Ostrów Wielkopolski ([ˈɔstruf vʲɛlkɔˈpɔlskʲi]) (often abbreviated Ostrów Wlkp., formerly called only Ostrów, German: Ostrowo, Latin: Ostrovia) is a city in central Poland with 72,364 inhabitants (2018), situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship; the seat of Ostrów Wielkopolski County. It is the fifth-largest city in the voivodehip after Poznań, Kalisz, Konin and Piła.
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 51°39′N 17°42′E|
|County||Ostrów Wielkopolski County|
|Gmina||Ostrów Wielkopolski (urban gmina)|
|Town rights||15th century|
|• Mayor||Beata Klimek|
|• Total||41.9 km2 (16.2 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||175 m (574 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||123 m (404 ft)|
|• Total||72,364 |
|• Density||1,730/km2 (4,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
63-400 to 63-417
|Area code(s)||+48 62|
Recently, a small fortified dwelling dating from the 10th century was discovered on the north-east side of the town's limits. An archeological excavation is now in progress.
Ostrów received town privileges in 1404 but the economic stagnation caused by fires, wars, and a weak 16th-century nobility, led to the town’s officials dropping its town status in 1711. In 1714, one of the nobility of Ostrów, Jan Jerzy Przebendowski, intervened at the royal court, for the status to be reinstated. By the power of a Royal Marshall (English: Marshal), Franciszek Bielinski, the town received its status back with greater privileges. Another noble family, the Radziwiłłowie took patronage over the town and looked over its many investments. The care of the town’s owners, work of its people, and dedication of its officials, as well as its location, favored the town’s continuous growth. The establishment of a railroad hub in Ostrów was a vital turning point in its development, helping to lend the town prominent status on the local and national scene.
During the time of Partition and both World Wars, Ostrów became an important center for nationalist movements. One of the town’s historic episodes was the so-called Republic of Ostrów (Republika Ostrowska), which was the citizens’ upheaval of 1918. No blood was shed at that upheaval and all political powers were taken over from the Prussian authorities. In between the First and Second World Wars, Ostrów was one of the fastest growing towns: the number of inhabitants doubled, showy houses were built and modern railcar manufacturing (Fabryka Wagon) began.
During World War II, a Nazi labor camp, Staatspolizeistelle Litzmannstadt Arbeitserziehungslager Ostrowo, operated within the town's limits, where 193 people died. The town was one of the major anti-Nazi conspiracy centers in the Great Poland region. In 1941, after the Gestapo's crackdown on the headquarters of the Poznań branch of the underground army Union for Armed Struggle-ZWZ, the headquarters were moved to Ostrów. From here the re-structure of the Poznań region of the Union was conducted.
- Ehrenfried-Oskar Boege (1889–1965) – German general
- Paweł Bryliński (1814–1890) – Polish folklore sculptor
- Mirosław Ferić (1915–1942) – Polish fighter pilot and flying ace for 303 Squadron during World War II
- Heinrich Graetz (1817–1891) – German-Jewish historian
- Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz (1894–1980) – Polish poet, essayist and writer (Letters from Ostrów)
- Bartłomiej Jaszka (born 1983) – Polish handball player
- Krzysztof Komeda (1931–1969) – Polish film score composer and jazz pianist
- Krzysztof Kwiatkowski (born 1971) – computer scientist, researcher, software developer; former Minister of Justice
- Moritz Landé (1829–1888) – German architect
- Krzysztof Lijewski (born 1983) – Polish handball player
- Marcin Lijewski (born 1977) – Polish handball player
- Władysław Marcinkowski (1858–1947) – Polish sculptor
- Władysław Markiewicz (1920–2017) – Polish sociologist
- Bernhard Rawitz (1857–1932) – German anatomist
- Manfred von Richthofen (1892–1918) – "Red Baron", German fighter pilot (World War I); briefly stationed in the city's cavalry unit before being sent to the Western Front
- Jan Żniniewicz (1872–1952) – Polish physician, author of the new method of hydrotherapy (balneological method of treatment of chronic rheumatic diseases)
- Stal Ostrów Wielkopolski – men's basketball team, second in Polska Liga Koszykówki in the 2017/2018 season
- Ostrovia 1909 Ostrów Wielkopolski – men's soccer team
- KM Ostrów Wielkopolski – speedway team