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Coordinates: 54°10′0″N 19°24′0″E / 54.16667°N 19.40000°E / 54.16667; 19.40000
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St. Nicholas Cathedral
Elbląg Old Town
Brama Targowa (Market Gate)
Elbląg Canal
Coat of arms of Elbląg
Elbląg is located in Poland
Coordinates: 54°10′0″N 19°24′0″E / 54.16667°N 19.40000°E / 54.16667; 19.40000
Country Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
CountyCity county
City rights10 April 1246
 • City mayorMichał Missan (KO)
 • Total7,952 ha (19,650 acres)
 • Water102 ha (252 acres)
 • Urban
1,975 ha (4,880 acres)
 (31 December 2021)
 • Total117,390 Decrease (30th)[1]
 • Density1,470.7/km2 (3,809/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
82-300 to 82-315
Area code+48 55
Car platesNE
National roads
Websitewww.umelblag.pl Edit this at Wikidata

Elbląg (Polish: [ˈɛlblɔŋk] ; German: Elbing; Prussian: Elbings) is a city in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland, located in the eastern edge of the Żuławy region with 117,390 inhabitants, as of December 2021.[1] It is the capital of Elbląg County.

Elbląg is one of the oldest cities in the province.[2] Its history dates back to 1237, when the Teutonic Order constructed their fortified stronghold on the banks of a nearby river. The castle subsequently served as the official seat of the Teutonic Order Masters.

Elbląg became part of the Hanseatic League, which contributed much to the city's wealth. Through the Hanseatic League, the city was linked to other major ports like Gdańsk, Lübeck and Amsterdam. Elbląg joined Poland in 1454 and after the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years’ War was recognized as part of Poland in 1466. It then flourished and turned into a significant trading point, but its growth was eventually hindered by the Second Northern War and the Swedish Deluge.

The city was transferred to Prussia after the first partition of Poland in 1772.[3] Its trading role greatly weakened, until the era of industrialization, which occurred in the 19th century. It was then that the famous Elbląg Canal was commissioned.[4] A tourist site and important engineering monument, it has been named one of the Seven Wonders of Poland and a Historic Monument of Poland.

After World War II the city again became part of Poland. The war casualties were catastrophic – especially the severe destruction of the Old Town district, one of the grandest in Prussia.

Today, Elbląg has over 120,000 inhabitants and is a "vibrant city with an attractive tourist base".[2] It serves as an academic and financial center and among its numerous historic monuments is the Market Gate from 1309 and St. Nicholas Cathedral. Elbląg is also known for its archaeological sites, museums and the largest brewery in the country.[5]


Elbląg derives from the earlier German-language Elbing, which is the name by which the Teutonic Knights knew both the river here and the citadel they established on its banks in 1237.[6] The purpose of the citadel was to prevent the Old Prussian settlement of Truso from being reoccupied, the German crusaders being at war with the pagan Prussians. The citadel was named after the river, itself of uncertain etymology. One traditional etymology connects it to the name of the Helveconae, a Germanic tribe mentioned in Ancient Greek and Latin sources, but the etymology or language of the tribal name remains unknown. The oldest known mention of the river or town Elbląg is in the form Ylfing in the report of a sailor Wulfstan from the end of the 9th century, in The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan which was written in Anglo-Saxon in King Alfred's reign.

Modern city[edit]

Aerial view of the Old Town

The city was almost completely destroyed at the end of World War II. Parts of the inner city were gradually rebuilt, and around 2000 rebuilding was begun in a style emulating the previous architecture, in many cases over the same foundations and utilizing old bricks and portions of the same walls. The western suburbs of the old city have not been reconstructed.

The modern city adjoins about half the length of the river between Lake Drużno and Elbląg Bay (Zatoka Elbląska, an arm of the Vistula Lagoon), and spreads out on both banks, though mainly on the eastern side. To the east is the Elbląg Upland (Wysoczyzna Elbląska), a dome pushed up by glacial compression, 390 km2 in diameter and 200 m (656.17 ft) high at its greatest elevation.[7]

Views to the west show flat fields extending to the horizon; this part of the Vistula Delta (Żuławy Wiślane) is used mainly for agricultural purposes. To the south are the marshes and swamps of Drużno. The Elbląg River has been left in a more natural state through the city, but elsewhere it is a controlled channel with branches. One of them, the Jagiellonski Channel (Kanał Jagielloński), leads to the Nogat River, along which navigation to Gdańsk is common. The Elbląg Canal (Kanał Elbląski) connecting Lake Drużno with Drwęca River and Lake Jeziorak is a tourist site.[8]

Port of Elbląg[edit]

Elbląg is not a deep-water port. The draft of vessels using its waterways must be no greater than 1.5 m (4 ft 11.06 in) by law. The turning area at Elbląg is 120 m (393.70 ft) diameter and a pilot is required for large vessels.[9] Deep water vessels cannot manoeuvre; in that sense, Elbląg has become a subsidiary port of Gdańsk. Traffic of smaller vessels at Elbląg is within the river and very marginal, while larger vessels were unable to reach the open Baltic Sea after 1945 without crossing into Russian territory. Construction of the Vistula Spit canal was completed in September 2022, allowing vessels access to the Baltic Sea while remaining within Polish territory.[10][11] The city features three quay complexes, movable cranes, and railways.


