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Top left: Augustów Basilica of Jesus in Skorupki; Top right: Former Water Management Authority's office (Budynek Zarzadu Wodnego); Middle left: An ancient house in Augustów Market Square; Middle right: Netta Nature Park and Augstow Canal; Bottom: Icy season in Studzieniczne Lake
Top left: Augustów Basilica of Jesus in Skorupki; Top right: Former Water Management Authority's office (Budynek Zarzadu Wodnego); Middle left: An ancient house in Augustów Market Square; Middle right: Netta Nature Park and Augstow Canal; Bottom: Icy season in Studzieniczne Lake
Coat of arms of Augustów
Augustów is located in Podlaskie Voivodeship
Augustów is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°50′37″N 22°58′39″E / 53.84361°N 22.97750°E / 53.84361; 22.97750Coordinates: 53°50′37″N 22°58′39″E / 53.84361°N 22.97750°E / 53.84361; 22.97750
Country Poland
Voivodeship Podlaskie
CountyAugustów County
GminaAugustów (urban gmina)
Town rights1557
 • MayorMirosław Karolczuk
 • Total80.93 km2 (31.25 sq mi)
 (30 June 2021)
 • Total29,785[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
16-300 to 16-303
Area code+48 87
Car platesBAU
National roadsDK8-PL.svg DK16-PL.svg DK61-PL.svg
Voivodeship roadsDW664-PL.svg DW672-PL.svg

Augustów (Au-goo-stoof [au̯ˈɡustuf] (listen); Lithuanian: Augustavas, formerly known in English as Augustovo[3] or Augustowo)[4] is a city in north-eastern Poland with 29,785 inhabitants as of June 2021.[1] It lies on the Netta River and the Augustów Canal. It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (since 1999), having previously been in Suwałki Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the seat of Augustów County and of Gmina Augustów.

In 1970, Augustów became officially recognized as a health and relaxation resort. In 1973, surrounding settlements were named a part of it, forming a popular resort town.


16th-century seal of Augustów

A settlement in the area was first mentioned in 1496.[citation needed] Augustów was established around 1540 by Bona Sforza and granted Magdeburg rights in 1557 by Sigismund II Augustus,[5] after whom it was also named.[6] It was laid out in a very regular manner, with a spacious market-place.[4]

Until 1569 Augustów belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1569 it became part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland,[7] while its cemetery was left in the Grand Duchy,[citation needed] both countries forming the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as a result of the Union of Lublin. Augustów was a royal city,[5] located in the Podlaskie Voivodeship in the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown. Tatar invaders destroyed Augustów in 1656, and the second half of the 17th century saw the town afflicted by plague.

In 1795 Prussia annexed Augustów in the Third Partition of Poland.[citation needed] In 1807, it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, followed by incorporation into the Kingdom of Poland in 1815. It was made a county seat in 1842. The local populace took part in the large Polish January Uprising of 1863–1864 against Russia. Following Russia's full annexation of the Polish kingdom in the 1860s, it was administered from Suwałki.[3] With a population around 9400 (c. 1875), it carried a large trade in cattle and horses, and manufactured linen and huckaback.[3] Its canal connects the Vistula and Neman rivers and the railway reached the town in 1899, when its population was around 12,800.[4]

President of Poland Ignacy Mościcki during his visit in Augustów in 1932

During World War I, the Russian Army successfully counterattacked the German Army in the Battle of Augustów, in the lead-up to the better-known Battle of the Vistula River. In the aftermath of World War I, it was a site of fighting during the Battle of Augustów in 1920.

Following the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland, which started World War II in September 1939, Augustów was occupied by the Soviet Union until 1941. Many inhabitants were sent to exile in Kazakhstan, from where some were able to return after 6 years. On June 22, 1941, just before the Germans captured the town, the Soviets murdered around 30-34 Polish prisoners in Augustów as part of the NKVD prisoner massacres.[8] The Nazi German forces occupied Augustów until 1944, and operated a forced labour camp in the town.[9] World War II brought the destruction of about 70% of the town and death or departure of most of its residents, amongst them a community of several thousand Jews who were imprisoned in the ghetto situated between the canal and the river. The Germans executed practically all of them before they left. In 1945 the Soviets conducted the nearby Augustów roundup - a special operation against former Armia Krajowa anticommunist fighters.

