Town Hall of Słupsk


Słupsk (Stolp in Pommern, known also under other names) is a city in Pomeranian Voivodeship, in the northern part of Poland. Before January 1, 1999, it was the capital of the separate Słupsk Voivodeship. It is also a part of the historic region of Pomerania.

The city is located in the northwestern part of the country, on the Koszalin Coast, from the Baltic Sea, on the Słupia River. It is the administrative seat of Słupsk County, although it is not part of that county (the city has county status in its own right). It has a population of 98,757 and occupies , being one of the most densely populated cities in the country according to the Central Statistical Office. The neighbouring administrative districts (gminas) are Gmina Kobylnica and Gmina Słupsk. There is ongoing discussion regarding extension of the city boundaries to include some territory belonging to those two gminas.

The city rights of Słupsk, probably given by Świętopełk II, the duke of Gdańsk (Danzig) in 1265, were extended in 1310 and confirmed in 1313 by the margraves of Brandenburg. By then, the city had become a centre of local administration and trade and a Hanseatic League associate. Between 1368 and 1478 it was the capital of the Duchy of Stolp; it then came under the sovereignty of the Duchy of Pomerania. In 1648, according to the peace treaty of Osnabrück, Słupsk and its surrounding territories were awarded to Brandenburg-Prussia and later formed the Province of Pomerania. The city became part of Poland in 1945.


During its history, Słupsk was for a long time known under the German name Stolp, to which the suffix in Pommern (commonly abbreviated i. Pom.) was attached in order to avoid confusion with other places named similarly. The city occasionally was called Stolpe (referring to the Słupia River, whose German name is also Stolpe). Stolpe is also the Latin exonym for this place. It is said that the German name comes from one of five Pomeranian names of this settlement.

Slavic names in PolishSłupsk — and PomeranianStolpsk, Stôłpsk, Słëpsk, Słëpskò, Stôłp — may be etymologically related to the words słup ("pile") and stołp ("keep"). Two hypotheses regarding the origins of those names exist: one claims that it refers to a specific way of constructing buildings on boggy ground with additional pile support, which is still in use, while the other says that it is connected with a tower or other defensive structure built on the banks of the Słupia River

Słupsk has also name variants in the Lithuanian (Slupskas) and Latvian (Slupska) languages, although these are not frequently used.

In the Polish language, the citizens of Słupsk are called słupszczanie (singular słupszczanin).



Administratively, the city of Słupsk has the status of both urban gmina and city county (powiat). The city boundaries are generally artificial, with only short natural boundaries with the villages of Kobylnica and Włynkówko on the Słupia River. The boundaries have remained unchanged since 1949, when Ryczewo became a part of the city. In March 2008, Mayor Maciej Kobyliński put forward a proposal to expand the city limits by incorporating some territory from neighbouring districts.

Słupsk shares about three-quarters of its boundaries with the rural district called Gmina Słupsk, of which Słupsk is the administrative seat (although it is not part of the district). The city's other neighbouring district is Gmina Kobylnica, to the south-west. The Słupsk Special Economic Zone is not entirely contained within the city limits: a portion of it lies within Gmina Słupsk, while some smaller areas are at quite a distance from Słupsk (Debrzno), or even in another voivodeship (Koszalin, Szczecinek, Wałcz).

The city has a fairly irregular shape, with its central point at Plac Zwycięstwa ("Victory Square") at .

Topography and landmarks

Słupsk lies in the pradolina (ancient river valley, also known in German as Urstromtal) of the Słupia River. The city centre is situated significantly lower than its western and easternmost portions. Divided into two almost equal parts by the river, Słupsk is rather hilly when compared to other cities in the region. About of the city's area is covered by forests, while is used for agricultural purposes.

Słupsk is rich in natural water bodies. There are more than twenty ponds, mostly former meanders of the Słupia, within the city limits. There are also several streams, irrigation canals (generally unused and abandoned) and a leat. Except in the city centre, all these watercourses are unregulated.

There is generally little human influence on landform features visible within the city limits. However, in the northwestern part of the city there is a huge hollow, a remnant of a former sand mine. Although there were once plans to build a waterpark in this area, they were later abandoned and the site remains unused.


Słupsk has a temperate marine climate, like the rest of the Polish coastal regions The city lies in a zone where the continental climate influences are very weak compared with other regions of Poland. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature range of 11 °C to 21 °C (52 °F to 70 °F). The coolest month is February, averaging -5 °C to 0 °C (23 °F to 32 °F). The wettest month is August with average precipitation of , while the driest is March, averaging only . Snowfalls are always possible between December and April.