Geographical location[edit]

Elbląg is located about 55 kilometres (34 miles) south-east of Gdańsk and 90 km (56 mi) south-west of Kaliningrad, Russia. The city is a port on the river Elbląg, which flows into the Vistula Lagoon about 10 km (6 mi) to the north, thus giving the city access to the Baltic Sea via the Russian-controlled Strait of Baltiysk. The Old Town (Polish: Stare Miasto) is located on the river Elbląg connecting Lake Drużno to the Vistula Lagoon, about 10 km (6 mi) from the lagoon and 60 km (37 mi) from Gdańsk.


The climate of Elbląg is an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) closely bordering on a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), owing to its position of the Baltic Sea, which moderates the temperatures, compared to the interior of Poland. The climate is cool throughout the year and there is a somewhat uniform precipitation throughout the year. Typical of Northern Europe, there is little sunshine during the year.

Climate data for Elbląg (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1951–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
Mean maximum °C (°F) 7.3
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 0.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3.6
Mean minimum °C (°F) −14.9
Record low °C (°F) −30.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 18.8 15.5 15.0 12.0 13.3 14.3 14.6 14.5 13.6 16.5 17.0 19.1 184.1
Average relative humidity (%) 87.5 84.2 77.8 70.2 71.7 74.8 76.6 76.1 80.4 84.5 89.4 89.7 80.3
Average dew point °C (°F) −2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 40.4 67.0 128.6 199.8 257.0 243.5 246.7 237.5 164.8 104.4 44.0 29.5 1,767.3
Source 1: Meteomodel.pl[12]
Source 2: Time and Date (dewpoints, 2005-2015)[13]



Historical affiliations

 Teutonic Order 1246–1454
Kingdom of Poland 1454–1569
 Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569–1772
 Kingdom of Prussia 1772–1871
 German Empire 1871–1918
 Weimar Germany 1918–1933
 Nazi Germany 1933–1945
 People's Republic of Poland 1945–1989
 Republic of Poland 1989–present

The settlement was first mentioned as "Ilfing" in The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan, an Anglo-Saxon chronicle written in King Alfred's reign using information from a Viking who had visited the area.

During the Middle Ages, the Viking settlement of Truso was located on Lake Drużno, near the current site of Elbląg in historical Pogesania; the settlement burned down in the 10th century.[14] Early in the 13th century the Teutonic Knights conquered the region, built a castle, and founded Elbing on the lake, with a population mostly from Lübeck (today the lake, now much smaller, no longer reaches the city). After the uprising against the Teutonic Knights and the destruction of the castle by the inhabitants, the city successively came under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Poland (1454), the Kingdom of Prussia (1772), and Germany (1871). Elbing was heavily damaged in World War II, and its remaining German citizens were expelled upon the war's end in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement. The city became again part of Poland in 1945 and was repopulated with Polish citizens.[8]

Elbląg seen from Granary Island in 1930

The seaport of Truso was first mentioned c. 890 by Wulfstan of Hedeby, an Anglo-Saxon sailor, travelling on the south coast of the Baltic Sea at the behest of King Alfred the Great of England. The exact location of Truso was not known for a long time, as the seashore has significantly changed, but most historians trace the settlement inside or near to modern Elbląg on Lake Drużno. Truso was located at territory already known to the Roman Empire and earlier.[15]

It was an important seaport serving the Vistula River bay on the early medieval Baltic Sea trade routes which led from Birka in the north to the island of Gotland and to Visby in the Baltic Sea. From there, traders continued further south to Carnuntum along the Amber Road. The ancient Amber Road led further southwest and southeast to the Black Sea and eventually to Asia. The east–west trade route went from Truso, along the Baltic Sea to Jutland, and from there inland by river to Hedeby, a large trading center in Jutland. The main goods of Truso were amber, furs, and slaves.

Archaeological finds in 1897 and diggings in the 1920s placed Truso at Gut Hansdorf. A large burial field was also found at Elbląg. Recent Polish diggings have found burned beams and ashes and thousand-year-old artifacts in an area of about 20 hectares. Many of these artifacts are now displayed at the Muzeum w Elblągu.

