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Historical town hall located on Market Square
Historical town hall located on Market Square
Flag of Chojnice
Coat of arms of Chojnice
Coat of arms
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
County Chojnice County
Gmina Chojnice (urban gmina)
Established 11th century
Town rights 1325
 • Mayor Arseniusz Finster
 • Total 21.05 km2 (8.13 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 40,447[1]
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code 89-600, 89-604, 89-620
Area code(s) +48 52
Car plates GCH

Chojnice [xɔjˈɲit͡sɛ] (About this sound listen) (Kashubian/Pomeranian: Chònice, German: Konitz) is a town in northern Poland with approximately 40 447[1] inhabitants (2011), near the famous Tuchola Forest and many other natural reservoirs. It is the capital of the Chojnice County.

Chojnice has been a part of Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, as it was during the period 1945–1975; during the time span 1975–1998 the town belonged to Bydgoszcz Voivodeship.

Człuchów Gate (Schlochauer Tor)
Fountain in Chojnice
Small basilica
Old Town


Piast Poland[edit]

Chojnice was founded around 1205 (although the date is considered to be estimate)[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. Under Winrich von Kniprode the defense 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 here; they opened their monastery in 1365. In the same century textile production flourished in the town. Between 1417-1436 Konitz became an important centre for textile production.

During the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, in 1410, the town was briefly occupied by Polish troops. On 18 September 1454 the Polish army of King Casimir IV Jagiellon lost the Battle of Chojnice. Short before the end of the Thirteen Years' War the troops of the Teutonic Order, led by Kaspar von Nostiz, surrendered the town in 1466 to the Polish army, after a three-month siege.

Kingdom of Poland (1466-1772)[edit]

After the 2nd Treaty of Thorn Chojnice became part of Poland in 1466. In the same year 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 1620 the first Jesuits came into the town and began the Counter Reformation. 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. A large fire destroyed the town again 1742. The town recovered soon.

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. In 1864 a telegraph connection to 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 took place. In 1909 a used water system was installed in the town. In 1912 the Gazeta Chojnicka, the first Polish language newspaper, appeared in the town.

Poland (1920-1939)[edit]

After the regulations of the Treaty of Versailles had become effective in 1920, Chojnice together with 62% of the area of West Prussia was integrated into the Second Polish Republic, and Polish troops entered the town. In 1932 a regional museum was opened in Chojnice. Chojnice was a town in Polish Pomerania which had experienced the heaviest Germanization out of areas of the Prussian partition of Poland.[6] As symbolic gesture of regained freedom, one of Chojnice citizens Barbara Stammowa broke shackles on the balcony of city town hall-in revenge Nazis murdered her in 1939 when the town was re-occupied by Germany[7]

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

During the Nazi 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.

In 1939 three Polish citizens were executed in the city forest, followed by executions of around 500 more in October and November. Hans Kruger - a Nazi activist - became a judge in Chojnice, and during his rule executions of the local population followed.

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


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. During Nazi occupation Poles and Jews were classified as subhuman and targeted for extermination[citation needed], and region of Chojnice became infamous as the Chojnice Death Valley where up to 2,000 people were executed by the Nazis.[6] After World War II Germans inhabitants either fled or were expelled from the city.



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).[8]


Chojniczanka Chojnice is based in the town.

Number of inhabitants by year[edit]

Year Number
1783 1,350
1831 2,810[9]
1837 3,334[10]
1875 8,064[11]
1880 9,096[11]
1890 10,147[12]
1900 10,697[13]
1905 11,014,
1921 10,500[14]
1933 14,300
1943 18,881
1948 12,400
1960 19,600
1969 24,000[15]
1980 32,000
1990 37,700
2000 40,600
2004 39,670


Associated with the town

See also[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Chojnice is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b Ludność w gminach. Stan w dniu 31 marca 2011 r. - wyniki spisu ludności i mieszkań 2011 r.
  2. ^ Chojnice: dzieje miasta i powiatu Stanisław Gierszewski Zakład Narodowy im Ossolińskich,page 54, 1971
  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. ^ a b Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk „ZESZYTY CHOJNICKIE” 2010, nr 25 Paweł Piotr Mynarczyk Sytuacja polityczna i społeczna w Chojnicach od roku 1920 do przewrotu majowego
  7. ^ Chojnickie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk „ZESZYTY CHOJNICKIE” 2012, nr 27 Małgorzata Hamerska Miejsca pamięci narodowej w powiecie chojnickim Dolina Śmierci w Igłach pod Chojnicami
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Chojnice, Poland
  9. ^ August Eduard Preuß: Preußische Lands- und Volkskunde. Königsberg 1835, p. 384, no. 17).
  10. ^ Johann Gottfried Hofmann: Die Bevölkerung des Preußischen Staats 1837. Berlin 1839, p. 104.
  11. ^ a b Michale Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte - Landkreis Könitz (2006).
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ Meyers Großes Konversationsa-Lexikon, 6. Auflage, 11. Band, Leipzig und Wien 1908, p. 395.
  14. ^ Der Große Brockhaus, 15. Auflage, 10. Band. Leipzig 1931, p. 389.
  15. ^ Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon, 9. Auflage, Band 5, Mannheim Wien Zürich 1978, p. 646.
  16. ^ "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]

Coordinates: 53°42′N 17°34′E / 53.700°N 17.567°E / 53.700; 17.567