Lidzbark Warmiński is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland. It is the capital of Lidzbark County.
Lidzbark Warmiński was once the capital of Warmia and formerly its largest city. The city itself was a rich center of faith and culture in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and often it was known as the Pearl of Warmia. For a long period of time it was under the control of the Polish bishops and it was also a major economic center, only resigning its importance to the nearby city of Braniewo.
The Warmian Bishop’s Castle is considered to be a great artistic and historical value in the world and has been recognised as a historical monument by the Polish government.
The town was originally an Old Prussian settlement known as Lecbarg until being conquered in 1240 by the Teutonic Knights, who named it Heilsberg. In 1306 it became the seat for the Bishopric of Warmia, then known by its German name Ermland, and remained the Prince-Bishop’s seat for 500 years. In 1309 the settlement received town privileges. After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466) weakened the Teutonic Order and ended its claim to the area, the town was integrated into the Polish province of Royal Prussia.
Nicolaus Copernicus lived at the castle for several years, and it is believed he wrote part of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium there.
In the winter of 1703-04 the town was the residence of King Charles XII of Sweden during the Great Northern War.
Heilsberg was annexed with the rest of Warmia / Ermland by the Kingdom of Prussia in the First Partition of Poland in 1772. In 1807 a battle took place near the town between the French under Murat and Soult and the Russians and Prussians under Bennigsen.
From 1933-45 Heilsberg was the site of the large German government radio station Transmitter Heilsberg. The town was heavily damaged after its conquest by the Soviet Red Army during World War II in 1945. As part of territorial changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference, the area was ceded to Poland and its ethnic German population wasexpelled to the west. The town, renamed Lidzbark Warmiński, was gradually resettled by Poles, many of them from the parts of eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union.