Bory Tucholskie

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The Bory Tucholskie within the geomorphological division of Poland
Tucheler Heide in southwestern West Prussia near the cities of Konitz and Tuchel on a map from 1896

The Bory Tucholskie (German Tucheler Heide , Kashubian : Tëchòlsczé Bòrë ) is a large forest and heather landscape near Tuchola ( Tuchel ) in the northern Polish Voivodeship of Kuyavian-Pomerania . Part of the heather is the Bory Tucholskie National Park, founded in 1996 , which forms the core of a biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO .

Position and extent

Covering an area of ​​around 3,200 km², the Tucheler Heide forms one of the largest forest areas in Poland and Central Europe . The area lies between the Brahe in the west and the Schwarzwasser in the east in the western Vistula region . In the south-east the forest area reaches close to the Vistula lowland, to the north-west it goes slightly beyond the stretch of the Prussian Eastern Railway ( Linia kolejowa nr 203 ). The largest cities are Czersk with around 9,500 inhabitants in the northwest and Tuchel with around 14,000 inhabitants on the western edge. The former Royal Forest Wirthy on Bordzichower See with the Arboretum Wirty, founded in 1875, forms the north-eastern foothills of the heather .

In June 2010 UNESCO elevated the forest to a biosphere reserve under the MAB program . The core area of ​​the reserve consists of the Bory Tucholskie National Park (Polish: Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie ) and 25 nature reserves in the buffer zone. The buffer zone is formed by the Tucholski Park Krajobrazowy, the Wdecki Landscape Park (Wdecki Park Krajobrazowy), the Wdzydze Landscape Park (Wdzydzki Park Krajobrazowy) and the Zaborski Landscape Park (Zaborski Park Krajobrazowy) in the rural communities of Chojynice and Brus . Tuchel and the surrounding districts are part of a transition zone. The core area of ​​the biosphere reserve covers 78.81 km², all three zones together 3,195 km².

Origin, landscape and climate

Kamień św. Wojciecha (St. Adalbert's Stone) 2007

The Tucheler Heide was created as a typical sand surface during the Vistula Ice Age . Meltwater from the Pomeranian ice-edge location immediately to the north poured large amounts of sand into their foreland. The previously existing ground moraine areas were largely buried, but their highest parts still protrude from the sandy areas like islands. The heathland continues to be characterized by numerous lakes, the structure of which is mainly due to meltwater erosion in glacial channels , combined with sealing the basins with dead ice . Majority witness of glacial surface forming the Felstone ( Diabelski kamień ) at Leosia / Gródek ( GRODDECK ) , a boulder of granite having a circumference of 24.50 meters, a width of 8.80 meters, a height of 3.80 meters and a Weight of around 1,750 quintals. The natural monument ( pomnik przyrody ) is the third largest boulder in Poland and is now mostly called the Stone of St. Adalbert ( kamień świętego Wojciecha ).

1914 wrote Adalbert Luntowski (1883-1934), who later Adalbert Reinwald called and in the spirit of migrant bird guide , Fichte Society from 1914 and life reform movement for the Germanic modernism and the birth of the German people recruited:

“We see a stretched plateau, lined with pine trees, monotonous, always the same picture. Only rarely white birch or alder stands. But a lot of forest bog, and more and more heathland after heather. [...] Juniper, here called kaddik, heather, blueberry bushes, cranberry bushes, thistles, sand carnations, mosses, lichens, rarely undergrowth - a great, wide solitude, a melancholy solitude, even more haunted melancholy when we trudge through wide sandy soils, or when we are the dark gaze of a boggy water makes one linger, and all around a great heroic silence; you hear bees and bumblebees buzzing in the air, you hear the song of larks rising against the pale blue sky, but these voices make the loneliness and the great silence even more audible, even more severe and serious. "

- Adalbert Luntowski: German walks.

The area with its loamy-sandy, diluvial soils lies in the transition area between a mild maritime and continental climate . Sometimes very long and severe winters characterize the dry region with the low average rainfall of 600 mm / year. The average annual mean temperature is 6.7  ° C , the vegetation period is around 200 days a year (the data refer to the northeast region at Arboretum Wirty).

Flora and fauna

Pine trees in the Tucheler Heide

Pine , spruce and beech trees originally dominated the sandy soils . After deforestation and afforestation in the 17th century, the forest largely developed into a pine monoculture, interspersed with some oaks , hornbeams , aspen and linden trees , some of which were planted . According to Luntowski, in 1914 between the Mukrzsee and Ebensee (in today's Wdecki-Landschaftspark ) there was the 19-hectare Zisbusch, protected as a natural monument since 1827, with around 5,000 specimens of the European yew , even then a species of yew that was increasingly disappearing in Germany . Even today, the yew forest with around 3,500 remaining and up to 500 years old specimens is under nature protection. Warmth-loving species are mainly found on the slopes of the Vistula. Cranberries , swamp porst , numerous species of deciduous moss and Sphagnaceae from the genus of peat moss can be found in the moors, some of which formed in the deforested areas . Noteworthy in the national park are the occurrences of the rare water lobelia , the sea ​​bream and the European strandling .

