Kołobrzeg Explained

Pushpin Map:Poland
Pushpin Label Position:bottom
Subdivision Type:Country
Subdivision Type1:Voivodeship
Subdivision Name1:West Pomeranian
Subdivision Type2:County
Subdivision Name2:Kołobrzeg County
Subdivision Type3:Gmina
Subdivision Name3:Kołobrzeg (urban gmina)
Leader Title:Mayor
Leader Name:Janusz Gromek
Established Title:Established
Established Date:10th century
Established Title3:Town rights
Established Date3:1255
Area Total Km2:25.67
Population As Of:2006
Population Total:44794
Population Density Km2:auto
Utc Offset:+1
Timezone Dst:CEST
Utc Offset Dst:+2
Postal Code Type:Postal code
Postal Code:78-100 to 78-106
Area Code:+48 94
Blank Name:Car plates
Blank Info:ZKL

Kołobrzeg (German: Kolberg; Kashubian: Kòłobrzeg; Latin: Cholbergensis) is a city in Middle Pomerania in north-western Poland with some 50,000 inhabitants (as of 2000). Kołobrzeg is located on the Parsęta River on the south coast of the Baltic Sea (in the middle of the section divided by the Oder and Vistula Rivers). It has been the capital of Kołobrzeg County in West Pomeranian Voivodship since 1999, and previously was in Koszalin Voivodship (1950-1998).


Historical population
of Kołobrzeg


A town-like settlement already existed in the Slavic era. In its early history, it was a major port on the Baltic Sea and produced much salt, which was then one of the most expensive trading goods. Along with the rest of Pomerania, the settlement was conquered several times, and first included into the Polish realm by Mieszko I of Poland in 972. Polish historians declare its original name came from the words "kół" and "brzeg", meaning a settlement surrounded by wooden defensive wall, and was later Germanised into "Kolberg".[1] German sources say the name was given by Germans and meant to describe a borough (Burg originally which became -berg) near the dunes.

The chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg (975-1018) mentions salsa Cholbergiensis as the see of the short-lived Diocese of Kolberg, set up during the Congress of Gniezno in 1000 and placed under the Archdiocese of Gniezno (Gnesen). The missionary efforts of bishop Reinbern were not successful, the Pomeranians revolted in 1005 and regained political and spiritual independence.[2] [3] [4] [5] . When Pomerania was baptized under Otto of Bamberg, Adalbert became the first bishop of Pomerania.

During his campaigns in the early 12th century, Bolesław III Wrymouth again came to conquer Pomerania, a large number of people lost their live or were hauled off into slavery in Poland and Boleslaw III temporarily again subdued Pomeranians including the Kolberg burgh. In the late 12th century, the dukes of Pomerania gave homage to Denmark and the Holy Roman Empire of which it was a part of until 1804/6.

During the Ostsiedlung, a new town was founded by German settlers some kilometers off the site of the former Slavic burgh.[6] On May 23, 1255, the town was chartered under Lübeck law by the Duke of Pomerania Wartislaw III, and more German settlers from the Holy Roman Empire arrived. In 1361, Kolberg joined the Hanseatic League.

Kolberg (earlier German spelling Colberg) and most of Hinterpommern was granted to Brandenburg-Prussia in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, becoming part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. In 1761 the town was captured by the Russian commander Peter Rumyantsev during the Seven Years' War, but at the end of the war it was returned to Prussia.

During Napoleon's invasion of Prussia during the War of the Fourth Coalition, the town was besieged by French armies from April 26 to July 2, 1807. The city's defense, led by then Lieutenant-Colonel August von Gneisenau, held out until the war was ended by the Treaty of Tilsit. Kolberg became part of the Prussian Province of Pomerania in 1815 after the final defeat of Napoleon. Until 1872 it was administered within the Fürstenthum District, after which it was within Kolberg-Körlin.

Between 1924 and 1935 the American-German painter Lyonel Feininger, a tutor at the Staatliches Bauhaus, visited Kolberg repeatedly and painted the cathedral and environs of the town.

In 1944 during World War II, the city was designated a "stronghold" (Festung) - Festung Kolberg. The 1807 siege was used shortly before the end of the war by Joseph Goebbels for the last Nazi propaganda film, Kolberg. It was meant to inspire the Germans with its depiction of the heroic Prussian defence during the Napoleonic Wars. Tremendous resources were devoted to filming this epic, even diverting tens of thousands of troops from the front lines to have them serve as extras in battle scenes. Ironically, the film was released in the final few weeks of Nazi Germany's existence, when most of the country's cinemas were already destroyed.

