Wejherowo

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Wejherowo
Town from a bird's eye view
Town from a bird's eye view
Flag of Wejherowo
Flag
Coat of arms of Wejherowo
Coat of arms
Wejherowo is located in Poland
Wejherowo
Wejherowo
Coordinates: 54°36′N 18°15′E / 54.600°N 18.250°E / 54.600; 18.250
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Pomeranian
County Wejherowo County
Gmina Wejherowo (urban gmina)
Established 1643
Town rights 1650
Government
 • Mayor Krzysztof Hildebrandt
Area
 • City 25.65 km2 (9.90 sq mi)
Highest elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Lowest elevation 24 m (79 ft)
Population (2006)
 • City 45,170
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
 • Metro 130,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 84-200 to 84-204
Area code(s) +48 58
Car plates GWE
Website http://www.wejherowo.pl

Wejherowo [vɛi̯xɛˈrɔvɔ] (Kashubian: Wejrowò, German: Neustadt in Westpreußen) is a town in Gdańsk Pomerania, northern Poland, with 47,435 inhabitants (2007). It has been the capital of Wejherowo County in Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999; previously, it was a town in Gdańsk Voivodeship (1975–1998).

Geographical location[edit]

Wejherowo is located in Pomeralia, approximately 11 km (7 mi) west of the town of Rumia, 32 kilometres (20 miles) east of the town of Lębork and 35 km (22 mi) north-west of the regional metropole of Gdańsk, in the broad glacial valley of the river Rheda at an altitude of 30 metres (98 feet) above sea level.

Town hall
Jacob Wejher

History[edit]

Wejherowo was founded in 1643 as "Wejher's Freedom" (Polish Wola Wejherowska), by the voivode of the Malbork Voivodeship, and ardent Polish patriot, Jakub Wejher. According to the founder's will, the citizens of the new settlement were to possess the same city rights as other towns in the region, hence the place granted Kulm law. The town's privileges, received in 1655, were confirmed by King John II Casimir Vasa of Poland on the Reichstag.[citation needed]

Wejher, who survived the Smolensk War, built two churches in the new settlement (The Holy Trinity and Saint Ann). He also brought in Franciscan fathers, built a monastery, and founded a calvary, consisting of 26 chapels, aligned along the border of the town forest, which were built during 1646–55. According to the founder's written statement of 1655, all honorable persons, independent of their nationality, were invited to become citizens of the new settlement if they would pay a citizen fee of ten gulden each.

In the First Partition of Poland in 1772, in which the Kingdom of Prussia annexed Pomerelia, the town was incorporated into the Kingdom, and administered within the new province of West Prussia. Its name in German changed to Neustadt in Westpreußen. The affix "in West Prussia" was added to the town's name in order to avoid confusion with a number of other towns carrying the same name. Decisive factors which boosted the development of the town in the 19th century were the 1818 establishment of Landkreis Neustadt, an administrative district, and the construction of the Danzig (Gdańsk) – Stettin (Szczecin) railway line, to which Neustadt was connected with a train station in 1870. Neustadt became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany. During the second half of the 19th century, a significant number of Jewish families from the region began migrating to Syracuse, New York, including the renowned Shubert theatrical family. The Poles formed 59.3% of population in the district area of the city around this time.[1]

In 1905 "Neustadt" had a Protestant church, two Catholic churches, a synagogue, a grammar school, a preparatory school for a training college for school teachers, a training college for evangelical school teachers, a mental asylum, a local court, a forest office, cigarette factories, sawmills, a brewery, a cattle trade and wood trade as well as grain trade.[2] During the Partitions the German authorities led a systemic campaign of Germanization against local the Polish and Kashubian populations, which resisted by organizing the secret patriotic organization Zwiazek Filomatow, distributing the Polish newspaper Gazeta Gdanska, and by establishing various local economic initiatives[3]

Until 1919 Neustadt belonged to the administrative district of Regierungsbezirk Danzig in the Province of West Prussia in Germany. After World War I the town was integrated into the Second Polish Republic. Wejherowo was the capital of Wejherowo County in Pomeranian Voivodeship, becoming a headquarters of state administration responsible for the maritime economy. After the invasion of Poland at the beginning World War II, Wejherowo was annexed by the Third Reich and became part of Regierungsbezirk Danzig in the province of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia.

Most of the town's Jewish community was murdered by the Nazis during the war, while many local Poles were also victims of the Nazi extermination policy.[3] The nearby village of Piaśnica Wielka was the site of a mass murder where about 12,000 Poles were shot in 1939. During World War II Neustadt was occupied by the Red Army. After the end of war, in 1945, Neustadt was placed under Polish administration under its Polish name Wejherowo.

Number of inhabitants by year[edit]

Year Number
1789 700
1960 24,500
1970 33,800
1980 42,400
1990 46,800
2000 46,200
2006 47,159
2011 49,922

Culture[edit]

Education[edit]

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Wejherowo is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Polski ruch narodowy w prusach zachodnich w latach: 1860-1914 Szczepan Wierzchosławski page 19 Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1980
  2. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition, Vol 14, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, p. 580, no. 21.
  3. ^ a b Wejherowo historia miasta

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°36′N 18°14′E / 54.600°N 18.233°E / 54.600; 18.233