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History of the Spa

The history of settlement in the area of ​​today's Połczyn dates back to the 6th century. It is associated to a Slav settlement called Palupe, whose fortified castle was located about 3 km from the current city center. The castle, located in the immediate vicinity of the Wogra River, played an important role on the trade route, which transported salt and amber from Kołobrzeg to Wielkopolska.


The first written words about the thriving settlement appear in the document from 1331 and relate to the castle built by Prince Bogusław IV, which fulfilled the role of the frontier tower. In the 14th Pomeranian Prince Warcisław IV donated the village of Polczyn to the family of the Wedel family. The new owners strived for its economic development. Thanks to efficient politics, in 1335, Połczyn was granted city rights following the example of Brandenburg cities. At the same time, the city obtained its first coat of arms. It was a fragment of a vineyard with three grapevines - a reference to the vineyard existing on the slopes of the Vogra River.


In the 1374, the Wedels sold the town to a Manteuffl  knightly family. The effect of this decision was the expansion of the local castle and three new glassworks, located in Lipie, Kloków and Kłokówek, where window glass was made, and, among others, stained glass windows for the newly built church in Buślary. In 1515, Kurt von Manteuffel introduced the Lubeck law in the city, honoring the privileges of permanent residents, allowing, among other things, the inheritance of property for the burghers. At the same time, the Połczyn coat of arms has been changed. The family coat of arms of the Manteuffl family was added to the existing coat of arms - a red crossbeam on a silver field. This symbol still represents Połczyn - Zdrój.


The next period in the history of the city was very unlucky. In 1592, the city was completely destroyed by the fire. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) it was repeatedly destroyed by soldiers of various armies, and the imposed high contributions led the city to ruin. After the war, Połczyn belonged to Brandenburg.


In the second half of the seventeenth century, the city began to develop economically  again and became an important center of beer production. In addition, tailoring, weaving and shoemaking have developed. However, the year 1688 was definitely the most important moment in the history of the city's development, when the Połczynski weaver accidentally discovered a source of water and peat. Legend has it that the discoverer was ill with rheumatism and after washing in the spring water and submerging his leg into the mud he miraculously recovered. The local pastor - Joachim Titel confirmed the emergence of sources and drew attention to their healing character in a special report addressed to the church authorities. Sources quickly became the basis for the development of the city's spa function. The healing nature of water has permanently shaped the nature of Połczyn and allowed it to become a dynamically developing spa town. In 1705, Jakub von Krockow Junior built the first spa house.


The highways and railway lines built in Pomerania have had a significant impact on increasing the importance of the resort. Until the end of the 19th century, the city had connections with Stargard, Szczecin, Drawsko, Świdwin, Złocieniec and Grzmiąca. Since 1903, Połczyn also had a railway connection with Berlin. Good transport connections resulted in a sharp increase in the popularity of the spa and an increase in the number of patients. In the years 1870-1908, sanatoria existing to this day were built. Before World War I, the largest number of patients - 4126 was recorded in 1913, in 1920 it was 6316. In 1926, the town was renamed to Połczyn-Zdrój (until then it was called Połczyn), which further increased its prestige.


The general crisis related to the war years caused an economic collapse. During the World War I and after its end the city was located on the neglected and backward periphery of the Reich. Then the area became the area of ​​organization of fascist forces. Połczyn - Zdrój is the place of the last war council with the participation of the highest commanders of the German army before the outbreak of World War II.


An exceptionally sad fragment of the history of the war period is associated with the existing "Borkowo" sanatorium. In 1937 it was handed over to the Main Office for Racial and Settlement Affairs of the SS, and more precisely to the organization Lebensborn, on the so-called home of a German mother. In principle, these houses were to look after orphans and single mothers, but in fact they served other purposes. Children of selected German SS men and girls from the organization of German Girls were giving a birth in solitude in here. During the war, children were also brought up in Borkowo, kidnaped from the Polish families, which according to Nazi criteria were racially valuable. These children, after the end of the germanization process, were given away to German families. The Lebensborn plant in Połczyn-Zdrój functioned in the years 1938-1945.


After the war it was decided that the city would return to the healing function. It was a just development concept, supported by the decision to grant the town the character of a health resort in 1946. In 1965 in Połczyn brine was drilled, which resulted in the development of new directions of healing. On January 1, 1972, the town received the status of a spa town.


In Połczyn-Zdrój industry has never found favorable conditions for development. A few plants of regional significance were located in the city, but they gradually lost their significance. Poorly developed industry, low urbanization, low population density, and distance from large communication routes are, however, the greatest assets of any good spa town. Połczyn - Zdrój stands up on the development of spa and regional tourism, and thanks to its values ​​it remains for years in the forefront of attractive places in Poland.