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Polska / mazowieckie

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Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:ciechanowski / ciechanowski (before 1939)
Community:Ciechanów / Ciechanów (before 1939)
Other names:Цеханув [j. rosyjski]; צ'חאנוב [j. hebrajski]; טשעכאַנאָוו [j. jidysz]
52.8813° N / 20.6194° E
52°52'52" N / 20°37'10" E


Ciechanów – a district town in central Poland, Mazowieckie Province. It is located by the Łydynia river, 102 km north of Warsaw.



Martyna Sypniewska

Jews arrived in Mazovia as early as the Middle Ages. The northern trade route ran through the region. Jewish merchants were attracted by commercial centres and customs houses in the towns and settlements situated along the Vistula River, one of them being Ciechanów. However, there is no information mentioning the century in which Jews settled in Ciechanów. The first reference of a Jewish population in the town is found in the list of Jewish communities issued in 1507, in connection with the coronation of Zygmunt I Stary. The first data on the number of Jews in Ciechanów goes back to 1567. Registers of a tax, in the amount of 1 zloty, levied upon on the Jewish population living in the Mazovian Province in 1549, confirm that in 1567 there were 11 taxpayers of Jewish faith living in Ciechanów.

During the reign of the Jagiellonians, when the royal authority was still relatively strong, Jews were quite successful in refuting the attacks of representatives of the Catholic Church, who tried to eliminate any contacts between Christians and Catholics, also in the field of economy. The situation of Jews worsened as a result of an economic crisis which occurred at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, inciting competition between Christian and Jewish merchants. New anti-Jewish privileges were then issued and Jews were banned from towns. The Swedish Deluge proved to be a particularly tragic period for Jews in Ciechanów, as well as in many other towns. The Jewish population was accused of cooperating with the invaders which resulted in pogroms committed by the troops of Stefan Czarniecki. In Ciechanów about 50 Jewish families fell victims of riots.

The first half of the 18th century proved to be a period of economic and financial stabilization for Jews in Ciechanów, thanks to a privilege issued by Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki in 1670. In the mid-18th century the Ciechanów Kahal was one of the biggest in northern Mazovia, and included the Jewish communities of Maków, Mława and Płońsk. However, in 1753, the Jews of Maków revolted and broke contacts with the community in Ciechanów. They also chose a new rabbi. The Ciechanów Kahal brought a complaint to the Committee of Rabbis appointed by Va'ad in Jarosław. It soon became clear that the Parliament had no right to decide on matters of this kind. In 1758 the Ciechanów Kahal lost its aut


Local history

Archaeological research carried out in Ciechanów suggests that there may have existed a small settlement in the area of the town as early as in the 7th century. In the second half of the 10th century, during the reign of Siemomysł or his son Mieszko I, Mazovia was incorporated into the state of the first Piasts. Ciechanów was first mentioned in the 1065 Mogilno Falsification, in which Bolesław II the Bold granted estates to a Benedictine abbey in Mogilno, as one of 19 gords that had to pay tithes for the benefit of the abbey. In the 11th century, four churches were erected in the area of Ciechanów, following which the town became the second gord in Mazovia when it came to the number of temples. In the early Middle Ages, the core of the settlement situated in the area of today's town was constituted by the main and two outlying strongholds, the northern border of which passed along Strażacka Street. They lay adjacent to the settlement of Targowe together with St. Peter’s Church and a cemetery. Within 2-4 km of the gord, there was a group of settlements situated in the area of today's town. Strategically located, Ciechanów, an important defensive stronghold in northern Mazovia, was invaded on multiple occasions: by the Pomeranians, Prussians and Yotvingians, Lithuanians and later by the Teutonic Knights. The importance of Ciechanów at the time is evidenced by numerous mediaeval treasures discovered in its surroundings.

The available historical sources confirm that Ciechanów was the seat of a castellany in the 13th century. A 1254 document refers to Rethiborius, the castellan of Ciechanów.

Another important document that mentions Ciechanów (CechonowMore




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