Olecko

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Olecko (town)

Olecko (German: Marggrabowa since 1560, also Oletzko, Treuburg since 1928) is a town in Masuria, in the Warminsko-Mazurskie voivodship of Poland, near Elk and Suwalki. It is situated at the mouth of the Lega river into the Great Olecko Lake (Jezioro Oleckie Wielkie) on its south-western shore.

History

Marggrabowa was founded as a town by Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Duke of Duke of Prussia, on January 1, 1560. The town's name comes from the German word Markgraf, the duke's title as the margraviate of Brandenburg's prince. At the same place there has been since 1544 a hunting lodge called Oletzko. At a peninsula towards the lake, across the Lega river, in 1619 the Castle of Oletzko (Schloss Oletzko) was established as a regional administrative seat.

Between 1818 and 1945, Marggrabowa was the head of the Prussian Oletzko County (Kreis Oletzko, later named Kreis Treuburg) of the Prussian province Ostpreußen.

Sights

The town's beautiful market square. In its northern part, a Catholic (formerly Lutheran) church is situated on a tree-covered hill.

Transportation

The Train Station in the western part of town is a regional railway junction: there are main lines to Goldap, Elk and Suwalki. The local railway connections to Mieruniszki, Kruklanki and Sulejki are out of service or dismantled.

Education

Olecko (district)

Olecko district refers to the historical East Prussian district of Oletzko (Kreis Oletzko) with its administrative district town at Marggrabowa. Town and district were later renamed Treuburg.

History

The area to a large extent was populated by Masurians, an ethnic group with a language of Slavic origin. Since the 18th Century, cultural orientation strongly changed towards German and the number of Masurian-speaking people decreased:

  • 1818 - over 90% of population (according to Polish sources),
  • 1900 - 33.5% (Prussian census)

In 1888, German language was fully established in the schools of all levels. From the polish point of view, this was held to be part of a process of germanization (Kulturkampf).

In 1920, a plebiscite was held in the area by the League of Nations on remaining in East Prussia or affiliation with the recreated state of Poland. After a result of 28,625 pro-German votes against 2 pro-Polish, the county remained with Germany. In respect to this, in 1928 the name of the town of Marggrabowa was changed to Treuburg (German: treu for faithful, Burg for castle). In 1933, the name of the County of Oletzko was also changed to County of Treuburg (Kreis Treuburg). Beside the town of Treuburg, it covered further 100 municipalities (Gemeinden).

In January 1945, the area was overrun by the Soviet Army. Most of the inhabitants were violently expelled, killed, or deported to Russia by the communist regimes. Afterwards the area was given to Polish administration by the Soviets to become a part of Communist Poland. Treuburg was renamed to Olecko and resettled with Polish expatriates expelled from the eastern parts of Poland (currently in Ukraine) taken by the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop_Pact.

Administrative Structure

Under polish administration, the district was renamed Powiat Olecki. It now consists of four municipalities:

  • Gmina Kowale Oleckie (Kowahlen), 5,498 inhabitants,
  • Gmina Olecko, 21,349 inhabitants,
  • Gmina Świętajno (Schwentainen): 4,093 inhabitants,
  • Gmina Wieliczki (Wielitzken): 3,482 inhabitants.

Population

  • 39,938 (1933)
  • 38,046 (1939)
  • 34,264 (2004)

External links

pl:Olecko ro:Olecko

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