Idea #731 – Visiting Olsztyn, the former teutonic Allenstein
Olsztyn was founded as Allenstein on the Alle River in Ermeland by the Teutonic Knights. The latter built a fortress there between 1346 and 1353. On October 31, 1353, Johannes von Leysen granted the city a municipal charter of rights. Allenstein was taken by the Poles in 1410 and was given the new name Holstin.
A few years later, the city was taken over by the Order of the Teutonic Knights. In the 15th century, its inhabitants rebelled against the order, and it fell to Poland. In 1466, known as Olstyn, it was integrated into the territory of Royal Prussia, as a result of the second Treaty of Thorn, which marked the victory of Polish king Casimir IV Jagiello over the Teutonic knights in the Thirteen Years’ War .
In 1635 and 1798, Swedish troops ravaged Allenstein during the Polish-Swedish wars. Napoleon I crossed the city in 1807, after his victories in Jena and Auerstaedt. The city was occupied by the troops of the Russian Imperial Army in 1914, and taken over by the Germans, after the Battle of Tannenberg-Grünwald, which marked the defeat of the Russians. In the referendum, organized by the Allies in 1920, Allenstein chose 97.8% to remain German and was part of the state of Prussia, a land incorporated into the new republic of Germany.
On January 22, 1945, the city was stormed by the victorious Red Army, causing serious destruction to the old city, reported by Lev Kopelev, then a young officer. However, there are still a few old buildings around the market square, the gate tower of the urban wall and the castle of the order, with its circular keep. The city is still really charming.
Nicolas Copernicus lived there between 1516 and 1521, as treasurer of the fortress. He creates an astronomical table indicating the equinoxes on the walls of the fortress cloister.
Where is it ?