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Braniewo [braˈɲevɔ] (German: About this sound Braunsberg ; former Polish: Brunsberga, Lithuanian: Prūsa) is a town in northeastern Poland, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with a population of 18,068 (2004). It is the capital of Braniewo County. Located on the Pasłęka River, about five km from the Vistula Lagoon, Braniewo lies about halfway between Gdańsk and the Russian city of Kaliningrad.



During the conquest and Christianization of Prussia, the Teutonic Knights conquered an Old Prussian settlement named Brusebergue[citation needed] in 1240 and built a new town atop it on the Passarge (Pasłęka) River. The German name of this new town was Braunsberg (literally "Brown's Mountain"). It was probably derived from a Germanization (Brus-berg and Brunsberg) of the older Prussian name, or possibly named after Saint Bruno of Querfurt, who had been martyred on the Kievan Rus' border[citation needed]in 1009.

In 1243 the town, together with the surrounding region of Warmia, was given by the Order to the newly created Bishopric of Warmia, whose bishop built his cathedral in the town and made it his chief residence. Braunsberg was granted town privileges based on those of Lübeck in 1254, but was destroyed and depopulated in the second uprising of native Prussians in 1261. It was rebuilt in a new location in 1273 and settled by newcomers from Lübeck. In 1284 Braunsberg was given a new town charter, again based on the laws of Lübeck. However, the next bishop, Heinrich Fleming (1278-1300) transferred the chapter from Braunsberg to Frauenburg (Frombork) where it remained until the 20th century.

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