Prussian Crusade[edit]

Brick manors, built in the Neogothic style, can be seen in the outer suburbs of Elbląg
Holy Ghost Street, ulica Świętego Ducha, possesses several pre-war examples of social housing

Attempts to conquer Prussian land began in 997, when Bolesław I the Brave, at the urging of the Pope, sent a contingent of soldiers and a missionary (Adalbert of Prague) to the pagan Prussians, a non-Slavic people, on a crusade of conquest and conversion. The crusade encompassed much of the Baltic Sea coast east of the Polish city of Gdańsk, up to Sambia. Starting in 1209 additional crusades were called for by Konrad of Masovia, who mainly sought to conquer Prussian territory, rather than actually convert the indigenous Prussians. Despite heroic efforts, Old Prussian sovereignty would eventually collapse after a succession of wars instigated by Pope Honorius III and his frequent calls for crusade.

Before the Prussians were finally brought to heel, Polish rulers and the Duchy of Masovia, both by then Christianised peoples, would be continually frustrated in their attempts at northern expansion. Aside from minor border raids, major campaigns against the Prussians would be launched in 1219, 1220, and 1222. After a particularly sound defeat by Prussian forces in 1223, Polish forces in Chełmno, the seat of Christian of Oliva and the Duchy of Masovia, were forced onto the defensive.

In 1226 Duke Konrad I of Masovia summoned the Teutonic Knights for assistance; by 1230 they had secured Chełmno (Culm) and begun claiming conquered territories for themselves under the authority of the Holy Roman Empire, although these claims were rejected by the Poles, whose ambition had been to conquer Prussia all along. The Teutonic Order's strategy was to move down the Vistula and secure the delta, establishing a barrier between the Prussians and Gdańsk. The victorious Teutonic Knights built a castle at Elbing.

The Chronicon terrae Prussiae[16] describes the conflict in the vicinity of Lake Drużno shortly before the founding of Elbing:

Omnia propugnacula, que habebant in illo loco, qui dicitur (list) ... circa stagnum Drusine ... occisis et captiis infidelibus, potenter expugnavit, et in cinerem redigendo terre alteri coequavit.
"All the little redoubts that they had in that place, which are said to be (list) ... and around the Drusine marsh ... he (frater Hermannus magister) assaulted and levelled by rendering them into ash, after the infidels had been killed or captured."

Truso did not disappear suddenly to be replaced with the citadel and town of Elbing during the Prussian Crusade. It had already burned down in the tenth century, with the population dispersed in the area.

Teutonic Order[edit]

The Chronicon terrae Prussiae[17] describes the founding of Elbing under the leadership of Hermann Balk. After building two ships, the Pilgerim (Pilgrim) and the Vridelant (Friedland), with the assistance of Margrave Henry III of Margraviate of Meissen, the Teutonic Knights used them to clear the Vistula Lagoon (Frisches Haff) and the Vistula Spit of Prussians:

... et recens mare purgatum fuit ab insultu infidelium ...
... "and the Vistula Spit was purged of the insult of the infidels..."

Apparently the river was in Pomesania, which the knights had just finished clearing, but the bay was in Pogesania. The first Elbing was placed in Pogesania:

Magister ... venit ad terram Pogesanie, ad insulam illam ... que est in media fluminis Elbingi, in illo loco, ubi Elbingus intrat recens mare et erexit ibi castrum, quod a nomine fluminis Elbingum appellavit, anno dominice incarnacionis MCCXXXVII. Aliqui referunt, quod idem castrum postea ab infidelibus fuerit expugnatum, et tunc ad eum locum, ubi nunc situm est, translatum, et circa ipsum civitas collocata.[18]
"The master ... came to the region of Pogesania, to that island which is in the middle of the Elbing river, in that place where the Elbing enters the Vistula Lagoon, and built there a fort, which he called by the name of the Elbing River, in the year of the incarnation of the Lord, 1237. Others report that the same fort was attacked by the infidels and then was moved to the place where it is now situated, and the city gathered around it."
Medieval Church Path between tenements connecting the churches of the Old Town

Both landings were amphibious operations conducted from the ships. The Chronicon relates that they were in use for many years and then were sunk in Lake Drużno. In 1238 the Dominican Order was invited to build a monastery on a grant of land. Pomesania was not secured, however, and from 1240 to 1242 the order began building a brick castle on the south side of the settlement. It may be significant that Elbing's first industry was the same as Truso's had been: manufacture of amber and bone artifacts for export. In 1243 William of Modena created the Diocese of Pomesania and three others. They were at first only ideological constructs, but the tides of time turned them into reality in that same century.

