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Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Barczewo
Coat of arms
Barczewo is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°50′N 20°41′E / 53.833°N 20.683°E / 53.833; 20.683
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
County Olsztyn
Gmina Barczewo
 • Total 4.58 km2 (1.77 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 7,401
 • Density 1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
Postal code 11-010

Barczewo [barˈt͡ʂɛvɔ] (German: Wartenburg in Ostpreußen)[1] is a town in Olsztyn County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland. It is located 20 km NE of Olsztyn. The town dates its beginnings from 1325. Initially inhabited by the Baltic Old Prussians, with the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466 the area became part of the Kingdom of Poland until 1772; 1772-1945 Kingdom of Prussia and Germany (East Prussia).


The German name of the town ("Wartenburg") has its origins from the town of Wartenburg (Elbe).[2] In Polish the town was known historically as Wartembork, Wartenberg, Wartenbergk, Wathberg, Bartenburg, Warperc, Wasperc, Wartbór or Wartbórz. The modern name Barczewo is honouring Polish national activist who fought against Prussian oppression of Poles in Warmia Walenty Barczewski (1865–1928) and was given in December 1946 after the area was transferred to Poland.[3] It was briefly named Nowowiejsk, after composer and local son Feliks Nowowiejski, in September 1946.


The town was first located in 1325 but was soon after destroyed by Lithuanians. The rebuild town was granted city rights in 1364. In 1466, after the Second Peace of Toruń, the town, then known as "Wartberg",[3] became part of Kingdom of Poland. In 1772, after the First partition of Poland it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. The local monastery was secularised in 1810 after the dead of the last monk it became a prison since 1834.[2][4] A Jewish community started to exist after 1815, a Synagogue was built in 1847, a confessional cemetery existed.[5]

In the East Prussian plebiscite of 1920 most of the inhabitants (3014 Votes for East Prussia and only 149 Votes for Poland) voted to remain in Weimar German East Prussia.[3]

In World War II the small remaining Jewish community was murdered in the Holocaust.[5] The town was occupied by Soviet troops without a fight on 31 January 1945. On 22 May 1945 the town, now destroyed at 60%, was handed over to Polish officials.

Historical population[edit]

  • 1861: 3,272 (77 Jews)
  • 1875: 4,055
  • 1880: 4,499 (111 Jews)
  • 1933: 4,818 (40 Jews)
  • 1939: 5,841 (23 Jews)[5][6]


Museum of the Polish composer Feliks Nowowiejski (1877-1946) in Barczewo, who was born in the city. The museum is located in the family home of the composer.

Sites of interest[edit]


  1. ^ "Former Territory of Germany" (in German). 2017-11-12.
  2. ^ a b Jackiewicz-Garniec, Malgorzata; Garniec, Miroslaw (2009). Burgen im Deutschordensstaat Preussen (in German). p. 76.
  3. ^ a b c Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (in Polish)
  4. ^ Na przełomie lat 1819-1920 postanowiono rozwiązać klasztor, który był twierdzą polskości. W 1821 r., dokonano sekularyzacji, zmuszając zakonników do opuszczenia klasztoru. Wraz ze śmiercią ostatniego gwardiana, o. Tyburcjusza Bojarzynowskiego (1830), ostatni zakonnicy opuścili klasztor, który tego samego roku całkowicie opustoszał Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2013-10-10.
  6. ^ verwaltungsgeschichte (in German)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°50′N 20°41′E / 53.833°N 20.683°E / 53.833; 20.683