Middle Ages

The Prince of Oświęcim John Scholastic issued in Bytom on 27th of February in 1327, the act fief of principality Czech king John of Luxemburg. Among those next to Zator, Żywiec and Kęty, there was also the town "Wadowicz". This is the first historically proven record of Wadowice, which by then had town rights. At that time there was also erected Wadowice parish All the Saints.
Wadowice was at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, small and not very prosperous town, burdened with the duties to The Prince of Oświecim. Wooden buildings conducive to frequent fires. When in 1430 the fire destroyed the town almost entirely, The Prince of Oświęcim Casimir I gave Wadowice the Chelmno right.

When in 1445, following the division of the Duchy of Oświęcim, founded the Duchy of Zator, Wadowice found within its boundaries. Unlike the rulers of Oświęcim, who tended to the Czech, the princes of  Zator maintained good relations with the rulers of the Polish Kingdom. In 1456 the duke Wenceslaus I gave the fief of principality Casimir IV the Jagiellonian and in 1494 his grandson, Janusz V, sold the principality to the Polish king Jan Olbracht.

Old Polish era

Only in 1564 the Parliament of the Republic completed the long process of incorporation of the Duchy of Zator and also Wadowice to the Polish Kingdom. "The Royal Free Town Wadowice" was gaining additional privileges and at the XVI - XVIII century developed urban self-government with its own police authority, tax and judicial. The first mention of Wadowice town hall come from the year 1633.

Austrian Partition - Galicia

In 1772, as a result of the first partition of Poland, depopulated and ruined Wadowice found within the Austrian Empire. Construction of the late eighteenth century, the "First Galician Route Commerce - Postal" (imperial roads), connecting Lviv to Vienna, and passing through Wadowice accelerated reconstruction and development of the town. In 1819 the Austrian authorities displaced district (cyrkuł) from Myślenice to Wadowice, which meant that the town became an important administrative center, with the Court of Peripheral, Main Tax Office, the State Prosecutor's Office and the Office of Post and Telegraph.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the population of the town was approx. 4 thousands where next to numerous imperial - royal officials also lived officers and non-commissioned officers stationed there units: 56 Infantry Regiment and the 2nd division of lancers (for the army built in 1822 barracks).

At the end of the nineteenth century came to Wadowice fathers Carmelites with father Rafał Kalinowski, later a saint, and built "on the Hill" (na Górce) neo-Romanesque church and monastery (construction took place from 1897 to 1899). On the other side of town, on the Mound, in 1909 Priests Pallottines built their "Collegium Marianum". Both the assembly next pastoral activity began to run schools - Carmelites private high school and Pallottines minor seminary. At the end of the nineteenth century also the Sisters of Nazareth commenced the activities in Wadowice. The Sisters founded the town orphanage and boarding school for girls.

Interwar period

In November 1918, Wadowice return to the revived Polish state, after 146 years of slavery, as the county town. Interwar period is for the town primarily the development of education and culture. There is a very active high school - Gymnasium of Marcin Wadowita, the only in the district, which becomes a real hotbed of outstanding military, scientists, lawyers, doctors and clergy. In 1938 graduated high school in Wadowice, Karol Wojtyła, the future Pope John Paul II. The provincial Wadowice operates several theaters: gymnasium, led by prof. Kazimierz Foryś, parish, where the drama circle led by priest Dr. Edward Zacher and finally Amateur Dramatic Theatre was founded in the 30's - those by Mieczysław Kotlarczyk. Artistic life of the town gave a group of literary - artistic "Czartak", which met in manor house of the poet Emil Zegadłowicz in Gorzeń - the group's founder.

World War II

Boom ended with the outbreak of World War II. September 4, 1939 to the helpless town enter first German troops. As a result of administrative changeson conquered by the Third Reich areas, part of Wadowice found within Germany, and the second part, which lies across the river Skawa, in the General Government. The period of occupation is primarily ordeal of the Jewish population, which was closed in the ghetto (area Piaskowa Street), and after its liquidation exterminated in the death camps. Wadowice synagogue was burned even the autumn of 1939, and it was blown summer of 1940.

After war

January 26, 1945's army 38 Army, IV Ukrainian Front gene. Kirill Moskalenki enter to Wadowice. The town began to develop in the new post-war reality. In Wadowice new schools, including secondary and workplaces. Creatively acted artists originating from the circles of Zegadłowicz's "Czartak."

In 1975, in connection with the administrative reform, Wadowice ceased to function as the capital of the county. The important event, which meant that the town has become recognizable, was the election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope (October 16, 1978). In 1984, construction began on a new church - a vote of gratitude for saving the Pope of the attack, the church of St. Peter the Apostle was in 1991. Consecrated by Pope John Paul II. While the church in the market, with which Wojtyla was associated from an early age, became Pope in 1992, the rank of a minor basilica. John Paul II visited Wadowice three times - in 1979, 1991 and 1999.

Another administrative reform in 1999, restored the role of the district town of Wadowice.

April 2, 2005, of 9.37 p.m. John Paul II died. In commemorating this moment in Wadowice on the south wall of the Basilica marked the hour of death and the date on the sundial.

In 2006, Wadowice visited our successor Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a short service and then met with the residents of the town market.

May 1, 2011, Benedict XVI declared John Paul II to be beatified. May 15, 2011 year in the Basilica Minor, placed the relic of the Holy Father - ampoule with a drop of blood. It is located in a special chapel dedicated to Blessed John Paul II.

May 18, 2012,
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz gave the Mayor of Wadowice decree authorizing the establishment of bl. John Paul II patron of Wadowice.

April 27, 2014 in Rome Pope Francis I announced John Paul II a saint.

/Polish description: Marcin Witkowski - Municipal Museum in Wadowice/