The county seat lies on the Kalisz High Plain, about 50 km north-west of Kalisz. These days, Jarocin is an industrial centre with important establishments like the furniture factory and the Jafo factory.
Jarocin was first mentioned in 1257. Situated on trade route crossroads, it grew in importance thanks to the development of crafts and trade. However, its appeal plummeted as a result of numerous fires, famines and epidemics during the 17th and 18th centuries and it became just another agricultural town.
Jarocin came under Prussian rule following the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, briefly regained its freedom in the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-1815), and was returned to Prussia after the Congress of Vienna (1815). It is interesting to note that Jarocin was liberated by underground activists and residents in the November immediately preceding the outbreak of the Wielkopolska Uprising (1918-1919).
During the occupation, more than 8,200 residents were displaced and 6,500 sent to Germany for forced labour. The aim of this large-scale terror was to populate the area with German colonists, who made up 35% of the inhabitants after only a couple of years. Jarocin was liberated by Soviet troops on 24 January 1945.
It is now an industrial centre and railway junction.
The town hall, built 1799–1804, stands in the middle of the quadrilateral marketplace. This is now the Jarocin Regional Museum.
The early 17-century St. Martin Parish Church is in the north-east corner of the marketplace. The mid-19th-century neo-Gothic Radoliński Palace can be found in a landscape park of more than 30 ha. dating from the same period. Skarbczyk (Jewel Box), the ruins of a medieval castle and now a branch of the museum, can also be found in the park.
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