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Central square, with fountain
Central square, with fountain
Lubawa is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°30′N 19°45′E / 53.500°N 19.750°E / 53.500; 19.750
Country Poland
GminaLubawa (urban gmina)
Town rights1260
 • MayorMaciej Radtke
 • Total16.84 km2 (6.50 sq mi)
145 m (476 ft)
 • Total10,269
 • Density610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+48 55
Car platesNIL

Lubawa pronounced [luˈbava] (German: Löbau in Westpreußen[1], Old Prussian: Lūbawa) is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland. It is located in Iława County on the Sandela River, some 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Iława.

Geographical location[edit]

Lubawa is located in Chełmno Land, approximately 15 kilometres (9 miles) north-east of the town of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie, 55 kilometres (34 miles) south-west of the town of Olsztyn and 115 km (71 miles) south-east of the regional centre of Gdańsk, at an altitude of 145 metres (476 feet) above sea level.


In 1214 the local Prussian landlord Surwabuno was christened by Christian of Oliva, the first Catholic bishop of Prussia. The latter is nowadays featured on the coat of arms of Lubawa. The town was first mentioned in a papal bull of January 18, 1216, issued by Pope Innocent III. Soon afterwards a wooden castle was built. Within the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights, the Bishopric of Culm was created in 1243 by William of Modena. In 1257 the town became a property of the church and the seat of the bishops of Culm (Chełmno). In 1268 the castle was destroyed. Between 1301 and 1326 a new castle was built of stone by the local bishop named Arnold. In 1330 it was destroyed by an invasion of Lithuanian forces of Gediminas, but was rebuilt. The town of Löbau was captured by the Kingdom of Poland after the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 but returned to Prussia once the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War ended. However the surrounding Land of Löbau had gone partially to Masovia in the south.

Gothic church St. Anna in Lubawa (1330).[2]

After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466) ending the Thirteen Years' War, the town of Löbau became Warmia administered and soon afterwards became a centre of local trade and commerce. As such it became one of the seats of the bishops of Warmia. In 1533 it was razed to the ground by a great fire mentioned by Erasmus of Rotterdam, but it was soon rebuilt and between 1535 and 1539 Nicolaus Copernicus lived in the local castle. In 1545 the town and the castle were yet again destroyed by a fire.

The town gained significant profits from the trade. In 1627 the castle was refurbished and became a Baroque style palace of Bishop Jan Zadzik. By 1640 construction of water works and sewers had been completed. The town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772 through the First Partition of Poland. Part of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807–13) during the Napoleonic Wars, the town was again annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia after the dissolution of the duchy. In 1815 the palace was destroyed by a fire and in 1826 its walls were demolished. In 1820 the convent of the Benedictine Confederation was suppressed.[3] In 1871 it became a part of the Prussian-led German Empire.

During the Partitions of Poland, and until 1920 Löbau belonged to Kreis Löbau in the administrative district of Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder in the German Province of West Prussia.

Church of St. Barbara, 1770-1779.[2]
Church of John the Baptist

As a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles following the rebirth of sovereign Poland the region became part of the Polish Corridor and the town was incorporated into the Second Polish Republic. In the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland the region was occupied by the Third Reich, and from 26 October 1939 to 1945 Löbau belonged to Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder in the new province of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Nazi regime housed in Löbau a German concentration camp for children;[citation needed] it was liberated on January 21, 1945, during World War II, when the Red Army captured the region. After the end of war Lubawa became part of Poland where it remained since then.


Lubawa is an important centre of furniture industry. Also, a "Lubawa S.A." company is located there, which is the biggest Polish producer of military equipment such as bulletproof vests, currently used by the Polish Army and the Polish press.


Lubawa is a centre of local tourism. The "Wzgórza Lubawskie" forest reserve is located only some ten kilometres (6.2 miles) westwards and the picturesque Drwęca (Drewenz) River flows some five kilometres (3.1 miles) to the west. Also, the nearby battlefield of the Battle of Grunwald attracts many tourists, both from Poland and from abroad, mostly from Germany.

Tourist attractions[edit]

  1. Monument to child prisoners of Nazi Germany
  2. Two 15th-century towers
  3. Parts of city walls from the 14th century
  4. Ruins of a Gothic castle
  5. St. Ann's Church in Lubawa from 1330
  6. St. John's Church from 1496–1507, rebuilt in 1603-10
  7. Wooden Church of St. Barbara from 1779, built in Baroque style.[2]
  8. 19th-century houses
  9. Łazienki Miejskie park
  10. Remnants of wooden sewer system, designed by Nicolaus Copernicus according to urban legend

People from Lubawa[edit]

  • Leopold Harris (né Lewin Hirschkowitz), b. 1836 when Löbau was in Prussia, founder of the Harris & Frank department stores in Los Angeles
  • Harris Newmark


  1. ^ "Former Territory of Germany" (in German). 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ a b c Program opieki nad zabytkami Gminy Miejskiej Lubawa na lata 2013-2016, Krajobraz kulturowy i zabytki nieruchome. Lubawa.
  3. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition, Vol. 12, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, p. 641, no 1).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°30′N 19°45′E / 53.500°N 19.750°E / 53.500; 19.750