The neighbourhoods (osiedla, singular osiedle) of Słupsk do not have any administrative powers. Their names are used for traffic signposting purposes and are shown on maps. The neighbourhoods are as follows:

  • Nadrzecze ("Riverside") — situated in the southern part of the city, this district is a major industrial area. It is bounded by the railroad to the west, Deotymy and Jana Pawła II streets to the north, the Słupia river to the east and the city boundary to the south.
  • Osiedle Akademickie ("Academic Neighbourhood") — a neighbourhood of detached and semi-detached houses around the Pomeranian Academy and its halls of residence.
  • Osiedle Bałtyckie ("Baltic Neighbourhood") — the northernmost neighbourhood of Słupsk, a large part of which belongs to the Słupsk Special Economic Zone.
  • Osiedle Niepodległości ("Independence Neighbourhood") (before 1989 called Osiedle Budowniczych Polski Ludowej or "Neighbourhood of the Builders of People's Poland", and still popularly referred to as BPL) and Osiedle Piastów ("Piast Neighbourhood") — these neighbourhoods make up the largest residential area of the city, inhabited by about 40,000 people.
  • Osiedle Słowińskie ("Slovincian Neighbourhood") — the easternmost part of Słupsk, similar in character to Osiedle Akademickie. It adjoins the Northern Wood (Lasek Północny) and is close to the city's boundary with Redzikowo, the planned site of the US national missile defense interceptors.
  • Ryczewo — brought within the city limits in 1949, this is the youngest neighbourhood of Słupsk. Before the Second World War it was a villa district. It has retained much of its village character.
  • Stare Miasto ("Old Town"; also known as Śródmieście or Centrum — "the City Centre") — the central district of Słupsk containing the historic centre of the city including the city hall and the Pomeranian Dukes' Castle.
  • Westerplatte (known also as Osiedle Hubalczyków-Westerplatte) — a large and fast-developing area in the south-east of Słupsk, including the city's highest point. Currently both detached houses and blocks of flats are being built here.
  • Zatorze (usually further subdivided into Osiedle Jana III Sobieskiego and Osiedle Stefana Batorego) — the second largest residential area, with 10,000 inhabitants. According to police statistics, it is the most dangerous area of the city.


Słupsk has many green areas within its city limits. The chief of these are the Park of Culture and Leisure (Park Kultury i Wypoczynku), the Northern Wood (Lasek Północny) and the Southern Wood (Lasek Południowy). There are also smaller parks, squares and boulevards.


Middle Ages

Słupsk developed from a few medieval settlements located on the banks of the Słupia River, at the unique ford along the trade route connecting the territories of modern Pomeranian and West Pomeranian Voivodeships. This factor lead to a construction of a grad, a Slavic fortified settlement, on an islet in the middle of the river. Surrounded by swamps and mires, the fortress had perfect defence conditions. Archeological research has shown that the grad was situated on an artificial hill and had a natural moat formed by the branches of the Słupia, and was protected by a palisade.

The settlement was probably given city rights in 1265. In 1308 Gdańsk Pomerania was attacked and then conquered by the Teutonic Knights. Stolp and its surroundings, however, came under Brandenburgian influence. The city privileges were reconfirmed in 1310 and 1313 by the margraves of Brandenburg. The governors of Stolp had bought Stolpmünde and then built a port there, enabling a maritime economy to begin to develop. In 1368 the Duchy of Stolp (Fürstentum Stolp) became independent from the Duchy of Wolgast (Fürstentum Wolgast) and later became a part of the united Duchy of Pomerania in 1478.

Modern Ages

Before the Reformation the majority of the city's inhabitants were of the Roman Catholic faith — traditional Slavic beliefs did not survive the wave of missionaries from Poland and the Holy Roman Empire. Religious riots occurred at the beginning of the 16th century and reached their peak in 1524, when the Holy Mary's Church was profaned. By then, people had started to convert to Lutheranism. Only one of Stolp's many churches remained Roman Catholic.

The united duchy of Farther and Hither Pomerania kept its independence until 1648, when the Thirty Years' War ended. The local ruling house, the Griffits, became extinct in 1637. The teritorry of the Duchy was partitioned between Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden. After the Peace of Westphalia Stolp came under Brandenburgian control and became one of the cities of the Province of Pomerania, in which it remained until 1945. Before the Second World War, Stolp was conquered only once, in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars.

