Gmina Zolynia Today

Gmina Map

Major geographic components of Gmina Zolynia, including the largest roads, Route 877 (in gray) and the four official Sołectwa: Brzoza Stadnicka, Kopanie, Smolarzyny and Zolynia. The green "m" is the location of the market square.



Zolynia is located among the rolling foothills and forests north of the Carpathian Mountains, in what is today southeastern Poland. It is mostly on an elevation of about 600 feet called the Kobulszowa Plateau in the Sandomierz Valley, about 60 miles (96 km) north of the Czech Republic and 40 miles (64 km) west of Ukraine.

This is almost an entirely rural area, dotted with small cities, towns and villages. It is part of the Podkarpackie Voivodship (Subcarpathian Province), one of Poland's 17 voivodships, which are the equivalent of an American state. Zolynia is just northeast of the region's largest city, Rzeszow,and most of the province's 2.1 million people live there. The province is divided into counties (powiaty), and Gmina Zolynia is part of Lancut (Łańcut) County. The county seat of government is at the town of Lancut, site of the famous palace of the local Polish nobility which played a critical role in the creation of Zolynia and in the lives of its residents. Gmina Zolynia lies on the left leg of a triangle formed by the larger towns of Lancut, Lezasjk and Preworsk.

A Gmina is an official community similar to a township or borough in most of the United States, divided into villages and hamlets. It is governed by an elected Council and a Mayor (a Wojt). Gmina Zolynia is divided into four solectwa or village areas: Zolynia (the Gmina seat of government), Brzoza Stadnicka, Kopanie and Rakszawa. These are mostly used to divide the Gmina geographically in order to allot services, much like "special service districts" are used in many suburban and rural areas in the United States. There are also several hamlets or settlements that one might see on a detailed local map, including Gajowka, Zmyslowskie, Smolarzyny, Zagora and several others. The entire Gmina has a population of 6,664 people (as of 2006), and three-fourths of the residents live in the solectwa of Zolynia.

Traditionally, Zolynia village has been divided into Zolynia Gorne (Upper Zolynia) and Zolynia Dolne (Lower Zolynia). The area around the market square is still often referred to as Zolynia Centre, as it was when it was the heart of a predominantly-Jewish neighborhood.


market square

The market square, now landscaped and filled in with two small parks, looking toward the northwest.

A Modernizing Community

Zolynia is a country town where farming, especially dairy farming, is the primary industry. The two largest employers in the Gmina are a poultry farm and hatchery in Brzoza Stadnicka and a slaughterhouse and meat processing company in Kopanie.

Since the establishment of the Third Polish Republic in 1989, Zolynia has been one of hundreds of towns trying to find its place in a market economy. There have been efforts to modernize the infrastructure and diversify the local economy, and little by little Zolynia has taken on the look of a modern European village, surrounded by vast tracts of farmland, forest and countryside. Since 2005, an Association for the Development and Promotion of Gminy Zolynia has been working to attract new businesses and investment.

The bank has an ATM machine. Many residents in the village have access to broadband internet, teenagers post videos on YouTube and the local schools have web sites. By the end of 2009, all the village areas will be sewered, with lines leading to modern sewage treatment facilities. There are now two taverns in Zolynia village, one that has dancing and one that is also a pizzeria, and Brzoza Stadnicka also has a tavern. A farmhouse near the center of the village has been converted into an inn. There are 18,000 books and other items at the public library, and there is a branch library in Brzoza Stadnicka.

The Gmina has hopes to attract tourists, and a 26 kilometer (16 mile) "green trail" runs from Rzeszow to Lancut and then through Brzoza Stadnicka and north through the forest areas. A bicycle route is being promoted, curving through Bialobrzegi, Korniaktow, Budy Lancucki, Grodzisko Dolne, Zmyslowka and Zolynia.


Market area

The market square area and Zolynia Centre, present day.

Zolynia coat of arms

The coat of arms of Gminy Zolynia features the acorn, from which the town may have gotten its name.


More Information

In Polish, Zolynia is spelled with a dotted-Z and a crossed-L (Żołynia) and is pronounced "Zho-ween-yah." The Zh or Ż is pronounced like the "s" in the English words "vision" or "pleasure." In Yiddish, the daily language of Zolynia's Jewish population, the town name was pronounced as "Zhe-leen."

The Yiddish name is sometimes transliterated as Zholin, Zhelin, Zhulin, Zholyn and other variations.

This site generally uses the modern Polish names for places. However, there are some references to "Zholin" or "Zholiners," particularly when referring to Jewish residents. Zolynia and Zholin are the same place and are used interchangeably.

Throughout this site, English characters are generally used for places in order to maximize Internet browser compatability and reader understanding.

In Polish, Łańcut is pronounced "wine-tzoot." The Yiddish name was "Lahn-tsoot." Leżajsk is pronounced "Leh-zhask" in Polish and the Yiddish name was "Lizhensk." Rzeszów is pronounced "Zhe-shuf" in Polish and the Yiddish name was "Reisha."

There are different stories about how Zolynia got its name. The Polish words for the color yellow and for acorn both start with is żoł, and the town's coast of arms features the acorn.

Older maps and documents will often refer to "Zolynia Miasteczko" and "Zolynia Wies." Prior to the late 1920s, Zolynia was divided into two distinct municipalities. The Miasteczko or town (sometimes also referred to as Miasto, meaning a larger town or city) was the more urbanized community around the market square area. The Wies or village was the less densly populated outlying area. In the Republic of Poland and Austria-Hungary before it, miasto, miasteczko and wies were phrases which loosely described a place's physical characteristics and do not correspond to the relationship between cities, towns, villages and hamlets familiar to most residents of North America. When refering to one part of Zolynia or the other, this site attempts to use phrasing which is clear but which may not correspond to proper legal or political definitions.

Picture of Gmina Zolynia today: Three Catholic churches (give villages) Two petrol stations, one community/cultural center, a public tennis court in Zolynia village, one shooting range five? basic schools, one secondary school; two taverns (one with dancing and one with a pizzeria); one ATM; one taxi;

The center of Zolynia town, the heart of what was once the Jewish neighborhood, is located at precisely 50 degrees, 10 minutes north latitude and 22 degrees, 19 minutes east longitude.

The highest point in the Gmina is 816 feet (249 m) above sea level, in Kopanie. The lowest point is adjacent to the Wisłok river in Smolarzyny, about 620 feet (190 m) above sea level.

Site Search

Enter word or phrase and click on the Search button: