Frombork was found about 1278, it has been described in
documents of bishop Gerko Fleming (or Henry Fleminga). He moved the capital of diocese to this city, called the City of Our Mistress (Castrum Domine Nostre), after the invasion and destruction of the cathedral in Braniewo.
Soon after there was a cathedral of Wniebowziecia Matki Bozej (eng. taking of mother of God into heaven) built.
The town received city's rights with privileges of Lübeck Law on July 8th,
1310, granted by bishop Eberhard from Nysa. The city was location in place of
pagan Prussian settlement, and was built on a base of a rectangle with marketplace and
city hall in the middle, and a church of St. Nicolas in northeastern end.
In 1329-1388 the cathedral made of brick was built located at the hill
in south of the city. In the beginning of XV century it had gained defensive walls with towers.
From then on, the Cathedral Hill of the only building with made of brick walls, was protecting
local people from aggressors. The city also had two gates: Mlynska (Windmill's) and
Kowalska (Blacksmith's), though which the road from Elblag to Braniewo was going.
The city had also two hospitals: St. George's, existing since XIV century until XIX century, and
Holy Spirit's with St. Ann's chapel, funded by Warmian clergy council.
Local inhabitants' occupation was mainly sea fishing and
cultivation. Due to lack of running sweet water, the canal delivering it from Bauda River
was built. It was impressing engineering solution for the time. Since
XV century there was a fishery harbor in the city. It also made a trade with Gdansk possible.
The port had a watchtower being at the same time a lighthouse. In 1564 the fish market was
The city suffered greatly from wars on those lands.
In 1414, during Polish - Teutonic Order war, the city was plundered and burned.
During Thirteen Years' War, in 1454 the hill with the cathedral was conquered
by Czech army under Jan Skalski, and under his command it was successfully
defended until the end of the war. The city was once more destroyed in 1520 during
the war with prince Albreht of Branderburg.
The city became famous because of the stay in
1512-1516 and 1522-1543 of worldwide famous astronomer and economist Nicolas
Copernicus. Here he hag guests from Western Europe. Here also, in local
cathedral, rest the remains of the genius that died in 1543.
In 1626 the Swedes, lead by Gustav
Adolf, marched into the town, plundering and conquering the city and the cathedral,
looting valuable art, including manuscripts of Nicolas Copernicus.
During so-called Swedish Deluge (1655-1660) and the Northern War (1701-1701) the city
was again sewerly damaged. The next - Napoleonian war (1807-1809) didn't spare the city.
Economic growth was brought to the city by
building a railroad in 1889, connecting Elblag and Braniewo.
During the World War II the city was damaged in approximately
80%, mainly during Russian offensive. After the war Frombork had belonged to Poland.
The city has many relic buildings: the cathedral buildings
on the hill, with cathedral within its walls, the bishops' palace (today museum),
bell tower (today planetarium), founded by Michal
Radziejowski, built in 1685-1687, also a tower called Copernicus' Tower, built
in XV century and others. Behind the cathedral's walls there are also many houses from
XVIII century, the new bishop's palace built in 1841 and fishermen's buildings.
See also: Old postcards