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POL Chełmno COA.svg
Chełmno (Poland)
Basic data
State : Poland
Voivodeship : Kuyavian Pomeranian
Powiat : Chełmno
Area : 13.86  km²
Geographic location : 53 ° 21 '  N , 18 ° 25'  E Coordinates: 53 ° 20 '57 "  N , 18 ° 25' 25"  E
Height : 75 m npm
Residents : 19,605
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Postal code : 86-200 to 86-203
Telephone code : (+48) 56
License plate : CCH
Economy and Transport
Street : Gdansk - Toruń
Next international airport : Danzig
Gminatype: Borough
Surface: 13.86 km²
Residents: 19,605
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Population density : 1415 inhabitants / km²
Community number  ( GUS ): 0404011
Administration (as of 2015)
Mayor : Mariusz Arkadiusz Kędzierski
Address: ul. Dworcowa 1
86-200 Chełmno
Website :

Former Franciscan Church
Town hall and market square

Chełmno [ ˈxɛwmnɔ ] pronunciation ? / i , German Culm or Kulm , is a city in the Polish Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship . It is the seat of the Powiat Chełmiński and has around 20,000 inhabitants. Audio file / audio sample  

Geographical location

The city is located in the Lower Vistula Valley ( Dolina Dolnej Wisły ) on the Fryba and near the right bank of the Vistula , the old town on a hill. It is located about 30 kilometers southwest of Grudziądz (Graudenz), 45 kilometers north of Toruń (Thorn) and 45 kilometers northeast of Bydgoszcz ( Bromberg ). The state road 91 runs along the city.

Historically, Chełmno belongs to the Kulmer Land , of which it was the main town. This belonged to Prussia's royal share in the Kingdom of Poland, to the Prussian province of West Prussia and to the Republic of Poland .

Street in the city center


7th century BC BC to 1249

Culm (top right), map from 1905

In the 7th to 5th centuries BC there was a settlement of the Lusatian culture on Lorenzberg (about three kilometers southwest of today's old town, near Kałdus ) .

Around 980 the area came under the rule of the Piast ruler Mieszko I. At the beginning of the 11th century, a large basilica was started on Lorenzberg, which was comparable to those in Poznan and Gniezno. During archaeological excavations, a settlement of 15 hectares with a cemetery with 1,500 graves was uncovered. The oldest written mention of this settlement of Culmen in the Kingdom of Poland is from 1065 . The area was then temporarily conquered by Prussians.

In 1222, Duke Konrad von Mazowien handed over the settlement and the surrounding area to the mission bishop Christian of Prussia . He handed them over to the Teutonic Order around 1230 .

In 1232 he founded a new settlement about two kilometers south, which he granted town charter to the Kulmer Handfeste in 1233 . This established the Kulm law , after which more than 200 places were granted city rights.

Around 1245 to 1772

Around 1245/50 the place was moved a few kilometers downstream to its current location. The first mention of a bishop of Culm is from 1246 , but a few years later he moved his seat to Culmsee. A Dominican monastery was founded around 1238 , the first monastery to be founded by the Teutonic Order in Prussia, followed by a Franciscan monastery in 1258 and a Cistercian convent around 1266 .

In 1440 Culm became a founding member of the Prussian Confederation , against the rule of the Teutonic Order. In 1453 this subordinated itself to the Crown of Poland , since 1466 Prussia belonged to the royal share , as an autonomous region to the Kingdom of Poland.

In 1473 the brothers from the common life , who lived in the brother house of Culm , founded a particular school in Culm, which Nikolaus Copernicus probably also attended. From 1505 the bishops of Kulm owned the town. (However, they were sitting in Culmsee).

Reformation movements prevailed in the city probably around 1539. The Franciscan monastery was closed and the brothers from living together stopped working at school. In 1550 the council was Lutheran. In 1554 a Protestant grammar school was founded with the rector Johannes Hoppe , but it had to close again two years later.

In 1569, after the Union of Lublin , the city lost its autonomy, as did most cities in Polish Prussia. In 1580 the Bishop of Culm ordered that the Protestant residents should change their denomination or leave the city. Around 1612 this requirement was renewed.

In the 17th century the city suffered from the Polish-Swedish wars, then the Northern Wars. In 1678, therefore, freedom of religious affiliation was again granted in the city. Scottish immigrants, mostly Protestants, came over the next few decades.

By 1770 there were almost only Polish Catholic residents in the city, and only four or five German Protestant families.

1772 to 1919

With the first partition of Poland , Culm became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772 . It was incorporated into the province of West Prussia there in 1773 . In the following years the council and the administration were completely replaced. More Germans came to the city and a Protestant church was built for them. In 1775 a cadet school was founded.

From 1807 to 1815 Culm was part of the Duchy of Warsaw . It was then returned to Prussia.

In 1837 the royal Catholic grammar school was founded. The students were mostly Polish, in 1840 Polish became the language of instruction.

