Complete History of Lublin in Poland

Castle courtyard with a fortified keep

Lublin is the ninth-largest town in Poland and technically the second-largest town of historical Lesser Poland. It is the center of Lublin Voivodeship (Lublin Province) and the capital with a population of 350,000. Lublin is the biggest Polish town east of the Vistula River and is located about 106 miles *170 km) to the southeast of Warsaw.

History of Lublin

Archaeological discoveries indicate a prolonged presence of cultures in the region. A complex of settlements began to evolve on the future site of Lublin and in its suburbs in the sixth to seventh centuries. Remains of villages dating back to the sixth century were recorded in the center of today’s Lublin on Czwartek (meaning “Thursday”) Hill.

The period of the ancient Middle Ages was marked by a holy intensification of habitation, especially in the regions along river valleys. The towns were centered around the haven on Old Town Hill, which was likely one of the main centers of the Lendians tribe. When natural disasters destroyed the tribal stronghold in the 10th century CE, the center shifted to the northeast, to a new defense above Czechówka valley, and, after the 12th century CE, to Castle Hill.

At least a couple of churches are considered to have survived in Lublin in the ancient medieval period. One of them was apparently erected on Czwartek Hill during the Casimir the Restorer rule in the 11th century CE.

In 139 CE2, the town received a viral trade privilege from the king Władysław II Jagiełło. With the arrival of peace between Lithuania and Poland, it developed into a trade center, handling many commerce between the nations. In 1474 CE, the region around Lublin was carved out of Sandomierz Voivodeship and mixed to form the Lublin Voivodeship, the third voivodeship of Lesser Poland.

Around the 15th and 16th centuries CE, the town snowballed. The biggest trade fairs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth were reportedly held in Lublin.

Early Modern Era

After the third of the Partitions of Poland in 1795 CE, Lublin was located in the Austrian empire, then 1809 CE in the Duchy of Warsaw, and then 1815 CE in the Congress Poland under Russian rule.

At the start of the 19th century CE, the new administration built new streets, squares, and public buildings. In 1877 CE, a decent railway connection to Kovel and Warsaw and Lublin Station was built, spurring manufacturing development. Lublin’s population expanded from 28,900 in 1873 CE to 50,150 in 1897 CE.

In 1921 CE, Roman Catholics formed 58.9% of the town’s population, Jews – 39.5%. In 1931CE, 34.7% Jewish, and 63.7% of the inhabitants were Roman Catholic.

After the 1939 CE German and Soviet invasion of Poland, the town found itself in the General Government area controlled by Nazi Germany. The population became a victim of cruel Nazi persecutions focusing on Polish Jews. An effort to “Germanise” the town led to an influx of the ethnic Volksdeutsche, raising the number of German minorities from 10 to 15% in 1939 CE to 20–25%. Near Lublin, the so-called ‘reservation’ for the Jews was made based on the idea of racial discrimination known as the Nisko or Lublin Plan.

The Jewish population was pushed into the newly erected Lublin Ghetto near Podzamcze. The town served as headquarters for Operation Reinhardt, the leading German effort to annihilate all Jews in occupied Poland. The bulk of the ghetto inmates, about 26,000 people, were banished to the Bełżec extermination camp between 17 March and 11 April 1942 CE.

On 24 July 1944 CE, the town was ultimately taken by the Soviet Army. It became the interim headquarters of the Soviet-controlled communist Polish Committee of National Liberation founded by Joseph Stalin, which served as the basis for a puppet regime. The capital of new Poland was shifted to Warsaw in January 1945 CE after the Soviet westward offensive.

In the postwar years, Lublin proceeded to grow, tripling its population and considerably expanding its area. Considerable research and scientific base were organized around the newly established Maria Curie-Sklodowska University.

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