World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture


Muszyna estate/Panstwo muszynskie

Muszyna estate/Panstwo muszynskie — landed estate/*dominium formed during the late thirteenth century in the far western part of the *Lemko Region. Also known as the Episcopal Estate/Panstwo Biskupie, the Muszyna Key/Klucz muszynski, and Muszyna Borderland/Kres muszynski, it was first formed in 1288, when the Roman Catholic bishop of Cracow took control of the city of Muszyna. The Muszyna estate was temporarily placed within the royal domain (1335-1391), after which the king of Poland reinstated it as a manorial estate, again owned by Cracow’s Roman Catholic bishop. It comprised two cities (Muszyna and Miastko/Tylicz) and eleven villages, mostly in the southeastern corner of the Nowy Sacz district. Half of the villages were Lemko settlements. Beginning in the sixteenth century the Muszyna estate gradually expanded until it contained 28 (1629) and eventually 35 (1668) mostly Lemko villages. The estate was confiscated by the state in 1770, when the Austrian Empire created a cordon sanitaire by annexing certain Polish territories in the Carpathian borderland on the eve of its annexation of all of Galicia.

The estate’s administrator, who resided in Muszyna, was responsible for overseeing the local economy, and the Lemko population was originally engaged mostly in livestock and later also in agriculture. The owners of the estate were obligated to keep troops in Muszyna’s castle under the command of Poland’s local *starosta/lord sheriff. The estate was subjected to frequent attacks on the part of Hungary, including an invasion in 1474, during which many Lemko villages were burnt and the castle taken. The troops stationed in Muszyna also fought against Carpathian brigands, among whom there were numerous Rusyns, who, if captured, were prosecuted in the city’s court.

Ownership by a Roman Catholic bishop of Lemko villages whose inhabitants were Orthodox and later Greek Catholic sometimes had negative consequences. For example, the Greek Catholic church in Tylicz was demolished in 1686, ostensibly due to construction flaws, a decision that was considered part of an orchestrated effort to rid the city of its Rusyn inhabitants (construction of a new church was not allowed until 1743). On the other hand, the Roman Catholic bishop of Muszyna landlord established at Powroznik as early as 1638 possibly the first parish school in the entire Lemko Region.

Bibliography: Stanislaw Bebenek, Starostwo muszynskie, wlasnosc biskupa krakowskiego (L’viv, 1914); Feliks Kiryk, “Miasta kresu muszynskiego w okresie przedrozbiorowym,” Przemyskie Zapiski Historyczne, No. 4-5 (Przemysl, 1986/87), pp. 7-34; Stanislaw Plaza, “Dorazny sad kryminalny klucza muszynskiego (XVII-XVIII w.),” Czasopismo Prawno-historyczne XL, 2 (Poznan, 1988), pp. 199-212; Roman Reinfuss, “Zarys kultury materialnej ludnosci lemkowskiej z dawnego kresu muszynskiego,” Materialy Muzeum Budownictwa Ludowego w Sanoku, No. 34 (Sanok, 1998), pp. 7-52.

Bogdan Horbal

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

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