Welcome to Biecz
One of the oldest settlements in Poland, Biecz (pronounced bee-ech) was a busy commercial centre with recognised civic rights by the 13th century. It benefited from the wine-trading route heading south over the Carpathians to Hungary, and some 30 crafts developed here. One 'craft' in particular is noteworthy: with the right to pass and carry out capital sentences, Biecz became a centre of public executions. In the 17th century the town's fortunes plunged, when the plague wiped out nearly all its inhabitants and new trade routes bypassed it. The sleepy atmosphere seems to have remained to this day, though some important historic monuments and a good museum make Biecz a highlight of the region.