|Pushpin Label Position:||bottom|
|Subdivision Name1:||West Pomeranian|
|Subdivision Name2:||Kołobrzeg County|
|Subdivision Name3:||Kołobrzeg (urban gmina)|
|Leader Name:||Janusz Gromek|
|Established Date:||10th century|
|Established Title3:||Town rights|
|Area Total Km2:||25.67|
|Population As Of:||2006|
|Population Density Km2:||auto|
|Utc Offset Dst:||+2|
|Postal Code Type:||Postal code|
|Postal Code:||78-100 to 78-106|
|Area Code:||+48 94|
|Blank Name:||Car plates|
Kołobrzeg (German: Kolberg; Kashubian: Kòłobrzeg) 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).
During the Early Middle Ages, Slavic Pomeranians founded a settlement at the site of modern Budzistowo. Thietmar of Merseburg first mentioned the site as Salsa Cholbergiensis. Around the year 1000, when the area was under Polish rule, the stronghold became seat of the Diocese of Kołobrzeg. During High Middle Ages, the town was expanded with additional settlement was founded a few kilometers north of the stronghold in the course of the Ostsiedlung and chartered with Lübeck law. The city later joined the Hanseatic League. Within the Duchy of Pomerania, Kolberg was the urban center of the secular reign of the Cammin bishops and their residence throughout the High and Late Middle Ages. When Kolberg was part of Brandenburgian Pomerania during the Early Modern Age, it withstood Polish and Napoleon's troops in the Siege of Kolberg. From 1815, it was part of the Prussian province of Pomerania. During the 19th century a Polish community started to organize itself. As the Nazis took power in Germany, Poles and Jews were discriminated, determined to be subhuman and eventually subjected to genocide. In 1945 Polish and Soviet troops seized the town and it was subsequently attached to Poland, while the remaining German population which had not fled the advancing Red Army was expelled. The town, devastated in the preceding Battle of Kolberg, was rebuilt but lost its status as the regional center to the nearby Koszalin.
"Kołobrzeg" literally means "by the shore" in Polish: "koło" translates as "by" and "brzeg" translates as "coast" or "shore". Kashubian: Kòłobrzeg has a similar etymology. After German settlement it was Germanized into German: Kolberg.
According to Piskorski (1999) and Kempke (2001), Slavic immigration reached Farther Pomerania in the 7th century.  According to Gasztold (1975) and the city website, first Slavic settlements in the vicinity of Kołobrzeg were centered around nearby deposits of salt and date to 6th and 7th century. 
In the late 9th century, a Slavic Pomeranian fortified settlement was built at the site of modern part of Kołobrzeg county called Budzistowo near modern Kołobrzeg, replacing nearby Bardy-Świelubie, a multi-ethnic emporium, as the center of the region. The Parseta valley, where both the emporium and the stronghold were located, was one of the Slavic Pomeranians' core settlement areas. The stronghold consisted of a fortified burgh with a suburbium. 
The Pomeranians mined salt in salt pans located in two downstream hills, Salzberg and Zillenberg.  They also engaged in fishing, and used the salt to conserve primarily herrings for trade.  Other important occupations were metallurgy and smithery, based on local iron ore reserves, other crafts like the production of combs from horn, and in the surrounding areas, agriculture.  Important sites in the settlement were a place for periodical markets and a tavern, mentioned as forum et taberna in 1140.
In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Budzistowo stronghold was the largest of several smaller ones in the Persante area, and as such is thought to have functioned as the center of the local Slavic Pomeranian subtribe. By the turn from the 10th to the 11th century, the smaller burghs in the Parseta area were given up. Only two strongholds remained and underwent an enlargement, these were the one at Budzistowo and the predecessor of later Białogard (Belgard). St. John's was in 1222 granted to Mogilno Abbey, while St. Petri's decayed before 1300. In 10th century the trade of salt and fish led to the development of the settlement into a town.
During Polish rule of the area in the late 10th century, the chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg (975-1018) mentions salsa Cholbergiensis as the see of the Diocese of Kołobrzeg, set up during the Congress of Gniezno in 1000 and placed under the Archdiocese of Gniezno. The congress was organized by Polish king Bolesław Chrobry and Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and also led to the establishment of bishoprics in Kraków and Wrocław, connecting the territories of the Polish state. The city mentions this as an important event not only in religious, but also political dimension as it unified Polish territories.
The missionary efforts of bishop Reinbern were not successful, the Pomeranians revolted in 1005 and regained political and spiritual independence.    In 1013 Bolesław Chrobry removed his troops from Pomerania in face of war with Holy Roman Emperor Henry III. The Polish - German war ended with Polish victory, which was confirmed by the 1018 Peace of Bautzen.
