Braniewo is a seat of a county in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, located right by the border with Russia and in a close proximity to the Vistula Lagoon. The town may boast of many interesting monuments and therefore it is of attraction to enthusiasts of sightseeing. It is also a good starting point to Russia and Polish seaside.
Braniewo may boast of many monuments. The most interesting ones are: Basilica of St. Katherine from 1343-1442, a gate tower of the former Bishops’ Castle, chapel of St. Roch as well as the building of Collegium Hosianum. Churches are also fascinating monuments. Worthy of interest are especially Sanctuary of the Feast of the Cross and St. Trinity Church. The first one was built by Jesuits in between 1722 and 1747. The main altar and bye-altars were created by Jan Chrystian Schmidt and the pulpit by Jan Frey. The St. Trinity Church, on the other hand, was built in the early 16th century and its vestry and porch in the second half of the 17th century. The main altar was created by Jan Frey.
Braniewo’s perfect location in the northern Poland makes it a great starting point to Russia and the Baltic Sea.
Braniewo is a town and a seat of the county and the commune in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. It lies on the Warmian Plain, by the Pasleka River and is populated by more than 17.600 people.
Braniewo is a significant rail and road junction. One can easily get from the town to Elblag, Tczew, Olsztyn, Kaliningrad and Frombork. There are also two voivodeship roads (no. 504 and 507) and a country road no. 54 running through Braniewo.
Braniewo is the oldest Warmian town. It was founded in 1240, in the place of the old Prussian settlement, Brusebergue. In 1254 it was for the first time granted town privileges based on those of Lübeck. However, as a result of its destruction, 20 years later the town of Braunsberg (then-name of Braniewo) was re-founded in another place.
The town was developing fast and due to the fact in 1342 Bishop Herman from Prague established a competing New Town (still called Nowe Miasto). It was, however, of small significance and in the 18th century was connected with the Old Town.
In between 1466 and 1772 the two towns belonged to Duchy of Warmia, which was a part of Royal Prussia. In the same time Braniewo became an important educational and cultural centre. In 1565 Poland’s first Jesuit collegium was created and two years later a priest seminary was added. In 1578, on the other hand, Jesuits established pope seminary. There were also attempts to build a university in Braniewo, but unfortunately it never happened.
Since the 15th century goldsmith was developing in Braniewo. The most outstanding artists of that time were sculptor Jan Frey and painter Jan Lossau. During Swedish wars the town was many times destroyed and robbed, as a result of which it fell into decay. In 1772 the town became a county capital in Eastern Prussia Province and a seat of garrison.
Until the end of the 18th century the town served as a trade port and in 1852 the first railway line in Prussia, Braniewo-Kwidzyn, was opened. Two years later a synagogue was built here. It lasted until 1938.
The Second World War left the town almost completely devastated and robbed. After the war the town’s name was changed into a Slavic form, i.e. Braniewo.