|• Total||7.69 km2 (2.97 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Olsztynek [ɔlʂˈtɨnɛk] (German : Hohenstein in Ostpreußen) is a town in northern Poland, in Olsztyn County, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. It is the administrative seat of Gmina Olsztynek. It is part of the historic region of Masuria.
Olsztynek is located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Olsztyn in the western part of the Masurian Lake District, where it borders on the Prussian Uplands (Prusy Górne), part of the Baltic Uplands.
Olsztynek station is a stop on the railway line from Olsztyn to Działdowo. The expressway S7 running from Gdańsk via Olsztynek to Warsaw and Kraków, parts of which are still under construction, is part of the European route E77. A direct link to Olsztyn is provided by the expressway S51. The intersection of the S7 and S51 highways is located just outside the town limits of Olsztynek, and the National road 58 also runs through the town.
Several decades after the subjugation of the Old Prussians, Hohenstein Castle was erected from 1351 to colonize the Sasna lands at the behest of Günter von Hohenstein, Komtur of the Teutonic Knights at Osterode commandry. A parish church was mentioned for 1348. Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode granted the surrounding settlement town privileges according to Kulm law in 1359. Olsztynek became the seat of the local administration within the State of the Teutonic Order.
During the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, the 1410 Battle of Grunwald took place in the vicinity of the town, whereby the Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic Knights.
In the succeeding fights, Olsztynek was seized and burnt down to the grounds, in order not to let it pass into Polish hands. Quickly rebuilt afterwards, the citizens however had to face high taxes imposed by the Knights who had to refinance their contributions paid according to the 1411 Peace of Thorn. In turn the town became a member of the Prussian Confederation in 1444, opposing the authority of the Order's State.At the request of the organization, in 1454, King Casimir IV Jagiellon signed the act of incorporation of the region to the Kingdom of Poland, and the town recognized itself as part of the Kingdom of Poland, but returned to the Order's rule during the Thirteen Years' War in 1455. After the peace treaty signed in Toruń in 1466 it became a part of Poland as a fief held by the Order's State, until the conversion of Grand Master Albert von Hohenzollern to Lutheranism in 1525, whereafter the town became part of the Protestant Duchy of Prussia, also a Polish fief. During the Polish–Teutonic War (1519–21), the town was captured by Polish troops under Hetman Mikołaj Firlej, who confirmed the town privileges.
During the Polish–Swedish War of 1626–1629, Polish troops were stationed around the town in 1626.During the Second Northern War it was plundered by Swedish troops in 1656. Since 1618 ruled in personal union with the Imperial Margraviate of Brandenburg as Brandenburg-Prussia, although the Prussian part remained under Polish suzerainty until 1657. Hohenstein/Olsztynek with Ducal Prussia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. In 1804 a fire destroyed 108 houses and the townhall. During the Napoleonic Wars in 1807 the French stayed in Olsztynek, including Marshals of France Michel Ney and Pierre Augereau.
After the 1871 unification of Germany the town lay inside the German Empire. Administratively, the town was part of Landkreis (district) Osterode (Ostróda) in the Province of East Prussia. Although Olsztynek was outside the authority of Poland after 1657, in the late 19th century Poles still formed the majority of the local Lutheran parish (majority of the town's population was Lutheran), with 3,344 people in comparison to 1,966 Germans.
From 1903 to 1933 the Tuberculosis sanatorium Hohenstein for male patients operated in the municipal forest about 4 km north of the town center.
In the beginning of World War I in August 1914, Imperial Russian Army troops occupied the region but were defeated by German Army forces under General Paul von Hindenburg and Chief of Staff Erich Ludendorff in the Battle of Tannenberg. The battle actually was fought from 27 to 29 August in and around Hohenstein, whereby 115 buildings including the town hall were demolished.However, Hindenburg urged to name it after Tannenberg to counter the myth of the "German" defeat in the 1410 Battle of Grunwald, which was known as the (First) Battle of Tannenberg in German sources.
The town's reconstruction started during World War I with financial aid from Leipzig and was largely completed by 1920. The townhall was finalized in 1922/23.As a condition of the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations held the East Prussian plebiscite on 11 July 1920 to determine if the people in the southern districts of the East Prussian province wanted to remain within the Free State of Prussia and Germany or to join the Second Polish Republic, which just regained independence after World War I. The plebiscite resulted in 1,780 votes for Germany and 20 for Poland.
In remembrance of the 1914 battle a large Tannenberg Memorial was inaugurated here on 18 September 1927, and made the place of the burial of Reich President Paul von Hindenburg on 7 August 1934. In World War II parts of the premises were used for the Stalag I-B prisoner-of-war camp. The memorial was partly demolished by the German forces withdrawing from the Soviet advance in 1945, after Hindenburg's coffin (and his wife's) were removed, and completely demolished by the Polish government in 1949. A surviving lion is displayed in front of the Olsztynek town hall.
In January 1945 it was occupied by the Red Army throughout the East Prussian Offensive. Later it was handed over to the Republic of Poland; the German population was expelled in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement and the region was resettled with Poles, especially those expelled from territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union. In 1960 a memorial for the 1410 Battle of Grunwald was erected by Polish authorities.
The local football club is Olimpia Olsztynek. It competes in the lower leagues.
The Prussian Confederation was an organization formed on 21 February 1440 at Kwidzyn by a group of 53 nobles and clergy and 19 cities in Prussia, to oppose the arbitrariness of the Teutonic Knights. It was based on an earlier similar organization, the Lizard Union established in 1397 by the nobles of Chełmno Land.
Warmia is a historical region in northern Poland. Its historic capitals were Frombork and Lidzbark Warmiński and the largest city is Olsztyn.
