Gryfice

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Gryfice
Victory Square and Saint Mary's Church
Victory Square and Saint Mary's Church
Flag of Gryfice
Flag
Coat of arms of Gryfice
Coat of arms
Gryfice is located in Poland
Gryfice
Gryfice
Coordinates: 53°54′53″N 15°11′55″E / 53.91472°N 15.19861°E / 53.91472; 15.19861
Country  Poland
Voivodeship West Pomeranian
County Gryfice County
Gmina Gmina Gryfice
City rights 1262
Government
 • Mayor Andrzej Wacław Szczygieł
Area
 • Total 12.4 km2 (4.8 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 16,632
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 72-300
Car plates ZGY
Website http://www.urzad.gryfice.eu/

Gryfice ([ɡrɨˈfʲit͡sɛ] (About this sound listen); Kashubian: Grëfice, German: Greifenberg)[1] is a town in Pomerania, north-western Poland with 16,632 inhabitants (2008). It is the capital of Gryfice County in West Pomeranian Voivodeship (since 1999), previously in Szczecin Voivodeship (1975–1998).

History[edit]

Wysoka Tower was once part of the medieval defensive walls which surrounded the town

The Battle of Niekładź took place in the area of Gryfice in 1121, in which Polish ruler Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated Wartislaw I, Duke of Pomerania and Swantopolk I, Duke of Pomerania.[2][3]

In 1262, throughout the German Ostsiedlung, Wartislaw III, Duke of Pomerania founded a town under Lübeck law on the Rega river. After his death, his successor, Barnim I, Duke of Pomerania, named the settlement Civitat Griphemberch super Regam (Griffinsmountain) after the coat of arms symbol of the Dukes of Pomerania. In 1365 the town entered the Hanseatic League and prospered due to the right of free navigation on the Rega.

A town wall was built and at the end of the 13th century the construction of the St. Mary’s church was begun. In a document of 1386 a Latin school is mentioned, which is generally called the oldest in Pomerania. After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke and by the Treaty of Westphalia Greifenberg became part of Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648 and part of Imperial Germany in 1871. In 1818 the town became the capital of the Greifenberg district (Kreis Greifenberg).

In 1894 the town was connected to the railway line Altdamm - Kolberg. On July 1, 1896 the Greifenberger Kleinbahn was opened, a narrow-gauge railway today used as a railway Museum.

At the end of World War II the Soviet Red Army conquered the town and approximately 40 percent of the town was destroyed. Following the post-war boundary changes, Greifenberg was renamed Gryfice and became part of Poland. Its German population was expelled and the town was populated with Poles, many of them expellees themselves from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.

A pedestrian precinct along Ruta Street
Historic tenement houses
District Court in Gryfice
Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Church in Gryfice

Demographics[edit]

Before the end of World War II the (then-German) inhabitants were predominantly Protestant. With the transformation into a Polish town after World War II, the majority of its population has been composed of Catholics.

Number of inhabitants in years
Year Inhabitants Notes
1740 1,724[4]
1782 1,890 incl. 20 Jews.[4]
1794 2,138 incl. 19 Jews.[4]
1812 2,445 incl. 15 Catholics and 35 Jews.[4]
1816 2,610 incl. 44 Catholics and 35 Jews.[4]
1831 3,272 incl. 13 Catholics and 82 Jews.[4]
1843 4,027 incl. 9 Catholics and 132 Jews.[4]
1852 4,886 incl. 15 Catholics and 129 Jews.[4]
1861 5,361 incl. 31 Catholics, and 134 Jews.[4]
1900 6,477[5]
1925 8,370 incl. 110 Catholics, 80 Jews and 630 others.[6]
1939 10,800
1946 4,900 after expulsion of Germans after World War II and war losses
1950 8,700
1960 11,600
1970 13,200
1980 15,300
1990 17,600
2000 17,300

Notable residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Gryfice is twinned with:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Wikisource Baynes, T.S.; Smith, W.R., eds. (1880). "Greifenberg". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 183. . 1880.
  2. ^ Rodowód książat pomorskich Szczecin 2005 page 94-95, 98
  3. ^ Richard Roepell: Geschichte Polens, vol. I, Hamburg 1840, pp. 267-268 (in German)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kratz (1965), p. 176.
  5. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 6th edition, vol. 8, Leipzig and Vienna 1907, p. 272.
  6. ^ Der Große Brockhaus. 15th edition, vol. 2, Leipzig 1929, p. 488.

Literature[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikisource "Greifenberg". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 557. 

Coordinates: 53°54′53″N 15°11′55″E / 53.91472°N 15.19861°E / 53.91472; 15.19861