The Cistercian monastic granges in Szczyrzyc in the 17th to the 20th centuries as presented in the original inventories

Jolanta M. Marszalska



The Cistercian monastic economy in the Middle Ages and in the modern era was based on land farming and animal husbandry which provided for the current needs of each abbey. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries new forms of farmsteads – granges – began to develop in the Cistercian monasteries along with the increased settlement processes and organizational changes. The monastery economy in Szczyrzyc was mainly agricultural and included fields, meadows, pastures, gardens and orchards. The basic crops included: rye, wheat, barley, oat as well as millet. Furthermore, they grew calamus, buckwheat, vetch, clover, potatoes as well as hemp and hops. In the gardens they grew parsnip, nigella, horseradish, cabbage, carrot, parsley, broad bean, turnip, onion, beet and poppy as well as fruit trees such as apple, pear and plum. The main sources of information on the Cistercian economy in Szczyrzyc include the original 17th, 18th and 19th-century monastic inventories and many other documents, especially those regarding the modern era. Their analysis provides information about both the equipment of the granges, including necessary land farming machinery, and the land farming efficiency. Furthermore, the paper describes the changes regarding the farming land ownership in the Szczyrzyc abbey after 1945.

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