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Photos of Kwidzyn
Photos of Kwidzyn
Flag of Kwidzyn
Coat of arms of Kwidzyn
Coat of arms
Kwidzyn is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°44′9″N 18°55′51″E / 53.73583°N 18.93083°E / 53.73583; 18.93083
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Pomeranian
County Kwidzyn County
Gmina Kwidzyn (urban gmina)
Established 11th century
Town rights 1233
 • Mayor Andrzej Krzysztof Krzysztofiak
 • Total 21.82 km2 (8.42 sq mi)
Elevation 42 m (138 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 37,814
 • Density 1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 82-500
Area code(s) +48 55
Car plates GKW

Kwidzyn (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkfʲid͡zɨn]; Latin: Quedin; German: Marienwerder; Prussian: Kwēdina) is a town in northern Poland on the Liwa river in the Powiśle (right bank of Vistula) region, with 40,008 inhabitants (2004). It has been a part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously in the Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998), it is the capital of Kwidzyn County.


Kwidzyn castle in 2016.
Kwidzyn castle in 1912.
A 1922 postcard of the Hermann Balk Fountain in Marienwerder
Kwidzyn castle arcs

The Teutonic Knights founded an Ordensburg castle in 1232 and a town the following year; in 1243 the Bishopric of Pomesania received both the town and the castle of Marienwerder (German for "Mary's ait" combined with German 'werder' meaning river shore) from the Teutonic Order as fiefs, and the settlement became the seat of the Bishops of Pomesania within Prussia.[1] The town was populated with artisans and traders, originating from towns in the nothern parts of the German empire, the Teutonic knight Werner von Orseln, murdered in Marienburg (Malbork) in 1330, was buried as one of the first in the newly erected cathedral of the town. St. Dorothea of Montau lived here from 1391 until her death in 1394; and future pilgrims visiting her shrine would contribute to the flourishing economy. The rebellious Prussian Confederation was founded in the town on March 14, 1440,[2] after the defeat of the knights in the Thirteen Years' War, in 1466, most of their monastic state of the Teutonic Knights would by annexed by the Polish kingdom under the title Royal Prussia (later on West Prussia. The remainder known as East Prussia, to which Marienwerder belonged, remained an independent state; in 1525, East Prussia transformed itself into a secular and Lutheran duchy under the House of Brandenburg. A souvereign overlord could only be found in the Polish king. And so the price had to be paid by becoming a Polish fief, the duchy was inherited by the House of Hohenzollern and the Hohenzollern dukes broke their ties with the Polish king in 1657 and elevated their realm to the sovereign Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. The town Marienwerder became the capital of the Prussian District of Marienwerder. When after the First Partition of Poland, resulting in the re-unification of Prussia, the new Prussian Province of West Prussia was founded, the Marienwerder district was taken out of the Province of East Prussia, enlarged with parts of West Prussia, and integrated into West Prussia. The name may provoke confusion as the Marienwerder district has the same name as the government region of Marienwerder to which a range of districts came to belong, which included Marienwerder. Consequently, Marienwerder was the capital of both district and government region. By its administrative functions, the population of the town started to grow and in 1885 numbered 8,079, this population was mostly composed of Lutheran inhabitants, many of who were engaged in trades connected with the manufacturing of sugar, vinegar, brewing, dairy farming, and fruit-growing and the industrial construction of machines.

In 1910, according to the Prussian state census, the Marienwerder district had 68,446 inhabitants of which 37.8% spoke Polish as their mother tongue. The town of Marienwerder had 25,871 inhabitants of which 9.8% spoke Polish as their mother tongue.

In 1919, after World War I, the Marienwerder district was divided, the parts west of the Vistula were incorporated into the Polish Second Republic according to the Treaty of Versailles. These parts contained 25,313 inhabitants, of which 81.3% spoke Polish. The eastern parts (including the town of Marienwerder), numbered 43,113 inhabitants, of which 87.6% were German speaking. This population expressed their national preference in anticipation of the definitive allocation and drawing of new national borders; in the vote of the East Prussian plebiscite, the population of the contested eastern parts of Marienwerder voted to remain in East Prussia, and consequently in Germany. The vote was largely boycotted by the ethnic Polish minority who were confronted by persecution of Polish activism on account of German nationalists.

