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- Author Emperor Francis II
- Date of production April 28, 1798
- Place of creation Vienna
- Dimensions height: 48-48.3 cm, overlap: 7.2-7.8 cm, width: 71.2-71.4 cm, overlap: 71.2 cm, diameter: seal: 13.6 cm, wooden box: 16 cm
- ID no. MT-H/50
- Branch Main Building
- Object copyright District Museum in Tarnów
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
Francis II, the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Hungary, Czech, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy and Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, etc., confers a privilege granting freedom to Tarnów and its inhabitants. It approves the property of Tarnów burghers and the possessions of the town.more
Francis II, the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Hungary, Czech, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy and Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, etc., confers a privilege granting freedom to Tarnów and its inhabitants. It approves the property of Tarnów burghers and the possessions of the town. This granted the city the right to have its own judiciary and the right to choose its municipal authorities, determining their competences. It gave the noblemen of the city a monopoly on the sale of alcohol and the right to organize four fairs a year. It is also noteworthy that it approved the coat of arms of the city of Tarnów.
This document, written on a parchment, has a characteristic and interesting graphic element, which is the Tarnów coat of arms, drawn in the centre, with the motto – SIGILLUM MUNICIPY TARNOWIENSIS – surrounded by the coats of arms of Galicia and Lodomeria, and the duchies of Oświęcim and Zator. In addition, it is decorated with a great wax seal, hanging on a silk, black and yellow string, in a wooden box.
As Jan Leniek writes:
“it is somewhat a farewell to old relations, a bygone past (...) different from the privileges of Polish kings, written in a cordial tone, attracting everyone with a strange charm (...) and, after all, nevertheless, in our opinion, it is very important for our city in terms of finance, and very interesting as to the system of municipal authorities, and, in practical terms, it surpasses all the former privileges, because the benefits, before they were granted, had to be and were realised without obstacles in favour of the city's coffers.”
In fact, this document marked a new era in the history of Tarnów. Until that time, the city’s owners – wealthy Polish families – had taken care of the townspeople and the borough itself. Polish kings from the Piast and Jagiellonian dynasties and elected monarchs had granted many privileges to Tarnów. This time, Tarnów was conspicuous as a point on the map of the Empire, which had its capital in Vienna, and was ruled by Francis II – who soon turned out to be the last Roman-German Emperor and first Austrian Emperor – and, in 1795, together with the Empress of Russia, Catherine II, and the King of Prussia, Frederick William II, took part in the Third Partition of Poland.
Elaborated by Janusz Kozioł (District Museum in Tarnów), © all rights reserved