1975 - 1998, in
administrative terms it was part of Zielona Góra Province, and in 1950 - 1975
of Poznań Province.
the town was part of Prussia, Province of Posen, Meseritz county; in 1920,
Zbąszyń was incorporated into Poland.
Most likely the first settlement in
this area was set up already in the 11th century. The oldest record
of the town, however, dates back to 1231, while in 1238 there is a mention of a
church. Since the 12th century there was a custom house in Zbąszyń.
The exact date of town’s incorporation is unknown. Zbąszyń is likely to have
been granted its city charter at the beginning of the 14th century,
around 1311. It was a royal and ducal town until the end of the 14th
From the early 15th
century until the Second Partition of Poland, it was a private town. Its
owners’ social and economic policies were usually of the protectionist type.
They made efforts to obtain various privileges and allowances for the
town (mostly tax- and trade-related); the owners would also grant it privileges
by their own authority, which was beneficial for both the town and themselves.
The first owners of Zbąszyń were the Zbąski family. In 1393, King Władysław II
Jagiełło bestowed the city to Mazowieckie Province Governor, Jan Głowacz from
Nowy Targ, who assumed the Zbąski surname.
In the first half of the 15th
century, Zbąszyń became an influential center of Hussitism in Wielkopolska. Its
main proponent was Abraham Zbąski, the owner of Zbąszyń at that time. In 1442,
after his death, the Hussites were expelled from the town.
Since 1613, Zbąszyń belonged to the
Ciświcki family who completed the construction of the castle. In 1654, five
women were accused of witchcraft and subsequently burnt at the stake, and
witchcraft trials were commonplace in the town until the mid-18th
century. In 1655, the Swedish troops destroyed the city and the town. In 1700,
Zbąszyń became the property of the Garczyński family, who rebuilt the castle.
In 1705, the Zbąszyń castle was once again destroyed by the Swedish troops.
After the Second Partition, in 1793,
Zbąszyń was incorporated into the Kingdom
of Prussia. In the 19th
century the town was ravaged by numerous fires and floods. In 1870, an
important railway node was established in Zbąszyń.
When after World War I the Wielkopolskie
Uprising commenced, the town became a place of intense fighting. As a result,
Zbąszyń became a border city. The Germans, who lost the important transport
hub, founded Zbąszynek on the other side of the border (German: Neu Bentschen –
In October 1938, an internment camp
was established in Zbąszyń for about 6,000 Jews of Polish origin who had been
expelled from Germany
In 1941 - 1944, there was a labor camp for Jews in the town.
1 September 1939,
German troops captured the train station and the town. On 27 January 1945, the Soviet Army
marched into the town. After World War II, the town became once again part of Poland. From 1975
it was part of Zielona
after the new administrative division of 1999 it returned to Wielkopolskie Province.
has the population of 6,244 (data from the Central Statistical Office of 31 December