Geography and administration:

Until the 18th century – Kingdom of Poland, Dobrzyń Land, Inowrocław Province.

1793 - 1807 Kingdom of Prussia, South Prussia Province, afterwards New East Prussia Province, Płock Department

1807 - 1815 the Duchy of Warsaw, the Płock Department

1815 – 1918 Russia (Kingdom of Poland), Płock Province ( since 1839 called guberniya – a term for a Russian province), Lipno County

1918 – 1939 Poland, Warsaw Province (1919 – 1938), Pomeranian Province (1938-1939), Lipno County

1939 – 1945 Germany (the Third Reich), the Danzig – West Prussia Province, Kwidzyn Region (German: Regierungsberzirk), Lipno County

1945 – 1975 Bydgoszcz Province (1945 – 1950 Pomeranian Province)

1975 – 1998 Włocławek Province

Since 1999 – Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province, Lipno County, Skępe Municipality

In the early Middle Ages, on a lake called Jezioro Wielkie, there was a fortified stronghold , around which a selltement developed in the course of time. The owners of the nearby lands, the Kościelecki Family, were granted municipal character under Chelmno Law for the town in 1445. A Bernardine monastery complex situated in the neighbouring town Wymyślin created favourable conditions for the town to develop. In 1495 a church was built and it was extended in the years 1508-1511. The worship of the Blessed Virgin from Skępe became popular soon and the town's inhabitants earned their living serving the pilgrims and organizing fairs. The town’s location next to the trade route leading from Toruń, Gniezno and Poznań to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was another factor contributing to the town's development. Numerous plagues decimated the town’s population (at the end of the 15th century – the plague, 1539, 1552, 1626, 1629, 1653), as well as fires (1524, 1617, 1631). After the last fire there were 84 inhabited houses left, 28 houses and 66 squares were deserted. During the Swedish occupation and invasion of Poland in the years 1655-1660, known as “ the Deluge” the town was destroyed and the population decreased to 250 inhabitants. The Działyński Family succeeded as town owners, and from the beginning of the 18th century the Zielińskis. The monastery in Wymyślin was closed after 1864. It was not until the establishment of the Second Polish Republic that the monks returned there. Skępe lost its town charter in 1867 and regained it in 1997 due to the economic and topographical integration of Skępe and Wymyślin. The town's economy aimed at satisfying the needs of the local patrons. In the 19th and 20th centuries there was a group of craftsmen and merchants among the town dwellers. In the 19th century land owners from the Skępe and Wymyślin region set up a few enterprises, such as glass factories, an amber mine, oil factories, sawmills, distilleries, brickyards and mills. There was also a production of pitch and burnt lime. During the First World War a line of narrow-gauge railway was built between Nasielsk and Toruń, which in 1937 was transformed into a regular railway line. Nowadays, the inhabitants of Skępe are mostly occupied with trade, small-scale production and education. Due to the attractive situation of the town, tourism is acquiring economic significance[1.1].

 

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Footnotes
  • [1.1] More in: Mirosław Krajewski, Skępe. Zarys dziejów i obraz współczesny, Dom Wydawniczy „Verbum”, Rypin-Skepe 1996.