The foundation of Elbing was perhaps not the end of the Old Prussian story in the region. In 1825 a manuscript listing a vocabulary of the Baltic Old Prussian language, commonly known in English as Elbing Vocabulary, was found among some manuscripts from a merchant's house. It contained 802 words in a dialect now termed Pomesanian with their equivalents in an early form of High German.

The origin of the vocabulary remains unknown. Its format is like that of modern travel dictionaries; i.e., it may have been used by German speakers to communicate with Old Prussians, but the specific circumstances are only speculative. The manuscript became the Codex Neumannianus. It disappeared after a British bombing raid destroyed the library at Elbing but before then facsimiles had been made. The date of the MSS was estimated at ca. 1400, but it was a copy. There is no evidence concerning the provenance of the original, except that it must have been in Pomesanian.

Seal of the city from 1350

In 1246 the town was granted a constitution under Lübeck law, used in maritime circumstances, instead of Magdeburg rights common in other cities in Central Europe. This decision of the Order was in keeping with its general strategy of espousing the trade association that in 1358 would become the Hanseatic League. The Order seized on this association early and used it to establish bases throughout the Baltic. The Order's involvement in the League was somewhat contradictory. In whatever cities they founded the ultimate authority was the commander of the town, who kept office in the citadel, typically used as a prison. Lübeck law, on the other hand, provided for self-government of the town.

Membership in the Hanseatic League meant having important trading contacts with England, Flanders, France, and the Netherlands. The city received numerous merchant privileges from the rulers of England, Poland, Pomerania, and the Teutonic Order. For instance, the privilege of the Old Town was upgraded in 1343, while in 1393 it was granted an emporium privilege for grains, metals, and forest products.

Except for the citadel and churches, Elbing at the time was more of a small village by modern standards. Its area was 300 m × 500 m (984.25 ft × 1,640.42 ft). It featured a wharf, a marketplace and five streets, as well as a number of churches. The castle was completed in 1251. In 1288 fire destroyed the entire settlement except for the churches, which were of brick. A new circuit wall was started immediately. From 1315 to 1340 Elbląg was rebuilt. A separate settlement called New Town was founded ca. 1337 and received Lübeck rights in 1347. In 1349 the Black Death struck the town, toward the end of the European plague. After the population recovered it continued building up the city and in 1364 a crane was built for the port.

The German-language Elbinger Rechtsbuch, written in Elbing documented among other laws for the first time Polish common law. The German-language Polish laws are based on the Sachsenspiegel[19] and were written down to aid the judges. It is thus the oldest source for documented Polish common law and is in Polish referred to as the Księga Elbląska (Book of Elbląg[20]). It was written down in the second half of the 13th century.

In 1410, during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, the inhabitants of the city rebelled against the Teutonic Knights and expelled them, while welcoming Polish troops and paying homage to Polish King Władysław II Jagiełło, who afterwards vested Elbląg with new privileges.[21] As the castle was lightly defended by a Polish garrison, the Teutonic Knights managed to retake it, promising the Polish defenders that they will be given free passage back to Poland. After the castle was taken, the Knights broke their promise and subsequently murdered a number of the captured defenders while imprisoning the rest.[22]

Kingdom of Poland[edit]

Preserved tenements often resemble Amsterdam and Gdańsk

In February 1440, the city hosted a convention at which delegates from various cities (including Elbing itself) and nobility from the region decided to establish the anti-Teutonic Prussian Confederation.[23] In April and May 1440, further meetings were held in Elbing, at which more towns and noblemen joined the organisation.[24] In 1454, the organisation led the revolt against the rule of the Teutonic Knights, and then its delegation submitted a petition to King Casimir IV of Poland asking him to include the region within the Kingdom of Poland. The King agreed and signed the act of incorporation of the region (including Elbing) to the Kingdom of Poland in March 1454 in Kraków,[25] which sparked the Thirteen Years' War, the longest of all Polish–Teutonic wars. The local mayor pledged allegiance to the Polish King during the incorporation in March 1454,[26] and the burghers of Elbląg recognized Casimir IV as rightful ruler. After paying homage to the King, the city was granted great privileges, similar to those of Toruń and Gdańsk. Since 1454, the city was authorized by King Casimir IV to mint Polish coins.[27] The war ended in a Polish victory in 1466, with the Second Peace of Thorn, in which the Teutonic Order renounced any claims to the city and recognised it as part of Poland.[28]

Within the Kingdom of Poland, the city was administratively part of the Malbork Voivodeship in the newly established autonomous province of Royal Prussia, later also within the larger Greater Poland Province. The city was known to the Polish crown by its Polish name Elbląg. With the creation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, the city was brought under direct control of the Polish crown. As one of the largest and most influential cities of Poland, it enjoyed voting rights during the royal election period in Poland.[29]

Elbląg was often visited by Nicolaus Copernicus between 1504 and 1530.[30]

With the 16th century Protestant Reformation the burghers became Lutherans and the first Lutheran Gymnasium was established in Elbląg in 1535.

