Czersk, Poland

Czersk is today a very small village, a couple of kilometres south-east of Góra Kalwaria and around 33 km south of Warsaw but once it almost became the capital of Poland and had not the Vistula river taken a different route then history may have been different.  It is hard to believe that this little village was once the second largest town in the Mazovia area, only Płock was larger.  That means that it used to be bigger than Warsaw.

The first known settlement on this site dates back to the seventh century.  The structure of the village we see today dates to the mid thirteenth century.  In 1388, the Duke of Mazovia started the castle on the site of an eleventh century structure.  It was completed in 1410. Three years later, the capital of the duchy was moved to Warsaw which was better located as it was on the Vistula river.  The Vistula river moved away from Czersk due to silting in the fourteenth century, you can see the Oxbow lake in this film.

Czersk started a slow decline after the capital moved to Warsaw although trade still prospered in the region and a brewery was opned.  However after the Battle of Warka in 1656, the invading Swedes destroyed the town and castle, the latter being left in the state we see it today.   One hundred years later an attempt was made to rebuild the castle but this failed due to the Russian occupation.

Czersk was stripped of its town rights in 1869 becoming a village and that is how it is today.

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