Bochnia is a town of 30,000 inhabitants on the river Raba in southern Poland. The town lies in halfway between Tarnów and the regional capital Kraków. Bochnia is most noted for its salt mine, the oldest functioning in Europe, built c. 1248. Since Poland's administrative reorganization in 1999, Bochnia has been the administrative capital of Bochnia County in Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Before reorganization it was part of Tarnów Voivodeship; the area of Bochnia is 29.89 square kilometres. The town is located along national roads 94 and 75; the A4 motorway European route E40 passes to the north of the town. It has a rail station. Bochnia is a stop on a strategic West - East line from Kraków to Medyka. Bochnia is one of the oldest cities of Lesser Poland; the first known source mentioning the city is a letter of 1198, in which Aymar the Monk, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, confirmed a donation by the local magnate Mikora Gryfit to the monastery of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów. The discovery of major deposits of rock salt at the site of the present mine in 1248 led to the grant of city privileges on 27 February 1253 by Bolesław V the Chaste.
In the original founding document, the German name of the town is mentioned as well, since many Bochnia's residents were German-speaking settlers from Lower Silesia. Due to its salt mine and favourable location, which belonged to Kraków Voivodeship, was one of main cities of Lesser Poland. In the 14th century, during the reign of King Kazimierz Wielki, a town hall was built, a defensive wall with four gates, a hospital and shelter for miners, the construction of St. Nicolas Basilica began. In appreciation of Kazimierz Wielki's influence on the development of Bochnia, monument to him was erected in town's market square in the late 19th century. In the 15th century, a school was opened, in 1623, Bernardine Abbey was founded in Bochnia. At that time, many pilgrims from Lesser Poland and Silesia visited the town, to see a miraculous painting of St. Mary, kept at a local Dominican church. In 1561 Bochnia burned down in a fire and its salt deposits were depleted, leading to the town's decline. In 1655 Bochnia was captured by the Swedes, in 1657 by the Transylvanians, in 1662, by the Cossacks.
By the 1660s, there were only 54 houses still standing. In 1702, the town was destroyed in the Great Northern War. Fires caused further damage in 1709 and 1751. In 1772, Bochnia was annexed by the Austrian Empire, remained part of Galicia until 1918; the Austrians liquidated both abbeys, tore down the town hall together with the defensive wall. In 1867, Bochnia County was created and the town began a slow recovery spurred by construction of the Galician Railway of Archduke Charles Louis. In 1886, first public library was opened, in the late 19th century, the waterworks, in 1913, a movie theater. In the Second Polish Republic, Bochnia belonged to Kraków Voivodeship and was the capital of a county; the town housed a small garrison of the Polish Army, with 3rd Silesian Uhlans Regiment stationed there from 1924. On September 6/7, 1939, Bochnia was defended by several Polish units. One of the first mass executions in occupied Poland took place in the town: the Germans shot 52 Poles as a reprisal for killing two German police officers.
At the outbreak of World War II, an estimated 3,500 Jews lived in Bochnia, comprising about 20% of the total population. During the German occupation of Poland, Bochnia was the site of a Jewish ghetto to which Jews from surrounding areas were forced to move by the Nazis; the entire Jewish community was murdered in the Holocaust apart from 200 forced laborers employed at a plant headed by Gerhard Kurzbach, a Wehrmacht soldier, who ordered them to work overtime and thereby saved them from deportation. It is estimated that 15,000 Jews were deported from Bochnia, with at least a further 1,800 killed in the town and its surroundings. About 90 Jews from Bochnia survived the war, either in camps or in the Soviet Union. Most of them immigrated to the US, Brazil and Israel. In 1944, the 12th Home Army Infantry Regiment was established in Bochnia. In April 1943, Witold Pilecki hid there after his escape from Auschwitz. In Communist Poland, Bochnia grew larger, with several villages incorporated into the town in the 1970s.
