As a city with a bitter-sweet past and seemingly bright future, Elblag has always been an accurate indicator of Polish-German relationships. The town came into existence thanks to the close cooperation of Poles and Germans, but suffered great injuries whenever the two neighbouring nations entered into a state war. The contemporary Elblag bears witness to both periods and takes pride in its dual ancestry. That is why here you will find magnificent medieval monuments created mutually by the two nations and the remnants of an Old Town district almost completely destroyed during World War II.
Elblag is a medium sized port city inhabited by some 126,000 people. Since the end of the World War II the city has grown into a prosperous industrial, academic and cultural centre, drawing visitors from all over the world. Although before the war the city was much bigger and was one of the most important urban centres of the region, today’s Elblag is still significant due mainly to its shipyards, breweries and the thriving metallurgical industry. Moreover, in 1998 the city made a sizable step towards regaining its former grandness by initiating Euroregion Baltic – the union of six Baltic countries (Poland, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark), aimed at cultural, political and financial partnerships.
Elblag is located in Northern Poland, in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship. The city lies on the Elblag River, which connects the nearby Lake Drużno to the Vistula Lagoon. The river is curbed by the Jagielloński and Elblaski Channels, which connect the town with nearby lakes and constitute a popular tourist attraction. The area surrounding the city belongs to the Vistula Delta (Zulawy Wislane) region, which is predominantly flat and used for agricultural purposes. To the west of Elblag there are extensive plains and open fields. The southern views are of the marshes and swamps that encircle Lake Druzno.
The history of Elblag starts in 1237, when the Teutonic Knights built a castle near a river called 'Elblag'. Soon a settlement grew up around the castle, which in 1247 received a constitution under Lubeck law, thus becoming the city of Elbing, as it was originally known. At first the town was populated mostly by German settlers, who brought with them their traditions, cuisine and architectural styles. The newcomers were accommodated fairly quickly and turned the relatively small town into a flou... ( more >>)