From 1579 Elbląg had close trade relations with England, to which the city accorded free trade. English, Scottish, and Irish merchants settled in the city. They formed the Scottish Reformed Church of Elbląg and became Elbląg citizens, aiding Lutheran Sweden in the Thirty Years' War. The rivalry of nearby Gdańsk interrupted trading links several times. By 1618 Elbląg had left the Hanseatic League owing to its close business dealings with England.

Famous inhabitants of the city at that time included native sons Hans von Bodeck and Samuel Hartlib. During the Thirty Years' War, Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna brought the Moravian Brethren refugee John Amos Comenius to Elbląg for six years (1642–1648). In 1642 Johann Stobäus, who composed with Johann Eccard, published the Preussische Fest-Lieder, a number of evangelical Prussian songs. In 1646 the city recorder Daniel Barholz noted that the city council employed Bernsteindreher, or Paternostermacher, licensed and guilded amber craftsmen who worked on prayer beads, rosaries, and many other items made of amber. Members of the Barholz family became mayors and councillors.

View of Elbląg from a 1720 atlas by Pieter van der Aa, based on an earlier print by Matthäus Merian

During the Thirty Years' War, the Vistula Lagoon was the main southern Baltic base of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, who was hailed as the protector of the Protestants. By 1660 the Vistula Lagoon had gone to Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, but was returned in 1700.

The poet Christian Wernicke was born in 1661 in Elbląg, while Gottfried Achenwall became famous for his teachings in natural law and human rights law. In 1700–1710 it was occupied by Swedish troops. In 1709 it was besieged, taken by storm on February 2, 1710, by Russian troops with support of Prussian artillery. The city was handed over to Polish King Augustus II in 1712.

The Royal-Polish mathematician and cartographer Johann Friedrich Endersch completed a map of Warmia in 1755 and also made a copper etching of the galley named "The City of Elbing" .

During the War of the Polish Succession in 1734, Elbląg was placed under military occupation by Russia and Saxony.[31] The town came again under occupation by Russia from 1758 to 1762 during the Seven Years' War.

Kingdom of Prussia[edit]

During the First Partition of Poland in 1772 Elbląg was annexed by King Frederick the Great of the Kingdom of Prussia. Elbing became part of the newly established province of West Prussia in 1773. In the 1815 provincial reorganization following the Napoleonic Wars, Elbing and its hinterland were included within Regierungsbezirk Danzig in West Prussia.

In October and November 1831, various Polish infantry, cavalry and artillery units, engineer corps and sappers of the November Uprising stopped in the city and its environs on the way to their internment locations, whereas the general staff with Commander-in-Chief General Maciej Rybiński and generals Józef Bem, Marcin Klemensowski, Kazimierz Małachowski, Ludwik Michał Pac and Antoni Wroniecki was interned in the city.[32] On December 22, 1831, the Prussian army attempted to pacify the Polish insurgents and launched a charge on the disarmed Poles, who resisted relocation, fearing deportation to the Russian Partition of Poland.[33] Some insurgents eventually left partitioned Poland for the Great Emigration, including Józef Bem, who was expelled by the Prussians in December 1831, and Maciej Rybiński, who left the city in February 1832.[34]

Timber-framed Holy Trinity Church

Elbing industrialized. In 1828 the first steamship was built by Ignatz Grunau. In 1837 Ferdinand Schichau started the Schichau-Werke company in Elbing as well as another shipyard in Danzig (Gdańsk) later on. Schichau constructed the Borussia, the first screw-vessel in Germany. Schichau-Werke built hydraulic machinery, ships, steam engines, and torpedoes. After the inauguration of the railway to Königsberg in 1853, Elbing's industry began to grow. Schichau worked together with his son-in-law Carl H. Zise, who continued the industrial complex after Schichau's death. Schichau erected large complexes for his many thousands of workers.

Georg Steenke, an engineer from Königsberg, connected Elbing near the Baltic Sea with the southern part of Prussia by building the Oberländischer Kanal (Elbląg Canal).

Elbing became part of the Prussian-led German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. As Elbing became an industrial city, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) frequently received the majority of votes; in the 1912 Reichstag elections the SPD received 51% of the vote. After World War I, as most of the province of West Prussia was reintegrated with the reborn Polish Republic, Elbing was joined to the German province of East Prussia, and was separated from Weimar Germany by the so-called Polish Corridor.

