:"Not to be confused with
Chełm land. See also Kulmerland (ship)."Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name = "Kulmerland"
conventional_long_name = Province of Culm
common_name = Culmerland
nation = Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights
year_start = 1226
year_end = 1466
event_end = Second Peace of Thorn (1466)
event_pre = Prussian Crusade
s2 = Chełmno Voivodeship
flag_s2 = PB Piast2 CoA.png
image_map_caption = Map of Prussian tribes (coloured areas) in the 13th century. Kulmerland (Chełmno Land) in the south west already under control of the
capital = Culm
Kulmerland ("Culmerland", "Culm land", _pl. ziemia chełmińska, Audio-de|Kulmerland|Kulmerland.ogg) is a German name of a historical region in central
Polandbounded by the Vistulaand Drwęcarivers.
It is named after the city of
Chełmno(also known as Culm). The largest cities in the region are Toruń, Grudziądz, Chełmno, and Chełmża. Sometimes it was considered to be part of the neighbouring provinces of Masovia, Kuyavia, Greater Poland, Prussia, and Pomerania; it is currently part of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship. The Culmerland or Kulmer Land was in Latin named Culmigeria(Holmrugier), referring to the ancient people of the Baltic Sea. Culmigerier was one of the names of the Prussians in general.
It is located on the right bank of the
Vistulariver, from the mouth of the Drwęcariver to Chełmno. Where the Vistula river takes a sharp turn northward, the Drwęca forms the eastern border of the region, while its southern and western border is the Vistula river.
By the 10th century
Prussiapeople came under conquest attacks by the Polanswho had spread and with the first duke Mieszko Isought to conquer numerous peoples. Culmigeria being closest to the Polanscame to be populated by the LechiticKuyavian and Masovian tribes as well. The Masovianswere lead by Masos, who left the Polish duke Boleslaw I and sought refuge with the Prussians. When this area was subdued by the rulers of the Polans Chełmno became a local centre of administration (kasztelania). Chełmno Land was Christianisedin the 11th century.
According to the will of Duke
Boleslaus III of Poland, Culmigeria after his death in 1137 became a part of the duchy governed by his son Boleslaus IV the Curlyand his descendants during the feudal fragmentation of Poland. However the Prussians as well as the Pomeranians many times managed to regain their freedom from subjugation by the expanding Polish dukes.
By the 13th century the territory was subject to raids by Prussians, who sacked
Chełmno, the province's main town, in 1216. In 1220 Conrad I of Masovia, with the participation of the other princes of Poland, led a partial reconquest of the province, but the project of establishing a Polish defense of the province failed due to conflicts between the princes. He brought the crusading Knights of Dobrinto Masovia, where they built a castle at Dobrzyń in 1224 as a base for attacks against the Prussians. As a result the territory was again sacked and devastated by Prussian raids, which led to depopulation of the province.
Being involved in dynastic struggles elsewhere and too weak to deal with the Prussians alone, Conrad needed to safeguard and establish borders against the heathen
Old Prussians, because his territory of Masovia was also in danger after the Prussians sieged Płock. Conrad awarded the already devastated Chełmno Land to the Teutonic Knights, giving them Nieszawaat first. He also brought in German settlers to Płock.
In 1226 Duke
Conrad I of Masoviaenlisted the aid of the Teutonic Orderto protect Masoviaand help convert the Prussians to Christianity. In return, the knights were to keep Chełmno Land as a fief, although some allege the grant to have been a forgery. The land constituted the base of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, and its later conquest of East Prussia, marking the German " Ostsiedlung".
The Teutonic Order obtained an Imperial bull from Emperor Frederick II before entering Prussia, although this document is also disputed. In 1243 the
papal legate William of Modenadivided Prussia into four dioceses under the archbishop of Riga, one of which was Chełmno Land.
Thirteen Years Warbetween the Prussian cities and the Teutonic Knights ended with the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), Chełmno Land returned to the Polish crown as a part of autonomous Royal Prussia(see Chełmno Voivodship).
In 1772 as a result of the
First Partition of Poland, Chełmno Land (with the exception of Toruń) was seized by the Kingdom of Prussia. Between 1807 and 1815 Chełmno Land was a part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815 it become part of the Grand Duchy of Poznań, but in 1817 Chełmno Land was included in West Prussia.
Treaty of Versaillesin 1919, Chełmno Land returned to Poland in January 1920. In first days of September 1939 occupied by Germany, October 1939 annexed, January 1945 captured by Red Army and returned to Poland.
* "Ziemia Chełmińska w przeszłości: wybór tekstów źródłowych" [Chełmno Land in past: selection of source texts] , ed. by
Marian Biskup. Toruń 1961 ( [http://kpbc.umk.pl/publication/15550 digital copy] )
* [http://www.ostpreussen.net/daten/ostpreussen/module/data/bilder/38/38010101g.jpg1500s Map of Old Prussian Land (Altpreussen) with Culmerland, Sassen, Galindia (Michelau and Löbau)] on the Border to
Masoviato the south of Prussia, before arrival of Teutonic Knights
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.