Krosno Voivodeship (1975–1998) and in the Ruthenian Voivodeship (1340–1772), which was part of the Lesser Poland province. Historically it was part of the Land of Sanok and the Ruthenian Voivodeship. This historic city is situated on the San River at the foot of Castle Hill in the Lesser Poland (Małopolska) region. It lies in a wooded, hilly area near the national road number 28, which runs along southern Poland, from Ustrzyki Dolne to Wadowice (340 km or 211 mi away). It is located in the heartland of the Pogórze Bukowskie part of Doły (Pits), and its average elevation is 300 m (984 ft) above sea level, although there are some hills located within the confines of the city. Sanok is located on the bank of the river San. The area surrounding mountain range stretching between the Wisłok, Osława and San Rivers in the Salt Mountains (Central Beskidian Piedmont), in the inland with temperateness climate. The hills of the Bieszczady mountain range are typical for this countryside. Sanok County is bordered by Krosno County to the west, Brzozów County to the north, Przemyśl County to the north-east and Lesko County to the east. It also borders Slovakia to the south. Before World War II, the Oslawa and San Rivers line was designated the wild frontier between Poles and Lemkos. The city is a member of Carpathian Euroregion, which is designed to bring together the people who inhabit the region of the Carpathian Mountains and to facilitate their cooperation in the fields of science, culture, education, trade, tourism and economy.


In 981 the gord, then inhabited by the Slavic tribe of Lendians, was made a part of Land of Czerwień. This area was mentioned for the first time in 981, when Vladimir I of Kiev took the area over on the way into Poland. In 1018 it returned to Poland, 1031 back to Rus', in 1340 Casimir III of Poland recovered it. The gord of Sanok in mentioned for the first time in Hypatian Codex in 1150. It was given the Magdeburg law by Boleslaw-Yuri II of Galicia in 1339.[2]

A 12-century earring found at Sanok

In a Ruthenian chronicle can be found the Hypatian Codex, where at the date of 1150 one can read: The Hungarian King Géza II of Hungary crossed the mountains and seized the stronghold of Sanok with its governor as well as many villages in the Przemyśl area. The same chronicle refers to Sanok twice more, stating that in 1205 it was the meeting place of a Ruthenian princess Anna and a Hungarian king and that in 1231 a Ruthenian prince made an expedition to "Sanok - Hungarian Gate".

After 1339 Galicia–Volhynia was seized by King Casimir III of Poland, who reconfirmed the municipal status of Sanok on 25 April 1366. At that time Sanok became the centre of a new administrative district called Sanok Land, a part of the Ruthenian Voivodeship. Several courts of justice operated in the town, including the municipal and rural courts of lower instance and also the higher instance court for the entire Sanok Land, based on the German town law.[3] Germans settled in the territory of the Kingdom of Poland (territory of present-day Subcarpathian Voivodeship) from the 14th to 16th centuries (see Ostsiedlung), mostly after the region returned to Polish sphere of influence in 1340, when Casimir III of Poland took the Czerwień towns.

Marcin Bielski states that Bolesław I Chrobry had settled some Germans in the region to defend the borders against Hungary and Kievan Rus', who later turned to farming. Maciej Stryjkowski mentions German peasants near Przeworsk, Przemyśl, Sanok, and Jarosław, describing them as good farmers. The region was also traditionally inhabited by subgroups of the Rusyn people: Lemkos and Boykos.

As early at the 17th century, an important trade route went across Sanok connecting the interior of Hungary with Poland through the Łupków Pass. As a result of the first of Partitions of Poland (Treaty of St-Petersburg dated 5 July 1772, Sanok was attributed to the Habsburg Monarchy.[4] At that time the area (including west and east of Subcarpathian Voivodship) was known as the Galicia province. For more details, see the article Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria.

The Galician peasant revolt took place in the region during the revolutions of 1848.

The course of the river Dunajec and that of the San, both in West Galicia, marked the two successive stages in the breakthrough battle which initiated the Austro-German offensive of 1915 on the eastern front. An attempt to hold the line of the Wisłok river and the Łupków Pass failed before renewed Austro-German attacks on 8 May 1915. Wisłok Valley was one of the strategically important Carpathian rivers bitterly contested in battles on the Eastern Front of World War I during the winter of 1914-1915.[5]

Main Market Square in Sanok

During World War I, the Russian army occupied the town from May until July, 1915 and significantly damaged the town. The town was subsequently occupied by troops of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

