Iława [iˈwava] (listen) (German: Deutsch Eylau (listen)) is a town in northern Poland with 32,276 inhabitants (2010). It is situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (since 1999); previously it was in Olsztyn Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Iława County.

Town view


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 53°35′47″N 19°33′56″E
Country Poland
CountyIława County
GminaIława (urban gmina)
Town rights1305
  MayorDawid Kopaczewski
  Total21.88 km2 (8.45 sq mi)
Highest elevation
150 m (490 ft)
Lowest elevation
100 m (300 ft)
  Density1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
14-200 to 14-210
Area code(s)+48 89
Car platesNIL


The city existed originally as an Old Prussian settlement and was recorded by Teutonic Knights in Prussia in 1305. It is documented in a manuscript by Luther von Braunschweig in 1317 and its first names are known as Ylavia, Ylaw oraz Ilow.[1] It was located on the Eylenz (Iławka) River between Lakes Geserich (Jeziorak) and Eylenz (Iławskie). This location makes it a popular vacation area. The town was under the jurisdiction of the komtur of Christburg (Dzierzgoń) and since 1340 under Osterode (Ostróda).

At the start of the Thirteen Years’ War (1454–1466) in February 1454, Iława sided with the Prussian Confederation, at the request of which King Casimir IV Jagiellon signed the act of incorporation of the region to Poland.[2] In April 1454 the town pledged allegiance to the Polish King. After Poland's loss at the Battle of Chojnice, in November 1454 it was taken over by the Teutonic Knights,[2] who handed over its defence to Czech mercenaries. In 1457, the unpaid Czech mercenaries sold the town to Poland. After the peace treaty signed in Toruń in 1466 the town came under Polish suzerainty as a fief.[2] In 1520 Polish King Sigismund I the Old granted Iława the right to collect tolls on the bridge over Jeziorak.

In 1525 the town became part of the Duchy of Prussia, a vassal state of the Polish Crown,[2] and in 1701 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Administered within the new province of West Prussia in 1773, it became part of the German Empire in 1871. During the Seven Years' War, the town was occupied by Russia between 1758 and 1762.

In 1862 the Elbląg Canal was built between Elbing (Elbląg) and Eylau by engineer Georg Steenke, which enabled the inland town to transport bulk of lumber, farm products, and other goods north to Elbing and the Baltic Sea. This was superseded ten years later by rail transport, when the Thorn (Toruń)-Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk) railway line was constructed.

20th century

After Poland regained its independence in 1918, the East Prussian plebiscite of 1920 allowed the residents to cast votes either in favor of remaining in Germany or becoming a part of Poland. The vote took place amid persecution of Polish activists by the German side.[3] Ultimately the town voted to remain in Germany by 4,746 to 235 votes. It became part of Regierungsbezirk West Prussia in the Province of East Prussia.

After World War II, Soviet pressure at the Potsdam Conference established Iława inside Polish territory, as changes to Poland's and Germany's borders essentially put more territory inside the Soviet Union. The historic Polish name Iława was adopted to replace the Germanized name.


Football club Jeziorak Iława is based in the town. The team played at the Polish second division in the 1990s.

Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Iława is twinned with:


  1. Zabytkowe ośrodki miejskie Warmii i Mazur Lucjan Czubiel, Tadeusz Domagała page 149 Pojezierze 1969
  2. "Historia i legendy, Urząd Miasta Iławy - serwis miejski". Retrieved June 8, 2019.

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