Gallery 1. Polish Borderlands
You are in: Room 1a.
- Polish expansion eastwards dates back to the earliest days of Poland. In 1018 King Boleslaw I Chrobry, who was the first King of Poland, invaded and defeated the Kievan Rus in the Battle at Bug river. In 1241, 1259 and 1287 the hordes of Genghis Khan swept over Europe, invading and torching much of Eastern Poland.
- In 1340, under the reign of Kazimierz the Great, Red Ruthenia came under Polish control and opened these lands for Polish colonization and polonization.
- 1385 Polish-Lithuanian Union in Krewa.
- 1340 to the 17th century saw the construction of the chain of border fortresses marking the borders of Kresy
- After the Union of Lublin, 1st July 1569, which created the Polish-Lithuanian
- Commonwealth, more Polish settlers moved eastwards to the borderlands
- 1596 the religious Union of Brest
- 1596 – 1648 Cossack rebellions were pushed East out of the chain of border fortresses. This started the building of Cossack national identity
- 1605 battle of Kircholm
- The Commonwealth held off invasions from the Swedes, the Tsars of Russia and Turks, even taking Moscow from 1610-1612. In 1673, at the Battle of Chocim, Polish forces halted the invading Ottoman Imperial Army in the Kresy
- For over 100 years the “Hussars”, the Polish elite winged cavalry, were the undisputed lords of the battlefield
- In 1667 the truce at Andruszów marked the Polish-Russian border until 1772
- 1672 Treaty in Buczacz
- In 1686 the Grzymultowski Peace confirmed the rule of the Andruszów Truce. From this moment the name „Kresy” started to be used
- But after a long period of stability, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth entered a period of decline.
- 1772 was the first partition of the Commonwealth
- 1793 was the second partition of the Commonwealth
- 1795 was the third partition and the Commonwealth ceased to exist. The whole eastern borderlands were annexed to Russia.
- WWI changed the status of these lands and Poland was restored as an independent state from 1918-1921.
“King Jan III Sobieski at battle of Chocim", painting byf Andrzej Stech and Ferdinand van Kessel, 1674-1679, now in Lvov Art Gallery. "Battle of Chocim", painting by Józef Brandt, 1867, National Museum in Warsaw. "Jan III Sobieski", painting of Jerzy Semiginowski-Eleuter, after 1693, Museum-Palace in Wilanow, Warsaw. "View on Krzemieniec and Queen Bona Hill", by Napoleon Orda. (Polski) Osadnictwo na Podolu przed I wojną światową Photographs TestimoniesHistorical Borderlands - the script for the audio narration
"View on Krzemieniec and Queen Bona Hill", by Napoleon Orda.Map of Poland 1764
Official in Ministry of Interior, 2nd Republic of Poland