During the Second Polish Republic (1919–1939), Sanok was known as a centre of Ukrainian movement in Galicia, and of cultural heritage of the Lemkos and other Rusyns. The Jewish population of Sanok may have been almost 30% for many years in the early 20th century but with the advent of the Nazis, anti-semitism in Ukraine/Poland/Galicia, most of the Jews were either executed or killed in Nazi death camps or Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. Buildings that had been owned by Jews were taken by the local population and the local Jewish cemetery still exists although locals seem to not often remember anything about it or the anti-Jewish pogroms that occurred. Some of the Jews emigrated to Canada and the United States in the early 1900s with Sanoker Burial Societies spreading throughout New York and other regions where they settled. In 1943 the foundation of the Waffen-SS Division Galizien took place in heavily Ukrainian-populated Sanok, with many locals volunteering in the ethnic Ukrainian Waffen-SS. Because of material support and assistance provided by the local population to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which was waging a battle for Ukrainian separatism against the Polish state, Polish authorities deported the Ukrainian and Lemko population of Sanok and its region to the former eastern territories of Germany attached to Poland after World War II (the so-called Recovered Territories) during Operation Vistula (1946–1947). Some the Lemkos expelled returned to Sanok in 1957-58 and others after 1989.

Sanok contains an open-air museum called a skansen in the Biała Góra district, where examples of architecture from all of the region's main ethnic groups have been moved and carefully reassembled in a skansen evoking everyday rural life in the 19th century. Nearby stands Holy Ghost Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (1786–1947) presently, the tserkva of the Orthodox cathedral of the Holy Trinity.


Lusatian culture pots on display at the Sanok's archaeology museum

Settled in prehistoric times, the south-eastern Poland region that is now Subcarpathia was overrun in pre-Roman times by various tribes, including the Celts (Anarti), Goths and Vandals (Przeworsk culture and Púchov culture). After the fall of the Roman Empire, of which most of south-eastern Poland was part (all parts below the San)[<What is the evidence for this last assertion? There do not appear to be any documented Roman marcing camps of forts, or settlements], the area was invaded by Hungarians and Slavs.

The region subsequently became part of the Great Moravian state. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area declared their allegiance to Hungarian Empire. The region then became a site of contention between Poland, Kievan Rus' and Hungary starting in at least the 9th century.

The first traces of settlement in the area of modern Sanok date back to at least the 9th century. The following century a Slavic fortified town (gord) was created there and initially served as a center of pagan worship. The etymology of the name is unclear, though most scholars derive it from the Celtic river-name San.[6][7][8] Certain archaeological excavations performed on the castle hill and on Fajka hill near Sanok-Trepcza, not only confirm the written resources, but date the Sanok stronghold origin to as early as the 9th century. On Fajka hill, where probably the first settlement of Sanok was situated, some remains of an ancient sanctuary and a cemetery were found, as well as numerous decorations and encolpions in Kievan type. Also found were two seals of the Great Kievan Prince Rurik Rostislavich from the second half of the 12th century.


Top: Market Square in Sanok; Bottom: 3 May Street in Sanok.

Near the central town square and the previous Jewish ghetto, there is a valley where much of the Jewish population was murdered en masse by the Nazis during the Holocaust.


Sanok has a strong industry base - home to Stomil Sanok[9] (established in 1932) and Pass Gummiwerke plants, producers of various rubber and metal-rubber seals, strings and laggings for automotive sector, construction industries and electrical household goods sector, PGNiG[10] and Sanok Bus Car Factory "Autosan"[11] (established in 1832), a producer of high capacity buses, cabins for the Polish Army and bodies for rail-vehicles. Stomil is next to the main train station in Sanok and Autosan is a 10-minute walk from the station, while the town centre is a 15-minute walk in the other direction.

Culture and education

Vytautas Landsbergis plays piano in Sanok salon at Cultural Center, 2013

The town has several public schools and a branch of the Polish High School of Technology. The town also has a football club called Stal Sanok and some other sport clubs (including volleyball, swimming, handball, ice hockey). The Sanok Castle near the centre of the old town houses a museum displaying over 300 fine icons. The Museum of Folk Architecture is one of the biggest open-air museums in Poland and show cases 19th and early 20th century life in this area of Poland.


Top: Kayaking on the San river; Bottom: KH Sanok celebrating their 2012 PLH final victory.

The city has two professional sports teams. The local ice hockey team is Ciarko PBS Bank STS Sanok,[12] which has won the Polska Hokej Liga league title twice, in the 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 season. They won the Polish Cup twice, in 2010-11 and 2011-12. The local football club is Stal Sanok, which most recently competed in the Polish Third League (4th level), in the 2013/14 season. The team is currently inactive due to financial reasons.

There many sports facilities in Sanok and the main complex of those facilities is The Civic Sports and Recreation Centre, situated near the San River. The Centre includes: the artificial speed skating oval Tor Błonie, a complex of indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hotel, a tourist hostel, a camp-site, a sports stadium with technical facilities, etc. There is also another artificial ice rink in the centre of the town, designed for ice hockey and managed by the ice hockey club KH Sanok. There are two more sports facilities at Stróżowska street: a stadium of sports club Stal Sanok, and a gymnasium of the Technical Schools Complex.

