The genesis of the name "Muszyna" is not unequivocal. Probably it comes from the streams near which the town was located. Moisture makes the edges of streams and stones river covered with moss. Musci, Latin word for "moss" gave Muszyna it’s name. There is also another hypothesis - centuries before there were fees collected for the use of a trade route. They were paid in goods exchanged for the corn, which in turn, was measured in so-called. "Mussach”. Still, another theory believe that the city takes it’s name from the bishop of Cracow Muscata, who in the early XIV century expanded the settlement here.
In 1288 the place was added to the properties of the bishops of Cracow. In 1356 Muszyna became a town thanks to King Casimir the Great’s privilege. The present shape of the market square and the main streets dates back from that time. King Wladysław Jagiello gave the town to the Bishops of Cracow in order to get their support and friendship. With another town and 35 villages that land was treated as independent state with it’s own jurisdiction and administration and even an army (an infantry troops called Harniki). It was named “Muszynian State”. Bishop’s representatives ruled the land. They were called Starost and many of them made quite a name for themselves like famous Stanisław Kępiński ( a friend of Polish poet Jan Kochanowski who wrote a poem about him). Merchants who passed the Hungarian track had to sell some of their goods in the town. Starost mercilessly dealt with all highwaymen and supposed witches. The army of the state had 5000 armed men, which was quite a lot. They defeated the Swedish troops during so called Swedish Deluge (1655-1660) in the battles near Cracow and Nowy Sącz.
From the very beginning there was always a castle over the city which guarded the track and guaranteed safe passage for the travellers. It was a kind of keep, one of the guard castles between Poland and Hungary, situated high on the steeply mountain slope between the valley of Muszynka and Szczawik. At the beginning made of wood and earth with time developing into bricked structure. Many times it was plundered, burned and destroyed. At present only fragments of southern walls and the tower are visible.
After the First Partition of Poland Muszyna was punished for supporting the Confederates who fought here in Poland’s defence in 1768 –9 ( they founded their biggest camp here) The Austrian government confiscated the properties of the Bishops of Cracow and Muszyna itself was degraded to the role of an insignificant place.
When the railway was introduced between Tarnow and Leluchów in 1876, Krynica and Zegiestów made a huge career as spa centres. For a long time Muszyna remained in their shadow. Luckily the World War I didn’t leave any visible signs here and during the twenty years between the wars Muszyna became one of the most illustrious Polish resorts.
The outbreak of World War II terminated effective development of the city. Thanks to it’s strategic location it became extremely active point in the Polish Resistance Movement, mostly by being a good place to smuggle people from Poland by Slovakia to Hungary. A virtual centre of a secret teaching was created here (The Nazi allowed only grammar schools in Poland). Among the many activists was Antoni Kita who helped Polish pilots to escape from prison in Muszyna. They fled but he was caught and put to death. Apart from a few buildings Muszyna had not been destroyed by the Nazi.
On the Kita’s street there is a building which once belonged to the starost of Muszyna – S. Kępiński. However, most of the buildings surrounding the manor house don’t exist anymore. Opposite to the Starosta’s House there is a Regional Museum which contains a lot of interesting historic, ethnographic and artistic objects.
In the market place a two small shrines are situated, both dates back from the end of eighteenth and beginning of nineteenth century. One devoted to St Jan Nepomucen, the other to St Florian. On the edge of the town a church of St Joseph The Bridegroom is situated. Most probably it was once a defending building as well as church because it still has embrasures in the wall. The church dates back from 1676.The interior decorations are typically of seventeenth century with unique sculptures of Virgin Mary with Child, and of St Hedwig. Main assets of Muszyna are numerous sources of mineral water with such elements as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, selenium, and lithium. People who have trouble with digestive system or with respiratory system may seek help here.
In the south part of the town, above the Porad river, there is a railway station where you can catch the trains leaving Krynica and a night train Cracow –Budapest. In the Market Place there is a bus station where you can find a bus line: Szczawnik- Muszyna- Krynica- Słotwiny. There are also two tourist routes crossing the town: a green one ( named after the Wincenty Pol) From Muszyna across Jaworzyna Krynicka in Wysowa’s direction and a yellow one from Wojkowa, across Muszyna, Szczawik to Żegiestów
On 17 th July 2010 Sport and Recreation centre of WALDEMAR SERWIŃSKI was opened. It is situated next to Zdrojowa Avenue.
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