Saint Jacob Church
Bakałarzewo [bakawaˈʐɛvɔ], is a village in Suwałki County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, in north-eastern Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Bakałarzewo. It lies approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) west of Suwałki and 114 km (71 mi) north of the regional capital Białystok. The village has a population of 820.
Bakalarzewo was founded in early 16th century, among dense forests of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At that time, it was called Dowspuda Bakalarzewska or Bakalarszczyzna, but by the second half of the 16th century, it was commonly called Bakalarzewo. It owes its name to the nickname of Mikolaj “Bakalarz” Michnowicz, royal writer and one of founders of the town.
By 1558 Bakalarzewo had already had a town charter, with a mayor, a vogt and a starosta. In 1609, local nobleman Mikolaj Wolski funded an altar for the town church: the altar still exists. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries Bakalarzewo remained a small, private town. Following the Partitions of Poland it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia (1795), and after the Congress of Vienna (1815) it became part of Russian-controlled Congress Poland, where it remained until World War One. In 1870, as a punishment for the January Uprising, Russian authorities reduced Bakalarzewo to the status of a village.
In early 20th century, Bakalarzewo had the population of 2,000, with a large Jewish community. In the Second Polish Republic, the village belonged to Bialystok Voivodeship. In 1927, a complex of a new school was built, in 1936 a new church, and in 1937, office building by the market square.
During World War Two Bakalarzewo was almost completely destroyed, as only 10% of all buildings remained standing by 1945. Bakalarzewo was an important center of the Home Army: on May 25, 1944, German soldiers hanged here 12 Home Army members.
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