Manor in Rajgród
|• Total||35.18 km2 (13.58 sq mi)|
|• Density||48/km2 (120/sq mi)|
Rajgród has a long and rich history, with first human settlements dating back to c. 9000 BC. In the Middle Ages, the Yotvingians founded here a settlement called Raj, which was located on a hill. Raj became main town of a Yotvingian tribe. According to chronicler Wigand of Marburg, in 1360 Polish King Casimir III the Great ordered the castellan of Wizna to build a defensive castle near Rajgród. The fate of the castle has not been established, but probably it was destroyed by the Teutonic Knights.
The town of Rajgród was first mentioned in 1429, when a man named Mikołaj of Rajgród sold real estate to his brother Jan. Some time in the early 1440s, a gord was established here and Rajgród emerged as a local wood trade center. After the Treaty of Melno, the gord was transferred from Polish Mazovia to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In c. 1505, King Alexander I gave Rajgród to a nobleman named Michał Gliński, and in 1509, King Sigismund III of Poland handed the area of Rajgród and Goniądz to Mikołaj Radziwiłł.
In 1568, Rajgród was granted town charter, and next year, following the Union of Lublin, together with the region of Podlasie it was transferred back to the Kingdom of Poland. In 1570, Rajgród became a royal town and a seat of a starosta (first starosta was Marcin Dulski). In c. 1602, a large manor house was constructed for the local administration. In 1679, King John III Sobieski confirmed Rajgród’s privileges and charter, and in 1764, a new church was built.
During the partitions
On July 10, 1794, during the Kościuszko Uprising, a party of patriotic aristocracy and townspeople was defeated here by a detachment of the Prussian Army. After the third partition of Poland (1795), the town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, but in 1807 it was transferred to the Russian Empire. During the November Uprising, a battle between Polish and Russian forces took place here on May 29, 1831. Rajgród lost its town charter in 1863, as a punishment for its residents’ support of the January Uprising, and remained a village until 1924.
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