The currently functioning High School of Economics and Horticulture located in the former Sanguszko Palace in Gumniska has a rich history dating back to the 19th century.
It was during that time, in 1881, that the Orchard and Horticultural Establishment was founded in Tarnów, with the purpose of educating gardeners due to the high demand for professionals in this profession.
In time, the institution took the name of Cracow’s School of Horticulture. The cycle of education lasted three years. The first headmaster was Wojciech Maciaszek, a graduate of Ecole National de Versaille. At that time, the school achieved excellent results in fruit-growing, the evidence of which was the presentation of several dozen varieties of apples and pears at the Fruit and Horticultural Exhibition in Tarnów in 1902.
The successes of the school in the field of gardening inspired the city and Tarnów County in the interwar period. Numerous short cultural events were organized at that time, including gardening exhibitions, a roadside tree planting festival and the establishment
of peasant orchards in the area.
The First World War interrupted the didactic activity of the school ,but it resumed in 1919. In the following years the institution focused on fruit-growing and nursery activities with great success. During World War II the school now called the State School of Horticulture, continued its activity with the consent of the occupant. Although part of the school building was occupied by the Germans, (even the native literature was taught at that time) the didactic base for vocational training i.e. school gardens, was also preserved.
After the war, the institution now, with a new name- Tarnów’s Horticultural School gained its seat in the neoclassical palace of the Sanguszko princes in Gumniska with a didactic base which consisted of 100 ha of land from the former princely estates.
Tadeusz Kościuszko became the school’s patron.
On November 24, 1946, when the school was named after him, the local community donated a bust of Jerzy Popiel. It was placed above the fireplace in the former palace hallway, where it still stands today.
Over the years, the structure of education has changed, the name of the school has changed and agricultural education has been introduced next to gardening. Learning could also take place in a correspondence and extramural model for adults. In 1975, the High School of Gardening and Agriculture was established, which also included branch schools in the vicinity of Tarnów and the Extramural Faculty. At that time, the school had a significant auxiliary farm adapted to production and teaching purposes. In time, a boarding house for youth was built with 220 seats.
There were also created object studios gradually equipped with didactic aids. During many years of post-war activity the school became known in the environment as a place of culture. Since 1975, cyclical exhibitions of bouquets, made of dry and living plants have been organized. In time, the exhibitions were accompanied by vernissages, concerts and poetry recitations. Young people developed their artistic passions during floral workshops, arranged beautiful bouquets, Christmas wreaths and Easter palms which were exhibited at the school and beyond even in Hungary and Ukraine.
The students improved their professional gardening skills on internships abroad in Hungary and Germany. Over the years the school’s development was aimed at educating competent horticulturists, who could find their place in the labour market at that time.
In the 1990’s, however, the school was facing economic and social change and had to adapt to the new reality.
The institution was renamed the Economic and Horticultural School Complex after a new form of education was launched - 4th Summer Secondary School o Economics. Soon an agribusiness was introduced.
Currently, the character of the school is the result of many changes that have taken place in recent years in the structure of the institution, years of learning, forms of activity. The nature of education at school was influenced by market changes and the interest of young people in professions. The institution ceased to be a school with a purely gardening profile instead it became open to new educational ideas. In recent years the educational profiles have been adapted to the needs of people who could attend classes of such professions as: economist technician, gardener or landscape architecture technician, nutrition technician, tourist service, hotel industry or agricultural mechanization.
There is currently no auxiliary farm because it was closed down by virtue of the Act of 27 August 2009.
The school is constantly modernizing its didactic base. It also undertakes cyclical activities that develop the creativity of students and teachers.
The most important are the annual projects such as – European Forum, Horticultural Picnic, Sanguszków’s Run and the initiative to meet interesting people – Our Guest.
In addition, young people are offered trips to the cinema, the theatre and museums which allow them to develop their talents through various competitions, exhibitions and Christmas performances. Soon the school will celebrate 140 years of its existence.
Palace in Gumniska – school building Currently, Gumniska is located in the south eastern part of Tarnów. At the beginning of the 20th century it was a suburban village belonging to the Tarnów’s nobility.
Hieronim Sanguszko built the palace in Gumniska in 1799 in the place of a wooden manorhouse. In the 1830’s it was extended to its present form by Władysław Sanguszko.
At the end of the 19th century the palace received neo – Renaissance elements and a neo – Gothical chapel. In 1939-45 German staff was stationed there and Princess Konstancja Sanguszko lived there.
The communists threw her out of the palace and placed a Citizen’s Militia station and then a school there.
Currently the school educates almost 800 students. It offers learning in Technical School No.9 with the following profiles:
- economist technician
- hotel management technician
- tourist assistance technician
- landscape architecture technician
- nutrition and catering services technician
- food technology technician spec. confectioner
and at Branch School of the First degree No. 7 at the following professions
Zespol Szkol Ekonomiczno-Ogrodniczych
ul. Sanguszkow 28, 33-100 Tarnow, Poland
ph. +48 14 622 00 75, +48 14 688 84 04
elaborated by Agnieszka Klugiewicz M.A.
translated by Grażyna Sabat M.A.