Nazi Germany[edit]

Memorial at the site of a subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp

During World War II, under Nazi Germany, a Nazi prison,[35] a forced labour subcamp of the Stalag I-A POW camp,[36] a forced labour subcamp of the Stalag XX-B POW camp,[37] and three subcamps of the Stutthof concentration camp were operated in the city.[38] The Germans also enslaved Poles as forced labour in the city.[39] The Polish resistance was active and infiltrated the German arms industry.[40] Dozens of Polish resistance members were held in the local prison, and at least 15 were sentenced to death in the city in 1942.[41]

The prison and forced labour camps were closed and many of the German inhabitants forced to flee as the Soviet Red Army approached the city toward the end of the war. Laid under siege since January 23, 1945, about 65% of the city infrastructure was destroyed, including most of the historical city center. The town was captured by the Soviet Red Army during the night of February 9/10, 1945.[42] During the first days of the siege most of the population of approximately 100,000 persons fled. After the end of war, in spring 1945, the region together with the city became again part of Poland, although with a Soviet-installed communist regime, which stayed in power until the Fall of Communism in the 1980s, as a result of the Potsdam Conference. The area was settled by Poles after remaining Germans were either transferred or fled to Germany. As of 1 November 1945 16.838 Germans remained in the town.[43]

History after 1945[edit]

Elbląg was part of the so-called Recovered Territories and out of the new inhabitants, 98% were Poles expelled from former eastern Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Parts of the damaged historical city center were completely demolished, with the bricks being used to rebuild Warsaw and Gdańsk. The Communist authorities had originally planned that the Old Town, utterly destroyed during the fighting since January 23, 1945, would be built over with blocks of flats; however, economic difficulties thwarted this effort. Two churches were reconstructed and the remaining ruins of the old town were torn down in the 1960s.

EB, Polish beer produced by the Elbrewery Company in Elbląg

Along with Tricity and Szczecin, Elbląg was the scene of the Polish 1970 protests. Since 1990 the German minority population has had a modest resurgence, with the Elbinger Deutsche Minderheit Organization counting around 450 members in 2000[citation needed].

Restoration of the Old Town began after 1989. Since the beginning of the restoration, an extensive archaeological programme has been carried out. Most of the city's heritage was destroyed during the construction of basements in the 19th century or during World War II, but the backyards and latrines of the houses remained largely unchanged, and have provided information on the city's history. In some instances, private investors have incorporated parts of preserved stonework into new architecture. By 2006, approximately 75% of the Old Town had been reconstructed.

Elbląg is also home to the Elbrewery, Poland's largest brewery, which belongs to the Żywiec Group (Heineken). The history of the Elblag Brewing Tradition dates back to 1309, when Teutonic Master Siegfried von Leuchtwangen granted brewing privileges to the city. The present brewery was founded in 1872 as the Elbinger Aktien-Brauerei. In the early 1900s, the brewery was the exclusive supplier of Pilsner beer to the court of German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Historic buildings[edit]

Brama Targowa (Market Gate)
Postmodern Old Town City Hall

Until World War II there were many Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque houses in Elbląg's Old Town; some of them are reconstructed. Other preserved buildings are:

  • St. Nicholas Cathedral - a monumental 13th-century Gothic church (cathedral only from 1992, before it was a parochial church), destroyed by fire in the late 18th century, then damaged in World War II and repaired
  • Brama Targowa (Market Gate) - erected in 1319
  • St. Mary's Church - former Dominican church, erected in the 13th century, rebuilt in the 14th and 16th centuries; damaged in World War II and reconstructed in 1961 as an art gallery; remnants of cloister are partially preserved
  • Holy Ghost church with hospital, from the 14th century
  • Corpus Christi church from the 14th century
  • Ścieżka kościelna (Church Path) - medieval path between tenements connecting the churches of the Old Town
  • Gothic houses at 13 Świętego Ducha Street and 34 Studzienna Street (reconstruction)
  • Mannierist houses of the Old Town, e.g. Jost van Kampen House at 12 Garbary Street
  • Postmodern reconstruction of the Old Town with new Old Town City Hall
  • Church of Good Shepherd - originally Mennonite, now Polish Old Catholic church from 1890

The Elbląg Canal, built in 1825–44, is a tourist site of Elbląg. The canal is believed to be one of the most important monuments related to the history of engineering,[44] and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of Poland.[45] The canal was also named one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii) in 2011. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.


Cyprian Norwid Elbląg Library

The primary cultural institutions in Elbląg are the Archaeological and Historical Museum, the Cyprian Norwid Elbląg Library, the EL Gallery Art Center and the Aleksander Sewruk Theater. The museum presents many pieces of art and items of everyday use, including the only 15th century binoculars preserved in Europe.


