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The town Górowo Iławeckie is located on the terrain of the ancient original-Prussian Natangia. Once the Teutonic Order of Knights came in this region and because of their expansionary politics the original Prussians experienced great suffering. The inhabitants of old Prussia didn’t found the 'state' (in the sense of the word today,) but lived together in tribal communities. As they hadn’t enough people to consolidate for a fight against the German knights of the order this form of 'state' was also a reason for their destruction. For a short period of time the natangian tribal chief Herkus Monte, under whose leadership the original Prussians were victorious against the Teutonic Order of Knights could achieve some success at the beginning. During the revolt 1240 he could penetrate to “Ziemia Chełmińska”. Although the original Prussians haven’t been already existed since decades, still numerous traces testify their existence, which you can find for instance in the nomenclature. Many names of villages in this region have the ending “-awki” e.g. Worławki, Katławki, which comes from the original Prussian word “lauks”, which means field. The ending “-kajm” what means “village” still appears quite often, too – for instance in Weskajmy or Pudlikajmy.

Also you still can find the old protection rampart from those days in the region of Górowo Iławeckie.

Heinrich de Muro, the commander of Balga on The 5th of February 1335, founded the town of Górowo Iławeckie. In the village's documents, a certain Herman and a certain Albert are mentioned as the first Sołtys. Sołtys were the representatives of the farmers. At the beginning the town still had the name “Landstrasse” (“land road”), which changed to “Landsberg” (“land mountain”). Over a long period of time Górowo Iławeckie was a federal town, which is to explain by the numerous fights of the Teutonic Order of Knights. Once knights from different parts of Europe fought under the flag of the order. As these fights were bounded to high expenditures the order became poor and had to give their towns and villages as a pledge to the knights. That’s how it happened that 1482 Landsberg fell into the hands of a certain Nikilis Taubenheim. In 1535 the town got a new lord, called Friedrich von Waldburg, who preserved the town Landsberg together with the villages Wildenhoff and Kanditten thanks his success during the war against the Poles. After his grandson Fabian von Waldburg died, his wife Helena Dorothea married Otto von Schwerin, the highest president of the Prussian duchy. His grandson Friedrich Wilhelm let build a palace as his ancestral seat in Wildenhoff and married Charlotte von der Heyden. Still you can look at the coat of arms of both families in the Protestant church in Górowo Iławeckie. The fortune of Wildenhoff stayed in the dynasty “von Schwerin” till the WWII. During its reign the town experienced the process of witch-hunting. A certain woman called “Eglersche” from Augam was said to make a spell because she was in contact with the devil. She was tortured that long, that she confessed everything. Finally the trial decided the death penalty, cut off her head and burned her body.

Whereas its whole history over decades Górowo Iławeckie had to make oftener the experience of defeats than rosy times. A lot of times the town burned and it also wasn’t spared cholera, typhus and plague. Especially in 1710 a lot of people died because of the plague and the corps were buried on the so-called mountain of the plague, where now the local Museum of Gas Production stands.

From 1719 to 1779 Górowo Iławeckie was a garrison town, in which the companies of riflemen stayed. The clock at the town hall, which was built on their request, is the only memory of the troops.

Further the war of Napoleon, under which the town suffered a lot, was a negative time for Górowo Iławeckie. With the marching in of the troops also hunger and disease come to the town, which caused a lot of casualties. On the 17th of February 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in the local parsonage. In “Preussisch Eylau”, close to Górowo Iławeckie happened the bloodiest battle of the whole era.

In the second part of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century the town started to get on well. The progress of civilisation was more and more noticeable. Especially the beginning of the 20th century brought a lot of fundamental improvements of civilisation for Górowo Iławeckie. The rail connection has worked since 1898 and from 1908 the local gas works was used. Besides 1910 the town got water pipes and since 1924 Górowo Iławckie has been provided for electricity for what 1928 the self-connection department was built.

As the Nazis had built theirs barracks and prison camp in the neighbouring Kamińsk, Górowo Iławeckie was involved quickly in military disputes during the WWII

The last train with German inhabitants left on the 1st of February 1945 from the town. After Górowo Iławeckie was definitely beaten by the Soviet Army on the 7th of February 1945, the representatives of the polish administration took the town from the Soviet control.

From than on Landsberg was called Górowo Iławeckie
The town started to live a new life. The inhabitants came from different regions of Poland and from Vilnius. In 1947 a huge number of the Ukrainian population was resettled by the action “Vistula” to Górowo Iławeckie.

 

The gasworks in Górowo Iławeckie

On the 6th of May 1907 the tower council decided to build a gasworks. The company of Karl Franda from Bremen was instructed with the construction. The building site as well as the construction of the 8000 m long gas net, the mounting of oven, retorts and gas tanks was finished on the 13th of September 1908. From this day on gas has been produced. The gasworks had to produce 50-dm³ gases per day. The coal was delivered from the mine “Bulfen”. The first million m³ was produced by the 15th of February 1920, the second was reached on the 8th of April 1931. In the years from 1908 to 1919 the gasworks were ruled by the central department in Bremen , but then the local town council got the administration. Its director became Mr. Altermann, whose successor became Mr. Naujod in 1912. The main owner was Mr. Guss.

