Kulmerland

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Kulmerland (Culmerland, Culm land, Polish: ziemia chełmińska, German: About this sound Kulmerland ) is a German name of a historical region in central Poland bounded by the Vistula and Drwęca rivers.

Kulmerland 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. Culmigerier was one of the names of the Prussians in general.

It is located on the right bank of the Vistula river, from the mouth of the Drwęca river 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.

History

The first historical account of Kulm and Kulmerland dates back to 1065 when Boleslaw II of Poland granted a tax privilege to an abbey in a nearby Mogilno. The document lists Kulm ("Culmine") along with other towns which then belonged to the province of Masovia. Culmigeria, being closest to the Polans, came to be populated by the Lechitic Kuyavians and tribes from Greater Poland. The Masovians were led 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 Christianised in 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 of Masovia governed by his son Boleslaus IV the Curly and 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 Dobrin to 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.

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