Culm 1855
Marketplace with town hall in the 19th century,

In 1883 the railway line from Kornatowo with a connection to Thorn and Graudenz was opened, and in 1902 the line from Unislaw was completed. Passenger traffic has ceased to exist since 1991 and 1970.

In the 19th century, Jews made up two to five percent of the population in Culm. In the 1905 census, 3,876 residents stated to be Protestant, 284 were Jews and 7,505 Catholics. In the Reichstag elections, alternating Polish and German constituency candidates prevailed in the Thorn and Kulm constituencies.

Until 1920 Culm county town was the county Culm in marienwerder the province of West Prussia of the German Reich .

Since 1920

On January 22, 1920, Culm was ceded to Poland on the basis of the provisions of the Versailles Treaty , without a referendum. A large part of the German population moved out of the corridor area in the following years.

After the attack on Poland in September 1939, the Kulmer Land was annexed by the German Reich in violation of international law and incorporated into the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia , to which Culm belonged until 1945.

Towards the end of the Second World War , the Red Army occupied the region in the spring of 1945 . The German city dwellers fled or were expelled .


Population development until 1945
year Residents Remarks
1772 1,644 in 257 households (fireplaces)
1782 2,454 with the garrison (336 members of two companies of an infantry regiment)
1831 5,006
1837 5,394
1864 7,617 including 2,656 Protestants and 4,441 Catholics
1871 8,455 including 2,800 Evangelicals and 5,000 Catholics (3,450 Poles )
1875 9,628
1880 9,937
1890 9,762 including 3,450 Protestants and 470 Jews
1895 10,499 including 3,444 Evangelicals and 463 Israelites
1900 11,079 with the garrison, including 3,530 Protestants and 339 Jews
1905 11,665 including 3,845 Evangelicals and 284 Jews
1921 11,700 including 1,060 Germans
1943 13,117
Population since 1945
year Residents Remarks
1969 18,000
2012 20,815 As of June 30, 2012



city ​​wall

Several churches, chapels and other parts of buildings from the 13th and 14th centuries have been preserved in Chełmno. The city wall with 17 towers is one of the longest in Poland. In the Middle Ages there was a Teutonic castle, a Dominican , a Franciscan and a Cistercian monastery .

The floor plan within the wall ring is typical for the foundations of the German Ostsiedlung: a right-angled road network divides the area into almost square fields. One of them is the market square (Rynek) with the town hall. It is almost twice as long as it is wide, as are the squares built in a row with it. The old town has an almost closed old structure, but apart from the town hall and the medieval churches, it consists mostly of eaves-standing houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The old town of Chełmno was added to the list of historical monuments in Poland in 2015 and is part of the Street of European Brick Gothic .


Church of St. Peter and Paul
Monastery complex with Johanniskirche
  • The town hall was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1567–1572 , with parts from the 13th century, one of the most important Renaissance buildings in today's northern Poland
  • The Parish Church of the Assumption ( Kościół Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny ) from 1280-1320 is the main church in the city. It was one of the largest churches in Prussia when it was built and houses the remains of Saint Valentine as a relic.
  • The Church of St. Jacob and Nicholas (pofranciszkański kościół św. Jakuba i Mikołaja) from around 1300 belonged to the Franciscan monastery and was a Protestant parish church in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • The St. John's Church (kościół śś. Jana Chrzciciela i Ewangelisty) from the early 14th century belongs to the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy . It was previously a Cistercian and Benedictine church. The interior is designed in the baroque style. Other buildings and the former Merseburg Gate belong to the monastery complex
  • The church of St. Peter and Paul ( kościół śś. Piotra i Pawła ) from the 14th century belonged to the Dominican monastery
  • The Church of the Holy Spirit (Kościół pw. Świętego Ducha) was built in 1280–1290 as a hospital church.
Św Marcina
  • The Martin's Chapel (Kaplica św. Marcina) was built in the 2nd quarter of the 14th century, but was only mentioned as a cemetery chapel in 1421.
  • The city wall with 17 towers is almost completely preserved and at 2.3 kilometers one of the longest in Poland
  • The Graudenzer Tor (Brama Grudziądzka) from the end of the 13th century was converted into a chapel in the 17th century.
Attic at the Cywiński house
  • The Cywiński House ( Kamienica Cywińskich ) dates from the late 13th century in its oldest parts and was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1570. It has an attic above the entrance
  • The house at ul. Grudziądzka 36 has a magnificent baroque gable
  • The building of the Kulm Academy ( Akademia Chełmińska ) from the 18th century, rebuilt in the 19th century. The academy was founded in 1386
  • The former post office was built in the late 17th century and remodeled around 1850 and 1911.
  • The Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa was built in 1875 as a Prussian garrison church
  • Miniature models of nine castles of the Teutonic Order at the Burgsee ( Jezioro Starogrodzkie ) on a scale of 1:30
  • Memorial stone for the former Jewish cemetery from the 19th and early 20th centuries

Rural community

The rural municipality of Chełmno, to which the city of Chełmno itself does not belong, has an area of ​​114.05 km², on which (as of June 30, 2019) 6084 people live.

