Market Square with the statue of hetman Stefan Czarniecki
|• Mayor||Krzysztof Chlebowicz|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+48 85|
Tykocin [tɨˈkɔt͡ɕin] Yiddish: טיקטין, Tiktin) is a small town in north-eastern Poland, with 2,010 inhabitants (2012), located on the Narew river. Tykocin has been situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999. Previously, it belonged to Białystok Voivodeship (1975-1998). It is one of the oldest settlements in the region.
History of the town
The name of Tykocin was first mentioned in the 11th century. Through the 14th century it was a Duchy of Masovian castellany seat and castle on the Masovian border neighboring the growing medieval pagan Lithuania. Tykocin received city rights from prince Janusz I of Warsaw in 1425, but several months later it was given to Grand Duchy of Lithuania by the Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło.
Shortly later, or about 1433 AD, Duke Sigismund Kęstutaitis gave the town along with other towns to Jonas Gostautas, and it became the most important power seat of that Lithuanian magnate Gostautai family clan. During the 1560s, upon the family's last member passing away, the town became one of the most favorite properties for Polish king and Lithuanian Grand Prince Sigismund II Augustus who had a Renaissance castle built there instead of the medieval one. It became property of the Crown and eventually it was awarded to hetman Stefan Czarniecki. Later on, through marriage of Czarniecki's daughters it passed to the Branicki (Gryf coat-of-arms) family.
After the Partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth one of the Branickis, Isabela Branicka sold the town to the Prussian government circa 1795. In 1807 it was given to Russia as a part of the Treaty of Tilsit. In 1815 it was returned to the Kingdom of Poland. During the interwar period, the population of Tykocin had reached an estimated 4,000 inhabitants. In 1950 Tykocin lost its city rights due to heavy loss of life during World War II, only to regain it in 1993 after the collapse of communism.
The Jewish population of Tykocin estimated at 2,000 people was eradicated by Nazi Germans during the Holocaust. On 25–26 August 1941 the Jewish residents of Tykocin were assembled at the market square for "relocation", and then marched and trucked by the Nazis into the nearby Łopuchowo forest, where they were executed in waves into pits by SS Einsatzkommando Zichenau-Schroettersburg under SS-Obersturmführer Hermann Schaper. A memorial now exists outside the city for the Tykocin pogrom.
Points of interest
- Tykocin Castle built before 1469, extended in 16th century and partially reconstructed in 2005
- The Baroque Tykocin Synagogue Bejt ha-Kneset ha-Godol, built in 1642, one of the best preserved in Poland from that period and a major tourist attraction.
- A baroque Church of the Holy Trinity and former monastery of Congregation of Mission founded in 1742 by Jan Klemens Branicki
- Baroque monastery dating from 1771–90
- Former military hospital from 1755
- Jewish cemetery – one of the oldest in Poland
- Abundance of white storks and their nests in the area
Monument of Stefan Czarniecki on the square
- Joshua Höschel ben Joseph, a Polish rabbi born in Wilno
- Jan Klemens Branicki, Field Crown Hetman of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
- Bolesław Gebert, Communist Party official
- Łukasz Górnicki, Chancellor of Sigismund Augustus of Poland
- Mikołaj Ostroróg, a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman
- Bogusław Radziwiłł, an Imperial Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
- Janusz Radziwiłł (1612-1655), Polish prince, magnate and Field Hetman of Lithuania
- Paweł Jan Sapieha, Hetman and military commander
- Jan Smółko (b. 1907, AK alias Lokalizator), wife Władysława (b. 1908), Polish Righteous among the Nations – produced over a hundred fake IDs for Tykocin Jews during World War II, based on Catholic parish records.
- Rebecca bat Meir Tiktiner (d. 1550)
- Krzysztof Wiesiołowski
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tykocin.|
- (in Polish) "Rocznica zagłady żydowskiego Tykocina," Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine. (commemoration) Gazeta Wyborcza Białystok, 24 August 2009
- Tykocin na mapie polskich judaików, at www.kirkuty.xip.pl
- Alexander B. Rossino, "Contextualizing Anti-Jewish Violence in the Białystok District during the Opening Weeks of Operation Barbarossa", Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 16 (2003)
- Jan Smółko, deposition made available by the Ostberg Foundation, New York City; Okręgowa Komisja Badania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu w Białymstoku, Merkuriusz Mszonowski, 4(150), 2009, page 34[permanent dead link]
- Tykocin on the map of Poland, at www.pilot.pl
- Tykocin Synagogue photos, at ddickerson.igc.org
- "Tykocin – news, photos... all about this beautiful town," at www.tykocin1425.az.pl.
- Plac Czarnieckiego 10 Anthropological project: art, history and heritage of Tykocin.
- "Tykocin – the town full of history," travel essay
- photos of Tykocin castle and events