In the 7th–8th century, on the hill now called Łokietek Hill, there was a defence stronghold with a borough, which still performed its function in the 13th century. In 1250, Duke Kazimierz confirmed Mikołaj Brozek’s donation to establish and build a monastery on the territory of Byszewo. In 1288, the order of Cistercians from Byszewo concluded a treaty with Wisław, bishop of Wrocław, handing him over the property in exchange for some other lands - the village Smeysze (now Koronowo). A year later, thanks to the support of the Pomeranian Duke Mszczuj II, the construction of the monastery in Koronowo started, and was finished about 1350.

In 1368, the settlement was granted town rights as Nowe Byszewo. In 1383, there was a church (redeveloped in 1599) under the name of Corpus Christi (later of St. Andrew). A victorious fight of the Polish Army against the Teutonic Knights took place near the town in 1410. In 1411, the town was occupied by the Teutonic Knights and destroyed.

The stable political situation beginning in the mid-15th century had a positive influence on the town’s development. The townsmen traded in wood and grain and the town was famous for pottery and brewery. Scotsmen began to settle down there. In the 16th century, a school was established in the monastery. In the years 1686–1706, the church and Cistercian monastery were redeveloped in baroque style. At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, the stately abbot’s residence was erected. In 1717, the town was deserted as a result of wars, fires and plaques. In 1750, a rebellion of the townsmen against Koronowo’s authorities took place. Until 1772, the town belonged to the Kingdom of Poland, as part of Inowrocławskie Province. After I Partition of Poland it was annexed by Prussia and incorporated into the Netze District.

In 1794, for several weeks the town was administered by the insurgents of the Kościuszko Uprising. In the years 1807-1815, it belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw (District of Bygdoszcz) and then it was taken over by Prussia. In 1815, it became part of the Grand Duchy of Posen, Regierungsbezirk Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz county.

After 1815, a period of political and economic stabilization came. The Cistercian monastery was abolished in 1819. The monastery buildings were transformed into a prison, which still exists today. In the 19th century, various organizations were founded, for example: singing groups (1829), the Rifle Club (1846), the People’s Bank (1892), the Gymnastics Society „Sokół” (1895), a voluntary fire department (1899), a hospital (1898), an agricultural cooperative „Rolnik” (1908) and the Association of People’s Libraries (1908). A power plant (1900), a slaughterhouse (1907), a new city hall and a sewage system (1913) were also established. From the end of the 18th century, the religious image of the town changed - Jews and Protestants settled down there. In 1831, a Protestant church was built. In 1862, there were 3 schools operating in Koronowo: Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. In 1895, a narrow gauge railway was established on the route Bydgosz-Koronowo (closed for passengers transport in 1969), which was finally closed in 1991. In 1909, a railway line to Tuchola ran near Koronowo. In the second half of the 19th century, small industry emerged: 2 mills, 4 sawmills and 2 brick-yards operated.

In 1920, Koronowo became part of Poland, Bydgoszcz county, first in Poznańskie Province (until 1938) and later in Pomorskie Province (1938-1939). In the years 1939-45, it belonged to the Polish territory directly incorporated into Germany (Third Reich, Gdańsk-Western Prussia Province, Regierungsbezirk Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz county).

After World War II, the construction of a dam, an electric plant in Samociążek provided an impulse to the town’s development. The Koronowo Lake created favourable conditions for tourism. Since 1999, the town belongs to the Bydgoszcz county in Kuawsko-Pomorskie Province.

 

Bibliography

Dzieje Koronowa, D. Karczewski (ed.), Toruń (2009).

Koronowo. Zarys dziejów miasta, Bydgoszcz (1968).

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