The city of Olsztyn is located in the north eastern part of Poland and it is the largest town of the area. The city was founded as Allenstein in the 14th century by the Teutonic Order who ruled the area during this period. The city was transferred to Poland in 1463 and it became the property of the clergy in the area.
After the first partition of Poland in 1772 the city was transferred to Prussia and the new Lutheran rulers meant the clergy lost the control of the town and it became an ordinary town. The city remained a German town for the following centuries – after World War I there was a referendum in the area which should decide if the city should remain German or be transferred to the newly formed Poland. The city stayed within Germany in the area called East Prussia which was separated from the rest of Germany by a narrow strip of Polish land around Gdansk.
Towards the end of World War II the Soviet troops arrived in Olsztyn and on the 22nd January of 1945 the city was plundered and burned down by the Soviet troops. The German population had fled the town and only the minority Polish population had remained behind. The Polish were not spared by Soviets the Polish woman were raped and there was random killings in the town.
After the war the city was transferred to Poland and the town was rebuilt. The central part of the city is a traditional old town from this part of Europe with a large central market square which is the main attraction of the town. The central square is where you find most of the restaurants – on the square and in the streets leading to the square.
The city has an old Teutonic castle as well – but we didn’t get inside so I am not sure what it looks like. In front of the castle you find the most famous former resident of the city the famous Polish astronomer Copernicus. The main church of the town is also an interesting sight to have a look at.