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Coordinates: 53°42′N 17°33′E / 53.700°N 17.550°E / 53.700; 17.550
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Chò(j)nice (Kashubian)
Historical town hall located at the Rynek (Market Square)
Historical town hall located at the Rynek (Market Square)
Flag of Chojnice
Coat of arms of Chojnice
Chojnice is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°42′N 17°33′E / 53.700°N 17.550°E / 53.700; 17.550
Country Poland
Voivodeship Pomeranian
GminaChojnice (urban gmina)
Established11th century
Town rights1325
 • MayorArseniusz Finster
 • Total21.37 km2 (8.25 sq mi)
 (30 June 2023[1])
 • Total38,789
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
89-600, 89-604, 89-620
Area code+48 52
Car platesGCH
National roads
Voivodeship roads

Chojnice (Polish: [xɔjˈɲit͡sɛ] ; Kashubian: Chònice or Chòjnice; German: Konitz or Conitz) is a town in northern Poland with 38,789 inhabitants, as of June 2023,[1] near the Tuchola Forest. It is the capital of the Chojnice County in the Pomeranian Voivodeship.


Piast Poland[edit]

Człuchów Gate, one of the landmarks of Chojnice, houses the local historical museum

Chojnice was founded around 1205[2] in Gdańsk Pomerania (Pomeralia), a duchy ruled at the time by the Samborides, who had originally been appointed governors of the province by Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland. Gdańsk Pomerania had been part of Poland since the 10th century, with few episodes of autonomy, yet under Swietopelk II, who came into power in 1217, it gained independence in 1227.[3] The duchy extended roughly from the river Vistula in the east, to the rivers Łeba or Grabowa in the west, and from the rivers Noteć and Brda in the south-west and south, to the Baltic Sea in the north. By 1282 the duchy had returned to Poland.

The town's name is Polish in origin and comes from the name of the river Chojnica (today named Jarcewska Struga) that was located near the town.[4] The name first appears in written documents in 1275.[5]

State of the Teutonic Order (1309–1466)[edit]

In 1309 the Teutonic Knights took over the town, and Chojnice became part of the State of the Teutonic Order.[6] Under Winrich von Kniprode the defensive capabilities and inner structures of the town were improved considerably. Around the middle of the 14th century the stone church of St. John was built. At the same time the Augustinians from the town of Stargard in Pomerania settled in the town; they opened their monastery in 1365. Textile production flourished, and between 1417 and 1436 Konitz became an important centre for textile production.

During the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, in 1410, the town was briefly occupied by Polish troops. In 1440 the town joined the Prussian Confederation, which opposed Teutonic rule,[7] however, it later left the organisation. In 1454 King Casimir IV Jagiellon re-incorporated the territory to the Kingdom of Poland, and the townspeople overthrew the pro-Teutonic town council in attempt to join Poland, however the council with the Teutonic Knights recaptured the town shortly after.[8] On 18 September 1454 the Polish army led by King Casimir IV Jagiellon lost the Battle of Chojnice. During the subsequent Thirteen Years' War there were attempts of the townspeople to resist the Teutonic Knights.[8] Shortly before the end of the war the troops of the Teutonic Order, led by Captain Kaspar Nostitz von Bethe, surrendered the town in 1466 to the Polish army led by Piotr Dunin, after a three-month siege,[9] as the last Teutonic-held town in Gdańsk Pomerania.[10]

Kingdom of Poland (1466–1772)[edit]

Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Filomatów Chojnickich, one of the oldest high schools in Poland

After the Second Peace of Thorn of 1466 the Teutonic Knights renounced any claims to Chojnice, and the town became again part of Poland.[11][10][9] In this time the Barons of Betha who traditionally ruled the city left the town and took up residence in the Prussian and Austrian courts. The town was then located in the Człuchów County in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Chojnice was an important center of cloth production in Poland.[12] Cloth production was the main branch of the local economy, and in 1570, clothiers constituted 36% of all craftsmen in the town.[12] To this day, one of the main streets in the town center is called Ulica Sukienników ("Clothiers' Street").[12]

In the 16th century the city council accepted the Protestant Reformation officially, and Protestants took over the parish church. The Roman Catholic priest Jan Siński died in the following turmoil. In 1555 King Sigismund II Augustus confirmed religious freedom for the city.[9] In 1616 the St. John's church was restored to the Catholics thanks to local parish priest Jan Doręgowski.[9] In 1620 the first Jesuits came into the town and began the Counter Reformation. In 1622 the Jesuits founded a school, which under the name Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Filomatów Chojnickich w Chojnicach is today one of the oldest high schools in Poland.