On November 10, 1937, when the Nazi regime was already in power in Germany, a Polish private high school was opened in Marienwerder, which was subsequently closed down by force on August 25, 1939.[3]

On January 30, 1945 during World War II, the town was captured by the Soviet Red Army, the Red Army established a war hospital in the town for 20,000 people. The town's old center was burned by Soviet soldiers.

After World War II, the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union. Most of the town and district population, being Germans fled or were expelled expelled by Polish authorities and replaced with Poles, some of whom were expelled from the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. In 1947, Ukrainians from the Sovjet bother regions were forced to settle in the area due to Operation Vistula. Burned parts of the town's old center were dismantled to provide material for the rebuilding of Warsaw after its destruction in the Warsaw Uprising.[citation needed]


Kwidzyn is located on the east bank of river Vistula, approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Gdańsk and 145 kilometres (90 miles) south-west of Kaliningrad.

Year Inhabitants
1400 approx. 700
1572 approx. 700
1782 3,156
1783 3,297
1831 5,060
1875 7,580
1880 8,238
1890 8,552
1900 9,686
1905 11,819
1925 13,721
1930 13,860
1933 15,548
1939 19,723
1965 approx. 13,000
2006 37,814
Note that the above table is based on biased primary sources from the time of Prussian Partition of Poland.[1][4][5][6][7]

Points of interest[edit]

Kwidzyn contains the partially ruined 14th century Brick Gothic Ordensburg castle of the Teutonic Order, namely the Bishops of Pomesania within the Order. Connected to the castle to the east is a large cathedral (built 1343-1384) containing the tombs of the bishops as well those of three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights. A key feature of the castle is a sewer tower which is connected to it by a bridge, the tower used to be at the river which has changed its course since, leaving it on dry land.

The town also has a Catholic church and a cathedral-castle presently used for the museum of Lower Powiśle. Other sights include the appellate court for Kwidzyn County, a new town hall, and government buildings.


A branch of International Paper is located in Kwidzyn, as is the Kwidzyn School of Management, the second biggest employer in Kwidzyn is Jabil, a global electronics manufacturing services company.[8] The city has lower average crime and unemployment rates when compared to the national average rates of Poland. [8] These lower rates are attributed to sport programs for youth such as MMTS Kwidzyn (handball) and MTS Basket Kwidzyn.[8]



International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Kwidzyn is twinned with:


  • Stephen Turnbull: Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights: The Red-Brick Castles of Prussia 1230-1466, October 2003 (eBook, PDF)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b August Eduard Preuß: Preußische Landes- und Volkskunde. Königsberg 1835, pp. 441–444.
  2. ^ Jürgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche Orden. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53628-1, p. 100 ff. (restricted preview).
  3. ^ Andreas Lawaty, Wiesław Mincer and Anna Domańska: Deutsch-polnische Beziehungen in Geschichte und Gegenwart – Bibliographie. Vol 2: Religion, Buch, Presse, Wissenschaft, Bildung, Philosophie, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, ISBN 3-447-04243-5, p. 879 (restricted preview)
  4. ^ Michael Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte Provinz Westpreußen, Kreis Marienwerder (2006)
  5. ^ Der Große Brockhaus, 15th edition, Vol. 12, Leipzig 1932, p. 143.
  6. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition, Vol. 13, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, p. 299.
  7. ^ Johann Friedrich Goldbeck: Vollständige Topographie des Königreichs Preußen. Teil II, Marienwerder 1789, pp. 3–6.
  8. ^ a b c Turystyka, historia, zabytki. Kwidzyn Moje miasto.
  9. ^ "Stadt Celle". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 

Coordinates: 53°44′9″N 18°55′51″E / 53.73583°N 18.93083°E / 53.73583; 18.93083