Town twinning

Chełmno has had a town partnership with Hann since 1992 . Münden , Lower Saxony .


The writer Hermann Löns (1866–1914), General Heinz Guderian (1888–1954), SPD chairman Kurt Schumacher (1895–1952) and other personalities were born in Culm


  • Ulrich Müller: The city of Chełmno / Culm and the first partition of Poland . Berlin 2016 (Diss. FU Berlin, 2014) digitized
  • Bernhart Jähnig , Peter Letkemann (ed.): 750 years of Kulm and Marienwerder (= contributions to the history of West Prussia. Volume 8). Münster 1983.
  • Horand Henatsch (ed.) In collaboration with Günther Meinhardt : Kulm an der Weichsel. City and country in the change of history 1232–1982 . Bremervörde, 1982.
  • Franz Schultz : History of the city and the district of Kulm . Volume 1: Until 1479 , Kafemann, Danzig 1876 ( e-copy ).

Web links

Commons : Chełmno  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b population. Size and Structure by Territorial Division. As of June 30, 2019. Główny Urząd Statystyczny (GUS) (PDF files; 0.99 MiB), accessed December 24, 2019 .
  2. ^ Website of the city, Burmistrz Miasta , accessed on March 13, 2015
  3. on the development of the spelling since 1815 see illustration on
  4. ^ Chełmno OME-Lexikon der Universität Oldenburg; with further story
  5. Chudziak W., The church in the rampart of Kałdus near Kulm (Chełmno) . In: A. Wieczorek, HM Hinz (Hrsg.): Europes Mitte um 1000. Contributions to history, art and archeology . Volume 1. Stuttgart 2000. pp. 511-518.
  6. Archaeological excavations at Kałdus Cheł Cheł (German)
  7. ^ Christian Gottlieb Friese : Contributions to the Reformatonsgeschichte in Poland and Litthauen , Zweyter Theil, first volume. Wroclaw 1786. P. 246.
  8. z. B. described in Adalbert. Łoźyński : The Culmer Academie in 1554. A contribution to the history of this institution . In: Program of the Royal. Catholic high school in Culm for the school year 1856–1857 . Culm 1857, pp. 1-20
  9. ^ Hans Prutz : History of the Neustadt district in West Prussia . Danzig 1872, p. 104 .
  10. ^ A. Reusch: West Prussia under Polish scepter. Ceremonial speech given at the Elbinger Gymnasium on 13th Spt. 1872 . In: Altpreußieche Monatsschrift , NF, Volume 10, Königsberg 1873, pp. 140–154, especially p. 146 .
  11. ^ Ulrich Müller: Chełmno / Culm and the First Partition of Poland. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2016. p. 206. (= Diss. FU Berlin, 2014. p. 236., also 14)
  12. ^ Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon . 14th edition, Volume 4, Berlin and Vienna 1898, p. 625
  13. ^ Kazimierz Wajda : The Jews in southern West Prussia (Marienwerder district) in the 19th century: number and social stratification. In: Michael Brocke , Margret Heitmann , Harald Lordick (eds.): On the history and culture of the Jews in East and West Prussia. Georg Olms, Hildesheim 2000, ISBN 3-487-11026-1
  14. ^ Carl Wilhelm Reibel: Handbook of the Reichstag elections 1890-1918. Vol. 1, p. 93 ff., Droste, Düsseldorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-7700-5284-4
  15. ^ Richard Blanke: Orphans of Versailles: The Germans in western Poland 1918-1939. The University Press of Kentucky 1993. ISBN 0-8131-1803-4
  16. a b c d e Ernst Bahr: Kulm . In: Handbook of historical sites , East and West Prussia . Kröner, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-520-31701-X , pp. 111-113.
  17. ^ Johann Friedrich Goldbeck : Complete topography of the Kingdom of Prussia . Part II: Topography of West Prussia , Marienwerder 1789, pp. 30–35, No. 2.)
  18. ^ August Eduard Preuss : Prussian country and folklore . Königsberg 1835, pp. 416-419, no. 32.
  19. E. Jacobson: Topographical-statistical manual for the district of Marienwerder , Danzig 1868, pp. 76-77, no. 126 .
  20. ^ Gustav Neumann: Geography of the Prussian State . 2nd edition, Volume 2, Berlin 1874, pp. 52-53, item 7.
  21. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. Province of West Prussia, district of Culm. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  22. ^ Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon. 14th edition, Volume 4, Berlin and Vienna 1892, pp. 624–625.
  23. ^ Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon . 14th edition, Volume 4, Berlin and Vienna 1898, p. 625
  24. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 6th edition, Volume 11, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, pp. 785–786.
  25. The Big Brockhaus . 15th edition, Volume 4, Leipzig 1929, pp. 297-298.
  26. Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon . 9th edition, Volume 6, Mannheim Vienna Zurich 1972, p. 122.
  28. Chełmno Town Hall (German)
  30. Odznaka Kuj-Pom .: KAPLICA ŚW. MARCINA W CHEŁMNIE Odznaka
  31. Park miniature zamków krzyżackich w Chełmnie