In Gdansk Pomerania, when Wierzyca connects with the Vistula river, there is an old Pomeranian settlement of Gniew. Its name appeared in the written sources in the first half of the XII century, and it concerned the settlement and land of ordinis terram Gymeu cum tota Wansca (1229), Gmewam, terram Gimen, villa Gymeu, Gymew, de Gmev. The history of the land located on Wierzyca is connected with the oldest history of Pomerania. The excavations confirm the existence of numerous forts and settlements and the course of the amber route, which was travelled by the merchants from the old Rome to the Baltic Sea. From the X to the XII century the settlements in the area and nearby the present Gniew developed.
The period of disintegration led to the formation of several small principalities in Pomerania – Gniew in the XIII century belonged to the Lubisz and Tczew princedom. Sambor II, the prince of this district gave Gniew to the Cisterians of Oliwa, and then he changed his decision for the Teutonic Knights.
After a long dispute between the Teutonic Order and the Pomerania Duke, Mściwoj II, under the settlement in Milicz in 1282, the Gniew settlement with the land was transferred to the Teutonic Knights. They quickly began building the fortified location, in order to control the valley of the Vistula river and the mouth of Wierzyca.
They started the construction of the magnificent castle and fortified settlement, which in 1297 received the Chełmno city laws. In a relatively short time Gniew has become an important administrative centre (seat of the commander) and economic centre in the whole region.
In the years of 1308–1309 Gniew was the base for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights to the whole Pomerania. After the losing battle of Grunwald by the Teutonic Knights in 1410 the Polish troops appeared in Gniew for several months.
In 1440 Gniew with other Pomeranian cities joined the Prussian Union and declared disobedience to the Teutonic Knights, and in 1454 it joined the uprising against the Order under the command of Jan from Jania. Finally, the city and the castle was taken over by the Polish army commanded by Piotr Dunin on January 1, 1464, after the six-month siege.
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Urząd Miasta i Gminy Gniew
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