Augustów ring road controversy[edit]

The construction of the Augustów bypass called Via Baltica, through the wetlands of the Rospuda Valley, attracted great controversy in 2007. The work was halted after the European Commission applied for an immediate injunction. See Rospuda River, European route E67.[10]


Boulevard in Augustów on the Augustów Canal
Monument of King Sigismund II Augustus in central Augustów

The town, although small, has many attractions for the visitors. The Oficerski Yacht Club Hotel, built in the 1930s, is an army yacht club that has been restored and converted into a resort.[11] It is located on the edge of one of many lakes in the region. Pope John Paul II has a memorial chair from the first and last time he visited the town right outside the club. Boat tours are also popular and the old town square still has its original cobblestone streets.

Every year hundreds of bikers come to Augustowskie Motonoce bikers festival.[12][13] Bands that over years participated in celebration include Bright Ophidia, AGE, ZZ Top Czech Revival Band, AC/DC Show Ukraina, Kraków Street Band, etc.


2002 – 29,705 inhabitants, by nationality:[14]

  • Poles – 96.5% (28,668);
  • Russians – 0.2% (64);
  • Roma people – 0.1% (41);
  • Other – 3.1% (932).

1921 – 8,762 inhabitants, by nationality:[15]

  • Poles – 76.6% (6,715);
  • Jews – 22.4% (1,962);
  • Russians – 0.6% (51);
  • Belarusians – 0.1% (8);
  • Germans – 0.1% (6);
  • Other – 0.2% (20).

1897 – 12,743 inhabitants, by language:[16]

  • Polish – 46.2% (5,882);
  • Jewish – 28.5% (3,630);
  • Russian – 18.7% (2,381);
  • Belarusian – 2.8% (357);
  • Mari – 1.2% (156);
  • German – 1.0% (131);
  • Tatar – 0.9% (117);
  • Lithuanian – 0.2% (20);
  • Other – 0.5% (69).
Studzieniczne Lake


Among the popular traditional dishes of north-eastern Poland, including Augustów, are kartacze and potato babka. Popular regional cakes are sękacz and mrowisko (lit. transl. "anthill"). Officially protected traditional foods from Augustów and its surroundings include the Augustów honey (miód augustowski) which comes in several variants,[17] and augustowska jagodzianka, a local yeast roll stuffed with blueberries and topped with streusel, a popular dessert.[18]


The main sports club of the town is Sparta Augustów [pl] with football and canoeing sections.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Augustów is twinned with:[19]

Former twin towns:

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Data for territorial unit 2001011.
  2. ^ "BIP: Urząd Miasta Augustów". Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej (in Polish). Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Baynes, T. S., ed. (1878). "Augustovo" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 79.
  4. ^ a b c " One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Augustowo". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 911.
  5. ^ a b Jarmolik 1982, p. 29.
  6. ^ Everett-Heath, John (2014). The Concise Dictionary of World Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780199580897.
  7. ^ Jarmolik, Włodzimierz (1982). "Rozwój niemieckiego prawa miejskiego na Podlasiu do Unii Lubelskiej 1569 roku" (PDF). Przegląd Historyczny (in Polish). University of Warsaw. 73 (1–2): 25–26, 30. ISSN 0033-2186.
  8. ^ Krzysztof Popiński, Aleksandr Kokurin, Aleksandr Gurjanow, Drogi śmierci. Ewakuacja więzień sowieckich z Kresów Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej w czerwcu i lipcu 1941, Wydawnictwo „Karta”, Warszawa, 1995, p. 19, 42-44 (in Polish)
  9. ^ "Straf- bzw. Arbeitserziehungslager Augustów". (in German). Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  10. ^ European route E67,
  11. ^ Oficerski Yacht Club R.P
  12. ^ "Augustowskie MotoNoce 2018 Official video". Youtube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  13. ^ "X Augustowskie MotoNoce 2018". Mototour.
  14. ^ "(Polish Census of 2002) Deklaracje narodowościowe w gminach w 2002 roku". (in Polish). Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Powiat Augustów". (Polish Census of 1921, Białystok Voivodeship) Skorowidz miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej opracowany na podstawie wyników Pierwszego Powszechnego Spisu Ludności z dn. 30 września 1921 r. i innych źródeł urzędowych, Vol. 5, Województwo Białostockie (PDF) (in Polish). GUS. 1924. p. 1.
  16. ^ "Russian Empire Census of 1897". (in Russian). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Miód augustowski". Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi - Portal (in Polish). Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Augustowska jagodzianka". Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi - Portal (in Polish). Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Miasta partnerskie". (in Polish). Augustów. Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  20. ^ "Augustów zerwał współpracę z białoruskimi miastami" (in Polish). Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Suwałki i Augustów zrywają współpracę z rosyjskimi i białoruskimi miastami" (in Polish). Retrieved 10 March 2022.

External links[edit]