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Reichenberg (Rychemberk)

Reichenberg (Polish Rychemberk) is a village in the Gdansk (Danzig) county, located 10 kilometers east of Gdansk near the Vistula River. Around 1900 it included the train station in Gross Plehnendorf and the adjacent Muehlenfeld (in 1885 5 homesteads and 38 inhabitants), Reichenberger Gasse (5 homesteads and 7 residents), Rosenau (5 homesteads and 35 residents), Rossgarten (5 homesteads and 39 residents), and Wrukenkaule which covers the area of 832 ha (10 ha of meadows and 358 ha of farmland). In 1885 there were 35 homesteads, 59 houses, 366 residents (23 Catholics, 341 Evangelicals, and 2 dissidents). There was a two-class Evangelical school that in 1859 had 159 students.

Rychemberg is an old settlement which received a location privilege, probably in 14th century. In 1547 the magistrate of Gdansk (Danzig) granted the village to Philip Eidzema and his companion. In the war between Gdansk and Polish King Batory, the village was destroyed and the church with its steeple, which served sailors as a landmark, was partly burnt. The restoration did not give it back the original shape. The pre-war World War II church, in which only lower parts date back to the 15th century, was built in 1584 using Prussian construction; however it was completed only in 18th century. The bells are from 1743 and 1745. Previous bells dated back to 1580 and 1537. As the patronage over the church belonged to Gdansk, the church became Evangelical. (Source: Gazetter of Polish Kingdom and other Slavonic countries, Warsaw 1882-1902, Page 70, vol. 12(?)).

After Martin Remus arrived from Saxony, he served at this church from 1584 to 1595. When he moved to Marienkirche in Danzig, Batholomaus Benting followed Martin. Click here to follow Martin to Marienkirche. Following is from the Churchbook for Reichenberg from the mid 1600's century and the beginning of the list of pastors for the church.

Click here to see the details in the above picture using Adobe Acrobat.

In Hitler's final defense of Germany, the dikes in the area were destroyed immersing the whole area in water. This was done to try to stop the progress of the Russian army. The Russian airforce also bombed Reichenberg. Thus, the church is now in ruins and nearly leveled. Following are some pictures of the ruined church.

Next to the church are the remains of an old wooden rectory. It has been partitioned into two parts and occupied by two sisters. Here are pictures of the rectory.

Apparently the local people took bricks from the destroyed church and used them in building new churches. The church at Cedry Wielke is believed to be one of those churches. Following is a picture of it.

The modern Polish name for this village is Bogatka; the village consists of just a few farmhouses. The land is fine farmland being part of the Vistula River delta.

Click here for a detailed map in Adobe Acrobat format.

 

Click here for a site map for the Danzig area.

 

Please send any information and queries to Bill Remus at

Remus@hawaii.edu

August 9, 2004