Historical population

Institutions of higher education[edit]

Elbląg Higher School of Arts and Economics
Theological Seminary in Elbląg
  • Elbląg Higher School of Arts and Economics (Polish: Elbląska Uczelnia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna)[46]
    • Faculty of Pedagogy
    • Faculty of Administration
    • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • Faculty of Economics and Politics
  • Elbląg Higher State College of Vocational Education (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa)[47]
    • Faculty of Pedagogy and Foreign Languages
    • Faculty of Economics
    • Faculty of Applied Computer Science
    • Faculty of Technical Sciences
  • Bogdan Jański Higher School, Faculty in Elbląg (Szkoła Wyższa im. Bogdana Jańskiego)[48]
  • Elbląg Diocese Theological Seminary (Wyższe Seminarium Duchowne Diecezji Elbląskiej)[49]
  • Regent College - Foreign Language Teacher Training College (Regent College - Nauczycielskie Kolegium Języków Obcych)[50]


Professional sports teams
Club Sport League Trophies
Start Elbląg Women's handball Superliga 2 Polish Championships (1992, 1994)
3 Polish Cups (1993, 1994, 1999)
Olimpia Elbląg Men's football II liga 0



Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Elbląg constituency.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Elbląg is twinned with:[51][52]

Former twin towns[edit]

