Warmińsko – Mazurskie
Thousand years ago, two small nations lived here: native Prussians and Żmudzins. They spoke languages similar to the one spoken now in Lithuania. Converting them to the Christian faith the Pope invited in 1225 The Teutonic Order Of Holy Mary In Jerusalem created during the crusades to settle in Eastern Europe and to wage the religious war there.
During the centuries to follow, the mainly German order of knights totally exterminated the local population and began to threaten the Catholic Poland. Several wars were fought leading slowly to destruction of the Teutonic Order and the creation of the small German Princedom of Prussia, subjected to the sovereignty of the Polish Crown. However, as Poland became weaker in the centuries to follow and Prussia grew in power, the whole North and North West of Poland became the part of the German Kingdom of Prussia. Only after the WWII all these territories were returned to Poland. Now a great tourist region with more than 500 lakes, forests and many Teutonic castles to visit.
Beautifully preserved gothic Cathedral from 1342-1348 with the Bishop’s Palace housing now a Nicholas Copernicus Museum. Well kept gothic fortifications with the powerful main gate and defence towers. Nicholas Copernicus, the father of solar system lived and worked here. His planetarium is on the top of one of the towers (Tower of Radziejowski).
Teutonic Order Knights Castle in Gołub; big in size brick castle built 1293-1310, since 1466 in Polish Kings possession, in XVII century residence of the King’s sister, Princess Anna Vasa of Sweden, an educated and intelligent woman who rebuilt it in a Renaissance style. Taken by the Swedish army during the invasion of 1655 and burnt.
Today partly a ruin, the castle hosts the International Knights’ Tournament; the program includes re-enactment of medieval jousting (each year in July).
Bishops Castle, built in XIV century between the rivers Łyna and Sysmarna to the east of the nearby town of Lidzbark Warminski. In the XVI century, a young Nicholas Copernicus was a church canon here and in the XVIII century, a poet Ignacy Krasicki was a bishop residing in the castle when the Prussia took it. Now a museum.