In 1975, Bochnia belonged to Tarnów Voivodeship, in 1984, a by-pass of the European route E40 was completed, redirecting the traffic from congested center of the town. 13th century salt mine St. Nicholas Basilica Statues of Leopold Okulicki and Casimir III of Poland The older parts of the cemetery at Oracka Street Catholic cemetery Jewish cemetery The Bochnia Salt Mine is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest one in Poland and Europe; the mine was established between the 13th centuries after salt was discovered in Bochnia. The mines measure 468 metres in depth at 16 different levels. Deserted chambers and passages form a so-called underground town, now open to sightseers; the largest of the preserved chambers has been converted into a sanatorium. Bochnia Academy of Economics is a owned collegiate-level institution of higher education in the city, founded in 2000, it grants bachelor's degrees in five fields of knowledge. St. Stanisław Szczepanowski, Poland's first native saint Ralph Modjeski, born 1861 to actress Helena Modjeska, builder of 30 major bridges in the USA.
Ludwik Stasiak, Polish painter and public
Gdańsk Shipyard is a large Polish shipyard, located in the city of Gdańsk. The yard gained international fame when Solidarity was founded there in September 1980, it is situated on Ostrów Island. Gdańsk Shipyard was founded in 1946 as a state-owned company, on sites of the former German shipyards, Schichau-Werft and Danziger Werft, both damaged in the Second World War. On 1 July 1952 a state-owned enterprise called Baza Remontowa – Ostrow was established on Ostrów Island; the name changed to Gdańska Stocznia Remontowa in the year. During the time of the People's Republic of Poland, the complex was known as the Gdańsk Shipyard and Vladimir Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk; the Northern Shipyard was formed in June 1945, when it was known as Shipyard No. 3. Its activities were production and repairs of trains and small floating units. In December 1945 Shipyard No. 3 had a workforce of 694, including 28 technicians. Launches began in 1948 – smacks for the Gdańsk Institute of Sea Fishing were delivered and 53 rescue boats were built.
In 1949 the shipyard started to produce fishing lugo-trawlers. In February 1950 Shipyard No3 changed its name to Northern Shipyard and in 1951 it ended production of trains, specializing instead in small cargo ships, fishing vessels and scientific ships. In 1952 the shipyard delivered 14 vessels. After 1955, the shipyard built vessels for the navies of Poland, USSR, Bulgaria and East Germany – for troop landing craft, rescue and torpedo boats. In 1975 the shipyard was named "Westerplatte Heroes". In 1980 Gdańsk was the arena for events that marked the beginning of organized resistance to Communist dictatorship in eastern Europe. A strike by 17,000 ship builders saw Solidarity, led by shipyard electrician Lech Wałęsa, recognised as the first non-Communist trade union in the Soviet Bloc; the move was one of the first successful steps in a campaign of civil resistance that contributed to the eventual collapse of Communism across eastern Europe. Through the 1980s, Northern Shipyard continued to produce super-trawlers, super-seiners, hydrographic units and troop landing craft for the Soviet Union – the last four were delivered in 1991.
Contracts signed with the Communist-era Polish Navy were delivered in the early 1990s. Difficulties on the world market forced radical changes and the yard began to specialize in cargo containers for Germany and Nigeria. In 1990, the state-owned Stocznia Gdańska became a joint stock company with 61% in National Treasury shares and 31% owned by employees. Since Gdańsk Shipyard has operated as Stocznia Gdańsk S. A. On 1 April 1993 Northern Shipyard of "Westerplatte Heroes" became a corporation, under the name Northern Shipyard S. A. In the late 1990s the shipyard produced ferries, fishing vessels and ships for the offshore industry. Since June 2003, the main shareholder has been Gdańsk "Repair" Shipyard; as part of the Repair Group, Northern Shipyard can offer technical specialized products – from design through to equipped ship. The shipyard now produces specialist ships, including LNG/LPG transport ships, passenger-car ferries, container vessels, offshore boats and scientific ships; these vessels sail under the flags of: Denmark, Germany, Norway, UK, USA and Poland.