In the year 1627 a fire destroyed parts of the town. During the Second Northern War (against Sweden, 1655–1660) the Battle of Chojnice (1656) was fought. The town suffered heavily from the siege, plundering and fire, especially in 1657. Cloth production declined as a result of the Swedish invasion, however, it soon revived.[13] In 1733–1744 the Baroque Jesuit Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built.[14] A large fire destroyed the town again in 1742.[15]

Prussia (1772–1871) and German Empire (1871–1920)[edit]

After the first partition of Poland the town became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772. The Prussians abolished the local government, which was restored in 1809.[9] The cloth industry collapsed.[13] The town was subject to anti-Polish policies, including Germanisation. At the local gymnasium, Polish was taught only two hours a week, in 1815-1820 and 1846–1912, and in 1889 the history of Polish literature was removed from the curriculum, while Polish history was not taught at all.[16] Probably in 1830 a secret organization of Polish students was established in the local school.[17] Some Polish students joined the Polish uprisings of 1830 and 1863 in the Russian Partition of Poland.[17] The organisation probably ceased to exist in the 1860s, because in 1870, a new youth philomath organization Mickiewicz was founded, named after the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz.[18] In 1901, due to the threat of repressions by the German authorities, the organization was dissolved to be reactivated after a few months.[18] Among local philomaths were prominent Polish-Kashubian activists and writers Aleksander Majkowski, Florian Ceynowa and Jan Karnowski, future minister and senator in independent Poland Leon Janta-Połczyński [pl], priest, historian and co-founder of the Toruń Scientific Society Stanisław Kujot [pl], co-founder and president of the first Polish scientific society in the United States Dominik Szopiński, as well as priests and activists Bernard Łosiński [pl] and Konstantyn Krefft [pl], who were later murdered by the Germans in Nazi concentration camps in 1940.[19] One of the main escape routes for insurgents of the unsuccessful Polish November Uprising from partitioned Poland to the Great Emigration led through the town.[20] In 1911 the first Polish secret scout troop in the Prussian Partition of Poland was established in the town by Szczepan Łukowicz [pl], who as a military officer later fought in defense of Poland during the Polish–Soviet War (1920) and the German Siege of Warsaw (1939), and was murdered by the Germans during World War II.[21]

In 1864 a telegraph connection to Szczecin (then Stettin) began operation. In 1868 the town was connected to the railway network. This improved industrial development quite considerably. In 1870 a gas power plant was installed. The town was connected in 1873 by the railway to Dirschau (Tczew) and in 1877 by railway to Stettin. In 1886 a new hospital was built in the town. A new railway line to Nakel (Nakło) was opened in 1894. In the year of 1900 the town obtained both a water supply system and an electricity power plant. In 1902 a railway line to Berent (Kościerzyna) was opened. During the time span 1900–1902 the Konitz ritual murder case & antisemitic pogrom was committed by the Germans. In 1909 a sewage system was installed in the town. In 1912 the Gazeta Chojnicka, the first Polish language newspaper, appeared in the town.[22] Chojnice experienced the heaviest Germanisation in Gdańsk Pomerania.[23][24]

Poland (1920–1939)[edit]

Chojnice in 1938

After the regulations of the Treaty of Versailles had become effective in 1920, Chojnice together with 62% of the former province of West Prussia was re-integrated into the Second Polish Republic, which regained independence in 1918, and Polish troops entered the town. A local citizen, Barbara Stammowa, symbolically broke shackles on the balcony of the town hall - in revenge Nazis murdered her in 1939 when the town was re-occupied by Germany.[25] In the interwar period two official visits of Presidents of Poland to Chojnice took place, as Stanisław Wojciechowski visited the town in 1924 and Ignacy Mościcki in 1927.[26] In 1932 a regional museum was opened in Chojnice.

World War II and Nazi German occupation (1939–1945)[edit]

Monument to Polish teachers murdered by the Germans

During the Nazi German invasion of Poland Wehrmacht troops occupied Chojnice on September 1, 1939, in the morning at 4:45 o'clock. This invasion gave rise to the Battle of Chojnice.

