Gorlice was probably set up already in the 14th century at the meeting point of the Sękówka and the Ropa Rivers, while the first settlers probably arrived here from Görlitz (Zgorzelec). The name of the town derives from them. In the 19th century, Gorlice was an important centre of the developing oil industry. In the 1850s, Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822–1882), a pharmacist and one of the principal founders of the petrochemical industry, an inventor of the technique of oil distillation and designer and builder of the world’s first modern oil drilling well, was active here in Bóbrka. It was here that he invented and improved upon the first oil lamp and the first street oil lamp, which was placed at the intersection of present-day Węgierska and Kościuszki streets. So today, Gorlice is promoted as the ‘City of Light’ and one of its main attractions is the Open Air Museum of Oil Industry ‘Magdalenka’ (Skansen Przemysłu Naftowego ‘Magdalena’), where you can not only see the former tools, machines and equipment, but also experience the work related to the extraction and processing of ‘black gold’. The urban layout of Gorlice dates back to the 14th century with a four-sided terrace-shaped Market Square and streets starting in its corners. One of the most valuable monuments in the town is the Karwacjan Manor House, the former family residence of the founders of Gorlice, also known as the ‘lumber room’.
When in Gorlice, definitely save some time for a walk in the beautiful old Municipal Park located at the fork of the Ropa and the Sękówka Rivers. It bears the name of Wojciech Biechoński, the mayor of Gorlice between 1887 and 1902 and the participant of the January Rising; it is believed to be one of the most beautiful parks in Poland. Fans of WWI monuments can spend a whole day in Gorlice visiting military cemeteries. The most spectacular is the monumental cemetery from WWI No. 91 on the Cemetery Mountain (Góra Cmentarna) in Gorlice, which resembles a fortress and was designed by Emil Ladewig.