The origins of Nieszawa date back to 1228. The settlement, which is now a village called Mała Nieszawka, was situated on the left bank of the River Wisła (English: Vistula), 4 kilometers from Toruń. The settlement was given to the Order of Teutonic Knights by Duke Konrad I Mazowiecki (Konrad I of Masovia). The Teutonic Knights built a castle and established commandery headquarters. The castle and the town, which surrounded it, were destroyed by Władysław II Jagiełło in 1423-1424. The king established Nowa Nieszawa in front of Toruń and the new village was in the vicinity of Zamek Dybów which was being built at that time. The village was granted town privileges a year later. A parish church and collegiate church were built soon in the town which simultaneously became home to Franciscan brothers around 1430. An fast economic development of Nowa Nieszawa hindered the development of neighboring Toruń. Its townspeople took control over Nowa Nieszawa and in 1430 destroyed the town and the castle with the help of the Order of Teutonic Knights. The Knights located commander headquarters in Dybów for a short time (until 1436). When Dybów and Nowa Nieszawa again became part of Poland, a burgrave had his office at the castle in Dybów and administered there on behalf of starosts (English: officials) from Nowa Nieszawa. King Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk (Casimir IV Jagiellon), who often visited Dybów, issued his Statutes in Nowa Nieszawa. Finally, on 24 September 1460, the king incorporated the third Nieszawa, which exists to this day. Nowa Nieszawa and the castle in Dybów were destroyed in 1462. Some of the inhabitants moved to the settlement called Podgórz. Townsmen were transported approximately 30 kilometers up the River Wisła to a newly laid-out town in the royal village. The political system was determined by Chełmno Law. The king granted the town numerous privileges and liberties. Thanks to these privileges as well as a convenient location, the townsmen took an active part in Wisła trade. Nieszawa had been experiencing its glory days until the mid-17th century. The town had many stone tenements, 25 granaries, 3 churches, a Franciscan monastery, brickyards, breweries, two poorhouses and a parish school. There were also many guilds. Nieszawa was destroyed during the Swedish Deluge (1655-1660) and a plague in 1662 decimated the population. The town did not regain its former greatness. A customs chamber was located in Nieszawa in 1815. The town's area development started to be regulated in 1820. The Wisław River Railroad station was established in neighboring Waganiec in 1862. Nieszawa became the seat of the County in 1871. The town revived for a short time in the interwar period. A few educational institutions were established and the Stanisław Nowakowski Museum was founded. After 1945, Nieszawa started losing its importance to the neighboring places, such as Aleksandrów Kujawski, Toruń and Włocławek. Nowadays, Nieszawa is a local commercial service center. It is believed that construction of a barrage on Wisła near Nieszawa can bring the town an economic boom.

Geographic and administrative location:

  • Until the 18th century: Kingdom of Poland, Dobrzyń Land
  • 1793-1807 Prussia, South Prussia Province, Piotrków Department, Radziejów County
  • 1807-1815 Duchy of Warsaw, Bydgoszcz Department
  • 1815-1918 Russia (Kingdom of Poland), Masovian Province, Warsaw Government, Włocławek County (1845-1867), Radziejów County (1867-1871), Nieszawa County (from 1871 on)
  • 1918-1939 Poland, Warsaw Province (1918-1938), Pomeranian Province (1938-1939), Nieszawa County with Council in Aleksandrów Kujawski
  • 1939-1945 Nazi Germany (Third Reich), Reichsgau Wartheland Province, Regierungsbezirk Inowrocław, Ciechocinek County
  • 1945-1975 Bydgoszcz Province (1945-1950 Pomeranian Province)
  • 1975-1998 Włocławek Province
  • From 1999 Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province, Aleksandrów County
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