Between the 8th and the 10th century, Kruszwica belonged to the Goplans tribe. During the first decades of the existence of the Polish State (10th – 11th century), it was one of the biggest settlements in the Piasts' monarchy. In the centre, there was a big fortress; it was surrounded by a large settlement situated beyond its walls and a suburb located right next to it. Kruszwica quickly developed thanks to its location near the intersection of communicative routes: one leading from Gniezno to Mazovia and Ruthenia, and the other connecting Kalisz with Gdańsk. The settlement's economy was based on trade, crafts and the exploitation of local salt beds. Kruszwica was one of the few localities that did not suffer much damage when Bretislaus, the Duke of Bohemia, attacked the area in 1038. King Kazimierz Odnowiciel temporarily resided in the settlement while attempting to reunite all parts of the Polish Kingdom. At the end of the 11th century, however, Kruszwica was destroyed in battles between Władysław Herman and Kazimierz Odnowiciel.

In 1303, a new settlement was established on the right bank of the Gopło Lake. During the rule of Kazimierz Wielki, a castle was erected there and in 1422, the settlement was granted town rights under the Magdeburg Law. The newly established town did not develop into a significant local centre and fell into complete decay in the aftermath of wars taking place in the 17th century and at the beginning of the 18th century. Eventually, even the local castle fell into ruin. In 1772, Kruszwica became a part of the Prussian Partition; at the time, the town had only 57 inhabitants. Up until that point, it had been located in the Inowrocławskie Province.

Upon its annexation into Prussia, Kruszwica became a part of the Netze District. In the years 1807–1815, it was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw (Bydgoszcz Department, Bydgoszcz District). In 1815, it came back to Prussia (later on – Germany) and was located in the Bydgoszcz District in the Grand Duchy of Posen. It was not until the second half of the 19th century that the town started to develop more energetically. In 1881, a sugar refinery was build there. The town gained a railway connection with Inowrocław and Migilno (1889) and with Strzelno (1908). In 1919, a narrow-gauge rail route was constructed in the town; it was used to transport agricultural produce (most importantly – sugar beets).

In 1919, Kruszwica was incorporated into the newly restored Poland. In the years 1919–1938, it was located in the Poznańskie Province and since 1938 – in the Pomorskie Province. Over the years, it was situated in various counties – first, it was a part of the Strzeleński County, and later on – the Mogileński County and the Inowrocławski County. In the interwar period, several enterprises were established in the town, including a wine and mead factory (1920), a grain and milling plant (1925), and a dairy.

In the years 1939–1945, Kruszwica was one of the localities directly incorporated into the Third Reich (province Reichsgau Wartheland, Inowrocławski District).

Between 1945 and 1998, the town was located in the Bydgoskie Province. After WWII, the local food industry started to flourish – an oil factory and a margarine factory, some of the biggest industrial plants of that kind in the country, were built in Kruszwica in the years 1952–1956. Currently, Kruszwica is known not only for industry, trade, and services, but also for being a centre of tourism – it is located on the Piast Trail and in the area of the Gopło Landscape Park. Since 1999, it has been a part of the Inowrocławski County in the Kujawsko-pomorskie Province.


  • Kruszwica. Zarys monograficzny, ed. J. Grześkowiak, Toruń 1965.

  • J. Kwiatek, T. Lijewski, Leksykon miast polskich, Warsaw 1998, pp. 382–383.

Translated by Natalia Kłopotek