Drawsko Pomorskie [ˈdrafskɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ] (German: Dramburg) is a town in Drawsko County in West Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland, with 17,440 inhabitants. Originally inhabited by Slavs, the settlement was colonized by Germans during the Middle Ages. In 1945 it became part of Poland.
Located in the southeast of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (since 1999) in the region of the Pomeranian mountain crest, Drawsko Pomorskie is the capital of Drawsko County. Drawsko lies near the headwater of the Drawa, west of an expansive woodland which includes the protected area called Drawsko Landscape Park. The city of Szczecin is 100 km to the west. A large training ground near the town is frequently used in NATO exercises.
According to Ptolemios`map a Germanic city called Virunum in the 2nd century.
From the 7th-13th centuries a Slavic fortified settlement existed along the Drawa, a few kilometers north of Lake Lubie. In the 10th century the region was under the sovereignty of Duke Mieszko I of Poland and later came under the control of the Dukes of Pomerania. In the 13th century Drawsko was a fortress of Przemysł I of Greater Poland, but after his death under questionable circumstances the settlement was inherited by the Ascanian Margraviate of Brandenburg. Premonstratensian monks from Kloster Belbuck, a monastery near Trzebiatów, were invited to found a monastery in their new territory of Drawsko. These plans failed, however, as the desired location was too far from Belbuck and the monks saw the wilderness as unsuitable.
The margraves planned to expand upon a settlement already developing near the fortress of Drawsko. Arnold, Konrad, and Johann von Golz, all knights from Prenzlau, were granted the right by the margraves to develop the settlement into a town known as Drawenborch (Dramburg). It grew after the arrival of German colonists, allowing the margraves to grant it Magdeburg city rights in 1297. To further develop the new town of Dramburg, Margrave Louis I released the town from all duties from 1338-1350. In the latter year the town was ceded as a fief to the noble Wedell family. On February 13, 1368 Dramburg was the setting of a peace treaty between Margrave Otto V and King Casimir III of Poland. The influx of colonists began to cease, although by the end of the 14th century the Dramburger Neustadt ("new town") had developed on the southern shore of the Drawa. In 1402 Margrave Sigismund pawned the town along with the rest of the Neumark to the Teutonic Knights, who returned the region in 1455. The red eagle of the town's coat of arms was taken from the coat of arms of Brandenburg.
In 1537 the former Franciscan monk Faustinus Schliepe introduced Lutheranism to Dramburg during the Protestant Reformation. From 1540 the town was administered by the Order of St. John in Germany (until 1808). A great fire destroyed a wide section of Dramburg in 1620, leaving only five houses unscathed, while five years later numerous citizens died from plague. In 1638 during the Thirty Years' War, the Swedish colonel Beer plundered and pillaged Dramburg. Despite that setback, the town's economic advantages allowed it to recuperate quickly. Dramburg had Stapelrecht, giving it the right to force merchants traveling on the Drawa to offer their wares, such as Kolberg salt, for sale at Dramburg's markets. Wool-weaving and shoe-making were also important craft industries during the Middle Ages.
Dramburg became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. With the reorganization of the Prussian provinces in 1815 following the Napoleonic Wars, Dramburg left the Neumark and in 1818 became the seat of Landkreis Dramburg in Regierungzbezirk Köslin, Province of Pomerania. Dramburg joined the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany.
In 1877 the Pommersche Zentralbahn (Pomeranian Central Railway) became connected to the town, which was also connected in 1896 to the Saatziger Kleinbahnnetz (Saatzig District railroad network). Dramburg's access to the railroads led to the establishment of wood and textile industries. This led the Pommersche Saatzucht Gesellschaft based in Stettin to use the Dramburg region as a testing area for its plant breeding experiments.
Parts of the eastern German Empire were granted to the Second Polish Republic following the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. Many Germans subsequently immigrated to Dramburg, expanding settlement in the south of the town. When the province of Posen-West Prussia was disbanded in 1938, Dramburg became part of Regierungsbezirk Schneidemühl. During World War II, the SS established a large training school for motorcyclists and mechanics in Dramburg. On March 4, 1945 Soviet and Polish troops captured the city, whose center was largely destroyed during the fighting.
Polish authorities began administering the town on March 6, 1945. The town was granted to Poland according to the Potsdam Conference and German-speaking citizens were expelled. The town, renamed Drawsko Pomorskie in 1950, was the administrative seat of a powiat until 1975. After the Local Government Reorganization Act of 1998, Drawsko became a district seat again in 1999.
Notable residents 
International relations 
Twin towns — Sister cities 
Drawsko Pomorskie is twinned with:
Photo gallery 
Great window in the church
Market-square with church
- ^ Hupp, Otto: Königreich Preussen. Wappen der Städte, Flecken und Dörfer. Reprint von 1896 und 1898. Kulturstiftung der deutschen Vertriebenen, Bonn, 1993.
- This article incorporates information from the revision as of May 26, 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
External links 
Coordinates: 53°32′N 15°48′E / 53.533°N 15.800°E