Vendace , eel , perch , tench , bream and eel tadpole live in the lakes . White-tailed eagles , ospreys , cranes , black storks , eagle owls , golden ducks and kingfishers are among the many bird species in the Tuchel Heath. The frequent occurrence of bats is unusual . These include the rough-skin bat , the brown long-eared bat , the great mouse- eared bat , the water bat and the fringed bat . On larger mammals are deer , roe deer , wild boars , foxes , martens , beavers , otters , badgers and in severe winters occasionally wolves found.


Archaeological finds of tools show that the forest area was inhabited by the early Stone Age at the latest . Traffic routes that ran through the heather have been documented for the Late Bronze Age . After the emigration of the Gothic tribes of the Wielbark culture , West Slavic tribes spread in the Vistula region from the end of the 6th century .

Duchy of Pomerellen, German Order and Polish Crown

Around 1100 the heath belonged to the Slavic Duchy of Pomerellen , whose dukes used the area as a hunting ground due to its abundance of game and settled the peripheral areas. After Danzig was taken over by the Teutonic Order on November 13, 1308, the Tucheler Heide was also subject to the Teutonic Knights Order , who continued to cultivate the edge areas and better soil conditions in the forest. Under the agrarian constitution of the order, only the grand masters were allowed to hunt. A major settlement of the heath did not begin until the end of the order's rule. After the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466, the Tucheler Heide came under the suzerainty of the Polish crown as part of Royal Prussia for over three hundred years and was administered by Starosten .

Beutner (beekeeping)

After presentation Adalbert Luntowskis the awarded starosts at their convenience terms of any kind to individuals and entire villages. This has led to a relentless use of the forest and deforestation, and no reforestation has been taken care of. In particular, the excessive consumption of the bees , which was carried out to create ring-shaped protective trenches with the clear burning of the area around the prey trunks, caused considerable damage. The beekeepers could have proceeded largely uncontrolled because of the high taxes paid to the Starosts and because of their traditional guild rights. The booty was extremely profitable. In 1772/73, for example, the income from the booty in the Schlochauer Beritt was over 500  thalers , while the sale of wood in the same Beritt only brought in around 15 thalers. For damage to the booty, the Schwetzer Beutnerrecht provided for draconian penalties in Articles 16 and 17:

“Anyone who willfully and secretly rob foreign booty should be punished with the gallows. Anyone who tears open his or someone else's prey should be handed over to the executioner, who pulls him out around the tree, wherever he tears the bees, pulls out the entrails and then hangs them up on the same tree. "

- Schwetzer Beutnerrecht, Articles 16 and 17.

After the First Partition of Poland in 1772, again under Prussian rule, the authorities radically curbed the booty, mainly because of the high risk of forest fires caused by the bald burn. While there were 20,000 prey tribes in the Schwetz forest district in 1772, there were only 2,500 in 1802. Later on, preying was banned entirely in the Royal Forests.

Prussian wood chamber

The Great Brahe Canal (Wielki Kanał Brdy) in the Tuchel Heath
The Great Brahe Canal (Wielki Kanał Brdy) in the Tuchel Heath
Lake Żabinek in the central heath

According to Luntowski, who strikes a strange song, at least from today's point of view, about the discipline of the Prussian forest official and the order-loving German nature, the Tucheler Heide in 1772 presented a bleak forestry picture. Only small stocks of good wood were left, the settlements of the Teutonic Order are in ruins. Frederick the Great personally inspected the Tucheler Heide and issued a series of ordinances to turn the forest into Prussia's wooden chamber . The Starosteigüter and spiritual possessions were confiscated, survey the land and hunting divided. The administration of the state forests was subordinated to the War and Domain Chamber, the jurisdiction to the chief forest master . The positions of forest officials were initially filled exclusively with officers and soldiers. Fallow areas were afforested and young plantings were enclosed. Wood processing industries were promoted, tributaries of the Brahe and the black water made floatable. Between 1811 and 1813 the work suffered a temporary setback when French troops first advanced through the heath and then withdrew.

Forest fires

According to Luntowski, the Prussian state had largely bought the rights of use from the forest and heather inhabitants, but the population saw itself in part deprived of its centuries-long livelihood. The resentment of the population was allegedly reflected in increased game and wood theft as well as active arson. The population was often reluctant and slow to take part in extinguishing work. The dry terrain was (and is) susceptible to forest fires anyway , the danger of which, in addition to the bald burn by the Beutner, was promoted by the numerous tar smelting works . Statistics allegedly show that the displeasure of the population was reflected in increased forest fires, especially in politically explosive times. So were destroyed by fires in the Tucheler Heide:

A total of 310 fires are said to have taken place between 1860 and 1889 alone, which killed 4,206 hectares of forest area.

Imperial Era, First and Second World War

During the imperial era, west of Graudenz, the military training area Gruppe (also Gruppa, Polish Grupa) was located in West Prussia , the name of which found its way into the specialist literature through medical knowledge gained there. During the First World War , the pacifist -minded doctor Georg Friedrich Nicolai was transferred here as a punishment.