During his campaigns in the early 12th century, Bolesław III Wrymouth reacquired Pomerania for Poland, and made the local "Griffin" dynasty his vassals. The stronghold was captured by the Polish army in the winter of 1107/08, when the inhabitants (cives et oppidani) including a duke (dux Pomeranorum) surrendered without resistance. A previous Polish siege of the burgh had been unsuccessful; although the duke had fled the burgh, the Polish army was unable to break through the fortifications and the two gates. The army had however looted and burned the suburbium, which was not or only lightly fortified. The descriptions given by the contemporary chroniclers make it possible that a second, purely militarily used castle existed near the settlement, yet neither is this certain nor have archaeological efforts been able to locate traces thereof.
During the subsequent Christianization of the area by Otto of Bamberg, a St. Mary's church was built. With this the German influence grew in strength. After Boleslaw's death, the Duchy of Pomerania regained independence, before the dukes became vassals of Denmark and the Holy Roman Empire in the late 12th century.
During the Ostsiedlung, a settlement was founded by German settlers some kilometers off the site of the Slavic one,  the official city website mentions that it was located within the boundary of today's downtown of Kołobrzeg and that certain part of inhabitants of the Polish town moved to the new settlement. On May 23, 1255 it was chartered under Lübeck law by Wartislaw III, Duke of Pomerania,  and more settlers from the arrived, attracted by the duke. Hermann von Gleichen, German bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kammin, was one of the signatories of the treaty and also supported the German colonisation of the region. The settlers received several privileges such as exemption from certain taxes and several benefits, making it difficult for the Slavic population to compete with Germans, and as result Slavs impoverished.
Henceforth, the nearby former stronghold was turned into a village and renamed "Old Town" (Latin: antiqua civitatae Colbergensis, German: Altstadt, Polish: Stare Miasto), first documented in 1277 and used until 1945 when it was renamed "Budzistowo".  A new St. Mary's church was built within the new town before the 1260s, while St. Mary's in the former Pomeranian stronghold was turned into a nuns' abbey. In 1277 St. Benedict's monastery for nuns was founded, which in the framework of the Pomeranian Reformation in 1545 was then changed into an educational institution for noble protestantic ladies.
Already in 1248, the Kammin bishops and the Pomeranian dukes had interchanged the terrae Stargard and Kolberg, leaving the bishops in charge of the latter. When in 1276 they became the souvereign of the town also, they moved their residence there, while the administration of the diocese was done from nearby Köslin (Koszalin). In 1345, the bishops became Imperial immediate dukes in their secular reign.
In 1361, Kolberg joined the Hanseatic League.
When the property of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kammin was secularized during the Protestant Reformation in 1534, their secular reign including the Kolberg area became intermediately ruled by a Lutheran titular bishop, before it was turned into a Sekundogenitur of the House of Pomerania.
In the 15th century the city traded with Scotland, Amsterdam and Scandinavia. Beer, salt, honey, wool and flour were exported, while merchants imported textiles from England, southern fruits, and cod liver oil. In the 16th century, the city reached 5,000 inhabitants. According to the city's website, the Slavs in the city were discriminated, and their rights in trade and crafts were limited, with bans on performing certain types of professions and taking certain positions in the city
Kolberg, with most of Farther Pomerania, was granted to Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648 by the Treaty of Westphalia and, after the signing of the Treaty of Stettin (1653), was part of the Province of Pomerania. It became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. In 1761, during the Seven Years' War, the town was captured after three subsequent sieges by the Russian commander Peter Rumyantsev. At the end of the war, however, Kolberg was returned to Prussia.During Napoleon's invasion of Prussia during the War of the Fourth Coalition, the town was besieged from mid-March to July 2, 1807, by the Grande Armée and by Polish forces drawn from insurgents against Prussian rule (a street named for the commander leading Polish soldiers is located within the present-day city). 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 ("Principality District", recalling the area's former special status), then it was within Landkreis Kolberg-Körlin.Marcin Dunin, archbishop of Poznań and Gniezno and Roman Catholic primate of Poland, was imprisoned by Prussian authorities for ten months in 1839-1840; after his release, he tried to organise a chaplaincy for the many Polish soldiers stationed in the city. The beginning of Polish parish in modern times is connected to him In XIX century Polish population of the town consisted among others of Polish soldiers in Prussian service stationed in the city, salt refining specialists from Ciechocinek, political prisoners in local Prussian and permanent Polish inhabitants In the second half of XIX century the Polish community further increased with arrival of Polish workers During the period 1875-1914 an active Polish community grew and through its funds a Catholic school and the Church of Saint Marcin where masses in Polish were held(initially throughout the season, after about 1890 all the year), were established.   Poles also arrived as the city became popular seaside resort and spa town among tourists from all over Germany with an amount of about 5 - 8 percent of Poles. In 1905, Polish inhabitants of the city accounted for 1.5% of the population 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 the elections of 1933, the Nazi Party and the German nationalist party (DNVP) enjoyed the support of a majority of the population, with 9,842 votes for the Nazis and 2,763 for the DNVP (together, 12,605) out of 19,607 cast votes.
