Kołobrzeg (German Kolberg) is a city in Middle Pomerania in north-western Poland with some 50,000 inhabitants (2000). Kolobrzeg is located on Parseta river at the south coast of the Baltic Sea (in the middle of the section divided by the Odra and Vistula rivers). Capital of Kolobrzeg County in West Pomeranian Voivodship since 1999, previously in Koszalin Voivodship (1950-1998).

City name

The name probably comes from its geographical location and means "near coast" in Pomeranian and Polish. The Polish and German names probably come from the original Pomeranian or Kashubian name.


1900 years ago this region was noted as part of Magna Germania. Settlements were found in the 9th century, but earlier traces of settlement in city territory are from 6th century. In early history, Kołobrzeg was major port on Baltic Sea and produced a lot of salt.

Kołobrzeg, with the rest of Pomerania was included (or reincluded, as the new archeological finds seem to indicate) into the Polish realm by Mieszko I of Poland in 972. In 1000 emperor Otto III founded a diocese, which he put under the archdiocese Gniezno, (German: Gnesen. The first bishop of Kołobrzeg was Reinbern from Hochseegau. The Diocese and direct link with the Polish kingdom ended when Boleslaw I Chrobry withdrew his troops around 1013, chased out by pagan Pomeranians, not willing to convert to Christianity.

A century later, Kołobrzeg was again taken over by Boleslaw Krzywousty. A diocese was in existence in 1124 under Prince-Bishop Otto of Bamberg.

On May 23, 1255 the city was chartered with Luebeck laws by duke Warcisław III, and settlers from other parts of the empire started to come.

For many centuries Pomerania and Kolberg were part of the Swedish Kingdom (the king of Sweden being also duke of the empire) and after the Great Northern War included into the Kingdom of Prussia. Other parts of Pomerania had continuously been a part of Brandenburg, since the Ascanian rulers and of Brandenburg-Prussia. After the demise of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1871 Kolberg was a part of the then created German Empire.

In 1944 the city became a stronghold Festung Kolberg, and between March 4 and March 18, 1945 there were major battles between the Soviet, Polish armies (controlled by Soviets) and the German army.

In 1945, as the result of the Potsdam Conference, the city was placed into Polish Administration until a peace treaty, and the German population was expelled. Polish people, mostly expelled from Ukraine territories taken over by Soviet Union, were moved in here.


1940: 36,800 inhabitants (mostly Germans)
1945: 3,000 inhabitants (mostly Poles)
1950: 6,800 inhabitants
1960: 16,700 inbabitants
1970: 26,000 inbabitants
1975: 31,800 inbabitants
1980: 38,200 inbabitants
1990: 45,400 inbabitants
1995: 47,000 inbabitants
2000: 50,000 ? inbabitants

External link

Kolberg is also the title of a 1945 German propaganda film directed by Veit Harlan and Wolfgang Liebeneiner.