Ciechanow is a middle-sized town in the Masovian Voivodeship, located approximately 100 km from Warsaw. It is a place with a rich past and interesting monuments; hence, it is of attraction to history enthusiasts. Ciechanow is also famous for its great cyclical events, which are held here from April to December.
Ciechanow is a beautiful listed town. While in here, you should visit: ruins of the castle of Masovian Dukes from the 14th century, Farska Hill from the 11th century, parish church (16th century), town hall from 1844 and a new Jewish cemetery established in the end of the 19th century.
Other town’s attractions are: the water tower, Museum of Masovian Nobility and the main building of the German district from the WW2, i.e. Krzywa Hala.
Apart from numerous monuments, Ciechanow is famous for its great cyclical events. Worth going for are especially: Easter Concerts (April), European Picnic (May), Kupala Night (June/July), Nobility Foray (September) as well as Dionizje theatre festival (September).
Ciechanow is a town and seat of the county in the Masovian Voivodeship, by the Lydynia river. It lies 100 km north from Warsaw and is populated by approximately 45 500 people.
Ciechanow has a good transport connection with many towns and cities. There are two country roads (50 and 60), three voivodeship roads (615, 616, 617) and the E-65 railway line (Warsaw-Gdynia) running through the town.
Archaeological research conducted in Ciechanow prove that in the terrains of the town there used to be a tiny settlement already in between the 7th and 10th century. However, the first written records about Ciechanow are from 1065; the town was mentioned in the document issued by Bolesław II the Generous. Due to its strategic location, Ciechanow constituted a defence centre in north Masovia and because of that was many times attacked by Pomeranians, Prussians, Lithuanians and the Teutonic Knights.
The date of Ciechanow’s gaining town rights still remains an unresolved issue. According to most historians Ciechanow could have had town rights already in the half of the 14th century, since a document from 1375 claims that the town had Chelm rights at that time.
A golden age for the town lasted from the 14th to 16th century. At that time the number of its inhabitants totalled 5 thousand, Ciechanow merchants traded even with the distant towns and there were big fairs and conventions of knights held here. In the end of the 14th century a building of the castle began and in the mid 15th century – the erection of the church and monastery (currently the church of St. Thecla). In 1526 Ciechanow was annexed to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The town and the neighbouring terrains were given to Queen Bona as a wedding gift. She had a great impact on the town’s further development.
In the 17th century the town began to fall into decay, which was caused by the Deluge and numerous fires. After the second partition of Poland, the town became a seat of the voivodeship and after the third partition it was again a provincial town in Przasnysz County.
In the 19th century Ciechanow’s inhabitants actively fought for freedom. Many insurgency-related fights were held here. With the end of the century came economic revival. Ciechanow became a seat of the county, a steam brewery and a sugar refinery were built and in 1877 the Vistula River Railroad’s station was opened here.
The outbreak of the WW1 hindered the town’s development. In 1915 there was a German-Russian frontline near Ciechanow. The Second World War also brought many damages. On the night from 3 to 4 September 1939 the town was taken by Germans and joined to the Third Reich under the name Zichenau. Polish and Jewish communities were exterminated, three labour camps were built and thousands of the town’s inhabitants were transported elsewhere or shot dead.
On the night from 15 to 16 January 1945 Nazis arrested and shot dead approximately 100 men, whom they suspected of collaboration with the underworld. The next day the town was taken by the Red Army. After the war Ciechanow quickly recovered and started to develop.