In winter, a ski-lift operates in the nearby Karlików.

Notable people


In the mid-18th century, Roman Catholics constituted 48.7% of the population, people of Jewish faith 36.5%, and 14.7% of the inhabitants belonged to the Greek Catholic Church.[13]

In 1900, the town had 6123 inhabitants, 57% Polish, 30% Jewish of various ethnicities (Boyko, Lemkos, Rusyn, Ruthenians etc.), and others. The town's large population of Jews were almost all murdered during the holocaust.


In 1589 - 1700, 1883 - 5181, 1939 - 15600, 2000 - 41401 inhabitants.

Ethnic Groups
Main article: Pogorzans

See also


  1. "Population. Size and structure by territorial division" (PDF). © 1995-2009 Central Statistical Office 00-925 Warsaw, Al. Niepodległości 208. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-22. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. City privilege in latin in:] Digitalbibliothek of AGAD, Nr 7226.
  3. "Thus the region adjoining the Carpathians and extending to a line TarnówRzeszówJarosław, the hithero almost uninhabited regio pedemontana was settled by German-speaking Silesians and soon abounded in large Waldhufendorfer with Frankish hides and in towns whose German names were in many case identical with place-names in Silesia (Landskron, Grunberg, [...] Göttinger Arbeitskreis. Eastern Germany. Holzner-Verlag, 1961. p. 79.
  4. Atlas des peuples d'Europe centrale, André et Jean Sellier, 1991, p.88
  5. "The Pursuit and Battles at Sanok and Rzeszów (May 6). - After his severe defeat, Radko Dimitriev's plan was to hold the Łupków Pass with his left wing, and, supported upon this, to bring the pursuit to a stand on the line NowotaniecBesko-right bank of the Wisłok, where there were positions favoured by the lay of the ground, and then, between the Vistula and the Wisłok, on the line Wielopole-RzeszówMielec. Here he proposed to reconstitute his units, which had fallen into great disorder, and to strengthen them by bringing up reserves. Troops were sent to him from other fronts, and by the 8th he could again dispose of 18 inf. divs., 5 ca y. divs. and 5 Reichswehr bdes. The orders were that the offensive was to be continued with all possible vigour. Mackensen's arm y was to push forward over the stretch of the Wisłok between Besko and Frysztak on Mrzygłód and Tyczyn, and the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand on Rzeszów, while Boroevic was to roll up Brussilov's VIII. Russian Army in the direction of Sanok. Bohm's II. Austrian Army was to join up corps by corps from the left wing in proportion to the progress of the attack."Enc. Britanica
  6. "Puisqu'il est impossible de les enumerer tous citons moins: Brda, Brenna, Bzura, Drwęca, Mroga, Nida, Raba, San, etc. Bzura selon Jan Rozwadowski correspond avec Brigulos, Drwęca aves Druentia, Durance, Nida avec Nidder, Raba avec Raab, San avec Sadne et Seine." [in:] Ethnologia Polona. Instytut Historii Kultury Materialnej (Polska Akademia Nauk). 1981. p. 49.
  7. "[...] San (lateinische Graphie wie bei Sandomierz, Santok usw. Vgl. altind. sindhu- "Fluß", den irischen GN Shannon und den Maizzufluß Sinn" [in:] Irena Kwilecka. Etnolingwistyczne i kulturowe związki Słowian z Germanami. Instytut Słowianoznawstwa PAN. 1987. ISBN 83-04-02472-1 S. 64.
  8. "An adouci en san, eau, rivière; stach, sinueux, qui tourne. Allusion au cours sinueux de la Charente". op. cit. Antiq. de France. [in:] Revue des études historiques. Société des études historiques. 1835. p.242.; Senne, nom propre de rivière. - Scène, ». Le lieu où l'on joue. — Seine, sf, sorte de «lot. 17. Cen», sm, impôt. — San, np Sen», sm, jugement [...]". [in:] Dictionnaire de pédagogie et d'instruction primaire. Ferdinand Edouard Buisson. 1883. p. 980.
  9. Agencja Interaktywna Internet Designers. "Rubber Factor Stomil Sanok". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  10. PGNiG S.A. Branch in Sanok is a forerunner of underground gas storing in Poland and currently is operating four underground gas storages of total working capacity of 705 MM standard cu.m
  11. "Sanok Bus Car Factory". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  12. "KH Sanok (pl)". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  13. J. Motylkiewicz. "Ethnic Communities in the Towns of the Polish-Ukrainian Borderland in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries". C. M. Hann, P. R. Magocsi ed. Galicia: A Multicultured Land. University of Toronto Press. 2005. p. 37.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sanok.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Time zone :

Coordinates: 49°34′N 22°12′E / 49.567°N 22.200°E / 49.567; 22.200

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.