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Rzeszow

Rzeszow

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Rzeszów is an economic, scientific and cultural centre of southeastern Poland, the capital of the Podkarpackie Province and the seat of the Authorities of the Catholic Diocese. With an area of 68 Sq. Km. and population of about 163,000 it is one of the largest cities in this region. The location in the wide Wislok River valley, on the border of the Sandomierska Basin and the Carpathian Foothills, the two physical geographical units stand in contrast with each other, dividing the region into two parts differing in topography and nature. In the south, the horizon line of the city is marked by the Strzyzowsko-Dynowskie Plateau, divided by the winding valley of the Wislok River. In the north, a natural depression, called the Podkarpacie Trough then rises into the Kolbuszowski Tableland, which is largely covered with forests of the former Sandomierska Primeval Forest. The proximity to the southern and eastern frontiers makes Rzeszów an important communication centre. The following highways meet here: the E-40 interstate highway, running from the East to the West, "which joins Medyka with Zgorzelec, and the North - South highway, which lays out the route from Gdansk via Warsaw and Rzeszów to Slovakia and Romania. The city is approximately 100 km from Slovakia, and not more than 90 km from the Ukraine. Through traffic is facilitated by a modern four lane bypass, contained within the city limits. Its back up facilities include petrol stations, fast food restaurants, twenty four hour shops and authorised car service and repair stations. The development of the city will be influenced to a large extent by the expansion of the communication network planned for the near future. The new, expressway No 9: Radom - Rzeszów - Barwinek - Bucharest, will constitute the shortest connection between the countries of southeastern Europe and Scandinavia. The A-4 highway, which will run to the north from Rzeszów, will ensure the connection of the highway network of Western Europe with the Ukraine, Russia and the Balkans. Within close proximity of the planned highway, there is an, situated 3 km from Rzeszów, in Jasionka. Its runway is equipped with lights for night landings and includes a radio navigation system, which meets international standards. Since 1994 there has been a permanent, twenty four hour border and customs crossing. The economic picture of the city was formed to a large extent by the strong aviation tradition and a program of constructing COP (the Central Industrial District), which gave rise to the present WSK-PZL (the Production Plant of Communication Equipment - the State Aviation Works), famous for its production of aircraft engines and a city leader with respect to employment. Household equipment produced by ZELMER is recognised by markets all over the world. Among firms with the participation of foreign capital, the most important are: ALIMA-GERBER, producing juices and foodstuffs for children, and ICN-POLFA, a producer of pharmaceuticals. Establishment of many other branches is also developing successfully: clothing - CONRES; catering - the Rzeszów Poultry Plant, the Noodle Production Plant; building - BUDIMEX, ELEKTROMONTA┼╗, INSTAL, etc. The inhabitants of Rzeszów quickly found their own place in the new realities created by the political and economic transformations at the beginning of the 90s. Many small and medium sized firms were established, working their own way into the business world with surprising speed. As a consequence of the economic development of the city, numerous institutions were established, serving the business sphere, like banks, economic, financial and legal counseling offices, insurance agencies and broker's offices. Trade is also flourishing, which is manifested in the popularity and extent of fairs and exhibitions, as well as the establishment of shopping centers and modern supermarkets.
 
The city is an important academic center. Almost 50,000 students are being educated at the local colleges. The Rzeszów Polytechnic is the only school in the country, which has a faculty for training civil pilots. In September 2001 the University of Rzeszów initiated its affiliation with three previously existing institutions of higher education: the Higher Pedagogical School, the Branch of the Maria Curie - Sklodowska University from Lublin and the Visiting Faculty of the Agricultural Academy from Krakow. Presently, the University of Rzeszow educates: scientists, teachers, lawyers, economists and future administrative workers. The full educational spectrum is completed by: the Higher Theological Seminary, the Higher School of Management and the Higher School of Computer Science and Management. 20,000 pupils from the city and the region attend numerous secondary schools, and an additional 16,000 are enrolled in gymnasiums and primary schools.
 
Rzeszów is thus a city of young people. Modern technical solutions and equipment of the latest generation attest to the modernity of the city. Information flow at a worldwide level is possible due to modern fibre optic connections of the SDH system, local services of the ISDN system, and the infrastructure of the Scientific Academic Computer Network. For tourists interested in the heritage of our past, we recommend the monuments of Rzeszów, which are preserved and renovated with special attention. The documented history of the city dates back to the year 1345, when King Casmir the Great granted Rzeszów city rights.

Among the most interesting monuments are: the 14th century Fara Church; the City Hall, dating from the 15th century, rebuilt and extended many times (beautifully renovated in the years 1993-1996); the 16th century Castle of the Lubomirski Family; dated from the 17th century: the Church of the Bernardine Fathers, the Monastery Complex formerly belonging to the Piarists and the Summer Mansion of the Lubomirski Family; the 18th century Church and Monastery of the Reformat Fathers; as well as the tenement-houses in the Market Square, which, beginning in the 17th century, gradually gained their present architectural form.
 
For centuries, the community of Rzeszów was a mixture of cultures and nations. The proof of the fact that Jewish people lived here lies in the Old-City Synagogue, dating from the 17th century, and the New-City Synagogue from the 18th century, both preserved to this day. In the near future the old underground cellars and tunnels, situated beneath the Market Square of the city, will be renovated and opened to the public for tours. Numerous cultural and sporting events take place in the city and its surrounding areas, and many of them are of an international character. Special fame was gained by the Music Festival in Lancut, organised by the Philharmonic of Rzeszów, and the World Festival of Polonia Folkloristic Ensembles, which takes place every three years and connects our region with people of Polish origin from all over the world. The Theatre Festival of Rzeszów, the Biannual Theatre Poster display, the Biannual Computer Art exhibition, as well as numerous exhibitions of painting and photography are always met with great interest. The Symphony Orchestra of the Rzeszów Philharmonic is proclaimed as one of the best in the country. The acoustics in Rzeszów's Philharmonic concert hall are considered to be among the best in the country. Visitors may take advantage of the wide accommodation and catering base in the city. They may spend their time pleasantly in numerous pizzerias, restaurants, coffee bars and discos. Also available in the city are numerous museums, galleries of painting and photography and other cultural institutions. The Franciszek Kotula Ethnographic Museum possesses one of the largest collections in the country. The media of Rzeszów, local television stations, numerous radio stations and the press, also work energetically to inform citizens of Rzeszów of all local affairs and events.

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