Pyrzyce [pɨˈʐɨt͡sɛ] (German: Pyritz, Kashubian: Përzëca), is a town in Pomerania, north-western Poland, with 13,331 inhabitants (2007).
Capital of the Pyrzyce County in West Pomeranian Voivodeship (since 1999), previously in Szczecin Voivodeship (1975–1998).
An anonymous medieval document of about 850, called Bavarian Geographer, mentions the tribe of Prissani having 70 strongholds (Prissani civitates LXX). In the early 12th century, the town was part of the realm of Wartislaw I, Duke of Pomerania, which evolved into the Duchy of Pomerania.
The settlement was first mentioned in 1124 by bishop Otto von Bamberg, who baptized the first Pomeranians here. Throughout the German Ostsiedlung the oldest church was built in 1250, an Augustinian cloister in 1256 and a monastery of the Franciscan order in 1281.
In 1263 the town received Magdeburg law. By the Contract of Pyritz of March 26, 1493 the Dukes of Pomerania recognized the right of succession of the House of Brandenburg. A large fire destroyed almost the whole town in 1496. Pyritz was the first town in Pomerania to implement the Lutheran Reformation in 1524.
In 1634, during the Thirty Years' War, it was again largely destroyed by a conflagration. After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke in 1637 and by the Treaty of Westphalia the town became part of the Brandenburg-Prussian province of Pomerania following the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the Treaty of Stettin (1653), along within the rest of Farther Pomerania.
A view of Pyrzyce's City Hall in 2006.
In 1818, the town became the seat of the district administration (Kreis Pyritz) and was connected to the railway system in 1882. As part of Prussia the town was located in unified Germany of 1871.
At the end of World War II the Soviet Red Army conquered the town during the Pomeranian Offensive. Bombardment of Pyritz by Soviet artillery began on February 1, 1945, and achieved maximum intensity on February 27, when attacks by heavy artillery destroyed the old town. Following the post-war boundary changes, Pyrzyce became part of Poland. Its German population was expelled and the town was populated with Poles, many themselves coming from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union east of the Curzon line.
Number of inhabitants by year
Note that the above table is based on primary, possibly biased, sources.
Coordinates: 53°08′N 14°53′E / 53.133°N 14.883°E
- ^ Jan M. Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, pp. 36 ff., ISBN 839061848
- ^ a b Michael Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte Provinz Pommern, Kreis Pyritz (2006).
- ^ Helge Bei der Wieden and Roderich Schmidt, Handbuch der historischen Stätten Deutschlands, Vol. 12: Mecklenburg/Pommern (= Kröners Taschenausgabe, Vol. 315), Kröner, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-520-31501-7, pp. 254–256
- ^ Gustav Kratz: Die Städte der Provinz Pommern - Abriß ihrer Geschichte, zumeist nach Urkunden. Berlin 1865, p. 317.
- ^ Gunthard Stübs und Pommersche Forschungsgemeinschaft: Die Stadt Pyritz im ehemaligen Kreis Pyritz in Pommern (2011).
- ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 6th edition, Vol. 16, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig and Vienna 1909, p. 481
- ^ Christian Friedrich Wutstrack: Kurze historisch-geographisch-statistische Beschreibung des königlich-preußischen Herzogtums Vor- und Hinterpommern. Stettin 1793, see table on p. 736.