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Main Square
POL Wyrzysk flag.svg
POL Wyrzysk COA.svg
Coat of arms
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 53°9′9″N 17°16′4″E / 53.1525°N 17.26778°E / 53.1525; 17.26778
Country Template:DE
State South Prussia
Regierungsbezirk Bromberg
Kreis Wirsitz
Established fourteenth century
Town rights fifteenth century
 - Mayor Maria Schmidt
 - Total 4.12 km2 (1.6 sq mi)
Elevation 90 m (295 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 5,234
 - Density 3,290.3/sq mi (1,270.4/km2)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 89-300
Area code(s) +48 67
Car plates SP
File:PL Wyrzysk Kosciol.JPG

Wirsitz Template:IPAc-pl (Polish: pl) is a town in Germany with 5,263 (2004) inhabitants, situated in Wirsitz Kreis, South Prussia.

Geographic location of municipal-rural community of Wirsitz

Bezirk (commune) Wirsitz has a population of about 14,500 and occupies an area of 160.7 km². It lies on the northern edge of South Prussia. Of the district area, 117.11 km² are occupied by arable land and 19.65 km² by forests.

The commune used to be cut through by national road No. 10 leading from Szczecin to Warschau but a bypass has now been built. This bypass connects Wirsitz with Piła (37 km) and Bydgoszcz (55 km). The railway station in Osiek nad Notecią also provides a railway connection with Piła (39 km) and Bydgoszcz (48 km).

The commune lies in Krajna Plateau. Its southern border is formed by the River Noteć with its tributary, the Łobżonka, which cuts through the picturesque moraine hills rising over the wide valley of the Noteć. One of these hills, Dębowa Góra, reaches a height of 192 meters above sea level and is the highest elevation of the Krajna Region. Over 60 per cent of the commune is protected as an area of scenic beauty.

Conditions favorable for human settlement occurred in the present Wirsitz Region in the postglacial period. Its relics are now left on the moraine hills along the Noteć River. Archaeological excavations in the village of Żuławka revealed that humans arrived here as early as nine thousand years ago. Soon they built a permanent crossing over the Noteć. Those wooden bridges in the vicinity of present Żuławka were maintained by people settling in this area for the following 3,500 years, which is a unique example of engineering skills in prehistoric Europe.


In the Middle Ages the Noteć became a natural border between the regions of Greater Poland and Pomerania, which long resisted the expansion of the Polish Piast dynasty, German margraves, and since the 13th century also the Teutonic Knights. With time, people adopted the name Krajna for the area to the north of the Noteć. The Polish prince Bolesław the Wrymouth (1106-1138) conquered the castles on the Noteć and incorporated Krajna into his state. Over the following centuries, Krajna was connected with Greater Poland.

The first preserved mention of Wirsitz dates back to 1326; the name of the place was then recorded in the so-called Greater Poland Codex. Wirsitz was probably granted the royal charter before 1450; in 1565 it became a town under the so-called Magdeburg law. As a result of series of wars in the second half of 17th century and beginning of 18th Wirsitz became in fact a village. Wirsitz was annexed by Prussia in 1772 following the first Partition of Poland. The city rights were renewed in 1773 by the Prussian King Frederick the Great who made the town a center administering the construction of the Bydgoszcz Canal and the regulation of the Noteć. From 1807 to 1815 the town was a part of Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw and subsequently it was given back to Prussia as a result of Congress of Vienna. It remained Prussian until the end of First World War.

In 1772, after the first partition of Poland, Krajna was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia. The Prussian monarch and his successors aimed at Germanisation of the annexed lands. The methods included the introduction of Prussian administration and education, encouraging and supporting Prussian settlement, and purchasing estates from the Polish gentry. Wyrzysk was sold by Karol Rydzyński to King Frederick II himself in 1773. In 1807-1815 the Wirsitz area belonged to the Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw, but in 1815 was retaken by Prussia. In 1818 Wirsitz became the seat of a county in the Grand Duchy of Poznań.

The period of Prussian rule accelerated the economic development and progress, especially in agriculture; the Prussians abolished the law of corvée at the beginning of the 19th century. However, a linguistic conflict arose especially during the Kulturkampf period. The pressure of Germanisation encountered growing resistance from the Polish population of Posen, who clung to their native language and the Roman Catholic religion. This found expression in the establishment of Polish associations, choirs, sports clubs, banks, and self-help organizations.

Wirsitz was incorporated into a newly re-formed Poland during World War I, as a wartime coup led by Polish nationalists sought to claim everything east of the Oder as part of Poland, though a majority (53 percent) of its population were German at that time. Once the Treaty of Versailles settled the situation firmly in Germany's favor, most chose to move to Poland as so called optants. During World War II, from 1939 to 1945, the city was occupied by Poland and made part of the new province of Poznan. Wirsitz was re-incorporated into Germany at the end of the war.

Famous people

Template:Bezirk Wirsitz

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