SS Sołdek was the first ship built in Poland after World War II. Launched on 6 November 1947 for a Polish owner, she was the first of 29 ships Project B30 type, built in 1949 – 1954 in Stocznia Gdańska. SS Sołdek is now preserved as a museum ship in Gdańsk. Over 60 years, Stocznia Gdańsk has delivered more than 1000 seagoing ships to owners all over the world. In recent years, the top deliveries have been container ships, bulk carriers and passenger ro-ro ferries. Most ships are designed in their own design office. Design and construction of ships has remained the main activity of the yard. Work for the offshore industry began in the 21st century. Gdańsk shipyards have fallen on hard times. Once a place of work for over 20,000 people, the Gdańsk shipyards provide only 2,200 jobs today; the European Union has backed a restructuring plan for the shipyard. About 77 companies now operate on the grounds of the shipyards, including GSG Towers, which builds steel towers for wind turbines; the shipyard's Gate Number Two, for decades the focus of strikes and celebrations, has become a pilgrimage destination.
In 2005, French electronic music composer Jean Michel Jarre performed a multimedia concert at the shipyard to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement. The concert was a one-off event, attracting 170,000 spectators on site, over 6 million television viewers and resulted in the release of the Live from Gdańsk album. David Gilmour, guitarist for Pink Floyd played a concert at the shipyard in 2006 to celebrate the anniversary of the Polish revolution as part of the Solidarity movement; the concert, which attracted 50.000 spectators, closed his 2006 world tour in support of On an Island and is documented on the Live in Gdańsk album. The IDS had held them since 2007; the Polish government regained shares of the shipyard from Industrial Union of Donbas in 2018 reaching 50%. Industrial Union of Donbas obtained 75% shares of the shipyard through privatisation in 2007, with the remaining share held by the Polish government; the Polish regime regained 50% in 2018. Civil resistance Lech Wałęsa Monument to fallen Shipyard Workers Solidarity Poland fights for Gdansk shipyard An official site of Stocznia Gdańska Presentation The Solidarity Phenomenon (PL, EN, DE, FR, ES, RU
Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Białystok is the tenth-largest city in Poland, second in terms of population density, thirteenth in area. Białystok located in the Białystok Uplands of the Podlaskie Plain on the banks of the Biała River, it has attracted migrants from elsewhere in Poland and beyond from Central and Eastern Europe. This is facilitated by the fact that the nearby border with Belarus is the eastern border of the European Union, as well as the Schengen Area; the city and its adjacent municipalities constitute Metropolitan Białystok. The city has a Warm Summer Continental climate, characterized by warm summers and long frosty winters. Forests are an important part of Białystok's character, occupy around 1,756 ha which places it as the fifth most forested city in Poland; the first settlers arrived in the 14th century. A town grew up and received its municipal charter in 1692. Białystok has traditionally been one of the leading centers of academic and artistic life in Podlachia and the most important economic center in northeastern Poland.
Białystok was once an important center for light industry, the reason for the substantial growth of the city's population. The city continues to reshape itself into a modern metropolis. Białystok in 2010, was on the short-list, but lost the competition to become a finalist for European Capital of Culture in 2016; the English translation of Białystok is "white slope". Due to changing borders and demographics over the centuries, the city has been known as Belarusian: Беласток, Yiddish: ביאַליסטאָק, Lithuanian: Baltstogė, Balstogė, Russian: Белосток. Linguist A. P. Nepokupnyj proposes. Names with the -stok suffix as a second element of a hydronym are localized in the basin of the upper Narew. Archaeological discoveries show that the first settlements in the area of present-day Białystok occurred during the Stone Age. Tombs of ancient settlers can be found in the district of Dojlidy. In the early Iron Age a mix of Prussians and Wielbark culture people settled in the area producing kurgans, the tombs of the chiefs in the area located in the current village of Rostołty.
