The history of Aleksandrów Kujawski is connected with the rail expansion in Poland in the 19th century. In 1859, the Society of the Warsaw-Bydgoszcz Iron Road, linked to the Joint-Stock Company of the Warsaw-Vienna Iron Road, undertook the task of constructing the railway line between Warsaw and Bydgoszcz (in the part of the then Russian partition). The land of the Białe Błota estate (former Sieła), belonging to Count Władysław Trojanowski was being gradually bought up. In the course of time, the buildings adjoining the railway station, located almost on the border with Prussia, gained the name Trojanów. In the first half of the 1860s, there were 2,000 inhabitants in the town. In 1862, the first trains started to run, while in 1875, the international telegraphic station was opened there.

The convenient location halfway between Russia and Western Europe, and the location of the customs house created favourable conditions for people to come here and settle. The first plans of the settlement's area development was drawn up by engineer Witold Malczewski. The next factor which contributed to the town's development was the extension of the railway line to Ciechocinek, where a health resort was opened and thrived. The meeting of the Russian and German emperors, Alexander II  and Wilhelm I, which was held in Trojanów on 4 September 1879 was an important event. Before the outbreak of World War I, the population of Aleksandrów (this was the town's official name) numbered about 9,000 residents. From the very beginning onwards, the settlement would attract people of different faiths and nationalities. Apart from Poles, also Germans, Russians and Jews settled here.

On 9 November 1916, and then on 4 February 1919, the settlement was granted town rights and its name was changed to Aleksandrów Kujawski. In 1921, when a shorter connection between Warsaw and Poznań through Kutno and Strzałkowo was opened, the town gradually started to lose its importance as a railway junction. In 1932, the seat of the county authorities was relocated from Nieszawa to Aleksandrów (yet the name Nieszawa County was still in use until 1948). In 1939, the town’s population increased to 9,600 inhabitants.

In the interwar period, the first small industrial enterprises were established in Aleksandrów Kujawski. Today, businesses in metals, printing and food industries operate in the town. A Municipal Museum was established in 2007. One of the most famous figures associated with Aleksandrów Kujawski and the nearby Łozieniec was poet and writer Edward Stachura (1939 – 1979).

Bibliography

  • Aleksandrów Kujawski. Miasto i okolice, Aleksandrów Kujawski [no date of publication].
  • J.Erwiński, Dawny Aleksandrów, Aleksandrów Kujawski (2004).
  • J.Kwiatek, T.Lijewski, Leksykon miast polskich, Warszawa (1998), 7.
  • "Pogranicze Czarnych Orłów”, [in:] Dawne podziały zaborowe ziem polskich w perspektywie historycznej, Dawne podziały zaborowe ziem polskich w perspektywie historycznej, społecznej i kulturowej, Aleksandrów Kujawski (2013).

 

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