On 1945 February 10 German torpedo-boat T-196 brought to Kolberg about 300 survivors of the SS General von Steuben, which had been sunk by Soviet submarine S-13. As the Red Army advanced on Kolberg, most of the inhabitants and tens of thousands of refugees from surrounding areas (about 70,000 were trapped in the Kolberg Pocket), as well as 40,000 German soldiers, were evacuated from the besieged city by German naval forces in Operation Hannibal. Only about two-thousand soldiers were left on 17 March to cover last sea transports.

Between 4 March and 18 March 1945, there were major battles between the Soviet and Polish forces and the German army. Because of a lack of anti-tank weapons, German battleships used their guns to support the defenders of Kolberg until nearly all of the soldiers and civilians had been evacuated. On 18 March, the Polish Army re-enacted Poland's Wedding to the Sea ceremony, which had been celebrated for the first time in 1920 by General Józef Haller.

The devastated city, along with all of the province of Pomerania east of the Oder River, was awarded to Poland by the Potsdam Conference. The remaining German population was either expelled or murdered after the Soviet victory. The city was then resettled with Poles and many of the historic buildings eventually restored.

Millennium Memorial

In 2000 the city business council of Kolobrzeg commissioned "The Millennium Memorial" as a commemoration of 1000 years of Christianity in Pomerania, and as a tribute to Polish-German Reconciliation, celebrating the meeting of Boleslaw I, king of Poland and Otto III, king of Germany, at the Congress of Gniezno, in the year 1000.

It was designed and built by the artist Wiktor Szostalo in welded stainless steel. The two figures sit at the base of 15' tall cross, cleft in two and being held together by a dove holding an olive branch. It is installed outside the Basilica Cathedral in the city center.

Tourist destination

Kołobrzeg today is a popular tourist destination for both Poles and the Germans. It provides a unique combination of a seaside resort, health resort, an old town full of historic monuments and tourist entertainment options (e.g. numerous "beer gardens").

The town is part of the European Route of Brick Gothichttp://www.eurob.org/index.php5/1/4 network, and located at a seaside bike path, the longest in Poland, commissioned on July 14, 2004. The path extends from Kołobrzeg to Podczele. It provides unique views of woods, beaches, swamps, impenetrable thickets, bird nesting grounds, and more. The path has been financed by the European Union.

An international airport was planned to be built 7 kilometres from Kołobrzeg in Bagicz. However, due to the protests of local population, the project has been scrapped.

South of Bagicz, some 4 km from Kolobrzeg, there is an 806 year old oak (2008). Dated in the year 2000 as the oldest oak in Poland, it was named Boleslaw to commemorate the king Boleslaus the Brave.

Kołobrzeg is also a regional cultural center. In the summer take place - a number of concerts of popular singers, musicians,and cabaters. Municipal Cultural Center, is located in the town hall. Keep under attachment artistic arts, theater and dance. Patron of youth teams and the vocal choir. Interfolk organizes the annual festival, the International Meeting of the folklore and other cultural events. Cinema is a place for meetings Piast Discussion Film Club.

In Kolobrzeg are many permanent and temporary exhibitions of artistic and historical interest. In the town hall of Kolobrzeg is located Gallery of Modern Art, where exhibitions are exposed artists from Kolobrzeg, as well as outside the local artistic circles. Gallery also conducts educational activities, including organized by the gallery of art lessons for children and young people from schools.

In town, there is a museum of Polish weapons, which are presented in the collections of militaria from the early Middle Ages to the present. The palace of Braunschweig include part of museum dedicated to the history of the city. In their collections branch presents a collection of rare and common measurement tools, as well as specific measures of the workshop. The local museum is also moored at the port of ORP Fala patrol ship, built in 1964, after leaving the service transformed into a museum.

Notable residents

Famous Persons connected with Kolberg

External links


  1. http://www.kolobrzeg.pl/miasto/modules.php?op=modload&name=Subjects&file=index&req=viewpage&pageid=5 Kolobrzeg.pl municipal website
  2. Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' C. 900-1200, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p.293, ISBN 0521876168, 9780521876162
  3. David Warner, Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, Manchester University Press, 2001, p.358, ISBN 0719049261, 9780719049262
  4. Michael Borgolte, Benjamin Scheller, Polen und Deutschland vor 1000 Jahren: Die Berliner Tagung über den"akt von Gnesen", Akademie Verlag, 2002, p.282, ISBN 3050037490, 9783050037493
  5. Michael Müller-Wille, Rom und Byzanz im Norden: Mission und Glaubenswechsel im Ostseeraum während des 8.-14. Jahrhunderts: internationale Fachkonferenz der deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Verbindung mit der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz: Kiel, 18.-25. 9. 1994, 1997, p.105, ISBN 3515074988, 9783515074988
  6. Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.75, ISBN 3886802728