Since the Białystok area has been at the crossroads of cultures. Trade routes linking the Baltic to the Black Sea favored the development of settlements with Yotvingia-Ruthenian-Polish cultural characteristics; the city of Białystok has existed for five centuries and during this time the fate of the city has been affected by various political and economic forces. Surviving documents attest that around 1437 a representative of the Raczków family, Jakub Tabutowicz of the coat of arms Łabędź, received from Michael Žygimantaitis son of Sigismund Kęstutaitis, Duke of Lithuania, a wilderness area along the river Biała that marked the beginning of Białystok as a settlement; the first brick church and a castle were built between 1617 and 1826. The two-floor castle, designed on a rectangular plan in the Gothic-Renaissance style, was the work of Job Bretfus. Extension of the castle was continued by Krzysztof Wiesiołowski, starost of Tykocin, Grand Marshal of Lithuania since 1635, husband of Aleksandra Marianna Sobieska.
In 1637 he died childless, as a result Białystok came under the management of his widow. After her death in 1645 the Wiesiołowski estate, including Białystok, passed to the Commonwealth to cover the costs of maintaining Tykocin Castle. In the years 1645–1659 Białystok was managed by the governors of Tykocin and was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1661 it was given to Stefan Czarniecki as a reward for his service in the victory over the Swedes during the Deluge. Four years it was given as a dowry of his daughter Aleksandra, who married Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki, thus passing into the hands of the Branicki family. In 1692, Stefan Mikołaj Branicki, the son of Jan Klemens Branicki, obtained city rights for Białystok from King John III Sobieski, he constructed the Branicki Palace on the foundations of the castle of the Wiesiołowski family. In the second half of the eighteenth century the ownership of the city was inherited by Field Crown Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki, it was he who transformed the palace built by his father into a magnificent residence of a great noble.
The end of the eighteenth century saw the division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in three steps, among the neighboring states. The Kingdom of Prussia acquired the surrounding region during the third partition; the city became the capital of the New East Prussia province in 1795. Prussia lost the territory following Napoleon Bonaparte's victory in the War of the Fourth Coalition as the resultant 1807 Treaties of Tilsit awarded the area to the Russian Empire, which organized the region into the Belostok Oblast, with the city as the regional center. At the end of the nineteenth century, the majority of the city's population was Jewish. According to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 66,000, Jews constituted 41,900; this heritage can be seen on the Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok. The Białystok pogrom occurred between 14–16 June 1906 in the city. During the pogrom between 81 and 88 people were killed, about 80 people were wounded; the first Anarchist groups to attract a significant following of Russian workers or peasants, were the Anarcho-Communist Chernoe-Znamia groups, founded in Białystok in 1903.
During World War I the Bialystok-Grodno District was the admin
Katowice is a city in southern Poland, with a city-proper population of 297,197 making it the eleventh-largest city in Poland as of 2017 and is the center of the Katowice metropolitan area, which has 2 million people. Throughout the mid-18th century, Katowice had developed into a village upon the discovery of rich coal reserves in the area. In 1742 the First Silesian War transferred Upper Silesia, including Katowice, to Prussia. Subsequently, from the second half of the 18th century, many German or Prussian craftsmen and artists began to settle in the region, inhabited by Poles over the past hundreds of years. Silesia experienced the influx of the first Jewish settlers. In the first half of the 19th century, intensive industrialization transformed local mills and farms into industrial steelworks, mines and artisan workshops; this contributed to the establishment of companies and eventual rapid growth of the city. At the same time, Katowice became linked to the railway system with the first train arriving at the main station in 1847.
The outbreak of World War I was favourable for Katowice due to the prospering steel industry. Following Germany's defeat and the Silesian Uprisings and parts of Upper Silesia were annexed by the Second Polish Republic. Poland was backed by the Geneva Convention and the ethnic Silesian minority. On 3 May 1921, the Polish army entered the Polish administration took control; the city became the capital of the autonomous Silesian Voivodeship as well as the seat of the Silesian Parliament and Committee of Upper Silesia. After the plebiscite, many former German citizens emigrated, however a vibrant German community remained until the end of World War II. In 1939, after the Wehrmacht seized the town and the provinces were incorporated into the Third Reich; the town was liberated by the Soviet army on 27 January 1945. Katowice is a center of science, industry, business and transportation in Upper Silesia and southern Poland, the main city in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region. Katowice lies within an urban zone, with a population of 2,746,460 according to Eurostat, part of the wider Silesian metropolitan area, with a population of 5,294,000 according to the European Spatial Planning Observation Network.