After the Thirty Years' War Stolp lost much of its former importance — despite the fact that Stettin was then a part of Sweden, the province's capital was situated not in the second-largest city of the region, but in the one closest to the former ducal residence — Stargard. However, the local economy stabilized. The constant dynamic development of the Kingdom of Prussia and good economic conditions saw the city develop. After the major state border changes (modern Vorpommern and Stettin joined the Prussian state after a conflict with Sweden) Stolp was only an administrative centre of the Kreis within the Regierungsbezirk of Köslin. However, its geographical location led to rapid development, and in the 19th century it was the second city of the province in terms of both population and industrialization. In 1869 a railway from Danzig reached Stolp.

During the 19th century the city's boundaries were significantly extended towards the west and south. The new railway station was built about 1,000 metres from the old city. In 1901 the construction of a new city hall was completed, followed by a local administration building in 1903. In 1910 a tram line was opened. The football club Viktoria Stolp was formed in 1901. In 1914, before the First World War, Stolp had 34,340 inhabitants.

Interwar period and the Second World War

Stolp was not directly affected by the fighting in the First World War. The trams did not run during the war, returning to the streets in 1919. Demographic growth remained high, although development slowed, because the city became peripheral, the Kreis being situated on post-war Germany's border with the Polish Corridor. Polish claims to Stolp and its neighbouring area were refused during the Treaty of Versailles negotiations.

In 1926 members of the National Socialist German Workers Party organized a public meeting of citizens. This led to the party's gaining widespread support in the city.

The beginning of the Second World War halted the development of the city. The Nazis created a labour camp there, later becoming Außenarbeitslager Stolp, a subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp. On March 7, 1945, 24 forced labourers from the camp were killed in the Southern Wood, the day before the Red Army entered the city. Almost no-one remained in the city; most of the inhabitants fled and Nazi soldiers abandoned it. However, Russian soldiers were ordered to set fire to the centre of the city. The Red Army initially set up administrative headquarters in the city hall.

Polish People's Republic

After the war, due to the decision reached at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences that the Polish western border would follow the Oder-Neisse line, Stolp became part of Poland. It was consequently renamed "Słupsk" on April 23, 1945. It was initially part of Okręg III, comprising the whole teritorry of the former Province of Pomerania east of the Oder.

Słupsk later became part of Szczecin Voivodeship and then Koszalin Voivodeship, and in 1975 became the capital of the new province of Słupsk Voivodeship. The city was a cultural centre. The Millennium Cinema was one of the first in Poland to have a cinerama. The puppet theatre Tęcza used to collaborate with the similar institution called Arcadia in Oradea, Romania, but the partnership ceased after 1989.

During the 1970 protests there were minor strikes and demonstrations. No-one was killed during the militia's interventions.

After 1989

Major street name changes were made in Słupsk after the Autumn of Nations in 1989. Also a process of major renovations and refurbishments began, beginning in the principal neighbourhoods. According to the administrative reform of Poland in 1999, Słupsk Voivodeship was dissolved and divided between two larger regions: Pomeranian Voivodeship and West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Słupsk itself became part of the former. The reform was criticized by locals, who wanted to create a separate Middle Pomeranian Voivodeship. In 1998 a major riot took place after a basketball game.



Słupsk is a raliway junction, with four lines running north, west, east and south from the city. Currently, one station, opened January 10, 1991 serves the whole city. This is a class B station according to PKP (Polish Railways) criteria. The city has rail connections with most major cities in Poland: Białystok, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Olsztyn, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław, and also serves as a junction for local trains from Kołobrzeg, Koszalin, Lębork, Miastko, Szczecinek and Ustka. Słupsk is the westernmost terminus of the Fast Urban Railway serving the Gdańsk conurbation.

The first railway reached Słupsk (then Stolp) from the east in 1869. The first rail station was built north of its current location. The line was later extended to Köslin (now Koszalin), and further lines were built connecting the city with Neustettin (Szczecinek), Stolpmünde (Ustka), Zezenow (Cecenowo) (narrow gauge) and Budow (Budowo) (narrow gauge). The narrow gauge tracks were rebuilt as standard gauge by 1933, but were demolished during the Second World War. After the war, the first train connection to be restored was that with Lębork, reopened May 27, 1945. Between 1988 and 1989 almost all of the lines traversing the city were electrified.