From the beginning of the German occupation, German militiamen attacked their Jewish and Polish neighbors. On 26 September 1939 forty people were shot, followed by a priest and 208 psychiatric patients.[27] From late October 1939 through early 1940, mass executions were conducted by SS and the German police as part of the Intelligenzaktion, an action against the Polish intelligentsia.[28] In total, by January 1940 900 Poles and Jews from Chojnice and its surrounding villages were killed,[27] including parliamentarians, teachers, merchants, postal workers, border guards, priests, farmers.[25] The site of the massacres was the Igły Valley near Chojnice, later also known as the Valley of Death.[29]

Hans Kruger - a Nazi activist - became a judge in Chojnice, and during his rule executions of the local population followed.[30] On January 18, 1945, the Germans carried out a single large massacre in the Igły Valley, in which they murdered some 800 Poles.[25]

During the occupation, the Annunciation of Mary church was taken over by Protestants and its interior was devastated.[14]

The Pomeranian Griffin, Kashubian Griffin and Home Army Polish underground resistance organisations were active in the area. In 1943, local Poles managed to save some kidnapped Polish children from the Zamość region, by buying them from the Germans at the local train station.[31]

Chojnice since 1945[edit]

In February 1945 the Red Army captured the town. During the fighting about 800 soldiers died, and the town centre was heavily damaged. After the end of World War II Polish authorities began the reconstruction of the city. In 1945–1975, it was part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, and during the time span 1975–1998 the town belonged to the Bydgoszcz Voivodeship.

In 2002 a new, modern hospital was opened on the north-west outskirts of the town.[32]


The population of Chojnice has increased generally since the 18th century. However, World War I and World War II, reduced the town's population. When the regulations of the Treaty of Versailles became effective in 1920, many Germans left the town. The influence of World War II is evident in the 1948 census showing that the population was reduced by 1,900 people compared to 1933. After World War II Germans inhabitants either fled or were expelled from the city in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement.

Detailed data as of 31 December 2021:[1]

Description All Women Men
Unit person percentage person percentage person percentage
Population 39423 100 20414 51.8% 19009 48.2%
Population density 1872.8 969.8 903.0

Number of inhabitants by year[edit]

Year Population Source
1783 1,350
1831 2,810 [33]
1837 3,334 [34]
1875 8,064 [35]
1880 9,096 [35]
1890 10,147 [36]
1900 10,697 [37]
1905 11,014
1921 10,500 [38]
1933 14,300
1943 18,881
1948 12,400
1960 19,600
1969 24,000 [39]
1980 32,000
1990 37,700
1995 39,872 [1]
2000 39,485
2005 39,752
2010 40,478
2015 40,043
2020 39,647
2021 39,423


Various sights of Chojnice
Basilica of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist
Old Town
Annunciation of the Mary Church
Fountain at the market square

The Museum of History and Ethnography in Chojnice opened in 1932. It was damaged during World War II and reopened in 1960.[24] It is located in the medieval town walls and Człuchów Gate.

The town also has a number of medieval and early modern buildings, including several churches. The most prominent churches are the Gothic Basilica of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist in Chojnice [pl] and the Baroque Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Chojnice [pl].



Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb". (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[40]

Climate data for Chojnice (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1951–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 0.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3.8
Record low °C (°F) −26.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.5
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 6.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 17.47 15.50 13.60 11.40 13.37 13.47 14.47 13.80 13.10 15.43 16.60 18.20 176.40
Average snowy days (≥ 0 cm) 15.8 14.4 7.4 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 2.9 9.6 50.8
Average relative humidity (%) 90.5 86.9 80.3 70.9 71.2 73.1 74.3 75.1 81.0 86.5 92.1 92.5 81.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 41.2 68.6 133.1 207.2 260.6 261.8 260.8 245.9 171.1 114.3 45.9 31.6 1,842.2
Source 1: Institute of Meteorology and Water Management[41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48]
Source 2: Meteomodel.pl (records, relative humidity 1991–2020)[49][50][51]


Chojniczanka Chojnice football club is based in the town.

Notable people[edit]

Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł
Misheel Jargalsaikhan, 2016

International relations[edit]