Today, the city is considered as an emerging metropolis. The whole metropolitan area is the 16th most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union with an output amounting to $114.5 billion. Katowice is the seat of Orchestra, it hosts the finals of Intel Extreme Masters, an Esports video game tournament. In 2015, Katowice was named a UNESCO City of Music; the area around Katowice, in Upper Silesia, has been inhabited by ethnic Polish Silesians from its earliest documented history. It was ruled by the Polish Silesian Piast dynasty until its extinction; the settlement of the area surrounding Katowice dates back to the end of the 12th century. From 1138, the Bytom castellany encompassed territories. In 1177 the lands were handed over by Duke Casimir II the Just to his nephew Mieszko I Tanglefoot. At the turn of the 14th century, new villages called Bogucice, Ligota and Podlesie were established, as well as the village of Dąb, mentioned in 1299 in a document issued by Duke Casimir of Bytom.
From 1327, the region was under Czech administration as part of the Kingdom of Bohemia. In historical documents dating from 1468 there was a reference to the settlement of Podlesie, which, at present, is one of the city districts, whereas the village of Katowice was first mentioned in the year 1598. Historians assume that Katowice was founded on the right bank of the Rawa river by Andrzej Bogucki in around 1580. In 1598 a village called Villa Nova was documented to stand in the area now occupied by the city of Katowice. By this time the territory had changed from the Bohemian Crown to the domain of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty. Kattowitz gained city status in 1865 in the Prussian Province of Silesia; the city flourished due to large mineral deposits in the nearby mountains. Extensive city growth and prosperity depended on the coal mining and steel industries, which took off during the Industrial Revolution; the city was inhabited by Germans, Silesians and Poles. In 1884, 36 Jewish Zionist delegates met here.
Part of the Beuthen district, in 1873 it became the capital of the new Kattowitz district. On 1 April 1899, the city was separated from the district. Under the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, the Upper Silesia plebiscite was organised by the League of Nations. Though Kattowitz proper voted 22,774 to remain in Germany and 3,900 for Poland, it was attached to Poland as the larger district voted 66,119 for Poland and 52,992 for Germany. Following the Silesian Uprisings of 1918–21 Katowice became part of the Second Polish Republic with some autonomy for the Silesian Parliament as a constituency and the Silesian Voivodeship Council as the executive body). During the early stages of World War II and the Poland Campaign, Katowice was abandoned, as the Polish Army had to position itself around Kraków. While the shelling of Westerplatte on 1 September 1939 is recognised as the first involvement in the Second World War, Hitler ordered a silent sabotage mission a day earlier by dressing his SS officers as Polish soldiers.
Biskupin is an archaeological site and a life-size model of an Iron Age fortified settlement in Poland that serves as a archaeological open-air museum. When first discovered it was thought to be early evidence of Slavic settlement but archaeologists confirmed it belonged to the Biskupin group of the Lusatian culture; the excavation and the reconstruction of the prehistoric settlement has played an instrumental part in Polish historical consciousness. The Museum is situated on a marshy peninsula in Lake Biskupin, ca. 90 kilometres northeast of Poznań, 8 km south of the small town of Żnin. It is a division of the National Museum of Archaeology in Warsaw; the site is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments, as designated September 16, 1994, tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland. In 1933 Polish archaeologists discovered remains of a Bronze Age fort/settlement in Wielkopolska, the discovery became famous overnight; the site was excavated from 1934 onwards by the team from Poznań University, led by archaeologists Józef Kostrzewski and Zdzisław Rajewski.