Słupsk is traversed east-west by European route E28, which is known as National route 6 in Poland. A ring road is planned, which when built would carry the route 6/E28 traffic. The city can also be accessed by the National route 21 from Miastko, Voivodeship route 210 from Ustka to Unichowo and Voivodeship route 213 from Puck. Local roads of lesser importance connect Słupsk with surrounding villages and towns.

The city's network of streets is well developed, but many of them require general refurbishment. The city is currently investing significant sums of money in road development.


Słupsk-Redzikowo Airport is now defunct, however, it once worked as a regular passenger airport of local significance. Several plans to eventually reopen it failed because of lack of funds. This area will be used for the US missile defense complex.


Słupsk is the regular venue for a number of festivals, most notably:

  • the "Solidarity" International Contract Bridge Festival (Międzynarodowy Festiwal Brydża Sportowego "Solidarność")
  • the Komeda Jazz Festival
  • the "Performance" International Art Festival (Międzynarodowy Festiwal Sztuki "Performance")
  • an International Piano Festival


Słupsk currently has three theatres:

  • the Tęcza ("Rainbow") Theatre
  • the Rondo ("Roundabout") Theatre
  • the New Theatre, reopened after a 13-year absence

In the 1970s the Tęcza Theatre collaborated with the Arcadia Theatre from Oradea, Romania. This partnership ended after 1989 for political reasons.


At one time Słupsk had five functioning cinemas, but only one, the Millennium Cinema, remains open today. There is also a small specialist cinema on 3 Maja street.


Słupsk has a developing economy based on a number of large factories. The footwear industry has been particularly successful in the region, expanding its exports to many countries.

The Scania commercial vehicles plant also plays a very significant role in Słupsk's economy, generating the highest revenue out of all companies currently based in Słupsk. Most of the buses currently manufactured there are exported to Western Europe.

Notable Residents


Several retail developments have been carried out, with others either awaiting approval or already approved by the municipal authorities. Below is a list of some of Słupsk's existing or planned retail sites.

Shopping malls

  • Galeria Podkowa, on Starzyńskiego street
  • Centrum Handlowe (CH) Passo, on Tuwima street
  • CH Wokulski, on Kołątaja street
  • Skwer Viki, on Wolności street
  • CH Manhatan, on Wileńska street
  • Galeria Słupsk (planned), on Tuwima street
  • CHR Arena (planned), on Krzywoustego street
  • CHR Jantar, on Szczecińska street
  • CH in the former RDT, on Kopernika street
  • Hala Targowa, Banacha street


  • Real and OBI, on Szczecińska street (the main road to Szczecin)
  • Kaufland, Kołłątaja street, city centre (close to the station)
  • E.Leclerc, on Szczecińska street
  • Castorama, on Hubalczyków street (the road to Bytów)
  • Fimal, on Bałtycka street (the road to Ustka)


  • Biedronka: 6 stores on Szczecińska, 11 listopada, Kulczyńskiego, Wolności, Przemysłowa and Lutosławskiego streets
  • Lidl: 3 stores on Lutosławskiego, Kopernika and Tuwima streets
  • Netto: 2 stores on Psie Pole and Małcużyńskiego streets
  • Sieć 34: 2 stores on 11 listopada and Kołątaja streets
  • Sano on Królowej Jadwigi street
  • BOMI on Wolności street
  • Sam Czar: 2 stores on Dmowskiego and Mostnika streets
  • Intermarche (planned)


Słupsk has many restaurants, pizzerias, cafés and other catering establishments. One of the most famous pizzerias is that located in the Poranek café, which was the first pizzeria established in post-war Poland.

Sports clubs

Energy and communications

Słupsk has a lattice tower used for television broadcasting. Near Słupsk is the static invertor station of the Swepol high-voltage submarine cable link.

US missile defense complex

The European Interceptor Site (EIS) of the US will be placed in nearby Redzikowo, forming a Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system in conjunction with a US narrow-beam midcourse tracking and discrimination radar system in the Czech Republic. It consists of up to 10 silo-based interceptors, a two-stage version of the existing three-stage Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), with Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV).

The missile shield has received much local opposition in the area, including several protests. This included a protest in March 2008, when an estimated 300 protesters marched on the proposed site of the missile base.

Twin towns

Arkhangelsk, Bari, Bukhara, Carlisle, Cartaxo, Flensburg, Ustka, Vantaa, Vordingborg

See also


External links

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