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Ciechanów City Hall
Ciechanów City Hall
Coat of arms of Ciechanów
Coat of arms
Ciechanów is located in Poland
Coordinates: 52°52′N 20°38′E / 52.867°N 20.633°E / 52.867; 20.633
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Masovian
County Ciechanów County
Gmina Ciechanów (urban gmina)
Established 11th century
City rights 1400
 • Mayor Krzysztof Kosiński
 • Total 32.51 km2 (12.55 sq mi)
Highest elevation 151 m (495 ft)
Lowest elevation 116 m (381 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 45,902
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code 06-400 to 06-413
Area code(s) +48 023
Car plates WCI

Ciechanów [t͡ɕeˈxanuf] (About this sound listen) (German: Zichenau) is a city in north-central Poland with 45,900 inhabitants (2006). It is situated in Masovian Voivodeship (since 1999). It was previously (1975–98) the capital of Ciechanów Voivodeship.


The settlement is first mentioned in a 1065 document by Bolesław II the Bold handing the land over to the church. The medieval gord in Ciechanów numbered approximately 3,000 armed men,[1] and together with the province of Mazovia, it probably became part of the Polish state in the late 10th century.

Castle of the Mazovian Dukes

In 1254, Ciechanów is mentioned as the seat of a castellany (Rethiborius Castellanus de Techanow (Racibor, Kasztelan Ciechanowa)). In 1400 Janusz I of Czersk granted Ciechanów town privileges.[2] The area eventually become a separate duchy with Casimir I of Warsaw using the title "dominus et heres lub dominus et princeps Ciechanoviensis."

In the Middle Ages, the defensive gord of Ciechanów protected northern Mazovia from raids of Lithuanians, Yotvingians, Old Prussians and later, the Teutonic Knights. It is not known when it was granted a town charter. This must have happened before 1475, as a document from that year, issued by Duke Janusz II of Warsaw, states that Ciechanów has a Chełmno town charter.

In the period between the 14th and 16th centuries, Ciechanów prospered with the population reaching 5,000. In the late 14th century, Siemowit III, Duke of Masovia, began construction of a castle, while his son Janusz I of Warsaw invited the Augustinians, who in the mid-15th century began construction of a church and an abbey. In 1526, together with all Mazovia, Ciechanów was annexed by the Kingdom of Poland. In the Masovian Voivodeship, Ciechanów was the seat of a separate administrative unit, the Land of Ciechanów.

The town was handed over to Bona Sforza, as her dowry. Ciechanów prospered until the Swedish invasion of Poland (1655-1660), when the town was burned and ransacked.

After the second partition of Poland (1793), Ciechanów briefly became seat of a newly created voivodeship. In 1795, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, and reduced to the status of a provincial town in Przasnysz county. In 1806, during the Napoleonic Wars, Ciechanów was ransacked and destroyed. Since 1815, the town belonged to Russian-controlled Congress Poland. Its residents actively supported Polish rebellions. In the late 19th century, Ciechanów emerged as a local trade and industry center. In 1864, a brewery was opened, in 1867 it became seat of a county, in 1877 a rail station of the Vistula River Railroad was completed, and in 1882 a sugar refinery was opened. The period of prosperity was short, as during World War I, Ciechanów was almost completely destroyed.

In the Second Polish Republic, Ciechanów remained seat of a county in Warsaw Voivodeship. In 1938, its population was 15,000, and the town was a military garrison, home to the 11th Uhlan Regiment of Marshall Edward Smigly-Rydz.

World War II[edit]

Pułtuska's Hall in Ciechanów

Ciechanów was captured by the Wehrmacht on the night of September 3/4, 1939. The town was annexed by Nazi Germany and was known as Zichenau in German. It was the capital of Regierungsbezirk Zichenau, a new subdivision of the Province of East Prussia. On January 17, 1945, Ciechanów was captured by the Red Army, and was restored to Poland after the war.

Before World War II, it was home to a large Jewish community but during the Nazi occupation, in the winter of 1942, the majority of the Jewish community were transported to the Red Forest (Czerwony Bór, Podlaskie Voivodeship) north-east of town and murdered by gunfire.[3] During the war many Polish Jews and resistance fighters were executed by the Germans in the castle.


  • Castle of the Mazovian Dukes from the 14th century, alongside the Łydynia river
  • Farska Hill – fortified settlement from the 7th century with a Neo-Gothic belfry from the 19th century
  • St. Joseph's parish church in Ciechanów – Late Gothic building from the 16th century
  • Monastery Augustinian Church from the 16th and 18th centuries
  • City Hall from the 19th century
  • Parish cemetery which has functioned since 1828
  • Hyperboloid water tower, built in 1972


  • Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa
  • Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu i Zarządzania

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Ciechanów is twinned with:[4]


  1. ^ Bogusław Gierlach, Zapiski Ciechanowskie, vol. II p. 9-12, MOBN Ciechanów 1977; and Studia nad archeologią średniowiecznego Mazowsza, Warsaw 1975, p. 24)
  2. ^ W. Górczyk, Ciechanów- Lokacja i Geneza herbu, In Tempore, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika,s.3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 23, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  3. ^ D.P. (February 13, 2007). "Międzynarodowy Dzień Ofiar Holokaustu: Zagłada ciechanowskich Żydów". Historia. Tygodnik Ciechanowski. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ciechanów Twin towns". Urząd Miasta Ciechanów. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Ville de Meudon – Villes jumelles". Ville de Meudon. Archived from the original on May 7, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°53′N 20°37′E / 52.883°N 20.617°E / 52.883; 20.617