From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Zamek Reszel.jpg
Reszel - Widok z zamku na miasto i fare 020.jpg
The brick gothic castle and church
Flag of Reszel
Coat of arms of Reszel
Coat of arms
Reszel is located in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Reszel is located in Poland
Coordinates: 54°3′5″N 21°8′45″E / 54.05139°N 21.14583°E / 54.05139; 21.14583Coordinates: 54°3′5″N 21°8′45″E / 54.05139°N 21.14583°E / 54.05139; 21.14583
Country Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
 • Total3.82 km2 (1.47 sq mi)
 • Total4,896
 • Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Postal code

Reszel [ˈrɛʂɛl] (About this soundlisten) (German: Rößel; Prussian: Resel or Resl) is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northeastern Poland. A small town of Warmia region, with a long history, many historical monuments and various tourist attractions, as of December 31, 2012, the city's population was 4,896. The gothic Castle and the medieval city center surrounded by brick defense walls are very popular among tourists.[1][2]


The castle ca. 1833

Reszel was originally a settlement built by the Bartian tribe of Old Prussians and conquered by the Teutonic Knights in 1241.[3] The native Prussians later recaptured the settlement and held it for five years, but were eventually defeated by the German crusaders. Reszel received its town privileges in 1337 under Magdeburg law. In 1466 Reszel became part of the Kingdom of Poland.[4]

In 1772 Reszel became part of the Prussian Partition of Poland.

In 1811 Barbara Zdunk was sentenced by the Prussian court to death for witchcraft and setting the castle alight in 1807.[5][6] The trial lasted three years. The case was controversial, however the court and King Frederick William III of Prussia approved the verdict in Königsberg and she was sentenced to burn, but was mysteriously strangled before the process.[7][8] The trial is sometimes described as the last burning of witches in Europe.[6][9][10]

As a result of the treaty of Versailles on 11 July 1920 the Warmia and Masuria plebiscite was organized under the control of the League of nations, which resulted 97,90% of votes to remain in Germany and 2,10% for Poland.[11]

Following the Potsdam Conference of 1945, just after the Second World War, the town was transferred from Germany to Poland for administration, as of half of East Prussia.[12] The other half of East Prussia is under Russian administration (Kaliningrad, formerly known as Koenigsberg).

Tourist attractions[edit]

The main tourist attraction is the Gothic Episcopal castle. It was built 1350−1401 on a steep hill side above the right bank of the river Sajna by the Teutonic Order.

The Gothic St Peter's Church dating back to the 14th century boasts the painting of the church's patron dating back to the end of the 18th century. Other worthy of note buildings are the Jesuit complex, St John's Church and the church and convent of the nuns of the Order of St Catherine − all from the 15th and the 16th century. Large fragments of preserved defensive walls and the Classicist town hall in the market square dating back to the 19th century are also worth visiting.

Near Reszel is the Catholic shrine of Święta Lipka (German: Heiligelinde), a baroque church and Late Medieval shrine augmented in the 17th century. Since its beginning it has attracted German pilgrims from Warmia, as well as Polish and Lithuanian pilgrims.

Notable residents[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Castle in Reszel". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Reszel - Cittaslow International". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Reszel Castle, Gmina Reszel, Poland -". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Local history - Information about the town - Reszel - Virtual Shtetl". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Burning of the Last Witch in Europe in Reszel". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Reszel (The Town) - Further Afield - Warsaw". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Barbara Zdunk – ostatnia europejska czarownica?". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ says, Crystal Harvey (21 August 2015). "1811: Barbara Zdunk, the last witch (sort of)". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  10. ^ (15 March 2016). "Spłonęła na stosie, ale wciąż jest groźna!". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Historia miejscowości - Informacje o mieście - Reszel - Wirtualny Sztetl". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Historia". Retrieved 2 April 2017.

External links[edit]