When the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933, the Jewish community in Kolberg comprised 200 people, and the antisemitic repression by Germany's ruling party led several of them to flee the country. A Nazi newspaper, the Kolberger Beobachter, listed Jewish shops and business that were to be boycotted. Nazis also engaged in hate propaganda against Jewish lawyers, doctors, and craftsmen. At the end of 1935, Jews were banned from working in the city's health spas. During Kristallnacht, the Jewish synagogue and homes were destroyed, and in 1938 the local Jewish cemetery was vandalised, while a cemetery shrine was turned to stable by German soldiers. In 1938, all Jews in Kolberg, as all over Germany, were renamed in official German documents as "Israel" (for males) or "Sarah" (for females). In the beginning of 1939, Jews were banned from attending German schools and the entire adult population had its driving licenses revoked. After years of discrimination and harassment, local Jews were deported by the German authorities to concentration camps in 1940.
See also: Forced labor in Germany during World War II.
The city website mentions that during the Second World War the German state brought in forced labour workers, among them Poles. The city's economy was changed to military production-especially after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The forced labourers were threatened with everyday harassment and repression; they were forbidden from using phones, holding cultural events and sports events, they could not visit restaurants or swimming pools, or have contact with the local German population. Poles only allowed to attend a church mass once a month - and only in the German language. They also had smaller food rations than Germans, and had to wear a sign with the letter P on their clothes indicationg their ethnic background. Additionally, medical help for Polish workers was limited by the authorities. Arrests and imprisonment for various offences such as "slow pace of work" or leaving the work space were everyday occurrences
In 1944, the city was designated a "stronghold" (Festung) — Festung Kolberg. The 1807 siege was used for the last Nazi propaganda film, Kolberg shortly before the end of the war by Joseph Goebbels . 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 10 February 1945, the German torpedo-boat T-196 brought about 300 survivors of the, which had been sunk by Soviet submarine S-13 to Kolberg. 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 the 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. During the fights, Polish soldiers' losses were 1013 dead, 142 MIA and 2652 wounded. 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.
After World War II, the devastated city along with all of Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line became Polish, and the remaining Germans either fled or were expelled. The city was resettled with Poles, many of whom had themselves been expelled from Kresy (see: Polish population transfers (1944–1946)), and historic buildings were restored.
Before the end of World War II the town was predominantly German Protestant with Polish and Jewish minorities. Since 1945, Polish Catholics make up the majority of the population. Around the turn from the 18th to the 19th century an increase of the number of Catholics was observed, because military personnel had been moved from West Prussia to the town. The mother tongue of a number of soldiers serving in the garrison of Kolberg was Polish.
|1812||5,597||together with the garrison, incl. 502 Catholics, no Jews.|
|1816||5,210||incl. 65 Catholics und 40 Jews.|
|1831||6,221||incl. 3 Catholics and 117 Jews.|
|1843||7,528||incl. 50 Catholics and 135 Jews.|
|1852||8,658||incl. 53 Catholics and 135 Jews.|
|1861||10,082||incl. 92 Catholics, 202 Jews and seven German Catholics.|
|1900||20,200||together with the garrison, incl. 786 Catholics and 349 Jews.|
|1925||30,115||incl. 835 Catholics, 290 Jews and 1170 other citizens|
|1945||approx. 3,000||after expulsion of Germans and war losses|
In 2000 the city business council of Kołobrzeg 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 King Boleslaw I of Poland and King Otto III 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.
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 Gothic network. A bike path "to Podczele", located along the seaside was commissioned on July 14, 2004. The path extends from Kołobrzeg to Podczele. The path has been financed by the European Union, and is intended to be part of a unique biking path that will ultimately circle the entire Baltic Sea. The path has been breached on Mar 24, 2010 due to the encroachment of the sea associated with the draining of the adjacent unique Eco-Park marsh area. The government of Poland has already allocated PLN 90,000 to repair the breach, and the works started in Dec 2010.
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 Kołobrzeg are many permanent and temporary exhibitions of artistic and historical interest. In the town hall of Kołobrzeg is located Gallery of Modern Art, where exhibitions are exposed artists from Kołobrzeg, 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 (Muzeum Oręża Polskiego), 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.
Kołobrzeg is twinned with: