For other places called Marienwerder, see Marienwerder (disambiguation).

Photos of Kwidzyn


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 53°44′9″N 18°55′51″E / 53.73583°N 18.93083°E / 53.73583; 18.93083
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Pomeranian
County Kwidzyn County
Gmina Kwidzyn (urban gmina)
Established 11th century
Town rights 1233
  Mayor Andrzej Krzysztof Krzysztofiak
  Total 21.82 km2 (8.42 sq mi)
Elevation 42 m (138 ft)
Population (2006)
  Total 37,814
  Density 1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 82-500
Area code(s) +48 55
Car plates GKW

Kwidzyn (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkfʲid͡zɨn]; Latin: Quedin; German: Marienwerder; Prussian: Kwēdina) is a town in northern Poland on the Liwa river in the Powiśle (right bank of Vistula) region, with 40,008 inhabitants (2004). It has been a part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously in the Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Kwidzyn County.


Kwidzyn castle in 2016.
Kwidzyn castle in 1912.
A 1922 postcard of the Hermann Balk Fountain in Marienwerder
Impressive arcs of castle

The Teutonic Knights founded an Ordensburg castle in 1232 and a town the following year. In 1243 the Bishopric of Pomesania received both the town and the castle of Marienwerder (German for "Mary's ait") from the Teutonic Order as fiefs, and the settlement became the seat of the Bishops of Pomesania within Prussia.[1] The town was populated with Masurian settlers. Werner von Orseln, who died in Marienburg (Malbork) in 1330, was buried in the cathedral of the town. St. Dorothea of Montau lived here from 1391 until her death in 1394; pilgrims would later come to pray in the town at her shrine. The rebellious Prussian Confederation was founded in the town on March 14, 1440.[2] In 1466, the town became a Polish fief together with the remainder of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights after their defeat in the Thirteen Years' War.

It became part of the Duchy of Prussia, a fief of Poland, upon its creation in 1525. The duchy was inherited by the House of Hohenzollern in 1618 and was elevated to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. The town became the capital of the District of Marienwerder. When after the First Partition of Poland, resulting in the re-unification of Prussia, the new Prussian Province of West Prussia was founded, Marienwerder was taken out of the Province of East Prussia and integrated into West Prussia of which it became the administrative seat. The town and district were included within the government region of Marienwerder after the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1885 the town had 8,079 mostly Lutheran inhabitants, many of whose trades were connected with the manufacturing of sugar, vinegar, and machines. Other trades were brewing, dairy farming, and fruit-growing. According to official statistics, c. 1910, 35.7% of the county's population was Polish.

After World War I most of West Prussia was incorporated into the Polish Second Republic. The treaty of Versailles required the inhabitants of East Prussia to vote in the East Prussian plebiscite to determine if the town would remain in Germany as part of East Prussia or join Poland; the vote was largely boycotted by ethnic Poles amid mass persecution of Polish activists by the German side, going as far as engaging in regular hunts and murder against them to influence the vote.

On November 10, 1937, when the Nazi regime was already in power in Germany, a Polish private high school was opened in Marienwerder, which was closed down by force on August 25, 1939.[3]

On 30 January 1945 during World War II, the town was captured by the Soviet Red Army. Red Army established a war hospital in the town for 20,000 people. The town's old center was burned by Soviet soldiers.

After World War II the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union. Most Germans fled or were expelled and replaced with Poles expelled from the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union or Ukranians forced to settle in the area through Operation Vistula in 1947. Burned parts of the town's old center were dismantled to provide material for the rebuilding of Warsaw after its destruction in the Warsaw Uprising.


Kwidzyn is located on the east bank of river Vistula, approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Gdańsk and 145 kilometres (90 miles) south-west of Kaliningrad.

Year Inhabitants
1400 approx. 700
1572 approx. 700
1782 3,156
1783 3,297
1831 5,060
1875 7,580
1880 8,238
1890 8,552
1900 9,686
1905 11,819
1925 13,721
1930 13,860
1933 15,548
1939 19,723
1965 approx. 13,000
2006 37,814
Note that the above table is based on biased primary sources from the time of Prussian Partition of Poland.[1][4][5][6][7]

Points of interest

Kwidzyn contains the partially ruined 14th century Brick Gothic Ordensburg castle of the Teutonic Order, namely the Bishops of Pomesania within the Order. Connected to the castle to the east is a large cathedral (built 1343-1384) containing the tombs of the bishops as well those of three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights. The literally outstanding feature of the castle is a sewer tower which is connected to it by a bridge. The tower used to be placed at the river which has changed its course since, leaving it on dry land.

The town also has a Catholic church and a cathedral-castle presently used for the museum of Lower Powiśle. Other sights include the appellate court for Kwidzyn County, a new town hall, and government buildings.


A branch of the company International Paper is located in Kwidzyn, as is the Kwidzyn School of Management. The second biggest employer is Jabil which is one of world leading EMS (Electronics manufacturing services) companies.[8] The city has a lower than national average crime and unemployment rates when compared to the average rate in Poland average.[8] Success in this field was gained through high level of sport programs for youths. Programs such as MMTS Kwidzyn (handball) or MTS Basket Kwidzyn are the best examples of this.[8]



International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Kwidzyn is twinned with:


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kwidzyn.


  1. 1 2 August Eduard Preuß: Preußische Landes- und Volkskunde. Königsberg 1835, pp. 441–444.
  2. Jürgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche Orden. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53628-1, p. 100 ff. (restricted preview).
  3. Andreas Lawaty, Wiesław Mincer and Anna Domańska: Deutsch-polnische Beziehungen in Geschichte und Gegenwart – Bibliographie. Vol 2: Religion, Buch, Presse, Wissenschaft, Bildung, Philosophie, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, ISBN 3-447-04243-5, p. 879 (restricted preview)
  4. Michael Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte Provinz Westpreußen, Kreis Marienwerder (2006)
  5. Der Große Brockhaus, 15th edition, Vol. 12, Leipzig 1932, p. 143.
  6. Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition, Vol. 13, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, p. 299.
  7. Johann Friedrich Goldbeck: Vollständige Topographie des Königreichs Preußen. Teil II, Marienwerder 1789, pp. 3–6.
  8. 1 2 3 Turystyka, historia, zabytki. Kwidzyn Moje miasto.
  9. "Stadt Celle". Retrieved 2010-01-05.

Coordinates: 53°44′9″N 18°55′51″E / 53.73583°N 18.93083°E / 53.73583; 18.93083

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