Chojnice is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Retrieved 2022-06-03. Data for territorial unit 2202011.
  2. ^ Stanisław Gierszewski, Chojnice: dzieje miasta i powiatu, Zakład Narodowy im Ossolińskich, 1971, p. 54
  3. ^ James Minahan, One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 375, ISBN 0-313-30984-1.
  4. ^ Nazwy miast Pomorza Gdańskiego - page 46 Hubert Górnowicz, Zygmunt Brocki, Edward Breza - 1999 Tak więc Chojnica (późniejsze Chojnice) jest polską nazwą topograficzną, ponowioną od nazwy rzeki Chojnica
  5. ^ Chojnice - Urząd Miejski - Historia
  6. ^ "Kiedy nie pomogły machiny miotające, Krzyżacy postawili szubienice". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  7. ^ Górski, Karol (1949). Związek Pruski i poddanie się Prus Polsce: zbiór tekstów źródłowych (in Polish). Poznań: Instytut Zachodni. p. XXXVII.
  8. ^ a b Biskup, Marian (2014). "Oblężenie i odzyskanie Chojnic przez Polskę w r. 1466". Zeszyty Chojnickie (in Polish). No. 29. Chojnice: Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. p. 15.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Z dziejów miasta". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  10. ^ a b Biskup, p. 19
  11. ^ Górski, p. 89-90, 207
  12. ^ a b c Look, Witold (2014). "Sukiennictwo chojnickie". Zeszyty Chojnickie (in Polish). No. 29. Chojnice: Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. p. 20.
  13. ^ a b Look, p. 21
  14. ^ a b "Kościół pojezuicki p.w. Zwiastowania Najświętszej Marii Panny". Urząd Miejski w Chojnicach (in Polish, English, and German). 18 May 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Z PAMIĘTNIKA BURMISTRZA". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  16. ^ Szews, Jerzy (2014). "Filomaci chojniccy". Zeszyty Chojnickie (in Polish). No. 29. Chojnice: Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. p. 41.
  17. ^ a b Szews, p. 42
  18. ^ a b Szews, p. 43
  19. ^ Szews, p. 45-47
  20. ^ Umiński, Janusz (1998). "Losy internowanych na Pomorzu żołnierzy powstania listopadowego". Jantarowe Szlaki (in Polish). Vol. 4, no. 250. p. 16.
  21. ^ Szews, p. 44. 46
  22. ^ "ROLA I ZNACZENIE PRASY LOKALNEJ". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  23. ^ Mynarczyk, Paweł Piotr (2010). "Sytuacja polityczna i społeczna w Chojnicach od roku 1920 do przewrotu majowego". Zeszyty Chojnickie (in Polish). No. 25. Chojnice: Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk.
  24. ^ a b "Strona główna - Muzeum Historyczno-Etnograficzne w Chojnicach". chojnicemuzeum.pl. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  25. ^ a b c Hamerska, Małgorzata (2012). "Miejsca pamięci narodowej w powiecie chojnickim". Zeszyty Chojnickie (in Polish). No. 27. Chojnice: Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. p. 59.
  26. ^ "Panie i Panowie - Prezydent RP". Historia Chojnic (in Polish). Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  27. ^ a b The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939–45, Nicholas Stargardt
  28. ^ Witnesses of War: Children's Lives Under the Nazis, Nicholas Stargardt
  29. ^ Hamerska, p. 58
  30. ^ Funktionäre Mit Vergangenheit: Das Gründungspräsidium Des Bundesverbandes Der Vertriebenen Und Das "dritte Reich" 2013 Michael Schwartz page 437 Walter de Gruyter 2013
  31. ^ Kozaczyńska, Beata (2020). "Gdy zabrakło łez... Tragizm losu polskich dzieci wysiedlonych z Zamojszczyzny (1942-1943)". In Kostkiewicz, Janina (ed.). Zbrodnia bez kary... Eksterminacja i cierpienie polskich dzieci pod okupacją niemiecką (1939–1945) (in Polish). Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Biblioteka Jagiellońska. p. 123.
  32. ^ "Chojnicki Szpital ma już 10 lat!". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  33. ^ August Eduard Preuß: Preußische Lands- und Volkskunde. Königsberg 1835, p. 384, no. 17).
  34. ^ Johann Gottfried Hofmann: Die Bevölkerung des Preußischen Staats 1837. Berlin 1839, p. 104.
  35. ^ a b Michale Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte - Landkreis Könitz (2006).
  36. ^ Neighborhood Dilemmas: The Poles, the Germans and the Jews in Pomerania Along the Vistula River in the 19th and 20th Century : a Collection of Studies Jan Sziling, Mieczysław Wojciechowski Wydawn. Uniw. Mikołaja Kopernika, 2002 page 12
  37. ^ Meyers Großes Konversationsa-Lexikon, 6. Auflage, 11. Band, Leipzig und Wien 1908, p. 395.
  38. ^ Der Große Brockhaus, 15. Auflage, 10. Band. Leipzig 1931, p. 389.
  39. ^ Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon, 9. Auflage, Band 5, Mannheim Wien Zürich 1978, p. 646.
  40. ^ Climate Summary for Chojnice, Poland
  41. ^ "Średnia dobowa temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  42. ^ "Średnia minimalna temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  43. ^ "Średnia maksymalna temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  44. ^ "Miesięczna suma opadu". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  45. ^ "Liczba dni z opadem >= 0,1 mm". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  46. ^ "Średnia grubość pokrywy śnieżnej". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  47. ^ "Liczba dni z pokrywą śnieżna > 0 cm". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  48. ^ "Średnia suma usłonecznienia (h)". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  49. ^ "Chojnice Absolutna temperatura maksymalna" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  50. ^ "Chojnice Absolutna temperatura minimalna" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  51. ^ "Chojnice Średnia wilgotność" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  52. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.

External links[edit]