Olecko [ɔˈlɛt͡skɔ] (former German: audio speaker iconMarggrabowa  since 1560, colloquially also audio speaker iconOletzko , audio speaker iconTreuburg  since 1928, Lithuanian: Alėcka) is a town in northeastern Poland, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, located in Masuria near Ełk and Suwałki. It is situated at the mouth of the Lega river which flows into the Great Olecko Lake (Jezioro Oleckie Wielkie) on its south-western shore. Olecko is the seat of Olecko County.

W Olecku - panoramio.jpg
Place of Olecko castle - panoramio.jpg
Olecko - rynek.jpg
Drewniana skocznia w Olecku.jpg
Olecko Kościół Świętego Krzyża 005.jpg
  • From top, left to right: Freedom Square
  • Technical school
  • Bird's eye view of Olecko
  • Pier and the Great Olecko Lake
  • Exaltation of the Holy Cross church
Flag of Olecko
Coat of arms of Olecko
Olecko is located in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Olecko is located in Poland
Coordinates: 54°2′N 22°30′E / 54.033°N 22.500°E / 54.033; 22.500
Country Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
CountyOlecko County
GminaGmina Olecko
Established16th century
Town rights1560
 • MayorKarol Sobczak
 • Total11.6 km2 (4.5 sq mi)
 • Total22,384
 • Density1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
19-400 to 19-402
Area code(s)+48 87
Car platesNOE, NOG


Historic houses in the town center

Marggrabowa was founded as a town by Albert, Duke of Prussia, a vassal of Poland, on January 1, 1560.[1] The town's first wójt was Adam Wojdowski[2] The town's name was derived from the word Margrabia (Polish for Margrave), the duke's title as the margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach's prince, by adding the suffix "-owa", which is typical in Poland for place names derived from personal names and titles. The town's coat of arms still reflects the Brandenburg red eagle and the Hohenzollern black and white which go back to Duke Albert. The populace became Lutheran-Protestant within the Duchy of Prussia in 1525. The predominantly Polish population of the town used the Polish name Olecko.[3]

At the present location of the town there had been a hunting lodge called Olecko since 1544.[citation needed] At a peninsula towards the lake, across the Lega river, in 1619 the Castle of Olecko (Schloss Oletzko) was established as a regional administrative seat for the Dukes of Prussia.

The town remained under Polish suzerainty until 1657 when the Duchy of Prussia became independent. In 1701 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, and in 1871 part of German Empire. In 1807 Polish soldiers under command of Jan Henryk Dąbrowski were stationed in the town during Napoleon's campaign against Prussia.[citation needed] It was believed that both the town and most of Masuria region would eventually be part of Polish state.[4] Between 1818 and 1945, Marggrabowa was the seat of Oletzko County (German: Kreis Oletzko) in the province of East Prussia. In 1825 half of the inhabitants of Oletzko didn't use the German language, and in 1836 the local priesthood organized a synod in Oletzko which protested against Germanization measures. But during the second half of the 19th century the proportion of German speakers increased.[5] [6]

20th centuryEdit

In 1920, after Poland regained independent existence following World War I, a plebiscite was to be held in the area by the League of Nations, according to the Treaty of Versailles, to determine the future of the region and the town. In Oletzko pro-German militiamen attacked Polish activists.[7] In the town, the July 1920 League of Nations plebiscite for the Allenstein district of Masuria resulted in 3,903 votes for Germany and none for Poland.[8] As a result, the town was renamed Treuburg (lit.: loyal castle) in 1928.

After World War II the town was placed under Polish administration under territorial changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945. The German population of the town was expelled and gradually replaced by Polish settlers.


Great Olecko Lake

In the northern part of the town's market square, a Catholic church is situated on a tree-covered hill.


The Train Station in the western part of town is a regional railway junction: there were main lines to Gołdap, Ełk and Suwałki. The local railway connections to Mieruniszki, Kruklanki and Sulejki are out of service or dismantled. Currently only bus service runs from the train station.


Notable residentsEdit

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — sister citiesEdit

Olecko is twinned with:


  1. ^ Olecko. Z dziejów miasta i powiatu, by Andrzej Wakar,page 75, Pojezierze 1974
  2. ^ Prace Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, Issue 21 Białostockie Towarzystwo Naukowe Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, page 227, 1975
  3. ^ Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, Tom VI, Warsaw, 1885, p. 114, 116 (in Polish)
  4. ^ Olecko. Z dziejów miasta i powiatu, by Andrzej Wakar,page 75, Pojezierze 1974
  5. ^ Zabytkowe ośrodki miejskie Warmii i Mazur Lucjan Czubiel, Tadeusz Domagała Pojezierze,page 229, 1969
  6. ^ Olecko. Z dziejów miasta i powiatu, by Andrzej Wakar,page 125-127, Pojezierze 1974
  7. ^ Olecko. Z dziejów miasta i powiatu, by Andrzej Wakar,page 151, Pojezierze 1974
  8. ^ Marzian, Herbert; Kenez, Csaba (1970). Selbstbestimmung für Ostdeutschland – Eine Dokumentation zum 50 Jahrestag der ost- und westpreussischen Volksabstimmung am 11. Juli 1920 (in German). p. 65.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 54°02′N 22°30′E / 54.033°N 22.500°E / 54.033; 22.500