The first report was published in 1936. By the beginning of 1939, ca. 2,500 m2 had been excavated. Biskupin soon became famous, attracting numerous distinguished guests, including officials of the Marshal Piłsudski government, members of the military, high churchmen such as the primate of Poland; the site soon became part of Polish national consciousness, the symbol of achievements of the Slavonic forebears in prehistoric times. It was called the "Polish Pompeii" or "Polish Herculaneum"; the existence of a prehistoric fortress, 70 km from the German border, was used to show that the prehistoric "Poles" had held their own against foreign invaders and plunderers as early as the Iron Age. Biskupin came to feature in popular novels; when the Germans occupied Poland in the autumn of 1939, Biskupin was renamed "Urstädt". In 1940, excavations were resumed by the SS-Ahnenerbe until 1942; when Germans were forced to retreat they flooded the site hoping to destroy it, but—ironically—it led to good preservation of the ancient timbers.
Excavations were resumed by Polish archaeologists after the war and continued until 1974. There are two settlement periods at Biskupin, located in the middle of a lake but is now situated on a peninsula, that follow each other without hiatus. Both settlements were laid out on a rectangular grid with eleven streets; the older settlement from early Iron Age was established on a wet island of over 2 hectares and consisted of ca. 100 oak and pine log-houses that were of similar layout, measuring ca. 8 by 10 metres each. They consisted of an open entrance-area; these houses were designed to accommodate 10–12 persons. An open hearth was located in the centre of the biggest room. There are no larger houses; because of the damp, boggy ground the streets were covered with wooden planks. The settlement was surrounded by a tall wooden wall, or palisade, set on a rampart made up of both wood and earth; the rampart was constructed of oak trunks. The rampart is more than 450 metres long and accompanied by a wooden breakwater in the lake.
6,000 to 8,000 cubic metres of wood was used in the construction of the rampart. The settlement at Biskupin belongs to the Hallstatt D periods. There are four Radiocarbon dates from Biskupin: First settlement: 720±150 Later settlement: 560±150 Rampart: 620 ±150 A2 4C, VII: 620±150 However, dendrochronological analysis provided more accurate dating, it proved that oak wood used in the construction of the settlement was cut down between 747–722 B. C. Over half of the wood used was cut during the winter of 738/737 B. C. In 1936 the first life-size model was built on the peninsula, but it was intentionally destroyed by retreating Germans near the end of World War II. After the war it was rebuilt, the ramparts and one full street with houses on both sides were added. In the 2000s, a film prop "medieval" timber castle was constructed on a part of the original site. Danuta Piotrowska, Biskupin 1933–1996: archaeology and nationalism. Archaeologia Polona 35–36, 1997/98, 255–285, ISSN 0066-5924 Józef Kostrzewski "Osada bagienna w Biskupinie w pow. żnińskim", Poznań 1936 "Gród prasłowiański w Biskupinie", Poznań 1938, Z. Rajewski "Biskupin – osiedle obronne sprzed 2500 lat", Warszawa 1970, Z. Rajewski "Osadnictwo ludności z kulturą łużycką we wczesnym okresie epoki żelaznej w Biskupinie i okolicy" Archeologia Polski, t. II 1958, Z. Rajewski "10 000 lat Biskupina i jego okolic", Warszawa 1965, Castles in Poland Archeology Iron Age Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship Lusatian culture Pałuki Wenecja Żnin Gąsawa The official website of the Biskupin Archaeological Museum Biskupin archeological site on Google Maps Hypothetical reconstruction of a Lusatian culture settlement, raised using only bronze age tools – Wola Radziszowska - Poland Biskupin
Basilica on the Holy Mountain, Głogówko
Basilica on the Holy Mountain in Głogówko, Poland, is a historic Oratorian, Renaissance basilica minor. The shrine is modelled on the Venetian Santa Maria della Salute; the basilica minor is located on a raised moraine known as Holy Mountain near Gostyń, located to its north. In 2008, the basilica minor was enterred onto the List of Historic Monuments of Poland
Grudziądz is a city of around 96,042 inhabitants on the Vistula River in northern Poland. Situated in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, the city was in the Toruń Voivodeship from 1975 to 1998. Grudziądz is located close to the east shore of river Vistula 22 kilometres north-east of Świecie, 93 km south of Gdańsk and 170 km south-west of Kaliningrad. Grudziądz was a defensive gród founded by Polish ruler Bolesław I the Brave; the settlement was re-fortified again from 1234 by the Teutonic Order. Under the protection of the castle the settlement begun to develop to a town. In 1277 both "the castle and the town" were besieged by the Yotvingians; the settlement adopted Kulm law in 1291 while under the rule of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. The oldest building parts of the Catholic St. Nicholas' Church stem from the end of the 13th century; the Holy Spirit Church, founded during the 13th century, is mentioned together with the town's hospital for the first time in 1345. Other documents reveal that in the 14th century the town had a well-developed infrastructure.
