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olsztyn imageIn 1346 the auld Posuhie Warmie forest in the vicinity wis cleared an a place wis selectit on the Alle, nou Łyna River, for a new settlement. The Teutonic Knichts began the construction o Ordensburg castle in 1347 as a stranghauld against the Auld Proushies, an the settlement o Allenstein wis first mentioned the follaein year. The German name Allenstein meant a castle on the Alle River. It became kent in Pols transliteration as Olsztyn. The settlement receivit municipal richts frae Johannes von Leysen on 31 October 1353, an the castle wis completit in 1397. Allenstein wis incorporatit intae the Kinrick o Poland durin the Pols-Lithuanie-Teutonic War in 1410 an in 1414 durin the Hunger War, but wis returned tae the monastic state o the Teutonic Knichts efter hostilities endit

First mentions of Olsztyn come from the beginning of the 14th century. At that time, it was a settlement, founded by the castle. In 1448, King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk granted it Magdeburg rights town charter, together with a privilege to organize fairs, which spurred Olsztyn’s development. The town was located in western Lesser Poland, near the border with Silesia, and was destroyed in 1587, during the War of the Polish Succession. Further destruction was brought by the Swedish invasion of Poland (1655 – 1660). Finally, the town completely burned in 1719, and Olsztyn, despite officially keeping its town charter, turned into a rural settlement. After the Partitions of Poland, Olsztyn since 1815 belonged to Russian-controlled Congress Poland, and the Russians reduced it to the status of a village in 1870.

The ruins of a 14th-century castle are one of the biggest attractions of the area. The castle, located on a hill, among limestone rocks, is part of the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests. It belonged to a system of fortifications, built by King Kazimierz Wielki, to protect western Lesser Poland from Czechs, to whom Silesia belonged at that time. For some time, as a fee, it belonged to Prince Władysław Opolczyk. Taken away from him in 1396, the castle was then handed by King Władysław Jagiełło to a local nobleman, Jan Odrowąż of Szczekociny. The castle was invaded several times by Silesian princes in the 15th century, and with the advancement of warfare, its fortifications became obsolete. In 1655, it was captured by the Swedes, and since then, it became a ruin. In 1722, it was partly demolished, with bricks used to build a parish church at Olsztyn. Currently, only fragments of defensive walls remain. The most impressive still standing part of the castle is a 35-meter round tower, built in the 13th century, which served as a prison.

Allenstein joined the Proushie Confederation in 1440. It rebelled against the Teutonic Knichts in 1454 upon the ootbreak o the Thirteen Years’ War an requestit protection frae the Pols Croun. Although the Teutonic Knichts captured the toun in the follaein year, it wis retaken bi Pols troops in 1463. The Seicont Peace o Thorn (1466) allocatit Allenstein an the Bishopric o Warmie as pairt o Ryal Proushie unner the sovereignty o the Croun o Poland. Frae 1516–21, Nicolaus Copernicus livit at the castle as admeenistrator o Allenstein an Mehlsack (Pieniężno); he wis in chairge o the defenses o Allenstein an Warmie durin the Pols-Teutonic War o 1519–21.

olsztyn image

Allenstein wis sacked bi Swadish troops in 1655 an 1708 durin the Pols-Swadish wars, an the toun’s population wis nearly wipit oot in 1710 bi epidemics o bubonic plague an cholera.

Allenstein wis annexed bi the Kinrick o Proushie in 1772 durin the First Pairtition o Poland. A Proushie census recordit a population o 1,770 fowk, predominantly fermers, in Allenstein, which wis admeenistered athin the Province o East Proushie. It wis visitit bi Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807 efter his victories ower the Proushie Airmy at Jena an Auerstedt. In 1825 the ceety wis inhabitit bi 1266 Poles an 1341 Germans[1] The German leid newspaper, Allensteiner Zeitung, wis first published in 1841. The toun hospital wis foondit in 1867.

Allenstein became parit o the German Empire in 1871 durin the Proushie-led unification o Germany. Twa years later the ceety wis connectit bi railwey tae Thorn (Toruń). Its first Pols leid newspaper, the Gazeta Olsztyńska, wis foondit in 1886. Allenstein’s infrastructur developit rapidly: gas wis instawed in 1890, telephones in 1892, public watter supply in 1898, an electricity in 1907. The ceety became the caipital o Regierungsbezirk Allenstein, a govrenment admeenistrative region in East Proushie, in 1905. Frae 1818–1910 the ceety wis admeenistered athin the East Proushie Allenstein Destrict, efter which it became an independent ceety.

Shortly efter the ootbreak o Warld War I, truips o the Roushie Empire captured Allenstein in 1914, but it wis recovered bi the Imperial German Airmy in the Battle o Tannenberg. The battle actually teuk place hintle closer tae Allenstein than Tannenberg (nou Stębark), but the victorious Germans, haein been defeatit in the medieval battle o Tannenberg, namit it as such for propaganda purposes). In 1920 durin the East Proushie plebiscite, Allenstein votit tae remain in German East Prussia insteid o becomin pairt o the Seicont Pols Republic. The fitbaa club SV Hindenburg Allenstein played in Allenstein frae 1921 tae 45. Efter the Nazi seizur o power in 1933, Poles an Jews in Allenstein wur increasingly persecutit. In 1935 the Wehrmacht made the ceety the seat o the Allenstein Militärische Bereich. It wis the hame o the 11t Infanterie Diveesion, the 11t Airtillery Regiment, an the 217th Infanterie Diveesion

The plebiscite wis held on 11 Julie, an producit 362,209 votes (97.8 %) for East Proushie an 7,980 votes (2.2 %) for Poland. The stamps became invalid on 20 August. Despite their short period o uise, amaist aw o the stamps are cheaply available baith uised an unuised.

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