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ul. Piłsudskiego in Grajewo
ul. Piłsudskiego in Grajewo
Coat of arms of Grajewo
Coat of arms
Grajewo is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°39′N 22°27′E / 53.650°N 22.450°E / 53.650; 22.450
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Podlaskie
County Grajewo County
Gmina Grajewo (urban gmina)
Established 15th century
Town rights 1540
 • Mayor Dariusz Latarowski
 • Total 18.93 km2 (7.31 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 21,499
 • Density 1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 19-200
Area code(s) +48 86
Car plates BGR

Grajewo pronounced [ɡraˈjɛvɔ] is a town in north-eastern Poland with 21,499 inhabitants (2016). It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (since 1999); previously, it was in Łomża Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Grajewo County.[1]


Neo-Gothic Church of the Holy Trinity

The first settlements in the region of modern Grajewo already existed in the early 15th century. The first documented mention is from the year 1426. In 1540 the town obtained municipal rights from Polish King Sigismund I the Old. Around 1800 the town had 23 houses and 218 inhabitants.

Partitions of Poland[edit]

After the Partitions of Poland by the neighbouring empires, in 1815 Grajewo became part of the Russian Congress Poland. In the second half of the 19 century, trade and handicrafts developed. Due to the participation of the population in the January Uprising against Tsarist Russia, the town lost its municipal rights in 1870. With the establishment of a rail link between the German city of Lyck and the then-Russian-controlled city of Białystok, the town’s development was accelerated.

A Jewish community existed in Grajewo from the late 18th century. At times, Jews formed a majority of the town population. In 1808, 197 Jews live in the town, 39% of the total population. In 1827 they made up a majority, with 57% of the population. In 1857 the percentage rose to 76% and in 1897 over 4,000 Jews lived in the town. Following the First World War, the Jewish population fell sharply. In 1921, 2,834 Jews lived in the town, 39% of the population.[2]

World wars[edit]

During the First World War a large part of the town was destroyed. Following the war, the town became part of the Polish Republic and was granted municipal rights again on July 4, 1919. Between the world wars, Grajewo was the seat of a district office and had around 9,500 inhabitants.

In the night of September 6-7, 1939, the town was occupied by the Germans. On September 21, the Germans turned the town over to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union lost the town to the Germans in June 1941. In August, 1941 a Grajewo Ghetto was established in which between 1,600 and 2,000 Jews were imprisoned. Most of them were deported to the German extermination camps in Treblinka and Auschwitz in December 1942 and January 1943. The Red Army marched into Grajewo again on January 23, 1945. The war cost the lives of around 5,000 people in Grajewo and about 30% of the town was destroyed.

Points of interest[edit]

  • Wooden houses from the 19th century
  • Classicist chapel of Wilczewski family from 1839 at the cemetery
  • Neo-Gothic church of the Holy Trinity from 1882
  • Church belfry from 1837
  • Tavern from mid 19th century
  • Railway station from 1873
  • Roadside chapels from mid 19th century
  • Building of a local Secondary School from 1931
  • The market square from the 18th century


Notable people from Grajewo[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Grajewo: Official website. General information. (Polish, with Google translate).
  2. ^ Grajewo Memorial Book Yizkor Project (Yiddish & English).

Coordinates: 53°39′N 22°27′E / 53.650°N 22.450°E / 53.650; 22.450