A document of 1380, as an example, refers to the construction of an aqueduct, of a fountain and of the establishment of a town-hall cellar. During the era of the State of the Teutonic Knights Graudenz had become a distinguished trade center, in particular for textiles and agricultural products including grain. Around 1454 Graudenz had reached about the same level of economical development as other towns in western Prussia, such as Danzig, Thorn, Kulm, Konitz and Preußisch Stargard. In 1440, Graudenz joined the Prussian Confederation opposing the government of the State of the Teutonic Knights. At the beginning of the Thirteen Years' War of the Cities the citizens forced the Teutonic Order to hand over the castle. Although in the town there existed a strong party supporting the Knights, during the entire war both the town and the castle remained in possession of the confederation party; the confederation party formally asked the King of Casimir IV Jagiellon, to join Poland. Thus, among other towns, in the mid-15th century Grudziądz came under the protectorate of Poland.
Between 1466 and 1772 the city belonged to the province of Royal Prussia under the crown of the Kingdom of Poland. After the great depression of the War of the Cities, new economical growth in the town was slow before the middle of the 16th century. At the end of 1655 the town and its castle were captured by the Swedes, who held them occupied for four years. In 1659 the Swedes retreated. During their departure part of the town was destroyed by fire. Following Protestant Reformation, in 1569 the local Protestants were given access to the Holy Spirit Church. In 1597 King Sigismund III Vasa gave order that the Protestants had to return all churches taken over by them in the past to the Catholics, including all accessories; the Protestants remained in possession of St. George's Church until in 1618 the base of the building was washed under by river Vistula, the church had to be torn down. For a while they utilized once more the vacant Holy Spoirit Church, until in 1624 this building together with the hospital had to be handed over to nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict for the purpose of founding an affiliated institution.
Since 1622 Jesuits from Thorn had a station in Graudenz, which in 1640 was so strong that it was able to form a residence in Graudenz, despite of objections from the side of the magistrate of the town. In 1648 construction work for building a Jesuit church was taken up; the town proper was surrounded by town walls, except on the side of river Vistula, where instead of walls there stood huge massive grain silos, from where grain could be transported through wooden pipes to the embankment of the river. Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the city was annexed by the German Kingdom of Prussia. In 1773 the town had a population of only 2,172 persons. In order to stimulate municipal trade, Frederick the Great brought in 44 colonist families. Grain trade flourished. In 1776 a decision was made to build a fortess in the town. During the Napoleonic invasion in Prussia in 1806/07, the fortress was defended by General of Infantry Wilhelm René de l'Homme de Courbière against attacks by French troops.
In 1871 Graudenz became part of the unified German Empire. With the improvement of the railway network in Germany, Graudenz transiently lost its meaning as an important trading place for grain. In 1878 the railway line Goßlershausen—Graudenz was opened. After the construction of a railroad bridge across the Vistula in 1878, in 1879 the railway line Graudenz—Laskowitz was opened in addition, Graudenz became a growing industrialized city. In 1883 the railway line Thorn—Graudenz—Marienburg was taken into operation. In 1899 a Chamber of Commerce was opened in Graudenz, in 1900 the town became a district center. A light cruiser of the German Imperial Navy, built in 1912-1914, was named after the city; the newspaper Der Gesellige, founded by book seller Rothe in 1826, belon