In the 19th century, it served as a settlement to where a large number of political prisoners were forcibly resettled. Among them was a group of Catholic priests, 145 altogether, arrested during the 1863 January Uprising against tsarist Russia. Among other notable political prisoners kept there were Bronisław Szwarce and Józef Piłsudski. Wilfrid Michael Voynich was held there from late December 1887 to late June 1889.
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