In august 1914, shortly after the start of the 1st World War, the director of the gasworks and the highest boiler man were called up immediately for the army. Soon the Russians marched in and the workers of the gasworks fled. But already after some days of occupation, there was the defeat of the battle at Tannenberg and the Russian left the town. The director of the gasworks in Preussisch Eylau, Ranser saved the factory in Górowo. The armed conflict had negative consequences for the coal delivery and in 1919 the gas was produced from blocks of wood and logs. That caused the acetates, which destroyed the gas meter. That’s why a gas gadget was built in addition. In this installation coke gas (25 %) was combined with coal gas (75 %). 1920 the machines for the charging of the retorts, the so-called “Mulda” for the working improvement for the boiler men was built.

In 1923 42 gas street lamps lightened the tower up and the gasworks offered gas for about 400 local households. After the establishment of the electricity the gasworks kept the production because the electricity was mostly used for the drive of agricultural machinery in the production of the farm. The gasworks worked without break until February 1945. After 45 % of the gasworks were destroyed during WWII, in 1964 work was started again supported by the neighboring companies in Sępopol and Braniewo. In Górowo Iławeckie it worked until 1992.

Two years was invested in rebuilding and renovating and finally the museum was opened in 1994. In these two years the employees cleaned and regenerated all gas gadgets to make them as they were in its glory days. The permanent exhibition shows all aid facilities of the gas industry as well as old gas meter appliances, pressure gages, security aids, normal gas cooker and gas kitchen from former times and nowadays. The museum encloses the whole building that means the stove house, the machine house, the technique part and the water container and an office.

 

The Romanian Catholic church in Górowo Iławeckie

In general the neighbouring regions to Warmia belonged to the Catholic religion. In Górowo Iławeckie, which is located outside of Warmia, the people were Protestant. In the middle of the 19th century the situation changed. The number of Catholics increased a lot and the inhabitants collected all their power to gather themselves. Finally they asked the Bishop to establish a Catholic community. On the 13th February 1867 the warmian Bishop J.A. Geritz approved their request. The opening church service was fixed on the 24th of February 1868.

That’s how the Catholic Church came into being in Górowo Iławeckie. As constantly new people joined the Catholic Church it was necessary to think fast about the construction of a church. The construction was decided unanimously and the member of the local authority spared no pains and expense. On the 25th of September 1895 the church was consecrated with the name “Holy Heart of Jesus” and “Saint Agate”. Saint Agate was chosen as patroness because Górowo Iławeckie got its municipal right on her name day. The holy shrine still exists and serves its purpose for the inhabitants. After the building was destroyed during the WWII it was taken over by the polish priest Janiszowski. Not long ago the altar, which was removed in the 70s, was renovated. Since March 2002 it has been standing again on its place in the church. In the church, there are commemorative plaques of soldiers of the General Anders Army, donated by W. Hajduk.

In the building of the old parsonage the institution of Caritas works. In addition the parsonage offers a cultural room for children and medical treatment for free.

 

The Greek Catholic church in Górowo Iławeckie

WWII caused a destruction of the Christian idea and strengthened the contempt of humans. There were deportations of crowds of people, expulsion and new arbitrary borders. Ukrainians from the southeastern part of Poland were resettled to the northwestern parts in 1946 because of the action “vistula”. 5,000 Ukrainian have found a new home in Górowo Iławeckie, which was still called “Landsberg” short time ago.

At first the resettled Ukrainians weren’t allowed to profess their faith. The polish government and Soviet Union pursued the Greek-Catholic Church . Bishops, priests and the faithful had to suffer a lot and many of them disappeared in Siberia or experienced the nightmare of the labour camp in Jaworzno. The public authority forbade the Greek Catholic church service. Just after the so called “przełomie październikowy” in the 50s it was possible. Priest J. Bułtat held the first mass for the Greek Catholics believers in the Romanian Catholic church on the 7th of April 1957. From this day on there was regular mass in the Romanian Catholic church. 1980 the Ukrainians finally became the Protestant church, which was used by anybody and in an almost condition like a ruin. The holy shrine has been renovated little by little. Finally on the 6th of June 1982 the first mass was celebrated by J. Gbur, who became later the bishop of Lwów.

The artist Jerzy Nowosielski has combined the gothic building with the eastern rituals and clergy harmony. 1985 he finished his work on the frescos and icons. The church was renovated constantly during the years. Recently the ceiling painting from 1660, which is one of the most beautiful of Warmia, will be renewed. Remarkable is also that Górowo Iławeckie is the only town, which issues the monthly magazine “Błahowist” of the Greek Catholic Church.

So it happened, that the holy shrine was built as Catholic church in the 15th century, became later Protestant because of the reformation and finally changed to the house of God for the Creek Catholic religion.