Located in the western part of the Warmian-Masurian Province, close to the Ilawa Lakeland, Morag is a small town surrounded by forests and lakes. A typical summer destination, Morag is popular among sailors, hikers and those who enjoy a real rest beside a great lake. Despite its attractions and natural beauty, Morag is not crowded and everyone can count on a peaceful holiday.
The Skiertag Lake is situated on the north-eastern side of Morag, while south of the town there are marshy areas and swamps with numerous smaller lakes and lots of waterfowl. The Narie Lake is located about 5 km east of the town, and both Skiertag and Narie have first class clean water and provide great opportunities to relax. They are surrounded by small villages which play the role of small summer resorts. Water equipment, such as kayaks, windsurfing boards and boats, is available on site. Close to Morag Lake is a reserve of cormorants, while near Milakowo there are opportunities to see a beaver’s dam.
Long and turbulent is the history of the province, and so the past of Morag. It has witnessed the passing of a variety of governments, wars and historic events. Morag was the hometown of Johann Herder (1744-1803), a German philosopher and Romantic writer, and an early promoter of folklore. In Morag there is a museum devoted to Herder, presenting some memorabilia and portraits. Morag was also visited by Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski, author of many popular historical novels, as well as modern writer Zygmunt Nienacki, who died there in 1994. He was famous for a series for teenagers about Mr Samochodzik.
There are many other historical sights to explore in Morag. First deserving of attention is the Teutonic Castle, then the Baroque Dohn’s Palace, the Old Town with its reconstructed medieval Town Hall as well as a 14th-century parish church. The Dohn’s Palace houses the museum of Herder as well as a collection of fine Dutch paintings. Nearby is another essential place to visit, the Elblag-Ostroda Canal, a masterpiece of 19th-century engineering.
Morag is situated about 40 km north of Olsztyn, near Ostroda, the main town of Ilawa Lakeland. The whole territory of the Warmian-Masurian Province is dotted with lakes. The area is highly differentiated as a result of past glaciation. About 10 km from Morag there is the S7 highway, making access to the town very easy, and making it easy to visit Gdansk or make a tour to Warsaw.
Morag lies in the historical land of Paugudian, an area inhabited by a pagan tribe before it was colonised by the Teutonic Knights. At the end of the 13th century the Teutonic Order started the construction of a wooden fortress. In the 14th century the settlement received city rights and was known as Moring, Meringen, Maronis, Morung, Mohrungen and many other similar names. For two centuries, starting in 1466 it was annexed as feudal land by Poland before it reverted to Prussia and Brandenburg.
In the beginning of the 19th century Napoleon visited the town as well as Jan Henryk Dabrowski, a Polish general and commander of the Polish Legions who created the Polish anthem. Anyway, the town remained German until the end of the World War II, when almost half of the historical buildings were destroyed during battles there.