The Tannenberg Memorial was a monument to the German soldiers of the Battle of Tannenberg, the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes and the medieval Battle of Tannenberg (1410). The victorious German commander, Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg, became a national hero and was later interred at the site.
Ostróda is a town in northern Poland, in the historic region of Masuria. It is the seat of the Ostróda County within the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship and has approximately 33,191 inhabitants (2009).
Działdowopronounced [d͡ʑau̯ˈdɔvɔ] is a town in northern Poland with 20,935 inhabitants as of December 2021, the capital of Działdowo County. As part of Masuria, it is situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Działdowo belonged previously to Ciechanów Voivodeship (1975–1998). The town is a major railroad junction connecting the capital city of Warsaw with Gdańsk and Olsztyn to the north.
Stębark is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Grunwald, within Ostróda County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. The village is chiefly known for two historic battles which took place there: the 1410 Battle of Grunwald and the (Second) Battle of Tannenberg in World War I.
The State of the Teutonic Order, also called Deutschordensstaat or Ordensstaat, was a medieval crusader state, located in Central Europe along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. It was formed by the knights of the Teutonic Order during the 13th century Northern Crusades in the region of Prussia. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword merged in 1237 with the Teutonic Order of Prussia and became known as its branch, the Livonian Order, while their state became a part of the Teutonic Order State. At its greatest territorial extent, in the early 15th century, it encompassed Chełmno Land, Courland, Gotland, Livonia, Neumark, Pomerelia, Prussia and Samogitia, i.e. territories nowadays located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Morąg is a town in northern Poland in Ostróda County in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. It is the seat of Gmina Morąg (commune).
Nidzica is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship of Poland, lying between Olsztyn and Mława, in Masuria. The capital of Nidzica County, it had a population in 2017 of 13,872.
Dąbrówno is a village and the seat of a gmina (municipality) in Ostróda County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in northern Poland. It lies approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Ostróda and 50 km (31 mi) south-west of the regional capital Olsztyn. It is located within the historic region of Masuria.
The Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, also known as the Great War, occurred between 1409 and 1411 between the Teutonic Knights and the allied Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Inspired by the local Samogitian uprising, the war began with a Teutonic invasion of Poland in August 1409. As neither side was ready for a full-scale war, Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia brokered a nine-month truce.
Wielbark is a town in Szczytno County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It is the seat of the gmina called Gmina Wielbark. It lies approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) south of Szczytno and 52 km (32 mi) south-east of the regional capital Olsztyn. It is part of historic Masuria.
Heinrich von Plauen was the 27th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from November 1410 to October 1413. He was a stern proponent of prolonging the war with Poland. Because all male members of his family were baptized as Heinrich (Henry), he is sometimes known as Heinrich von Plauen the Elder to differentiate from his relative, Heinrich von Plauen the Younger.
The siege of Marienburg was an unsuccessful two-month siege of the castle in Marienburg (Malbork), the capital of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. The joint Polish and Lithuanian forces, under command of King Władysław II Jagiełło and Grand Duke Vytautas, besieged the castle between 26 July and 19 September 1410 in a bid of complete conquest of Prussia after the great victory in the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). However, the castle withstood the siege and the Knights conceded only to minor territorial losses in the Peace of Thorn (1411). Marienburg defender Heinrich von Plauen is credited as the savior of the Knights from complete annihilation.
The Hunger War or Famine War was a brief conflict between the allied Kingdom of Poland, and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, against the Teutonic Knights in summer 1414 in an attempt to resolve territorial disputes. The war earned its name from destructive scorched earth tactics followed by both sides. While the conflict ended without any major political results, famine and plague swept through Prussia. According to Johann von Posilge, 86 friars of the Teutonic Order died from plague following the war. In comparison, approximately 200 friars perished in the Battle of Grunwald of 1410, one of the biggest battles in medieval Europe.
Górowo Iławeckie or simply Górowo, is a town in northern Poland, located in the Bartoszyce County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with 4,068 inhabitants (2016). The town has a land area of 3.32 square kilometres (1.28 sq mi) and is the smallest municipality (gmina) in terms of geographical size in Poland.
Ogrodzieniec is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kisielice, within Iława County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland.
The Battle of Grunwald, Battle of Žalgiris or First Battle of Tannenberg was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The alliance of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) and Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeated the German Teutonic Order, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. Most of the Teutonic Order's leadership were killed or taken prisoner. Although defeated, the Teutonic Order withstood the siege of the Malbork Castle and suffered minimal territorial losses at the Peace of Thorn (1411), with other territorial disputes continuing until the Treaty of Melno in 1422. The order, however, never recovered their former power, and the financial burden of war reparations caused internal conflicts and an economic downturn in the lands controlled by them. The battle shifted the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and marked the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian union as the dominant regional political and military force.
The Prince-Bishopric of Warmia was a semi-independent ecclesiastical state, ruled by the incumbent ordinary of the Warmia see and comprising one third of the then diocesan area. The Warmia see was a Prussian diocese under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Riga that was a protectorate of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights (1243–1464) and a protectorate and part of the Kingdom of Poland—later part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1464–1772), confirmed by the Peace of Thorn in 1466. The other two thirds of the diocese were under the secular rule of the Teutonic Knights until 1525 and Ducal Prussia thereafter, both entities also being a protectorate and part of Poland from 1466.
Siege of Marienburg occurred during the Thirteen Years' War between the Teutonic Knights and the Kingdom of Poland. Marienburg was the capital of the state of the Teutonic Order, in particular, the residence of the Grand Master of the order. An alliance of Prussians and Poles besieged the city beginning 27 February 1454 with mercenaries from Danzig, and the necessary artillery.