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For other places with the same name, see Biskupiec (disambiguation).
Flag of Biskupiec
Coat of arms of Biskupiec
Coat of arms
Biskupiec is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°51′N 20°57′E / 53.850°N 20.950°E / 53.850; 20.950
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
County Olsztyn
Gmina Biskupiec
Town rights 1395
 • Mayor Elżbieta Samorajczyk
 • Total 5 km2 (2 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 10,348
 • Density 2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)
Postal code 11-300

Biskupiec [bʲisˈkupʲɛt͡s] (German: Bischofsburg (Ltspkr.png listen)) is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland. It is located in Olsztyn County and has a predominantly Catholic population of approximately 11,400. The countryside surrounding Biskupiec is a popular tourist destination, part of the Masurian Lake District.


The town's name derived from the Prince-Bishops of Warmia, who had a castle built in the southeastern outskirts of their realm on the Dymer creek in the late 14th century. The fortress was first mentioned in a 1389 deed, the settlement that had developed nearby received town privileges according to Kulm law by Bishop Henry III Sorbom in 1395. Town and castle were devastated during the Thirteen Years' War (1454–66) between the rebellious Prussian Confederation and the State of the Teutonic Order, and with Warmia passed to the Lands of the Polish Crown according to the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466.

Again demolished during the Polish–Teutonic War (1519–21), the Polish–Swedish War (1626–1629) and the Second Northern War (1655–1660), the development of the town was often hampered not only by warfare, but also by blazes, plague and famine. With the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Bischofsburg was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and incorporated into the Province of East Prussia. From 1862 until 1945, it was the seat of Landkreis Rößel, from 1871 part of the German Empire. After the German defeat in World War I the 1920 East Prussian plebiscite held in the town resulted in 3461 against 52 votes cast for Germany. Bischofsburg was again 50% destroyed during the East Prussian Offensive of the Red Army in the late days of World War II.

In 1945 the town was transferred, along with the southern part of East Prussia, to Poland according to the resolutions at the Potsdam Conference. Its remaining German population was expelled and the name changed to Polish: Biskupiec.

Despite its numerous devastations, the medieval city's layout has been largely preserved. The town's landmark is its 16th century Gothic Church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist (Kościół p.w. św. Jana Chrzciciela, Johanniskirche), erected from 1505 onwards on the behest of Prince-Bishop Lucas Watzenrode and consecrated in 1580 by Prince-Bishop Marcin Kromer.

Notable people[edit]

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Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Biskupiec is twinned with:

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°52′N 20°58′E / 53.867°N 20.967°E / 53.867; 20.967