Title: Gmina Świerzawa. Atlas materiałów i źródeł historycznych


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The aim of the book is to present the way the area of Świerzawa (until 1945: Schönau an der Katzbach) has been perceived over the centuries and the cartographic sources that may be used to analyse this issue. Despite the obvious differences between narration of legal documents and images of maps, in the Middle Ages and the early modern period (until the 18th century), common elements are clearly being drawn, chiefly, the dominance of settlements as the most important points of the landscape, limited importance of roads as elements of spatial order and the relative importance of forests and mountains as characteristic phenomena that surround man within the world of nature. However, maps differ from the written messages in two significant ways: by highlighting the role of rivers as elements that form the landscape and by lack of references to the sphere of real estate ownership. The general trends in the perception of the area of Świerzawa between the 13th and the 18th centuries must be emphasised: focusing on phenomena in the field of culture and civilization, favouring ownership and economic problems and perception of the natural world through the prism of events related to the activity of people living around Świerzawa. If one could describe this perception of space in a nutshell, it would be an anthropocentric model of constructing spatial reference systems. The first standardized cartographic images of the area of Świerzawa were published in the first quarter of the 19th century. Subsequent publications were strongly connected with administrative changes affecting the area. Accurate images made in the preparation of the so-called Messtischblätter for the whole of Silesia (the last quarter of the 19th century) determined the way of presenting space around Świerzawa until 1945. However, in subsequent editions, changes were applied that were associated primarily with the development of settlements and changes in their nature. This allows for keeping track of the spatial development of rural areas and their surroundings and the whole transformation under the influence of industrialization conducted in the area. Images published in 1945 show changes associated with shaping of the economic profile of the area – reconstruction of agricultural production, mining, the function of the local transport hub and the goods and services distribution centre which Świerzawa remained. Trends in changes to the natural environment through human economic activity did not change after 1945. The last two centuries, which are best documented by cartographic sources, are marked by further, ruthless expansion of man that has deeply transformed the natural environment.

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ISBN 978-83-942651-7-5



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Sląsk Nasz Ojczysty


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