Rydzyna municipality is situated in the southern part of Wielkopolska Province (also known as Greater Poland Province), in close proximity to Leszno (approx. 10 km), in the Leszno county (poviat). The terrain is shaped by three picturesque areas: Leszczyńska Plain, Bojanowski Soil Bank and the Lowering of Polish Trench.
Rydzyna is a town – a monument preserved due to its 18th century spatial arrangement and numerous historical buildings. Rydzyna is referred to as ‘the pearl of the Polish baroque’ and recognized as the most magnificent attraction of Leszczyński region. The town was founded at the beginning of the 15th century by Jan from Czernina, a descendant of the Wierzbno family and a knight of king Władysław Jagiełło. At the end of the 17th century the town and its environs were owned by well-known magnates – the Leszczyński and Sułkowski families.
The most valuable historic place in the region is the Rydzyna Castle from the 15th/17th century – formerly the residence of king Stanisław Leszczyński and the Sułkowski princes. The Castle together with its adjacent park and the surrounding terrain form one of the most precious castle-park complexes in Poland.
Rydzyna with its residential-urban complex has been included on the list of Historical Monuments. With its urban surrounding, it is still a precious and visible instance of spatial combination of several axial elements shaped in the 17th and 18th century. It has exceptional historical, urban-architectural and scientific values. It is situated in the north-east part of Rydzyna and comprises of the castle, an extensive park, monumental annexes and outbuildings, as well as the garden with a shooting range.
Historical Monument, awarded since 1994 in this form, is a way of conservation of places which are unique in terms of Polish history and culture. The president makes a final decision about awarding a place with the Historical Monument title. To date, 60 places have been listed as exceptional, including Cracow – the historic city, Biskupin – the archeological site, Częstochowa – the monastery in Jasna Góra, Grunwald – the battlefield, Wieliczka – the historical saltmine and Frombork- the cathedral complex.
Rydzyna covers the area of 135.56 km² and borders on five municipalities of Wielkopolska Province, namely: Święciechowa, Osieczna, Krzemieniewo, Poniec, Bojanowo, Leszno (town) and Góra (a municipality of Dolnośląskie Province). The S5 dual carriageway and 309 province road Poznań – Wrocław run through the municipality, which is inhabited by 9416 inhabitants, and 2828 of whom live in the town of Rydzyna itself. The settlement system comprises of 22 unitS, 16 of which have the status of the lowest unit of local administration.
Within the town boundaries there are numerous historical monuments, among others baroque tenement houses around the Square with a town hall and the unique, in Poland, statue of the Trinity, the baroque parish church and the post-evangelical church. The former monumental annexes to the castle represent the Classic style and all the monuments and historic buildings in Rydzyna are the works of prominent architects brought in from all over Europe by the Leszczyński and Sułkowski magnate families.
Well-prospering and developed agriculture is one of the assets of Rydzyna. Most of its area is covered by agricultural land and forests. Agriculture plays a crucial role in the economy of the region which is reflected in high employment in this sector, production and inhabitants’ income. Most of the land is private property and the average size of a farm is more profitable than in the the rest of the country. Over the recent years the area of private farms, especially arable land, has increased.
High-productivity agriculture fosters the development of agricultural and food processing. Most of the farmers grow triticale, rye, wheat, blends of grains and sugar beet, but also rapeseed and corn. The size of vegetable cultivation is larger than the country’s average.
As far as farm animals are concerned, the dominant species are pigs. Rydzyna together with the whole Leszczyński region is top of the list in Greater Poland as for different grain crops, pigs and cattle breeding. A significant number of farms has crops quantity similar to those of Western European countries. The village is well-equipped with technical infrastructure, and the level of saturation with agricultural machinery is higher than in the rest of Poland. The companies providing services for agriculture influence the municipality’s economy more and more.
The history of education in Rydzyna is long and extensive. As early as in the 16th century there was a parish school, but he 18th century was a major period in the town’s history. It was in 1774 when Prince August Sułkowski, following the recommendations of the National Education Commission, established a school run by Piarists. The educational institution operated until 1820, and nowadays one of its former buildings is the main seat of the Primary School in Rydzyna. Throughout almost the whole 19th century and more than two decades of the 20th century in Rydzyna there were two public schools: catholic and evangelical. The interwar period was the time of the outstanding Secondary School established in 1928 and run by the Sułkowski foundation. In 1934 it was transformed into Sułkowski High School and Secondary School and operated until the outbreak of the Second World War.
The new chapter of the history of education in Rydzyna commenced on 4 June 1972, when officially the Primary School in Rydzyna was named after the 17th Uhlan Regiment. Nowadays the Primary School in Rydzyna is the largest institution of this kind in the municipality. Much later the education system developed in the rest of the area. The school in Dąbcze used to be catholic, educating both Polish and German children. Since October 1923 the students were divided into two departments: Polish and German. In 1925 they were joined into a two-grade school with Polish as the official language of teaching.
After WW II Polish students returned to the school and attended four grades. On 1st September 1991 the school became an independent institution and nowadays students learn in three buildings. The primary school in Kaczkowo was created after the war. In 1960 it was transformed into a full, seven-grade primary school. In 1996 the renovation of the former corn house in Rojęczyn was completed and the pupils of the first three grades were relocated there. Since then the school has been located in two neighbouring buildings.
From 1 September 1999 to 2017 in Rydzyna there was a secondary school to which teenagers from Rydzyna and all villages of the municipality attended.