A Brief Note on the Town of Przemyśl


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The oldest borough on the eastern fringe of the Republic of Poland, with a picturesque location on the point of contact of two geographical regions: the Środkowobeskidzkie Foothills and the Sandomierska Lowlands, in the valley of the San river. The town’s focal location, within ca. 600 km away from several of the capital cities of Central Europe, raised its importance as a supraregional and religious centre.

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Geographical location of Przemyśl with reference to Europe’s state and religious centres - picture from the collection of the Instytut Kresów Wschodnich w Przemyślu.

The town has been the capital of an independent duchy, of a land, starosty, county, district, voivodeship, and recently, of a district again. It is also a double metropolis: of the Roman Catholic and of the Uniate (Greek-Catholic) Churches. Moreover, it is an important international transport junction and it often functions as a departure point for people travelling into the Bieszczady mountains and to the countries of Eastern Europe.

The town boasts numerous interesting monuments of architecture, some of which include:

Tartar Mound ,

remains of an Old Castle ,

remains of  the Benedictine monastery with rotunda  from the 9th century,

remains of the rotunda-martyrion from the 11th century,

stone castle  from the 14th century,

Roman Catholic Cathedral from the 15th century,

fragments of the town’s defensive walls from the 16th century,

market square surrounded by the 16th century tenement houses.

Carmelite monastery from the 17th century,

Reformati monastery from the 17th century,

Benedictine Sisters’ convent from the 18th century and

Franciscan monastery from the 18th century,

remains of the ring fortress from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries,

The town and its region are dominated by the processing and food industries. Other industrial products manufactured in Przemyśl include: laboratory and monitoring devices, control valves, electrotechnical appliances, fibreboards, coated fabrics, furniture and chemical articles. The town also incorporates a number of warehouses and over 500 retail-trade points, whose existence is largely connected with the proximity to the state boarder passage in Medyka (12 km).


Coat of Arms of the Przemyśl Land:

The basic source and the only heraldic book which properly specifies Polish coats of arms is Jan Długosz’s “Insygnia seu Clenodia iuctici Regni Poloniae” (1460~1480). According to the description therein included, the Przemyśl Land, as an administrative unit, possesses its coat of arms which represents a golden (yellow) two-headed eagle wearing a crown, against a red background:

"Premisliensis terra , que aquilam glaucam, duo capita a se invicem aversa ambo coronata , in campo rubeo portat." 

This coat of arms is quite exceptional, as compared with other exponents of land heraldry, since both its emblem and the colours are imperial. Coats of arms of individual lands used to be formed on the basis of the heraldic signs of particular dynasties ruling specific territories, or, as in the case of localities functioning as the seats of the royal power, they assumed the national emblem. This can be exemplified by the land and voivodeship coats of arms of the cities which used to be the state capitals, i.e. of Cracow, Poznań and Warsaw (white eagle against red background).


Coat of Arms of  the Przemyśl Land.

The coat of arms of Przemyśl land, showing the figure of a golden two-headed eagle wearing a crown and portrayed against a red background, was used by the Society of Friends of Sciences, which placed it on the covers of their “Roczniki Przemyskie” in the years 1909-1930. Until recently this coat of arms was also used by the Self-government of the Przemyśl voivodeship.



Coat of Arms of the borough of Przemyśl:

The coat of arms of the borough represents a black bear striding and a golden symmetrical cross above it, both placed on a blue shield. Above the shield is the open royal crown, underneath the inscription which reads “Libera Regia Civitas”, which means “Free Royal Borough”. Information concerning the history of the coat of arms of the borough can be found in “Studium Archiwalne” by Jan Smołka published in “Rocznik Przemyski”, 1923.


Coat of Arms of the borough of Przemyśl.


Website is based on materials from

 Instytut Kresów Wschodnich w Przemyślu


Designed by: © P.Jaroszczak - Przemyśl 2000