Built to order: this 'Padua of the East' germinated in the mind of its founder Jan Zamoyski as
he educated himself abroad in Italy and came to fruition upon his return to his home lands.
Designed in concert with Bernardo Morando of Padua 4 centuries ago, Zamosc still evokes
wonder that a little bit of Renaissance Italy survives in Eastern Poland.
Like town, like
founder: Zamoyski was a man who deserved a town. He not only designed it for beauty,
but for purpose as well. In addition to the requisite fortifications (complete with moat)
securing the safety of Zamosc, he ensured the growth of intellectual and economic capital as
well. Tolerant and open-minded, Zamoyski freely invited one and all to his town, including
Jews, Armenians, Greeks, Scots, Hungarians, and of course, Italians. By doing so he
helped create a pocket of progressive peoples who prospered well.
But that prosperity waned, as prosperity is wont to do, and Zamosc stumbled through the
18th century, and stumbled even farther in the 19th under Austrian rule. During that time, a
few battles here and there gave proof to the local fighting spirit, and foreshadowed an
unexpected defeat for Russia in the 20th century. During the Polish-Russian War of
1919-20, the Polish Army trounced the Russians near Zamosc. But the next war ended a bit
differently, and Zamosc languished over the next 4 decades under Communist rule.
Fortunately, the town itself was not destroyed during WWII and it remains today a hidden jewel of the