On 28 February 2022, Elbląg ended its partnership with the Russian cities of Kaliningrad and Baltiysk and the Belarusian city of Novogrudok as a response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and its active support by the Republic of Belarus.[57]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Retrieved August 2, 2022. Data for territorial unit 2861011.
  2. ^ a b "History of Elbląg". Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "History of Elblag - Castles of Poland". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  4. ^ CoolPage.pl. "Elblag Ostroda Canal Tour". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  5. ^ o.o., StayPoland Sp. z. "History of Elblag". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Skąd się wzięła nazwa Elbląg? "Czy Ifing to Ilfing?" Jakub Jagodziński wyjaśnia" (in Polish). Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  7. ^ Aber, James S. (2015). "Regional Glaciation of Southern & Eastern Baltic (ES 331/767 Lecture #14)". Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Wondering where to take a train? Choo-choose Elbląg!". Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  9. ^ Port Elbląg Archived August 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, site maintained by Polfracht Shipping Agency Ltd.
  10. ^ "The Vistula Spit. The dredging of the shipping canal has begun. The first units are to sail in 2022". August 3, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  11. ^ "Vistula Spit – june report". Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  12. ^ "Średnie i sumy miesięczne" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. April 6, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  13. ^ "Climate & Weather Averages in Elbląg". Time and Date. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  14. ^ According to the Elbląg museum
  15. ^ "Amber Road". February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  16. ^ 3.14
  17. ^ 3.15
  18. ^ Notes on the passage. Medieval Latin often used e for ae: Pogesanie for Pogesaniae, que for quae, etc. Recens mare is "the fresh-water sea". Castrum is citadel, not yet of brick.
  19. ^ Archiv für das Studium der neueren ... - Google Books. September 21, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  20. ^ Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawskie: The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, 1946
  21. ^ Potkowski, Edward (1994). Grunwald 1410 (in Polish). Kraków: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza. pp. 61–62.
  22. ^ Gierszewski, Stanisław (1978). Elbląg: przeszłość i teraźniejszość (in Polish). Wydawnictwo Morskie na zlec. Wydziału Kultury i Sztuki Urzędu Wojewódzkiego w Elblągu. p. 49.
  23. ^ Górski, Karol (1949). Związek Pruski i poddanie się Prus Polsce: zbiór tekstów źródłowych (in Polish). Poznań: Instytut Zachodni. p. XXXI.
  24. ^ Górski, p. XXXVII
  25. ^ Górski, p. 59-60
  26. ^ Górski, p. 71–72
  27. ^ Górski, p. 63
  28. ^ Górski, p. 91
  29. ^ Polska Encyklopedia Szlachecka, t. I, Warsaw 1935, p. 42.
  30. ^ "Elbląg". Szlak Kopernikowski (in Polish). Retrieved September 24, 2023.
  31. ^ (in German) Book: Merian-Chronik, Cöln 1737/8: Elbingische Geschichte Zu gleicher Zeit Danzigs Belagerung 1734... Ordentliches Tage-Register von den Unternehmungen der Russen und Sachsen by der Belagerung der Stadt Dantzig. Nachricht, Wie viele Personen das 1734te Jahr durch in der Stadt Dantzig getauffet/verehelichet und begraben worden...
  32. ^ Kasparek, Norbert (2014). "Żołnierze polscy w Prusach po upadku powstania listopadowego. Powroty do kraju i wyjazdy na emigrację". In Katafiasz, Tomasz (ed.). Na tułaczym szlaku... Powstańcy Listopadowi na Pomorzu (in Polish). Koszalin: Muzeum w Koszalinie, Archiwum Państwowe w Koszalinie. pp. 138–140.
  33. ^ Kasparek, p. 153
  34. ^ Kasparek, pp. 157, 169
  35. ^ "Haftanstalt Elbing". Bundesarchiv.de (in German). Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  36. ^ Necio, Jerzy (2011). "Stalag I A Stablack. Próby upamiętnienia". Łambinowicki rocznik muzealny (in Polish). 34. Opole: 61.
  37. ^ Daniluk, Jan (May 9, 2024). "Stalag XX B Marienburg: geneza i znaczenie obozu jenieckiego w Malborku-Wielbarku w latach II wojny światowej". In Grudziecka, Beata (ed.). Stalag XX B: historia nieopowiedziana (in Polish). Malbork: Muzeum Miasta Malborka. p. 11. ISBN 978-83-950992-2-9.
  38. ^ Gliński, Mirosław. "Podobozy i większe komanda zewnętrzne obozu Stutthof (1939–1945)". Stutthof. Zeszyty Muzeum (in Polish). 3: 167, 177, 180. ISSN 0137-5377.
  39. ^ Wardzyńska, Maria (2017). Wysiedlenia ludności polskiej z okupowanych ziem polskich włączonych do III Rzeszy w latach 1939-1945 (in Polish). Warszawa: IPN. p. 104. ISBN 978-83-8098-174-4.
  40. ^ Chrzanowski, Bogdan (2022). Polskie Państwo Podziemne na Pomorzu w latach 1939–1945 (in Polish). Gdańsk: IPN. p. 48. ISBN 978-83-8229-411-8.
  41. ^ Encyklopedia konspiracji Wielkopolskiej 1939–1945 (in Polish). Poznań: Instytut Zachodni. 1998. pp. 57, 69, 106, 117, 120, 137–138, 142, 148, 157, 160, 162, 194, 227, 249, 254, 284, 303, 336, 338, 503, 535, 558, 561, 564, 582, 594, 675–676, 678–680, 682, 684–685, 687–690, 693–694, 697, 701, 703, 706, 712–713, 737, 751. ISBN 83-85003-97-5.
  42. ^ "History of Elblag - Castles of Poland". www.castlesofpoland.com. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  43. ^ a b Sylwia Bykowska (2020). The Rehabilitation and Ethnic Vetting of the Polish Population in the Voivodship of Gdańsk after World War II. Peter-Lang-Verlagsgruppe. p. 116. ISBN 978-3-631-67940-1.
  44. ^ "The Canal in Elbląg". Archived from the original on April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  45. ^ (in Polish) As per results of a plebiscite for the 'Seven Wonders of Poland' conducted by Rzeczpospolita (newspaper), cited at www.budowle.pl.
  46. ^ "Elbląska Uczelnia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna". Euhe.edu.pl. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  47. ^ "Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Elblągu :: Studia dzienne bezpłatne :: Strona główna". Pwsz.elblag.pl. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  48. ^ "Studia: Zarządzanie,Socjologia,Pedagogika,Politologia,Gospodarka przestrzenna :: Szkoły Wyższe im. B. Jańskiego". Janski.pl. June 24, 2009. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  49. ^ "WyĹźsze Seminarium Duchowne Diecezji ElblÄ…skiej". Seminarium.elblag.opoka.org.pl. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  50. ^ "Regent College - Aktualności". Anglistyka.edu.pl. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  51. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Elbląg - Podstrony / Miasta partnerskie". Elbląski Dziennik Internetowy (in Polish). Archived from the original on March 15, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Elbląg - Miasta partnerskie". Elbląg.net (in Polish). Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  53. ^ "Tarptautinis Bendradarbiavimas" [Druskininkai international cooperation]. Druskininkų savivaldybės administracija (in Lithuanian). March 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  54. ^ "Trowbridge - Market town twins with Arab city". BBC News. BBC News Channel. October 3, 2006. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  55. ^ 姊妹市暨友誼市. Tainan City Government (in Chinese). Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  56. ^ "Miasta partnerskie i zaprzyjaźnione Nowego Sącza". Urząd Miasta Nowego Sącza (in Polish). Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  57. ^ "Miasto Elbląg zrywa współpracę z rosyjskimi miastami partnerskimi" (in Polish). February 28, 2022. Retrieved March 5, 2022.

External links[edit]

Government websites[edit]

Tourism and historical sites[edit]

Web portals[edit]