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Elbląg (read: Elblong) (German Elbing) is a city in northern Poland with 128,700 inhabitants. Situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodship since 1999, previously capital of Elblag Voivodship (1975-1998).


Very likely the ancient Prussian city of Truso.

Konrad I Mazowiecki, ruler of part of Poland, suffered when the Culmland was occupied by the Prussians, a pagan Baltic people. Konrad hired the Knights to restore this province and conquer Prussia, giving them the Culmland as a fief (1226). The Order's conquest of Prussia was accomplished with great bloodshed over more than 50 years, during which new cities were founded as bases for war and administration, later becoming centres of trade.

The city of Elblag was founded in 1237 by German tradesmen near the ruins of the Prussian fortress and trading settlement of Truso, on the ancient Amber Road in Pomesania.

Elblag as well as all of Prussia were by Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II assigned to the government of the German Order of Teutonic Knights, a religious order formally under the pope. The Teutonic Knights built a castle.

Polish rulers generally assumed their sovereignty over all conquered lands in Prussia, deriving their rights from a priviliage of Konrad I Mazowiecki. In addition, Teutonic Kinghts very crusaders, that were supposed to help Poles fight pagans, and leave.

In 1241 Elblag received city rights modelled on those of Lübeck, unlike many other cities in east-central Europe, which received Magdeburg Rights. A vocabulary was written in Elblag around 1350 in the Baltic Old Prussian language.

The trade cities Elblag, Gdansk and Torun were cities , who under the leadership of Imperial Cologne unified into the Hanseatic League.

In 1440 the eastern Prussian cities formed the Prussian Confederation which led the successful rising (1454) of Prussia against the rule of the Teutonic Order. Prussian Confederation recognized ancient Polish rights to the Prussia and asked the Polish King for incorporation of the whole Prussia into Polish crown.The kings approval led to the Thirteen Years War. As a result of it the city of Elblag came under the suzerainty of Poland and became a part of Poland called Royal Prussia. Elblag in Pomesania came under the archdiocese of Warmia.

In 1535 the first Protestant Gymnasium was established in Elblag. Famous inhabitants of the city included Hans von Bodeck.

From 1579 Elblag had close trade relations with England, to which the city accorded free trade. English and Scots merchants settled in Elblag and formed the Scots Reformed Church of Elblag. They remaining after occupation by Sweden and rivalry from nearby Gdansk interrupted trading links. By 1618 Elblagg left the Hanseatic League due to its close business dealings with England.

Cartographer Johann Friedrich Endersch of Elblag completed a map of Ermeland in 1755 and also made a copper etching of the galiot, named Die Stadt Elbing (The City of Elblag).

In 1772 Elblag, after the First Partition of Poland was forcibly annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia, from 1871 a part of the German Empire. After the WW I, Elblag became a part of German province of East Prussia in 1920.

A large number of German-speaking inhabitants of Elblag fled when the Soviet army approached the city. Almost all who had returned or remained, were expelled after the end of World War II, when the city returned to Poland.

Directly after 1945 the old city, that were burned down by Soviet Army, were demolished and the bricks were used to rebuild Warsaw.

Elblag were scene of the riots in the coastal cities in 1970 together with Tricity and Szczecin, see also Coastal cities events.

After 1989 the Old City started to be restored.

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