History of Pomeralia


Pomerelia (Latin: Pomerelia; German: Pomerellen, Pommerellen), also referred to as Eastern Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze Wschodnie) or Gdańsk Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze Gdańskie), is a historical region in northern Poland.

Pomerelia lay on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and west of the Vistula river. Its capital and biggest city is Gdańsk (Danzig). Since 1999 the region forms the core of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Pomerelia is part of the historical region of Prussia and is traditionally divided into Kashubia and Kociewie.

During Władysław's rule, the Margraviate of Brandenburg staked its claim on the territory in 1308, leading Władysław I the Elbow-high to request assistance from the Teutonic Knights, who evicted the Brandenburgers but took the area for themselves, annexed and incorporated it into the Teutonic Order state in 1309 (Teutonic takeover of Danzig (Gdańsk) and Treaty of Soldin/Myślibórz). At the same time, Słupsk and Sławno became part of Duchy of Pomerania. This event caused a long-lasting dispute between Poland and the Teutonic Order over the control of Gdańsk Pomerania. It resulted in a series of Polish-Teutonic Wars throughout 14th and 15th centuries.

Since 1466, Pomerelia has been part of Polish Royal Prussia as the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Lębork and Bytów have been Polish fief ruled by Pomeranian dukes. In the early modern times Gdańsk was the biggest city of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and most of its export (especially grain) used to be made through this port. Gdańsk and Żuławy Wiślane were German/Dutch-Protestant, while most of the region remained Polish/Kashubian-Catholic. In the 17th century Pomerelia has been attacked and destroyed by Swedish army.

Pomeralia (Pomerellen) during the 14th/15th century

As part of Royal Prussia, Pomerelia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the 18th century Partitions of Poland, becoming part of the new Province of West Prussia. After World War I (1914-1918), the Treaty of Versailles transferred most of the region from Weimar Germany to the new Second Polish Republic, forming the so-called Polish Corridor. Gdańsk with Żuławy became Free City of Danzig. In 1939 whole Pomerelia was annexed by the German Reich, but in 1945 it returned to Poland, while Germans escaped and were expelled. After the war it has been roughly similar to Gdańsk Voivodeship, as well as the dioceses of Gdańsk and Pelplin.

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