West Prussia

West Prussia was situated on the Vistula River, between Brandenburg-Prussia and East Prussia. Similar to East Prussia, West Prussia was originally a Prussian territory under the duchy of Pomerelien, but it was incorporated into the Empire of the Teutonic Knights, in 1309. The Teutonic Knights, whose Empire stretched to the land of Estonia to on the Baltic coast, were a military and religious order of German nobles. The knights built several fortified castles, the most famous being Marienburg which was the seat of the Knights Hochmeister, or grand master. In the Teutonic Knight's Empire, the tribes were converted to Christianity.

During the 15th century, the Knights were driven out of West Prussia and many of the Prussian lands west of Vistula River were again brought under Polish rule. In 1466, West Prussia became a class state, a state that had a form of government that worked by mutual agreement between the different levels of society under the Polish monarch: the nobility, church, the citizens, and the free landholders. In 1569, a large part of West Prussia came completely under Polish domination, but, in 1772, it became a province of Prussia.

Danzig, which was the capital city of West Prussia from 1878 to 1919, is its most important city. Danzig is a city that dates back to 997, and it was a part of the Empire of the Teutonic Knights. Moreover, as a center of commerce and shipbuilding, Danzig was also a member of the trading association known as the Hanseatic league. Known as the "Venice of the North," the city was a center of culture, renowned for its beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture. After the First World War, Danzig became a Free State, which gave Poland access to the Baltic Sea at Gdingen. This Danzig Corridor separated East Prussia from Germany. Following the Second World War, Danzig was renamed Gdansk and it again became a part of Poland.


  1. ^ Swyrich, Archive materials