The town history dates back to the beginning of the 14th century.
In 1340 the Teutonic Knights erected a castle located on a strategic isthmus between Lakes Kisajno and Niegocin. The castle was named Lötzen and was one in a chain of borderland strongholds, used for defence and armed raids into the territory of Lithuania.
At the beginning of the 15th century, a settlement started developing and was elevated to the rank of the town by a charter from the second half of the 16th century. Civic rights, with a coat of arms and a seal, were granted to the settlement in 1612. In the coat of arms of the town there are three breams placed horizontally against the black background.
The town was named after the castle – Lötzen (in Polish – Lec) and bore this name for centuries.

In 1820 Lec became the seat of the county authorities. Several years later a Lutherian church, designed by the famous architect Charles Frederick Schinkel, was erected in the centre of the town. In summer, the Giżycko Organ Concertos are held there and have enjoyed increasing popularity.



Another picturesque view is the operation of the drawbridge over the Łuczański Canal, which is an interesting construction from the second half of the 19th century – the only one of this kind in Poland and one of the two in Europe.

Some tenement houses from the turn of the 20th century are worth seeing.
One of the characteristic landmarks in the town is the water-tower from the end of the 19th century.

Do you know?
One of the castle wings, erected in 1340 by the Teutonic Knights, has survived, after reconstrucion, to modern times.

Giżycko at glance

• Area – 1387 ha
• Inhabitants – 30 000
• Number of businesses – 3655
• Density of population – 2153 residents per sq km
• Avarage monthly salary (2002) – 1710,37 PLN
• Age – 27% of the citizens are under 18 years old