History

In early Middle Ages the area was covered with a deep Carpathian forest. Although the first traces of human activity in Upper Skawa river basin date back to 700-400 BC, i.e. to the period of the Lusatia or Púchov culture (e.g. a large settlement in Zembrzyce), the regular settlement appeared relatively late in this area in relation to other regions of Poland.

During the initial period of Piast royal dynasty, the area was a part of Terra Cracoviensis. In 1179 the region was divided: its eastern part remained in the Kingdom of Poland, whereas its western part was incorporated into the Silesian duchies (initially the Duchy of Opole, later the Duchy of Cieszyn, and finally the Duchy of Auschwitz and Zator). The border passed along the course of the river Skawa, and further south towards the mountain range of Babia Góra and the Polish-Hungarian border. Such a division exerted a significant impact on later history of today’s County of Sucha.

A much stronger, second settlement action, supported by the Dukes of Auschwitz and the Polish kings, especially King Casimir the Great, took place in the 14th century. The villages founded by the kings were incorporated into the newly established County of Lanckorona as royal properties, whereas the other villages remained in private hands. The third wave of settlement, mostly supported by the aristocrat Jordan family of Zakliczyn, had its culmination in the 16th century. It was probably in the late 16th century, when the Vlach shepherds began to settle massively in the region. In 1564, the areas of the former Duchy of Auschwitz and Zator, purchased earlier by the Polish kings, were incorporated into the Voivodeship of Cracow as the County of Silesia as a consequence of the decision of the Polish Parliament in Warsaw. In this way, all the territory of today’s County of Sucha became a part of Poland. The middle part of the area consisted of royal villages of Lanckorona County, whereas its western and eastern territories consisted of private properties. The area of Jordanów was scattered among numerous owners, whereas the former Silesian areas belonged to the aristocrat family of Komorowski, creating a large domain administered from the castle of Sucha Beskidzka. The domain remained in the hands of famous Polish aristocrat families of Komorowski, Wielopolski, Branicki and Tarnowski until 1939.

After the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the County of Lanckorona ceased to exist and the whole area was incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. The Austrian Empire began to sell some of these areas in auctions already in the late 18th century. Maków and ten nearby villages were purchased by the aristocrat, Filip Saint-Genois, in 1839 and later resold by his son to Archduke Albrecht Habsburg in 1878. Maków, Zawoja and the nearby territories remained in the hands of Habsburg family also after Poland regained its independence in 1918, though part of the domain was granted to the Polish Academy of Abilities in Cracow in 1924.

After the Partitions of Poland and during the period of the Second Republic of Poland, administrative divisions of Podbabiogórze underwent frequent modifications. Initially, the whole region belonged to the districts of Wieliczka, Myślenice and Wadowice respectively. After the administrative reform of the Austrian Empire in 1867, when the counties were created, the domain of Sucha belonged to the County of Żywiec, the town of Maków and nearby villages – to the County of Wadowice, whereas Jordanów – to the County of Myślenice. In 1924, already in the Second Republic of Poland, the County of Maków was created, embracing also the town of Sucha and nearby villages. After a decade, when the county ceased to exist, Sucha returned to the County of Żywiec, and the area of Maków – to the County of Wadowice, while the eastern part of the area with Jordanów remained in the County of Myślenice.

th Motorized Cavalry Brigade of gen. Stanisław Maczek, supported by the local community, successfully shielded the southern flank of Poland against the prevailing forces of the 2nd Panzer Division of German XIII Corps, which slowed the pace of Blitzkrieg. In January 1945, the Soviet Army took over the area after defeating the German troops.

After World War II, the County of Sucha was created in 1956, embracing the region of Podbabiogórze. However, as a result of the administrative reform of Poland in 1975, the county ceased to exist for more than two decades and its territory was divided into newly created voivodeships of Bielsko and Nowy Sącz. The County of Sucha in its today’s form was recreated as part of the Voivodeship of Lesser Poland (Małopolska) already in the Third Republic of Poland, as a result of the administrative reform of the country in 1999.