Mrągowo [mrɔŋˈɡɔvɔ] (until 1947 Polish: Ządźbork [ˈʐɔɲd͡ʑbɔrk]; German: Sensburg ) is a resort town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship of northeastern Poland, with 21,889 inhabitants (2019).[3] It is the capital of Mrągowo County and the seat (though not part of) the Gmina Mrągowo. The town is located in the historical region of Masuria, within the Masurian Lake District, about 60 km (37 mi) east of Olsztyn.

  • From top, left to right: Town Hall
  • Amphitheater
  • District office
  • Saint Adalbert Church
  • Promenade
  • Lake Czos


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 53°52′N 21°18′E
Country Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
CountyMrągowo County
GminaMrągowo (urban gmina)
Town rights1444
  MayorStanisław Bułajewski[1]
  Total14.8 km2 (5.7 sq mi)
Highest elevation
200 m (700 ft)
Lowest elevation
20 m (70 ft)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
11-700 to 11-709
Area code(s)+48 89
Car platesNMR


Middle Ages

About 1348 the Teutonic Knights constructed a wooden fortress near present-day Mrągowo named Sensburg, derived from Old Prussian senas meaning "old", therefore maybe at the site of a former Prussian castle. The settlement that began to develop nearby was first mentioned in a 1397 deed and probably had already received Kulm town rights between 1404 and 1407, although it is verified that Grand Master Konrad von Erlichshausen affirmed town rights in 1444. As a result of the Thirteen Years’ War (1454–1466) the settlement came under Polish suzerainty as a fief.

Modern era

Sensburg became part of the Duchy of Prussia, a vassal state of Poland, in 1525. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the town suffered through fires and plagues.

Part of the Kingdom of Prussia since 1701, Sensburg was incorporated into the Province of East Prussia after its creation in 1773. It was heavily devastated during the Napoleonic Wars. The town itself mostly remained a small hamlet in the mostly rural area around it. Agriculture, fishing and the richness of the surrounding forests provided the sources of income for the local population. Just like all of Masuria the Sensburg/Ządzbork district was inhabited mainly by Poles, however in the 19th century their percentage began to decrease due to Germanisation, removal of the Polish language from schools and the pressure of the local German administration (from 86% in 1825 to 59% in 1890). In 1871 Sensburg became part of the German Empire during the Prussian-led unification of Germany. In 1897 the town became connected to the railway system, which went from Bischofsburg (Biskupiec) to Rastenburg (Kętrzyn/Rastembork).

Historical population

In year 1825, the county of Mrągowo (including the town) had 26165 inhabitants, including (by mother tongue): 22391 (~86%) Polish, 3769 (~14%) German and five Lithuanian.[4][5][6]

20th century

At the end of World War II the town was overrun by the Red Army during the East Prussian Offensive and lost almost 20% of its buildings. The German population remaining after the evacuation was largely expelled after the war and replaced with Poles. From 1945 to 1947 the city was known by the historic Polish name Ządzbork. The city's name was changed to the current Mrągowo in 1947, in honor of Polish pastor, writer and translator Krzysztof Celestyn Mrongovius (1764–1855), a noted defender of the Polish language in Masuria.

After the war Mrągowo remained a rural town with approximately 10,000 inhabitants; this number stayed almost constant until the late 1980s. In the following decade, mostly due to economic and political changes, the town gained some influence in the region and grew quickly into a regional center for economic business and tourism. Recently Mrągowo has tried to regain some of its former beauty and to represent the region.

Coat of arms

The town's coat of arms derives from a local story of the 15th century. It claims that when a group of local farmers was being threatened by predators, the townspeople tracked down a fearsome bear. They were only able to shoot it in its paw, and it managed to flee to Rastembork. Only upon its arrival there did the bear succumb to its injuries. The bear's paw was brought back to Sensburg and is honored in the coat of arms.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Mrągowo is twinned with:

Notable people


  4. von Haxthausen, August (1839). Die ländliche verfassung in den einzelnen provinzen der Preussischen Monarchie (in German). Königsberg: Gebrüder Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung. pp. 78–81.
  5. Jasiński, Grzegorz (2009). "Statystyki językowe powiatów mazurskich z pierwszej połowy XIX wieku (do 1862 roku)" (PDF). Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie (in Polish). 1: 97–130 via BazHum.
  6. Belzyt, Leszek (1996). "Zur Frage des nationalen Bewußtseins der Masuren im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (auf der Basis statistischer Angaben)". Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung (in German). Bd. 45, Nr. 1: 35–71 via zfo-online.

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