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History

Bialogard is one of the oldest Pomeranian towns. From as early as the turn of the 11th century, it was a densely populated and affluent early-municipal centre. Its importance was related to its location on the salt route leading from Kolobrzeg along the Parseta River towards Greater Poland (Wielkopolska). The Parsêta River was a major transportation waterway. The main goods traded in this period were salt, fish, timber, amber, animal skins, agricultural products and honey.

The first historical reference to Bialogard can be found in the Gall Anonymous’ Chronicle. The chronicler of King Boles³aw II, the Mounthwry, when describing the king’s expedition in 1102 to re-incorporate Pomerania into Poland, recorded that the Polish knights moving northwards along the Parsêta River reached "a renowned duke’s town called Bialy”. The town was a major economic and political centre in Pomerania, probably a duke’s seat. The town’s key importance for the region was attested during the mission of Bishop Otto of Bamberg, who only visited the biggest towns in Western Pomerania, and he stayed in Bialogard, in 1124, for as long as 8 days.

In the second half of the 12th century, Bialogard was granted the status of the castellan’s seat.

The development of Bialogard as the main economic centre of the Bialogard Land, was crowned with a charter granted to the town on August 2, 1299 by Boguslaw IV under the Lubeca law.

The strong position of Bialogard in the Middle Ages is also substantiated by its accession in 1386, with the intermediation of Kolobrzeg, to the Hanseanian League. In the 14th century, the town was surrounded by defense walls and St Mary’s Church was erected. In 1315, the town was converted into the residence of Wardslaw IV, Boguslaw IV’s successor. In 1368, the town was taken over by Boguslaw V and was incorporated into the S³upsk Principality. The fate of the Bialogard Land in the second half of the 14th century and in the 15th century was unstable. In 1454, the Teutonic Knights sold New Marchia (the bordering land between Pomerania and Greater Poland) to Brandenburg.

From 1466 to 1648, Bia³ogard was within the Principality of Szczecin but under the rule of Brandenburg. The infamous dispute between Bialogard and Swidwin, which is known as "The Battle for a Cow” was behind the battles fought between Brandenburg and the dukes of Western Pomerania. The reason for the battle was a dispute over a cow. The battle took place on July 15, 1469 near the village of Dlugie. 300 residents of Bialogard were killed, while 100 were captured. Furthermore, the Swidwin inhabitants managed to take over the colours of Bialogard. To commemorate this event, since 1969, these two towns take it in turns to organize the "Battle for a Cow” tournament. The towns’ councillors and representatives of both towns compete with each other in various disciplines showing off their skill, dexterity and artistic talents.

In 1478, Duke Bogus³aw X united the whole of Western Pomerania and in 1648 the Bialogard Land was taken over again by Brandenburg. After the 30-year war, which resulted in the town’s destruction, the population diminished from 3,000 to c. 1,000. Countless fires, plagues and famines contributed to the town’s demise and held back its growth. In 1724, Bialogard became the seat of one of the ten districts of the Rejencja of Szczecin and following the reorganization of the Prussian State, since 1815, the town became part of the Rejencja of Koszalin.

In 1825, the first post office was established in the town, and since 1858 trains started going between Koszalin, Bialogard and Swidwin, and later between Swidwin and Stargard,then in 1878 to Szczecinek. In 1875, Bialogard’s population amounted to 7,081 inhabitants, in 1900 – 8,407 and in 1939 – 16,455.
On the night of May 5, 1945, the Polish Army and units of the Belarussian Front liberated the town. As the Nazis retreated, the municipal and district authorities in the province were established. They consisted of prisoners of war and involuntary workers.

Main dates in the post-war history of the town:
  • 1955– Primary School No. 4 opened
  • 1961 - Primary School No. 5 opened
  • 1965 - Primary School No. 3 opened
  • 1969 – beginnings of the „Battle for a Cow” tournament
  • 1960 - 1970 – building the Chopin and Kochanowski housing estates
  • 1975 - Bialogard loses its status as a district town
  • 1970 - 1980 – building the Lelewel housing estate
  • 1980s – building the „Kolobrzeska” housing estate (today the Olimpijczykow housing estate)
  • 1987 – electrification of the railway track from Szczecin to Bialogard
  • 1990 - 1992- USSR Army units leave Bialogard
  • 1995 - Aleksander Kwasniewski, the resident of Bialogard, is electedPresident of the Republic of Poland.
  • 1998 – modern waste treatment plant put into operation
  • 1998 – a post-German building is adapted to house Primary School No. 5
  • 1999 – Bialogard becomes a district town once again
  • 1999 – 700th anniversary of granting civic rights to Bialogard
  • 2000 - Aleksander Kwasniewski is elected President of the Republic of Poland for his second term
  • 2001 – modern sports centre built in Primary School No. 5
  • 2003 – At Plac Wolnosci (the old marketplace) a fountain was installed and a fragment of the old Town Hall was exposed.
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