After the First World War, the area southwest of Danzig was ceded to Poland ( Polish Corridor ) in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles . Therefore, from 1919 to 1939, Reichsstrasse 1 only led through the Tucheler Heide unofficially. During the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the battle in the Tucheler Heide was fought here.

After the German occupation of Poland, this area was again incorporated into the German Empire. On October 21, 1939, the farmer Hugo Fritz, who was appointed official commissioner in Petzin, was killed in the fire in his barn. The local police charged Poland with arson. Heinrich Mocek , inspector of the "self-protection" in Konitz, then arbitrarily arrested residents in the area and announced that every three days 40 hostages would be killed if the perpetrators could not be found. On October 24th the shootings began near Rudabrück in the Tucheler Heide. By November 20, 335 Poles had been murdered, including the priest Piotr Sosnowski . Mocek was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Mannheim district court in 1965 .

During the Second World War , between August 1944 and January 1945, a total of 107 A4 rockets were launched from the area of ​​the SS military training area West Prussia under the direction of General Walter Dornberger for experimental purposes and for training the units on the rocket weapon from this area in a southerly direction. In the East Prussian operation , the Germans had to evacuate the area under the cover name "Heidekraut". Towards the end of the Second World War, the region was occupied by the Red Army in the spring of 1945 . In the period that followed, the German population, unless they had fled, was expelled by the local Polish administrative authorities .

See also


  • August Eduard Preuss : Prussian country and folklore or description of Prussia. A manual for primary school teachers in the province of Prussia, as well as for all friends of the fatherland . Bornträger Brothers, Königsberg 1835, pp. 120–121, item 3a.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Schmitt : Country and people in West Prussia . In: Journal for Prussian History and Regional Studies . Volume 7, Berlin 1870, pp. 33-47. , in particular p. 40 ff.
  • Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. Danzig. The Vistula Valley. The Tucheler Heide. Volume 6 of: German walks . Ed .: Free Association of Teachers for Art Care in Berlin. Published by George Westermann , Braunschweig 1914.
  • Erich Wernicke: Hikes through the Tuchler Heide . Kafemann, Danzig 1913 ( digitized version ).
  • R. Schütte: The Tucheler Heide mainly in forestry relation. Bertling, Danzig 1893. ( digitized in the digital library Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
  • Umiński Janusz: Bory Tucholskie. Szlaki turystyczne. 1988, ISBN 83-7005-114-6 (Polish).
  • Kondracki Jerzy: Geografia Regionalna Polski. Warszawa 2002, ISBN 83-01-13897-1 (Polish).

Web links

Commons : Bory Tucholskie  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Tuchola Forest  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jerzy Kondracki: Geografia Polski. Mezoregiony fizyczno-geograficzne. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 1994, ISBN 83-01-11422-3 (Polish).
  2. Information from Chief Forester Marter, reproduced by: L (udwig) Beißner , Bonn-Poppelsdorf: Annual meeting in Danzig and excursions from 4. – 10. August 1911. In it: Royal Forest Wirthy . In: Communications of the German Dendrological Society , 1911, editing: Graf von Schwerin , President of the Society; Submission: L (udwig) Beissner, Royal Garden Inspector, Managing Director of the company. P. 343 ff. P. 344 online
  3. ^ Website of the biosphere reserve (Polish).
  4. ^ A b Frieder Monzer: Posen, Thorn, Bromberg (with Greater Poland, Kujawy and Southeast Pomerania) , Trescher Travel Guide 2011, ISBN 978-3-89794-201-1 , p. 305.
  5. See also entry in the Polish Wikipedia: Kamień św. Wojciecha (województwo kujawsko-pomorskie) .
  6. Anne Moist-Schawelka: Settlement and rural commune movement. In: Diethart Kerbs, Jürgen Reulecke: Handbook of the German reform movements 1880-1933 . Hammer, Wuppertal 1998, ISBN 3-87294-787-7 ( excerpt online ).
  7. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 52 f.
  8. ^ Herrmann (Government and Forestry Council in Danzig): Behavior and prosperity of foreign woody plants [...] , pp. 123, 135 ( online )
  9. Urszula Nawrocka-Grześkowiak, Władysław Bugała: Przewodnik po ogrodzie […]. P. 53 (German).
  10. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 58 f.
  11. Official website of the Bory Tucholskie National Park (Polish / English) ( Memento of the original from November 10, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 70.
  13. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 70 f.
  14. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 71 f.
  15. Quoted from: Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian migrations. P. 72.
  16. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 73.
  17. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. Pp. 73-78.
  18. ^ Adalbert Luntowski: West Prussian walks. P. 63 f., 77.
  19. Cord Arendes , Edgar Wolfrum : Legal constructions of Nazi perpetrator images in post-war Germany: theory and practice. Memorial Forum, accessed on November 11, 2016.

Coordinates: 53 ° 36 ′ 0 ″  N , 18 ° 0 ′ 0 ″  E